The Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of African Union Commission (DSRCC) for Somalia, Simon Mulongo awarded Medals and certificates to UPDF Battle Group 26 (BG XXVI) that has completed a year-long tour of duty in Somalia.
The Medals were awarded to officers and militants in recognition of their outstanding service and contribution to the successful execution of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) mandate.
“On behalf of the SRCC and AMISOM fraternity, I congratulate UPDF Battle Group 26 for standing out and exhibiting exemplary performance,”Mulongo said.
Mulongo told the troops that most of the biggest challenges that Africa has are the inter-State contestations, conflicts, national threats caused by terrorists, organized crimes, inter political dynamics and disagreements in national agendas by various players in our countries.
“Sector One in particular, in the area of operation for Battle Group 26 have worked very well with other forces, civilians, local authorities,” he said.
He also said that it is because of the right strategy that is laid out with the right tactics and the exhibition of a high degree of discipline coupled with good Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) work that has enabled UPDF to work with other actors to achieve their goals in Somalia.
The AMISOM Force Commander Lt Gen Tigabu Yilma paid tribute to the officers and militants of BG XXVI for their dedication professionalism and contribution to achieving AMISOM’s mandate.
“I want to congratulate you for the good work during your one-year tour of duty, we appreciate your contribution towards the pacification of Somalia. I know you have sacrificed your lives for the people of Somalia and you strictly followed AMISOM’s mandate to enforce peace and security in the country,” he said.
The Sector one Commander Brig Michael Kabango thanked the Battle Group for the job well done by showing skills and knowledge in fighting Alshabab.
He also applauded the AMISOM leadership and partners for the support rendered to him during his tenure that resulted into the success that is being witnessed in Somalia.
Brig.Kabango emphasized that the troops should maintain discipline back home as it is the only weapon which has made UPDF be successful always.
The BG XXVI Commander Col Topher Magino thanked the Sector One Commander for the guidance and support that enabled the Battle Group to succeed.
Also present at the awarding ceremony was the Deputy Ugandan Ambassador to Somalia Maj Gen Nathan Mugisha, Deputy AMISOM Force Commander Maj Gen James Nakibus Lakara, Deputy Force Commander in of Support and Logistics Maj. Gen. George Owinow, AMISOM Chief of Staff Brig. Dolimitien Kabisa and the Commander of the United Nations Guard Unit Six (UNGU VI) Lt Col Nathan Beinomugisha among others.
The UPDF that has deployed in Somalia under African Union Mission in Somalia since 2007 is the biggest contributor of troops to the AMISOM.
The Force also provides a United Nations Guard Unit to protect UN workers in Somalia.