Friday August 27 2010

UPDF soldiers start training for Somalia deployment

By Risdel Kasasira

At least 1,700 UPDF soldiers have started a three-month training in peacekeeping at Singo Training School in Nakaseke District. The soldiers undergoing training are of the Uganda Battle Group Seven (Ugabag7). They will be deployed in Somalia at the end of the year.

The army spokesperson, Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye, said the group will replace two battalions which have been in Mogadishu for the last one year. “They started this month and the training normally takes three to four months before they are deployed,” he said.

Uganda, Djibouti and Guinea promised to send an extra 4,000 troops to reinforce the current 6,000 peacekeepers in Somalia. The Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, said in phase one, Uganda and Burundi agreed to send 1,000 additional troops each.
The AU pledge came after al Shabab, the Somali militant group claimed responsibility for the July 11 bombs that killed at least 76 people in Kampala. But the al Shabab are opposed to any foreign troops in Somalia and pledged on Monday to fight a “massive final war” against the AU troops.

On Tuesday they attacked Muna Hotel in Mogadishu and killed 80 people.