Members of Parliament on the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee are in Somalia for a five -day visit to Ugandan troops who have been fighting Al Shabaab insurgents since 2007.
The legislators who are in the company of the State Minister for Defence in charge of Veterans Affairs, Oleru Gudu Abason are in Mogadishu to assess the performance of the Ugandan troops in the mission area and the challenges they face.
Speaking to UPDF soldiers on Tuesday, Minister Oleru applauded President Museveni for advancing a Pan-Africanism plan aimed at attaining and maintaining peace across Africa by deploying troops to the Horn of Africa country..
She also applauded the UPDF troops for their support, sacrifice, discipline, commitment and hard work, among others.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank our commander in chief for his visionary idea to advance the Pan-Africanism plan and also applaud UPDF for your effort, discipline and sacrifice that has ensured the success of the CIC plan to bring peace not only in Uganda but across Africa.”
She assured troops that their mission allowances will soon be paid, adding that salary enhancement for all UPDF soldiers is in the process.
The committee Chairperson and also Sheema Woman MP, Rose Nyakikongoro lauded the troops for their resilience and mentioned that the committee’s role is to look into their issue, apportion a budget for the Defence Ministry and ensure that the passed budget is put to good use.
The UPDF Contingent commander in Somalia Brig Keith Katungi welcomed the MPs and assured them of safety.
“As UPDF, security is our business where we invest to harvest peace as profits,” Brig Katungi remarked.
The MPs are also accompanied by the Defence Spokesperson Brig Felix Kulayigye, commanders, officers and combatants.
Uganda first deployed troops to Somalia under the African Union Mission in Somalia in 2007 and helped bring sanity to the country.
The entry of UPDF in Somalia saw other countries follow suit.
After the end of its mandate this year, AMISOM metamorphosed into the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia(ATMIS)which is mandated with stabilising Somalia but also aim at transferring the full responsibilities of national security to the Federal Government of Somalia.