The Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) last week, concluded two-week’ post-mission guidance and counselling sessions for its twenty fourth battle group that returned from Somalia earlier this month having served for one year under African Union Mission in Somalia.
The Chief of Staff Land Force, Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda closed the program at UPDF Peace Support Operation Center in Nakaseke and also officially welcomed back the 1,798 troops under the command of Col Jackson Kayanja.
Maj Gen Kyanda said the program was very relevant in ensuring the forces recover from possible post-traumatic stress disorders after being involved in heavy combat and stressful environment for 12 months without the opportunity for annual leave.
Recently, at the main base in Somalia, Four UPDF were killed at a military base in Somalia’s Capital Mogadishu following a mysterious shootout.
UPDF soldier shot his administration officer dead before killing himself. The soldier who ran amok was irked by the supervisor, and that four soldiers in total died in the shooting incident. The soldier’s reportedly had a brief argument before opening fire at each other
Maj Gen Kyanda noted that the UPDF leadership included items within the two weeks’ program to enable the troops benefit from other realities of the society and help them properly integrate into their respective communities.
Before the troops could be granted a one month leave to their respective communities of origin, they benefited from the counselling sessions as well as political education and training on skills to improve household income, nutrition and health lifestyle, basics of building and construction, land tenure systems, attitude change, preparation for retirement and welfare opportunities within the UPDF such as WSACCO and Army shop among other items.
The UPDF has been involved in several missions in the Pan-African spirit such as in Liberia, South Sudan, AMISOM, UN Guard unit in Somalia and the ongoing Training of Equatorial Guinea’s military.