Mogadishu – Ugandan troops under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in Mogadishu, have carried out a community sanitation exercise and free medical camp to commemorate the Armed Force’s Day.
The day, also known as ‘Tarehe Sita,’ is marked annually to remember the day when the National Resistance Army led by Yoweri Museveni, launched an armed struggle to end misrule in Uganda.
On Friday, the Ugandan AMISOM contingent celebrated the 39th ‘Tarehe Sita’ anniversary on the theme, “Consolidating the UPDF strategic partnership with the people to guard gains of liberation.”
Members of various communities living near the AMISOM basecamp in Mogadishu turned up in their numbers for free medical check-ups and treatment. Also, the officers, men, and women of the Ugandan AMISOM contingent cleaned the local Marine market.
The Uganda AMISOM contingent commander, Brigadier Richard Otto, explained that the clean-up exercise and medical camp was to strengthen relations with the civilian population around the Base Camp.
“We came to Somalia in 2007 as part of AMISOM. We would have failed if we did not have the support of the community. Today’s engagement and activities is to improve and strengthen cooperation. We don’t only fight Al-Shabaab but also support the population. This is just but one of the many engagements we do under civil-military coordination,” said Brig Otto.
Capt. Dr. Gideon Nuwagira, the Commanding Officer of the AMISOM Level Two hospital, said the medical camp provided out-patient treatment, eye care, laboratory, dental, and counselling services.
“In all our operations, we work with civilians and we appreciate their support. As we celebrate ‘Tarehe Sita’ today, it is important to connect to the communities,” Capt. Dr. Nuwagira said.
The residents who turned up for treatment thanked AMISOM for the support.
Ayaan Mohamud Warsame, a resident, said, “Today I received medicine to treat heartburns which has been affecting me for a while. I am grateful for the support.”
Another resident, Jaluo Ibra, noted, “People are coming in numbers to undergo check-up and get prescriptions and that is commendable.”
Later, the AMISOM senior leadership attended a commemoration event at the Uganda Embassy in Somalia.
In his remarks, Ambassador Prof. Sam Turyamuhika urged AMISOM troops to cooperate with communities and maintain discipline. “The hallmark of the NRA (UPDF) was discipline without fear or favour, especially in the pursuit of excellence and success. I urge you never to lose sight of this,” said Ambassador Turyamuhika.