By: RISDEL KASASIRA
KAMPALA: President Museveni has promoted the head of Internal Security Organisation, Col. Ronnie Balya and the commander of UPDF operations in South Sudan, Col. Kayanja Muhanga to the rank of Brigadier.
Col. Muhanga’s promotion is seen an appreciation for successful battles fought by the Ugandan contingent in South Sudan, where the Ugandan military is said to have killed hundreds of rebel fighters loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar.
The army spokesperson, Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda said the two officers deserve the promotion. “They are helping the state in doing its job better,” he said.
Col. Balya was promoted to the rank of Colonel in 2011 from Lieutenant and Muhanga was also given the same rank in the same year before he was deployed in Somalia.
He commanded Uganda Battle Group Eight that captured Al Shabaab’s stronghold of Bakara market, Mogadishu Stadium, Daynille, Mogadishu University and Afgooye.
Military sources say UPDF beat back an ambush laid by the forces loyal to Dr Machar on January 13 and killed hundreds of rebels. The UPDF is said to have lost nine fighters and 12 were injured but sources say the number could have been more than that.
Col. Ankunda said Col. Balya has streamlined ISO and made it an efficient group.