Ugandan contingent in Somalia gets new commander
A new Contingent Commander of the Ugandan troops deployed in Somalia, under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), has assumed office. Brig. Gen. Don William Nabasa succeeds Brig. Gen. Richard Otto, who has served as the contingent commander for the last one year, and has completed his tour of duty. Brig. Nabasa officially assumed office as sector one commander on Thursday at a function presided over by Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu, the Commander of Land Forces of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF), in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. AMISOM has six sectors across Somalia. The other five sectors are manned by troops from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya. Speaking at the event, Lt. Gen. Elwelu hailed the outgoing contingent commander and his team for the diligence with which they executed their work, and for staying the course of the mission, especially in light of the challenges and disruptions brought about by the global Covid-19 pandemic. “I want to congratulate Gen. Otto for having successfully ended his tour of duty. It has not been an easy journey-a journey which had its own challenges, especially when this pandemic (Covid-19) came into play but you managed to keep the mission on,” Lt. Gen Elwelu noted. Lt. Gen. Elwelu also congratulated Brig. Gen. Nabasa upon his appointment and expressed optimism that he will equal the task ahead. Lt. Gen. Elwelu urged all the other officers to render the new contingent commander all the necessary support, noting that there is a mission to accomplish, which is to restore peace and stability in Somalia, and ultimately in the region. “We need to keep focus on that mission and our mission here is a mission designed to help our brothers and sisters- the Somalis to stand on their two legs and be able to manage the affairs of their country. That is why we are here,” Lt. Gen. Elwelu explained. Lt. Gen. Elwelu cautioned the soldiers to desist from pursuing joy, called for team work and reminded the officers to work closely with the local communities, the host government and partners. “Remember that you are not alone and that we need everybody. So always listen to our partners, talk to them and where need be, seek their guidance and support,” he advised. Brig. Gen. Nabasa is not new to Somalia, having initially served in Somalia in 2014 as the Special Forces Component Commander and took part in numerous military operations that culminated in the capture of a number of key towns from the Al-Shabaab, including Barawe. Prior to his deployment in Somalia as contingent commander, Brig. Gen. Nabasa served as the commander of the Special Forces Command (SFC), an elite unit that is responsible for the security of the President of Uganda and special operations. He has also served in other senior positions in the UPDF. In his acceptance speech, Brig. Nabasa pledged to do his best to help restore peace and stability in Somalia. “I thank the leadership for entrusting me with this responsibility and pledge to do my best to continue to contribute to the efforts of providing peace and stability to our brothers and sisters in Somalia and the region,” Brig. Gen. Nabasa said. On his part, the outgoing Commander thanked the Federal Government of Somalia for according to him a cordial working relationship and the UPDF leadership for the strategic guidance and support rendered, among others.