Published On: Sat, Dec 24th, 2016

UPDF hails peacekeepers returned from Somalia

The Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) has granted a one-month leave to soldiers who recently returned from Somalia where they served for one year under the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).

The Battle Group 17 fighters under the command of Col. Bob Ogiki were Friday seen off by the Commander of Land Forces Major General David Muhoozi who also officially received them back from Somalia where they served for one year.

Muhoozi assured the soldiers that they would get all their pay but warned that failure to return for duty after the leave would be treated as crime and punishable.

He asked them to utilize the money well and avoid spending it in bars but instead invest in tangible projects like rearing goats or keep the money in the bank as they plan how to utilize it.

He asked the group to remember their colleagues who died on duty while in Somalia and congratulated them for having completed the mission.

He told them that while away on duty, their colleagues who stayed behind made several achievements including taking the country through a peaceful general election.

He said the country was peaceful apart from challenges of issues from our neighbours including the DR Congo and Republic of South Sudan where the country gets occasional spill overs of instabilities, but said UPDF had been able to manage them.

He said Rwenzori region had returned to normal and were managing a few instabilities in Northern Uganda as a result of the on-going fighting in south Sudan.

Col. Ogiki congratulated his men for the courage they exhibited in contributing towards making Somalia a better country, although he said it was not an easy task as it called for a lot of sacrifice and endurance.

He said many did not make it back home while others sustained severe injuries but said those who lost lives died bravely, nobly and went for dignity.

“We owe something to our colleagues who died, we should remember them as heroes and wish quick recovery to those who sustained injuries,” he said.

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