The U.S. has delivered nearly 20 Mack Bastion 4×4 armoured vehicles and two storage containers to the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) at Mogadishu, Somalia on Sept. 25.
The delivery was conducted by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA).
Brig. Gen. Miguel A. Castellanos, deputy commanding general for CJTF-HOA in Somalia and the Mogadishu Coordination Cell (MCC) director, presented the vehicles to the Ugandan Contingent Commander Brig. Gen. Kayanja Muhanga.
According to Muhanga, the vehicles will greatly strengthen the UPDF’s operational capability.
The UPDF plays a strategic role deterring al-Shabaab – the primary Violent Extremist Organizations (VEO) in Mogadishu – with the support of the U.S. Department of Defense and Department of State.
The UPDF is part of the African Union Mission in Somalia’s (AMISOM) which is an active, regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations in Somalia.
While it is composed of multiple components, such as police, humanitarian, civilian and maritime, the military component is the largest.
AMISOM is comprised of troops drawn from Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya and Ethiopia who are deployed in six sectors covering south and central Somalia. Ugandan troops are deployed in Sector 1, which comprises the regions of Banadir and Lower Shabelle.