Somalia: UPDF Recalls Over 2000 Veterans for Somalia Mission

Ugandan soldiers, operating under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), advanced towards Buurhkaba from their former position in the town of Leego alongside members of the Somali National Army (SNA). The purpose of such an advance is to eventually open up the road from Mogadishu to Baidoa and connect the two citys currently under AMISOM's control. AU UN IST PHOTO / TOBIN JONES.

The Uganda Peoples' Defense Forces (UPDF) through the office of the General Officer Commanding Reserve Forces (GOC-RF) will conduct a four-day countrywide recall of 2,752 reservists. The exercise is scheduled for January 20-23, 2020.

"The mobilized veterans will form Uganda Battle Groups Thirty-One and Thirty-Two (UGABAG XXXI and UGABAG XXXII) to augment UPDF operations under African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)," a statement by the UPDF Spokesperson Brigadier Richard Karemire reads.

He says that the call up targets only the honorably discharged/retired UPDF veterans from the rank of Major and below. The candidates must be aged 55 years and below, have no criminal record, and in possession of original national Identity Cards, as well as discharge/retirement certificates.

They will be screened for physical, medical and mental fitness. "Article 17 of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and Section 31 of the Uganda Peoples' Defense Forces (UPDF) Act 7 of 2005 empower the Commander-In-Chief to order all or part of the Reserve Force to be on continuing full-time military service for such a period of time as he (C-In-C) may determine," the UPDF statement further reads.

"It should be noted that this is not the first call up of reservists. Battle Groups Nine Plus (UGABAG 9+) of 2012 comprised of reservists. UGABAG XXX that is at its final stage of pre-mission training for the Somalia mission is also comprised of reservists," the UPDF statement indicates.

The army expresses its commitment to building its Reserve Force as part of its professionalization drive.

Uganda has since 2007 deployed troops to help stabilize the Federal Somali government, by battling the terrorist group, Al-Shabab.

Other AMISOM troop-contributing countries are Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Uganda remains the largest troop-contributing member with over 6000 personnel deployed in Sector 1 which comprises Banadir (Mogadishu), Middle and Lower Shabelle regions.

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