31 January 2013

Uganda: UPDF Launches Tarehe Sita in Somalia

The UPDF contingent in Somalia has launched a week of preparations for the Tarehe Sita celebrations in Mogadishu by sweeping the Mayor's gardens in the battle-scarred city.

According to a release by the Amisom office in Mogadishu the celebrations are being held in addition to existing initiatives including road reconstruction and health care.

Force Commander Lt Gen Andrew Gutti launched the celebrations by assuring Somalis that the exercise was a mark of gratitude to the country.

"During these celebrations, Amisom as a people's force, will not only provide security but also carry out symbolic projects that serve as a reminder of relationship with the people of Somalia," Lt Gen Gutti said."This is key to winning the hearts and minds of the people who played a role in defeating insurgents group al-Shabab."

Mogadishu Mayor Mohamud Mohammed Noor welcomed the initiative.

"As the Mogadishu authority, we appreciate and welcome Amisom's help. I understand that after levelling the garden you'll plant trees specifically from Uganda as a sign of the solidarity between the people of Uganda and the Somalis, and as the trees grow, the relationship should continue."

Tarehe sita, which refers to February 6, 1981, commemorates the first armed attack on Kabamba barracks, starting a five-year guerrilla war that ended with January 26, 1986 take over of power by the NRM government. This year's celebrations are held under the theme: 'The Vanguard of National Transformation in Solidarity for Regional Peace and Integration'

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