UN Guard Unit begins work in Mogadishu
Mogadishu, 18 May 2014 – The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Nicholas Kay, today presided over the formal inauguration of the United Nations Guard Unit, a defensive military entity mandated to protect UN staff and installations in Mogadishu.
The UNGU is made up of 410 troops provided by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF). The Guard Unit, led by a Ugandan Commander, falls under the responsibility of the UN designated official in Somalia, SRSG Kay. The Unit is a static force and will be based at Mogadishu International Airport.
“The deployment of the UN Guard Unit is an important step as we continue to expand our operations in support of the Somali people,” Mr. Kay said at the event. “We are deeply grateful to Uganda for its continued contribution to peace- and state-building in Somalia.
“We also thank our hosts, the Federal Government and people of Somalia, and our partners, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), for their support for the Guard Unit and for the protection they provide to the UN,” he added.
This Guard Unit, which officially began its duties on 15 May 2014, marks the UPDF’s first ever contribution to a UN field mission.
“The Ugandan Government is committed to supporting our Somali brothers and sisters in their efforts to attain lasting peace,” said Major General David Muhoozi, Commander of Land Forces of UPDF. “We are proud to join the UN family, and will do our utmost to ensure the UN is able to continue its work in Mogadishu under safe and secure conditions.”
The formation of the UN Guard Unit was approved by the UN Security Council following a recommendation for its deployment by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.