USA Supports Ugandan Forces in Somalia
The Government of the United States of America, through the Department of State, on December 31, 2016, handed over non-lethal equipment to support the Ugandan Military Contingent in Somalia.
The equipment support worth billions of Ugandan shillings included 02 dozers, 04 motor graders, 04 Compact rollers and 04 front-end loaders.
Others are 02 trailer tractors, 02 low bed vehicles, 04 recovery trucks, 02 tele-handlers and an assortment of spare parts.
The site coordinator at the Department of State, Mr James Watters, handed over the equipment on behalf of the Government of USA.
He reiterated US government continued support to AMISOM in the fight against terrorism and commended the good works of the African Union peacekeepers in support of the Federal Government of Somalia.
The Uganda Contingent Commander in AMISOM, Brig Sam Okiding, received the items on behalf of the Government of Uganda at the African Union’s Halane camp in Mogadishu, Somalia.
He appreciated the continued support from the US Government towards the fight against terrorism in Somalia and to the UPDF in particular.
He noted that the machinery donated is enough to establish a ‘Mission Enabling Unit’ that could carry out various infrastructural projects in Somalia to enhance peace and security.
Brig Okiding further observed that:
“These machines will help in the rebuilding and maintenance of the main supply routes used by the AU forces. This will enhance free movement and safe passage, hence facilitating humanitarian activities, governance and Somalia’s recovery process.”
This support comes only a few months after USA again supported the Ugandan forces in Somalia with a donation of several Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles that have greatly enhanced AMISOM operations. Other MRAP vehicles were delivered to facilitate training in Peace Support Operation Centre in Nakaseke district.
The US Government is a key contributor to the UPDF in several fields like equipment support and training among others. This has impacted positively in the capacity building and professionalization within the UPDF and significantly contributed to the Ugandan Government’s regional peace endeavors and the fight against terrorism.