Somalia grateful to Museveni for supporting military training

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, now visiting Uganda, has expressed appreciation to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for his continued support in the fight against terrorism in the Horn of Africa.

President Mohamud said this late Sunday as he discharged 2,900 Somali National Army cadets who had successfully completed four months of special basic military training at the Special Mission Training Center in Butiaba, Bulisa district.

“This is not the first time that Uganda has contributed to the peaceful establishment of the Somali State. Somalia is grateful and will ever remain indebted for the sacrifices that the government and the people of Uganda under the leadership of His Excellency President Museveni has done to Somalia at very difficult times,” President Mohamud said.

He was accompanied by his daughter, Ms. Janah Hassan Sheikh, and Minister of Defense Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur.

The two heads of state also witnessed military demonstrations at the range grounds conducted by the Somali graduands that included among others very impressive and spectacular marksmanship in range firing, patrols, check points hose clearing and VIP protection-suicide attacks.

President Mohamud, who earlier administered the Oath of Allegiance to the graduands, described the pass out occasion as a historic signing of the partnership between Somalia and Uganda in the fight against terrorism in Africa, especially in the Horn of Africa.

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He noted that 15 years have passed since the first unit of the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) entered Somalia.

“At that time, there was a lot of uncertainty, very insecure, a very doubtful future where many people were publicly saying that the Ugandans will fail in Somalia. This has been proven wrong. The Ugandan contingent landed in Somalia and has been the seed of many other African countries who also followed the footsteps of Uganda at very difficult and uncertain times in the past,” he said.

 

 

President Museveni on his part thanked President Mohamud for his kind remarks and appreciation for Uganda’s contribution to the resistance in Somalia.

He said the training received by the Somali trainees was at tactical level and was the medicine for the terrorists.

“I am very glad to hear what the president said that it is no longer a war of the government but a peoples’ war. That is how we managed to fight here,” he said.

The Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs, Mr. Vincent Ssempija, thanked President Museveni, the United Arab Emirates as well as the Global Security Services for their support. He also thanked the Somali government for entrusting them with the task of training its army.

Other speakers included the Chief of Defense Forces, Gen Wilson Mbadi and the overseer of the training Centre Brig Gen Fred Twinamatsiko. Also present were the Minister of State for Defense, Mr. Oboth-Oboth and other senior government and security officials.

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