10 Years on, UPDF’s Long Battle against Harakat Shabaab Mujahideen Movement in Somalia

Key Points

  • 10 Years on since entry of UPDF in Somalia
  • 44,999 soldiers have served in Somalia for last 10 years including those on repeat deployment.
  • 59 Battalions have been deployed and fought in Somalia.
  • 10 Contingent commanders have served since 2007.
  • 6.Commanders: Maj Gen Elwelu was followed by commanders; Brig Geoffrey Golooba, Brig Jack Bakasumba, Brig Geoffrey Katsigazi, Brig Michael Ondoga,Brig Paul Lokech, Brig Sam Okiding,Brig Dick Olum, Brig Sam Kavuma, and Brig Kayanja Muhanga.

Ten years ago –March 6, 2007the first batch of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) landed in the war-torn Mogadishu.

UPDF crossed over to Somalia as the first military forces at that time under AMISOM mandate and to date, the force has been fighting Harakat Shabaab Mujahideen (HSM) better known as Al-Shabaab in one of the most daring peace support operations in the world today.

However, subsequently deployment were made from other countries to join the AU peacekeeping force operations and to reinforce UPDF in Somalia.

These countries include, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Burundi. Each country forces were allocated designated areas for own command and control.

AMISOM Sectors

Ugandan troops (UPDF) are deployed in Sector 1, which comprises the regions of Banadir, and Lower Shabelle. UPDF has bases in Lego, Afgooye and in southwest, they have forward bases in Baraawe, about 190km from Mogadishu.

Kenyan forces (KDF) are responsible for Sector 2 comprising Lower and Middle Jubba. Sector 3 comprising Bay and Bakool as well as Gedo (Sub Sector 3) comes under Ethiopian command (ENDF).

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Djiboutian forces are in charge of Sector 4 which covers Hiiraan and Galgaduud while Burundian forces are in charge of Sector 5 which covers the Middle Shabelle region.

UPDF has successfully managed to push Al-Shabaab away from their sector though not all areas under their mandate have been pacified.

UPDF also has the biggest troop in Somalia, currently it has more than 6,000 out of 22,000 soldiers under AMISOM.

The troops have fought the militant linked with Al-Qaeda but also the force had the lowest moment in Somalia when Al-Shabaab militants overran a military camp (UPDF-manned base of Janale) in Janale District in southern Somalia on September 1, 2015.


UPDF commanders who have served in Somalia AU peacekeeping mission include; Maj Gen Elwelu was followed by commanders: Brig Geoffrey Golooba; Brig Bakasumba; Brig Katsigazi; Brig Michael Ondoga; Brig Paul Lokech; Brig Sam Okiding; Brig Dick Olum; Brig Sam Kavuma; and Brig Kayanja Muhanga.


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