KAMPALA. Former Air force commander, Lt Gen Jim Owoyesigire, has been appointed new commander for AMISOM forces in Somalia.
Lt Gen Owoyesigire took over from a Burundian general, Lt Gen Osman Noor Soubagleh, on Wednesday at a function presided over by the Special representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission [SRCC] and Head of AMISOM, Ambassador, Francisco Caetano Madeira.
‘’The main objective is to defeat Al-Shabaab terrorists and stabilize Somalia and the region at large as the effects have always spilled over to other countries in the region for example Uganda and Kenya”, said Lt Gen Jim Owoyesigire in his acceptance remarks according to a statement sent by UPDF information officer Lt Justus Bisegerwa.
Uganda was attacked by Al-Shabaab militias in July 2010 in which close to 80 perished in twin explosions at Kyadondo Rugby Grounds and Ethiopian Village Restaurant in Kabalagala whereas Kenya has been severally hit by the same militants for example the Garrisa University attacks.
Gen Owoyesigire who reportedly describes himself as a person who likes team work, openness and approachable, said he will entertain good working relationships right from the first commander corporal up to Generals.
Gen Soubagleh said he was happy to hand over office after serving as AMISOM commander for one and half years. “Your success as [Lt Gen Owoyesigire] force commander shall be the success of AMISOM and African Union in restoring peace in the horn of African Nation,” Gen Soubagleh said.
Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira the Special representative of the chairperson of African Union commission (SRCC) and Head Amisom said the commission was ready to support the new force commander and that he should work with determination to achieve the expected results and therefore take the lead and be in charge.
Gen Jim has held different appointments and got a working experience of over 40 years in active service. He worked as Infantry company commander in 1985 – 1988
Commander Artillery Division (CAD) 2003 – 2005, Commander Air Force (CAF) 2005 – 2012, Member of Parliament (Army MP) 2011 – 2016. AMISOM command ship has been rotation and it started with Maj Gen Levi Karuhanga from 2007-2008 (Uganda), Maj Gen Francis Okello 2008-2009 (Uganda), Maj Gen Nathan Mugisha 2009-2011 (Uganda), Maj Gen Fred Mugisha 2011-2012 (Uganda), Lt Gen Andrew Gutti 2012-2013 (Uganda), Lt Gen Silas Ntingurirwa 2013-2014 (Burundi), Lt Gen Jonathan Rono 2015-2016 (Kenya), Lt Gen Osman Noor 2016-2018 (Djibouti) and now Lt Gen Jim Owoyesigire 2018- 2019 (Uganda).