The newly appointed D/SRCC Hon Simon Mulongo toured sector one headquarters of AMISOM as part of his familiarization tour as he takes on the mantle of overseeing AMISOM operations in Somalia. He was welcomed into the sector by the Uganda Contingent Commander Brig Muhanga Kayanja who later briefed him on several issues and congratulated him upon his appointment and wished him good luck in his new role.
Brig Kayanja Muhanga while briefing his guest at Contingent Headquarters said that Somalia still has a lot of problems that need to be addressed. Among the outstanding problems he highlighted the persistent Clan rivalries in the sector, land ownership for agriculture and economic rivalraries especially in Marka port.
“These conflicts have made the situation more volatile as Al-Shabaab has for many times used them to launch attacks on own forces” he said.
The Contingent Commander also enumerated to the new D/SRCC a number of existing challenges that continue to negatively impact on the mission in general such as; lack of Air capability by AMISOM, expanded area of operation visa vie inadequate number of personnel, poor conditions of Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs), extended lines of communication, poor road network, threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and the inadequate Defense stores to fortify own defensive positions among others.
Among the achievements Brigadier Muhanga highlighted include: AMISOM ensuring an environment which enabled the Electoral process to take place, Capture of Mogadishu city and key towns of Marka, Afogoye, Barawe and also the relocation of all partners including UN agencies from Nairobi to Mogadishu where they hitherto operated from.
In his remarks the D/SRCC expressed his happiness to the troops for the Pan- African Spirit exhibited in Somalia, and recollected that all attempts were put in place by UN and other world leaders to restore peace and stability in Somalia but all were futile not until 2007 when Uganda sent in a contingent of UPDF to restore a resemblance of peace, stability and legitimate governance that we see today.
Hon Mulongo also reminded the officers on the fact that many people may not understand the dynamics and technicality of the operations. That this has often led to uncalled for accusations that should not derail them from their strategic objectives as they implement their mandate.
He observed that there should not be a compromise on how the exit of troop contributing countries should be executed in the drawdown of forces plan, but rather the leadership must ascertain the capability of SNA and SNP to take full control of the security of the Somali people.
“TCCs and partners must sit and review the exit plan very well so that we don’t see another Somalia failed State only two days after our exit”
Hon Simon Mulongo replaced Hon Lydia Wanyoto whose contract expired on the 31stMarch 2017.