Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) United Nations Guard Unit (UNGU) has set off for Somalia.
The unit left with Dr Opiyo Oloya, and army spokesperson, Lt Col Paddy Ankunda, Tuesday morning.
Last year in April, UPDF sent a contingent of 410 soldiers for deployment to Somalia from Singo Military barracks in Mubende district.
Lt Col Wycliffe Keita, the Commanding Officer of the United Nations Guard Unit, said the soldiers would undertake a peacekeeping support mission in Somalia.
The UN-UPDF Guard Units’ basic task in Somalia is to secure and protect the United Nations personnel and their installations in Somalia.
It also facilitates the UN personnel to execute United Nations Mission in rebuilding and supporting Somali’s to rebuild and develop their country.
The Guard Unit is a battalion supported by the United Nations after a decision was reached in New York that UN operation bases in Somalia should have their own guard unit.
The Mission was trained by the United Nations Force and is being funded by the United Nations for the one year they will be in Somalia.
Even though the rules of engagement state that the force is being deployed for a peacekeeping mission, the soldiers can defend themselves once attacked by the enemies.
According to Ankunda, the huge UPDF force is a vote of confidence in their capability on peace keeping operations.
This is the first UPDF mission in Somalia mandated by the United Nations.
The first Mission is under the African Union Peace keeping Mission, which is comprised of 22,000 soldiers from six countries.
UPDF has at least 7,000 soldiers on the ground, making Uganda the country with the largest contingent in Somalia.
On Friday, the army’s air force branch also said it would send fighter jets to Somalia.