Uganda dispatches MPs to assess welfare of its troops in Somalia

A delegation of Members of Parliament from Uganda, is on a week long working visit to Somalia to assess the welfare of the country’s troops serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Eight members from Ugandan parliament and cabinet on Sunday arrived in Mogadishu to assess welfare of Ugandan troops in Somalia.
Ugandan has thousands of troops working under the framework of African Union Mission In Somalia (AMISOM).

The delegation is led by the State Minister of Defence, Col. Charles Engola Okello, and the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs, Doreen Amule.

Officials already met with the senior leadership team of AMISOM led by the Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) for Somalia, Simon Mulongo, and the AMISOM Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Tigabu Yilma Wondimhunegn.

At the meeting, they were briefed on the status of implementing AMISOM mission’s mandate to defeat terrorists in Somalia, achievements, progress, and challenges in implementing the Somalia Transition Plan.

Minister Engola hailed AMISOM for contributing to conflict resolution in Somalia.

He also explained that their visit is in fulfilment of the mandate to provide oversight over the army, police, and prisons.

“We want to thank you for the changes that you have made in this country. We are grateful to the troops. I know that Somalia can now move with the rest of Africa because of the changes that we have seen,” said Col. Engola.

The Deputy Head of AMISOM, Simon Mulongo, explained said that AMISOM evaluated progress made and considered recorded achievements, while taking into account that there is still work to be done.

“As Parliament, they are now in a better position to appreciate the challenges of the mission, and will engage diplomatically, politically and through the executive, to reinforce support to AMISOM through the contingent,” Mulongo said.

Other members of the visiting parliament committee include Moses Nagwomu Musamba, Margaret Lamwaka, Richard Oseku, Donozio Kahonda, Brig. Felix Kulayigye, and Lucy Aciro.

The legislators will visit the Forward Operating Bases and interact with Ugandan soldiers and commanders serving under AMISOM.

They will also meet local Somali leaders in areas located within the AMISOM Ugandan contingent’s area of responsibility.

Before leaving the country, the officials are expected to meet and hold discussions with the President of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and the Speaker of the Lower House of the Federal Parliament.

Uganda was the first country to deploy troops to Somalia in 2007.

The country is also a police-contributing member to AMISOM.