SEPTEMBER 6, 2010: Uganda Sends 750 More Soldiers to Mogadishu

Uganda Sends 750 More Soldiers to Mogadishu

SOURCE: The Monitor

By Risdel Kasasira


Uganda has sent an extra 750 peacekeepers to Mogadishu to reinforce the thin presence of the African Union forces in Somalia.
The latest deployment is a fulfilment of the pledge by Uganda made during the July African Union summit in Kampala to send extra 2,000 peacekeepers. This brings the total number of African peacekeepers to 7,000 as Guinea and Djibouti prepare to send two battalions. The army Spokesperson, Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye, said the deployment was concluded last week. "They have been there for one week and we hope this will boost our capacity to neutralise the enemy," he said.

The UPDF Commander Land Forces, Lt. Gen. Katumba Wamala, said last week that Guinea and Djibouti are waiting for military hardware from AU to deploy. Meanwhile, the AU forces have created new nine strategic bases in Mogadishu to secure roads linking key government installations. The AU peacekeepers have been guarding the presidential palace, Kilometer Four, Mogadishu Port and airport. The extra forces, according to Col. Kulayigye will reinforce the AU forces in these newly- created bases, announced by AU commissioner on Somalia, Wafula Wamunyinyi.

Al Shabaab threat

The establishment of these bases follows days of bloody clashes in Mogadishu that have claimed dozens of lives. Fighters with al-Qaeda linked al Shabaab, are trying to overthrow the weak Somali government. According to defence experts, the situation in Somalia has worsened and therefore requires more 20,000 troops to be deployed across the country. Uganda and Burundi are currently the only countries contributing troops to Amisom.

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