MPs visit UPDF marine unit in Somalia

Members of Parliament on the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee are in Somalia for a six-day visit to Ugandan troops who have been fighting Al Shabaab insurgents since 2007.
The legislators are in the company of the State Minister for Defence Col [rtd] Charles Engola.

According to a statement issued by UPDF Spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire yesterday, the MPs promised they would approve more resources to support the mission.
Lt Col Edward Ijjo commands the UPDF marine unit which has deployed capabilities that patrol the Indian Ocean coastline in Mogadishu.
“The commanding officer (Lt Col Ijjo) appreciated the fact that the members of parliament took off time to visit the mission area and acquaint themselves with the goings within the AMISOM areas of responsibility,” the statement said.
The legislators are led by Doreen Amule, the committee chairperson. The MPs also visited the United Nations Guard Unit (UNGU) commanded by Lt Col Nathan Bainomugisha.
The delegation was shown a demonstration on how the troops counter- Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), with Sector One Commander Brig Gen Michael Kabango informing the committee that Al shabaab uses IEDs as their weapon of choice.
“Since 2011 when Al shabaab lost most of its fighters due to fighting UPDF face to face, they resorted to IEDs because of cheap materials and only a triggerman is required to blow the bomb,” said Gen Kabango.
On Monday, Col Engola held a meeting with his Somali counterpart Hassan Ali Mohamed.
“The two ministers who met in Mogadishu discussed the prevailing security situation in the region and commended their two countries’ forces for working together within the framework of AMISOM to bring lasting stability to Somalia,” Gen Kabango said.
Uganda has over 6,000 soldiers in Somalia under African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).