Uganda plans to keep troops in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia-Kampala has no plans to withdraw any of its troops in conflict-wracked Somalia following a 20 percent cut in payments for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), a spokesman told NTV-Uganda.
Uganda is part of 21,000-strong U.N.-mandated peacekeeping forces battling Al Shabaabinsurgents in central and southern Somalia.
Ugandan Somalia military spokesman Lt Col. Paddy Ankunda quashed reports widely circulated in Somalia press, stressing that they will stay until anti-peace elements are eliminated, and Somalia regains capability.
He added that Ugandan contingents are similar to thousands from other Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs).
“I don’t know where it [news] is coming from. What we are doing right now is, we are conducting a review,” said Ankunda.
Uganda’s top military council chaired by President Yuweri Musevani has started determining how they have to proceed with the mission.
Uganda is the first country to dispatch peacekeepers to Somalia in 2007 following the withdrawal of Ethiopian forces that were reintegrated into the mission in January, 2014. On April 27, EU envoy to Somalia Ambassador Michele Cervone d’Urso announced a 20 pc cut in the peacekeeper funding.
However, Ankunda insisted: “But that is not affecting our morale at all. Our soldiers are still focused.” AU envoy and AMISOM head Ambassador Fransisco Madeira disclosed that they were on charming offensive to get other donors on board.
Troop contributing African countries receive $1,000 for logistics and wages, with each soldier in Somalia securing roughly $800 a month, handsomely contrasting cash to pays of Somali National Army (SNA).