The Contingent Commander of Ugandan troops serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Brig. Gen. Don Nabasa has paid a working visit to troops in the frontline at various Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) in his Area of Responsibility (AoR), to assess their welfare and operational readiness.
The familiarization tour, which began early this month has seen Brig. Gen. Nabasa visit a total of 12 FOBs, starting with Mashalaay, Golweyn, Janaale, Baladaamin, Ceeljale and Shalamboti. Other FOBs visited include Qoryooley, Barawe, Baledogle, Albao, Lantabur and Arbiska.
At the various FOBs, Brig. Gen. Nabasa, who assumed office recently, was received by the military leadership who briefed him on the prevailing security situation in their respective areas, and later addressed the troops.
Brig. Gen. Nabasa, who is also the AMISOM Sector 1 commander, urged the soldiers to maintain operational readiness of the “highest order” and to remain vigilant in the implementation of the mission’s mandate, particularly in conducting operations to degrade the Al-Shabaab so as to ensure peace and stability returns to Somalia. He urged the soldiers to maintain discipline, values and ethos of the mission.
“Discipline is very important,” he said, adding “As Ugandan soldiers serving under AMISOM, you must maintain the institutional discipline of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces and ultimately, that of the mission, to ensure that the mission achieves its mandate of restoring peace and stability in Somalia.”
Brig. Gen. Nabasa reminded the troops “to remain ideologically conscious and observe and promote human rights.”
He was accompanied on the visits by Col. Ismail Sendagire, the AMISOM Sector 1 Air Defence Commander; the Chief Military Information Officer(CMIO), Lt. Col. Elias Byamukama; Motorized Infantry Assets commander, Lt. Col. George Acaye; the Sector Engineer Lt. Col. Sale Isabirye; the Contingent Logistics Officer (CLO) Maj. Grace Magoola Salongo and Contingent Political Commissar (CPC) Maj. Robert Byebirooha among others,
“It’s through the Pan-African spirit that we are advancing AMISOM’s mandate to support Somali Security Forces to create an enabling environment for peace and stability” he said.
Brig. Gen. Nabasa reminded the soldiers of the critical need to secure the upcoming elections, noting that Somalia will soon hold both parliamentary and presidential elections.
“Our most immediate task is to secure the upcoming elections and part of the elections will be conducted here in your area of responsibility. We have agreed to secure the process to ensure peace during the elections,” he said in Barawe.
His field visit comes at a time when Somalia is preparing to hold national elections in which AMISOM will support the Somali National Security Forces (SNSF) in securing the electoral process.
He hailed the troops at the Baladaamin and Lantabur FOBs, for their gallantry in countering Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) – the main weapon of choice for the Al-Shabaab, in efforts to secure the main supply routes (MSRs) in order to facilitate the free movement and delivery of humanitarian assistance and other critical services.
Brig. Gen. Nabasa, commended the troops for enhancing and maintaining cordial relations with the Federal government and State leadership as well as sister security forces.
He commended the commanding officers and key staff officers for vigorously enforcing the Covid-19 prevention regulations and protocols and urged them to continue enforcing the guidelines since the pandemic is still around.
The Uganda contingent commander also met and discussed a wide range of issues, including security, with the top leadership of Lower Shabelle region, led by the Governor, Hon. Abdulkadir M Nur Siidi.
In the Baledogle and Albao FOBs, the deputy commander of Uganda troops in Somalia, Col. John Winston Mugarura urged them to always guard the gains so far made in Somalia and to foster harmony with the host communities.