The Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) of the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) General David Muhoozi arrived in Somalia Tuesday on an official visit.
His visit to Somalia on a routine assessment mission, is his first since his appointment as Chief of Defence Forces.
During his visit, he will interact with troops, inspect their bases and engage with with several leaders. He is accompanied to Somalia by the senior UPDF officials.
"The purpose of the visit is to check on the troops; it is a routine visit but also coming on the heels of the recent incident in Goryowein. It was planned that we come and meet the officers and men in the Mission area and that is the purpose of my coming today," Gen. Muhoozi said on arrival in the capital Mogadishu.
Gen. Muhoozi met with AMISOM Force Commander Lt. Gen. Osman Noor Soubagleh and the AU Special Representative for Somalia and Head of AMISOM, Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira.
They discussed the current security situation in Somalia and measures being undertaken to support the peace process.
"I want to express my recognition and thanks to the people and government of Uganda for their generosity and commitment to the objectives of the African Union. I want to really express my profound admiration for the brave soldiers of AMISOM Ugandan Contingent for the wonderful work they are doing here," Ambassador Madeira said, after their meeting.
He lauded Uganda's contribution to the AU Mission, saying the troops had made a major contribution to Somalia's stabilization. The SRCC condoled with the families of gallant soldiers who have fallen in the battle to rid the country of terrorists.
In his remarks, the Uganda CDF paid tribute to the troops who bravely fought Al-Shabaab militants in a recent ambush in Goryowein, in Lower Shabelle region.
"I appeal to them to stand firm, to stay the course knowing too well that we can't be derailed by what happened," Gen. Muhoozi said. "We are with them in thought and those that lay their lives here, don't do so in vain."
Uganda was the first country to deploy troops in Somalia in March 2007 and contributes 6000 troops to the AU Mission.