The commander-in-chief of the Ugandan military, General David Muhoozi has arrived in Mogadishu, the Somali capital on Friday.
In a statement, the AU Mission in Somalia [AMISOM] said Uganda’s Chief of the Defence Forces (CDF) came to Somalia to assess gains made against Al-Shabab and the transitioning of national security responsibilities to the Somali national army [SNA].
Muhoozi paid a countesy visit to the UPDF troops and their colleagues serving the under the AMISOM in Somalia and lauded them as ‘frontiers of peace and liberation’ as they are in the lead of the fight against Al-Shabaab.
“Everything is so far so good. The men and women of the UPDF in Somalia are in high spirits,” Muhoozi said.
The Uganda military chief held meetings with Francisco Madeira, the AU Special Representative for Somalia and head of AMISOM as well as the UPDF commanders on the efforts in the degradation of the extremists.
According to the statement, Muhoozi and Madeira discussed planned joint military operations with the Somali security forces aimed at flushing out Al-Shabaab from the remaining pockets in the country.
They highlighted the importance to prepare Somali forces for the take-over of the security responsibility from the UN-mandated African Union troops who have been battling Al-Shabaab since 2007.
Madeira said AMISOM wants to create a space for Somali government rule the whole country wider than the current small territory before the withdrawal of the AU forces in 2020.
Uganda is the largest troop contributor of the 22,000 strong AMISOM force since 2007, contributing roughly 80% of the number.
Somali president, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is in Kampala, where he embarked on a state visit today and is holding talks with his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni.