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Masaka Veterans Excited Ahead of Somalia Mission

The army is recalling about 2,700 veterans to back-up the soldiers deployed on an African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia. The mobilized veterans will form Uganda Battle Group 31 and 32 to augment UPDF operations under the mission.

Audio 3

A moveby the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces-UPDF to recalls ex-soldiers for deployment on the peacekeeping mission in Somalia has excited dozens of veterans in Masaka.

The army is recalling about 2,700 veterans to back-up the soldiers deployed on an African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia. The mobilized veterans will form Uganda Battle Group 31 and 32 to augment UPDF operations under the mission.

Dozens of veterans, from the eight districts of greater Masaka, some as old as 50 showed up at the UPDF Armoured Brigade, Kasijjagirwa in Masaka to undergo a medical check-up and other physical and mental fitness tests for eventual deployment.

At least 157 of them were successfully screened to resume military operations in Somalia under the African Union Mission in Somalia-AMISON.

Lance Corporal Elijah Kalema and Sargent Yonah Musinguzi, some of the recalled veterans say that this is a grand opportunity for them of earn reasonable incomes, despite the risks associated with the foreign mission.

Sargent Musinguzi, 53, says he was struggling to sustain his family through subsistence farming which can hardly produce enough finances.

Corporal Kalema says that he opted to abandon the bodaboda business, which he has done for the last five years, for the foreign peacekeeping mission where he expects better earnings.

//Cue in; “family yange ndi mussajja…

Cue out….baatukirira government.”//

On the other hand, some of the other recalled veterans have indicated that they were attracted by the urge to restore peace and stability for their African contemporaries in Somalia.

Joseph Wasswa, who was practising fishing at Bwende landing site in Kyesiiga Sub-county, Masaka District.

//Cue in; “nze okusalawo…

Cue out...tukisanyukidde nyo.”//

Colonel Jafari Kasiriivu, the Greater Masaka Regional Reserve Commander has asked the recruits to exhibit high levels of discipline through the mission and avoid unnecessary expenditure so that they can make reasonable investments on return.

//Cue in; “mu greater Masaka…

Cue out...oyo tetumutwala.”//

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