Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) Battle Group (BG) XXXVIII was Friday flagged off to serve under the mandate of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).
The Commandant of Military Police, Maj Gen Don Nabaasa, presided over the flag-off ceremony and also received United Nations Guard Unit (UNGU) VIII on behalf of the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Wilson Mbadi.
Both functions happened at the Peace Support Operations Training Center (PSO – TC) in Singo, Nakaseke district.
In his remarks, Maj Gen Don Nabaasa hailed the President and Commander-in-Chief of the UPDF, H.E Gen (Rtd) Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, for promoting the Pan – African spirit, as evidenced by all the Battle Groups that have served in Somalia since 2007.
Battle Group XXXVIII is composed of 2450 personnel whereas 625 personnel make up UNGU VIII.
Maj Gen Nabaasa welcomed back UNGU VIII and commended them for a job well done.
“One year in Somalia and coming back with no major incidents and indirect attacks is not a joke. It is a joy to receive you back and we thank God,” he said.
He requested them to keep calm in their new communities since they have been away for a long time and further implored them to cautiously invest their hard-earned money in income-generating activities like poultry and piggery, saying that the latter changes lifestyle.
”Do not waste it, do not rush for fancy things,” noted Maj Gen Nabaasa.
He also encouraged them to live a healthy lifestyle while maintaining the spirit and unity of the National Resistance Army (NRA)/UPDF to continue serving the country as required.
“I congratulate UNGU VIII for collectively executing their mandate,” he concluded.
Speaking to BG XXXVIII, Maj Gen Don Nabaasa cautioned them to approach the mission area with focus, determination and zeal.
“Be vigilant, operate with the Somali Operational Plan and follow the UPDF doctrine while embracing peace support procedures and continue to degrade Al-Shabaab,” he mentioned.
The Commandant at the Peace Support Operations and Training Centre Singo (PSO-TC), Brig Gen Max Gumisiriza, thanked the UPDF leadership and the training partners for their continuous support towards the training centre.
He hailed UNGU VIII under BG Commander, Lt Col Peter Mabunga, for doing their work professionally while in Somalia.
He went on to thank training partners, chief instructors and ATMIS coordinators for their efforts and continuous support towards PSO-TC.
He concluded by wishing BG XXXVIII good luck and a peaceful stay in Somalia.
Both functions were also attended by Civil leaders, local leaders, Chief instructors, and UPDF Senior and Junior officers, among others.