Ugandan peacekeepers serving with the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) on Monday, joined their countrymen to celebrate their country’s 61st Independence anniversary in Mogadishu.
The ceremony hosted by the Ugandan Ambassador to Somalia Prof. Sam Turyamuhika, was attended by the African Union Special Representative for Somalia and Head of ATMIS Amb. Mohamed El-Amine-Souef and Somalia’s Deputy Prime Minister Salah Jama.
Also in attendance was Uganda’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs John Mulimba, senior ATMIS officials and representatives from the UN, European Union, Kenya and Somalia’s international partners.
At the event which also marked the official opening of the Ugandan embassy chancery building, Amb. Souef commended Uganda for its commitment to lasting peace and stability in Somalia.
“I take this opportunity to congratulate the government and the people of Uganda for allowing their troops and police officers to serve under ATMIS. This is a show of their unwavering solidarity with the people of Somalia,” said Amb. Souef.
The Somalia Deputy Prime Minister, who presided over the event, thanked Uganda for standing with Somalia during its most difficult times, through ATMIS and its precursor mission AMISOM.
“We are very grateful for the support you have given us throughout the years in fighting the Al-Shabaab terrorists. Through the selfless efforts of your countrymen and women and other regional brothers we are now winning the war against the enemy,” said Deputy Prime Minister Jama.
In his remarks, Uganda’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs John Mulimba, noted his country’s long standing relations with Somalia and its commitment to peace and stability in the region and Africa as a whole.
“Uganda remains an ardent supporter for strengthening the regional and sub regional organizations such as East African community, and many others. We fully support the Federal Government and the people of Somalia and their commitment to fight terrorism,” said Minister Mulimba.
Uganda which was the first country to commit troops to Somalia in 2007, is among the five ATMIS troop contributing countries alongside Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya. Uganda also has a contingent of police officers serving in Somalia under ATMIS.
The East African country attained its independence from British colonial rule on 9 October 1962.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).