Last Updated on: 20th May 2023, 10:49 am
Kiruhura, May 20, 2023: Over 200 Somali National Army (SNA) Special Forces on May 19, 2023, graduated at Camp Rufu, western Uganda in an event attended by the Minister of State for Defence in charge of Veterans Affairs Oleru Huda.
The graduation happened at the 206 Commando Brigade Training Center, also known as “Camp Rufu” in Ruhengyere, Kiruhura district, the UPDF said.
Huda represented the Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja at the graduation.
In his remarks, he (Ssempijja) congratulated trainees and noted that the acquired skills are crucial in countering terrorism and executing special tasks geared at pacifying Somalia.
She also mentioned that training together strengthens bilateral defence and security cooperation between Somalia and Uganda.
“SNA training helps to promote regional peace and security since it enhances the building of capacity,” said Huda.
“The role of securing critical installations will only be successful if you all practise what has been taught at all levels of command as you fight for the African cause,” she told the newly passed SNA Special Forces and further implored them not to betray their country and continent.
Huda also commended both President Museveni and the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for promoting Pan-Africanism, regional peace and security.
Speaking at the same graduation, the Somali Minister of Defence Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur lauded President Museveni and the entire UPDF for helping to fight terrorism in Somalia.
He said: “Your sacrifices and support in Somalia will always be cherished as we fight terrorism to have a safe and secure Somalia. We shall forever be grateful.”
The Somali Defence Minister further commended UPDF for enhancing the capacity of SNA, saying “SNA will write UPDF history and spirits in Somalia.”
The UPDF Joint Chief of Staff (JCOS) Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda, who spoke on behalf of the Chief of Defence Forces Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, appealed to the SNA Special Forces to maintain conscious discipline, follow the correct ideology, teamwork, be patriotic, committed and frugal, among others; for the total liberation of Somalia.
He urged SNA troops to stand on the Tripartite doctrine; which stipulates that any assistance must be built on the doctrine of building internal capacity to defend the country.
“You need to be trained and be ideologically upright to achieve what is required,” he emphasised.
The JCOS remarked that unity is the foundation of any military and called for a campaign against sectarian tendencies, mentioning that these derail development.
“When we leave Somalia, we know that we have left behind a strong force to look after Somalia and one that can develop your country,” Maj Gen Kyanda further told trainees.
The commander of 206 Brigade Col Asaph Mweteise told the newly trained SNA Special Forces that they have joined a unique group of Somalis who instead of doing normal jobs, opted to serve their country.
“Whatever we have given you is out of our hearts. Please use it and make a difference in Somalia,” Col Mweteise implored graduates.
The pass-out was also attended by the CEO of Global Services Security Group (GSSG) Ali Mohamed Mohamud, 2 Division Commander Maj Gen Bob Ogik, Deputy Commander Land Force Maj Gen Francis Takirwa.
Others were Chief of Personnel and Administration Brig Gen James Kinalwa, Chief of Training and Recruitment Brig Gen Mathew Gureme, and Air Force Chief of Staff Brig Gen David Gonyi, among others.