The new contingent commander of Ugandan troops serving with the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), Brig. Gen. Peter Gaetano Omola has officially assumed duty.
The new commander replaces Brig. Gen. Keith Katungi, who has completed a one-year tour of duty in Somalia.
Brig. Gen. Omola is making a comeback to Somalia after having previously served with the African Union peace support operation in different capacities in 2012 and again in 2015.
The Commander of Land Forces in the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), Lt. Gen. Kayanja Muhanga presided over the handover and takeover ceremony at the ATMIS Uganda contingent headquarters in Mogadishu.
In his remarks, Brig. Gen. Omola thanked the Commander-in-Chief and the UPDF leadership for entrusting him with the responsibility of commanding the Uganda ATMIS contingent in operations to pacify Somalia.
Brig. Gen. Omola said he was looking forward to working with the African Union, the Federal Government of Somalia, and the Somali Security Forces to facilitate the success of the mission.
“I request the support and cooperation of the team remaining with me. Without you, I will not be able to deliver and we will not be able to fly our flag high. So, let us cooperate and accomplish this mission. I accept the office and the responsibility that comes with it,” said Brig. Gen. Omola during the ceremony.
During his tour of duty, Brig. Gen. Katungi said the contingent was able to recover weapons and accessories from Al-Shabaab and acquired helicopters that have eased operations and the evacuation of personnel.
The Uganda contingent has provided security that has enabled the delivery of humanitarian assistance, especially during the ongoing drought and the COVID-19 pandemic. The troops in collaboration with the Somali security forces have been instrumental in liberating and holding territory from the Al Shabaab, building relations with authorities, and securing communities.
“We are moving towards the end of the mission. A successful end state lies with the Federal Government of Somalia’s force generation, there is need for more force enablers, and the need to implement the ATMIS mandate and Uganda’s envisioned strategic end state,” noted Brig. Gen. Katungi.
Lt. Gen. Muhanga, the Commander Land Forces, praised Uganda troops serving with ATMIS for their contribution to the restoration of peace and stability in Somalia. He expressed confidence in Brig. Gen. Omola’s ability to implement the ATMIS mandate to secure Somalia.
“He knows Somalia and he will deliver. He is a good commander and that is why we selected him to replace Brig. Gen. Katungi, said Lt. Gen. Muhanga.
Other troop contributing countries under ATMIS include Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).