A colorful send off for the outgoing Contingent Commander of the Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) and AMISOM Sector 1 Commander, Brigadier General Sam Kavuma was held last evening, Sunday 29 November 2015, in Mogadishu.
Brigadier General Kavuma who has completed a one year tour of duty in Somalia handed over the reigns of power to the incoming Contingent Commander Brig General Sam Okiding.
Like his predecessor, Brig. Gen. Okiding will be in-charge of Sector 1 region, currently under the control of Ugandan peacekeepers. Sector 1 troops secure Banaadir and Lower Shabelle regions and protects State House, all government ministries, Parliament, Aden Abdule International Airport and the sea port.
The Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Somalia Mr. Raisedon Zenenga was the chief guest at the send off ceremony.
“We are here to celebrate, not his departure but his achievements and we are here to thank him for the great work he has done. Gen Kavuma, you had the most difficult task in the world. That is not an exaggeration and the verdict on your performance is very clear from not only what we have heard tonight but from what we witness ourselves daily,” said Mr. Zenenga.
The Force Commander Lt. Gen. Jonathan Rono reminisced about their experiences on the frontline and commended his bravery. He said, “You have done your bit, you have done your job. To the incoming Commander, you have been inducted.”
The incoming Contingent Commander Brigadier General Sam Okiding served in the Mission in 2012 during the Afgoye and Baidoa operations.
“The complexity of this operation is still fresh in my mind because it entails a lot of languages; the diplomatic, the military, political, cultural languages and so on and so forth but my blessings and salvation is that I have all of you. There is no way Brigadier Okiding will fail when I have all the support,” he noted.
In his remarks, Brigadier General Kavuma said, “The Mission is still on, it still needs all our efforts, I want to wish you all the best, I want to wish our Mission success and I’ll always pray for you so that you don’t get any issues with the mind and health, so that in future we can come back to Somalia as tourists ,to enjoy our fruits. I’m very sure that this Mission is going forward.”
Present at the ceremony were Ugandan Ambassador to Somalia Major Gen. Nathan Mugisha, AMISOM Deputy Force Commander Gen. Nakibus Lakara, Brigadier General Antonio Maggi EUTM Somalia and senior military officers from the Somali National Army and Somali Police Force.