The Chief of Defence Forces in the UPDF, Gen David Muhoozi has flagged- off Battle Group 22 (BGXXV) and United Nations Guard Unit five (UNGU V) on their way to Somalia under the AMISOM forces at the Peace Support Operations Training Centre in Singo in Nakaseke District.
BGXXV will be charged with the responsibility of sustaining peace and stability in Somalia under the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) whereas UNGU V will be mandated to protect key UN and Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) vital installations, UN personnel and escorting VIPs among others.
Speaking at the send off ceremony on Monday, Gen. Muhoozi urged the troops to live up to the expectations of their commanders and also keep Uganda’s flag high.
“The Somalia Mission demands both discipline and sacrifice for one to be successful. Therefore, work hard while there and don’t let Uganda down,” Gen Muhoozi said.
“UPDF is in Somalia in line with its Pan-Africanist ideology of supporting fellow Africans whenever called upon.”
The CDF urged soldiers going for the peace keeping mission to ensure that they return home as healthy as they have left since UPDF as an institution has already invested so much in them.
He warned them against negative propaganda while on the mission.
“Avoiding propaganda will make you winners and carry the Ugandan Flag higher,” he urged.
The UPDF Commander Land Forces Maj Gen Peter Elwelu who accompanied the CDF applauded the troops for successfully completing the training and wished them well in the mission area.
He reminded them that Somalia is a fighting area that calls for discipline and professionalism so as to succeed.
The flag-off ceremony was attended by Dr Opiyo Oloya of the famous “Black Hawk Rising” a book that details UPDF activities in Somalia, Representatives from the British Training team, and other UPDF Chiefs and Directors.
BG XXV will be commanded by Col Paul Muwanguzi and deputised by Lt Col CK Asiimwe while Col Stuart Agaba will command UNGU V and deputised by Maj Edward Mugisha.
Uganda is the largest troop contributor of the 22,000 strong AMISOM force since 2007, contributing roughly 80 percent of the number.