SRSG Kay joins the UNGU to mark the 52nd anniversary of Uganda's Independence Day

11 Oct 2014

SRSG Kay joins the UNGU to mark the 52nd anniversary of Uganda's Independence Day

Mogadishu – The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG) Nicholas Kay joined the United Nations Guard Unit (UNGU) to mark the 52nd anniversary of Uganda’s independence.

Deployed in April 2014, the UN Guard Unit drawn from the Uganda People Defence Forces (UPDF) is a static force, charged with the ensuring the safety and security of the United Nations and its installations.

The SRSG made the remarks during a ceremony organized by the force to celebrate Uganda’s Independence anniversary.

The day’s ceremonies kicked off with a tree planting ceremony in Mogadishu, led by AMISOM Deputy Force Commander Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Muhesi and the Commander of the UNGU Col. Wycliff Keita.

Speaking to the soldiers, Maj. Gen. Muhesi appealed to them to keep focused on the purpose of their deployment and ensure that the security situation is improved.

“You have got to keep the ears listening to that Somali suffering. There is someone, Somali crying somewhere. That voice should never leave you, you should always hear that Somali crying for help, which you came here for. Always imagine that there is a Somali who needs your help” he said.

Col. Keita said the tree planting ceremony was symbolic of the force’s commitment towards creating a lasting impact during the troops’ stay in the country, not only on the security front but tackling issues of climate change.

“We should be able to do more, plant more trees and also encourage people that have visited this beautiful country to do more in their power, to increase the beauty of Somalia by engaging in activities like these, planting trees, cleaning the city, to make a very good environment for ourselves and for the Somali people,” he noted.

The SRSG while congratulating the Ugandan forces urged them to maintain the good standards of work exhibited so far.

“You are now members of the United Nations family of peace keepers in the world. It is a great honor for any country to be a troop contributor to peace keeping operations in the world. You carry a great responsibility on your shoulders, your conduct and your performance is a reflection, not only on your country but you carry the burden of responsibility for the whole world community,” said SRSG Nicholad Kay.

The UNGU soldiers crowned the day with performances of their cultural songs and dance in a ceremony attended by other Ugandans working in Mogadishu.