The Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) Battle Group XXXIX has today been urged to fight hard for the protection of peace and stability in Somalia.
“After training hard, go fight harder. Somalia is not a playing ground. Use the skills acquired to fire the enemy at any time,” remarked the Deputy Commander Land Force (D/CLF) Maj Gen Francis Takirwa during the flagging off of Battle Group (BG) XXXIX to Somalia.
A total of 1850 UPDF troops will enforce peace under the mandate of the African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).
This follows eight (O8) months of pre-mission training at the Peace Support Operations Training Centre (PSO-TC) Singo, Nakeseke District.
While presiding over the flag-off ceremony, Maj Gen Francis Takirwa congratulated the Battle Group for getting the opportunity to pacify another part of Africa.
He advised officers and militants to avoid promiscuity, urging them to come back safe just like they were going. “When you come back with HIV/AIDS, you will cry alone not as UPDF,” he warned.
He also wished them a safe new tour of duty to Somalia, praying they come back safe.
During the flag-off ceremony, the Commandant PSO-TC Brig Gen Max Gumisiriza thanked BG XXXIX for being disciplined throughout the training. He also lauded instructors for being available, approachable and hard-working.
The commandant further urged BG XXXIX to maintain discipline and loyalty, among others, while in the mission area.
The ceremony was also witnessed by the commander of Battle Group XXXlX Col TD Mawa, commander of Battle Group 40 Col Topher Magino, Brian Lionberger Gpol Senior Mentor USA and Lt Col Daniel Kalala W/Commandant, among others