The President of the Republic of Uganda and the Commander in Chief of Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) has today officiated at the commissioning of 275 officer cadets of intake 16/2016-17 at the Uganda Military Academy Kabamba in Mubende district. Fifty-five of the commissioned officers were Somali nationals considered under a bilateral arrangement between the government of Uganda and that of Somalia.
In his speech, president Museven noted that the concept of crystalizing a national army has not been easy for many countries, hence prompting the intervention of the United Nations which he referred to as outsourced security. He observed that such a situation has often been a result of government’s failure to understand what makes a national army. He outlined five ingredients that constitute a national Army as: Patriotic Ideology, being skilled in warfare, having good discipline, exhibiting brevity and always maintaining physical health. The president explained that UPDF has achieved all the above ingredients and is now focusing on their consolidation. He singled out discipline as a crucial factor and equated it to a medical surgeon who purposefully uses a surgical knife to save lives. In the same vain soldiers use purposeful, disciplined and targeted violence to create peaceful and secure environments.
While elaborating how purposeful UPDF has used violence, the president gave an example of the UPDF marine Brigade which has fought illegal fishing hence resulting in an increase of fish production in most Ugandan waters. He cautioned fishermen using illegal fishing methods to stop it and repent their sins instead of turning shame into anger so that the government can find means of supporting them.
The president congratulated graduates for qualifying to join an army of patriots and merit, saying that this will make their work easier since the direction of the country is already clear in terms of security and economic growth. He advised the officers to remain healthy since ‘health is wealth’. The newly commissioned Officers were cautioned against overdrinking and promiscuity since the army doesn’t need sick people that not only drain its resources but also cheat by not being productive.
To the Somali Federal Government, president Museveni thanked the president of Somalia and the Prime minister for trusting Uganda by sending their soldiers to be trained. He praised Somalis for being brave but advised them to stop putting their energy and bravity into self-crucifixion of terrorism but develop their country.
In his remarks, the Deputy Chief of Defence Forces Lt Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi who represented the Chief of Defence Forces, congratulated the graduates and thanked them for their endurance through such a strenuous and physically enduring course and welcomed them into the officer’s coup. He reminded them that UPDF has always survived on Ideological clarity, nationalism, patriotism and strategic relationship with the people hence making it a unique army on the continent. He implored the new officers to use what they have learnt to fit into the UPDF vision and mission in order to continue building a professional army.
The Somali minister of Defence Mohamed Mursal Sheikh thanked the president and the government of Uganda for consistently standing with Somalia to the extended of sacrificing their own blood. He called upon the newly commissioned Somali officers to be confident and let their country down aware that Somalia is at war with terrorism. “Fight for our loyalty and build a new Somalia” the minister said.
The Commandant Uganda Military Academy Brig. Emmanuel Musinguzi advised the officers to always learn from their superiors and thanked them for persevering throughout the challenges of the course.
The best students who were awarded by the president for exemplary performance included; Apio Fiona who was best overall, Nansubuga Margret best in class, NuwAgaba Alex best in field, Ssentayi Disan best disciplined while Abdi Mohamud was the best fraternal student from the federal Republic of Somalia.
The function was attended by the Commander Land forces Maj. Gen. Peter Elwelu, the Commander Airforce Maj Gen. Charles Lutaya, the Joint Chief of Staff Maj General Joseph Musanyufu among other General and senior officers of the UPDF. Also in attendance were the families of the graduates.