The Uganda Peoples Defense Forces on Monday dispatched 1440 soldiers to serve in Somalia under the African Union Somalia Mission (AMISOM).
“They are also replacing battle group 11plus, who have already completed their 12-month tour of duty,” deputy army spokesman Henry Obbo told Anadolu Agency.
“On arrival, they shall be conducting military work, especially fighting against Somali Al-Shabaab militants,” he said.
“They may [also] be called upon to conduct some police work in Somalia,” Obbo added.
The fresh deployment, the spokesman said, was intended “to help boost the AMISOM and the Somali government plan to build capacity for the Somali security forces.”
Deo Akiiki, UPDF army spokesperson in Somalia, told AA that the rotation of troops would begin Tuesday.
With a total of 6223 soldiers serving under AMISOM, Uganda represents the largest contributor of troops to Somalia.
Uganda’s sizeable contingent operates alongside forces drawn from Burundi, Kenya, Djibouti, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
The latest deployment comes barely a month after three UPDF soldiers were killed and three others injured in fierce fighting in which 13 Al-Shabaab militants were also slain.
Although Al-Shabaab lost most of its gholds after AMISOM troops were deployed to Somalia in 2007, the militant group continues to carry out attacks on Somali government officials and foreign troops.
At least ten people were killed in May when Al-Shabaab militants staged an attack on the Somali parliament in Mogadishu.
Source : Shabelle Media Network