The UPDF under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) has handed over an assortment of weapons captured from Al Shabaab Islamic group and other armed groups to the Federal Government of Somalia.
The weapons were handed over at the Ugandan Sector One headquarters at Base camp Halane, Mogadishu Somalia.
The weapons included 14 SMGs, one semi-automatic rifle, three G3 guns, three multipurpose machine guns(PKM), 816 rounds of ammunition of different gun types and other military equipment including magazines, pouches and gun spare parts were recovered between November 2021 an April 2022.
Speaking at the function, the Sector One Commander Brig Keith Katungi said t the exercise was an achievement out of the troops’ continued efforts to degrade and deny the Al Shabaab, freedom of movement and freedom of action.
He pledged they will carry out more joint operations with Somali security forces in line with the ATMIS mandate.
According to Brig Katungi, due to sustained offensive operations, Al Shabaab had resorted to non-conventional tactics of using of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as a predominant weapon of choice.
The deputy Special Representative of the Chairman of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) Fiona Lortan applauded the Ugandan troops operating in sector one that includes Lower Shabelle and Benadir regions for the sacrifices made for the people of Somalia.
“I take this opportunity, on behalf of ATMIS and on my own behalf to congratulate Sector one personnel for sacrificing themselves to achieve our mandate, in peace building and stability of Somalia,” she said.
While receiving the weapons on behalf of the Federal Government of Somalia, the Commander Land Forces of the Somalia National Army (SNA) Gen Mohammad Tahlil Bihi, appreciated the cooperation between SNA and the Ugandan troops in particular and ATMIS in general.
He prayed for more cooperation to defeat all the insurgents.
“I pledge, on behalf of the Federal Government of Somalia in general, and SNA in particular to work together to liberate all regions of Somalia from the insurgency,” he said.
The acting ATMIS force commander Maj Gen William Kitsao Shume applauded the Ugandan troops for the achievement
“Your efforts are not in vain, the weapons are now in safe hands,” he said.
Handing over of captured weapons is in line with ATMIS standard operating Procedures on the management of recovered small arms and light weapons.
It is also a requirement from actors under ATMIS as per the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2444(2018) to document and register all military equipment captured in the course of carrying out their mandate.
The Ugandan troops in Somalia were earlier this year given a new mandate after the expiry of the African Union Mission in Somalia(AMISOM) that served for 15 years.
The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia(ATMIS) will in the next two years be tasked with stabilising Somalia but also aim at transferring the full responsibilities of national security to the Federal Government of Somalia.