December 20, 2019 (AO) – Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) contingent in Somalia has received a new commander.
More than 6,000 UPDF combatants in Somalia are now under the command of Brig Richard Otto who has taken over from Brig Gen Michael Kabango.
Brig Otto received instruments of command on Thursday afternoon at a function witnessed by Lt Gen Peter Elwelu who is also commander of UPDF Land Forces.
Gen Elwelu according to a statement issued by UPDF lauded Brigadier Kabango for his outstanding service and achievements in one year.
Brig Otto was praised by Gen Elwelu for his experience and successful command of UPDF soldiers on the frontline with Al-Shabaab militants.
“You have not lobbied for this appointment. It’s your competence and experience UPDF leadership based on to appoint you. We shall support you to succeed,” Elwelu said.
Brig Otto has been deployed with experienced commanders and principal staff officers under his command that will make him succeed.
“Stand firm and be strong in order to effectively handle the challenges ahead of you. You have to work hard and understand Al-Shabaab dynamics,” Elwelu told Brig Otto.
The outgoing commander Brig Kabango thanked UPDF, African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and staff for the guidance and support that enabled him to accomplish the mission successfully.
Brig Kabango advised his successor to always follow the Standing Operating Procedures and work as a team.
Brig Otto also thanked the UPDF leadership for choosing him amongst the many and appointing him the contingent commander.
Brig Otto implored his Principle Staff officers to work together and maintain good discipline in order to succeed.
Brig Kabango was congratulated for the job well done in consolidating UPDF achievements in Somalia since 2007.
The hand over function was attended by the Ugandan Defence Attache to Somalia Brig Lucky Kidega, Battle Group 27 Commander Col Sam Kosiya Kutesa and Battle Group 26 commander Col Topher Magino.
Other army gurus present were Battle Group Twenty-Nine Commander Col Edward Kaddu, Chief Administration Officer Col Elvis Byamukama, Commanding Officers, Component Commanders and heads of departments at the contingent headquarters.