The Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres has awarded medals to over 600 Ugandan officers and militants serving under the sixth United Nations Guard Unit (UNGU VI) in Somalia.
The medals are a recognition of the one year selfless service by the officers and militants in securing the UN facilities and personnel against Al-Shabab threats.
The function was presided over on a telecast by the Special Representative of the Secretary General in Somalia, His Excellency James Swan.
Swan applauded the peacekeepers for exhibiting a high level of professionalism during their just ended tour of duty and appropriately representing their country in the UN mission.
He specifically recognized the manner in which UNGU VI dealt with the recurring challenge of Al Shabab’s indirect mortar fires directed on the UN facilities in Mogadishu.
He also hailed the blue berets unit for their ability to adjust to other extraordinary challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to thank UNGU VI who have been collaborative in ensuring that they keep everyone safe through the pandemic,” he said.
“In addition to your personal contributions, you have been good ambassadors of Uganda and the Uganda People’s Defense Forces,” he added.
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) deputy force Commander in charge of operations and plans, Maj Gen James Nakibus Lakara said the coordination and synergies by the various actors in Somalia have enabled the Horn of African country to make positive steps going forward in State building and creating a secure environment.
Gen Lakara further appreciated and wished the peacekeepers well.
“UNGU VI, I wish you well, and please convey our regards to your families because without those families, you would not have reached where you reached,” he said.
The deputy Sector One Commander who is also the deputy Commander of Uganda’s contingent in Somalia, Col John Winston Mugarura said the Guard Unit had fulfilled their mission.
“Overall, you have delivered on your tasks ably well and I therefore congratulate you,” said Col Mugarura.
The Guard Unit was commanded by Lt Col Nathan Bainomugisha who applauded members of his unit for their selfless service.
“To all of you our nationals and international partners, I thank you for working selflessly as a team. More heads work better than one.”
The commanding officer also applauded the UPDF leadership in Uganda for the continued guidance and support to officers and militants keeping peace in Somalia.
The function was attended by UN Principle Security Advisor, Mr Andrew Right, UN officials and officers from both the headquarters of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Sector One.