UN Guard Unit members complete one-year tour of duty in Somalia
Mogadishu - UN Guard Unit (UNGU) members were congratulated for their year of service in Somalia at a ceremony in Mogadishu today that was hosted by the Special Representative to the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Michael Keating and the Head of the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), Hubert Price.
The Ugandan soldiers comprising the Guard Unit provide protection to UN civilian personnel as well as UN facilities and installations in Somalia.
Mr. Keating commended the soldiers serving in the UN Guard Unit for their diligence and strong sense of duty.
“In the year you have been here, there has been an electoral process, parliamentary, presidential. There has been a big breakthrough on critical agreements around security, there has been a big conference on support for Somalia. There have been lots of visiting VIPs, lots of foreign ministers coming here. And you can take some credit for that happening, because if you were not here protecting us, these other people would not come, because one of the things that attracts them to Somalia is knowing that when they get here, we can provide them with safety to get around. And that’s very much thanks to you,” the SRSG told the UN guards.
UNSOS Head Hubert Price praised the crucial role played by the UN guards in protecting personnel and safeguarding facilities.
“UNSOS considers you an indispensable partner. Without you, we cannot function optimally in the fulfilment of our mandate of providing logistical and administrative support to UNSOM, AMISOM as well as UNSOS staff in our entire operations,” Mr. Price said. “I thank you for your unfailing service”.
Present at the ceremony was Maj. Gen. Nathan Mugisha, Uganda’s Deputy Ambassador to Somalia, who thanked the UN for the support it has extended to the soldiers during their tour of duty in Somalia. He underscored Uganda’s willingness to expand the operations of the UN guards beyond the capital Mogadishu.
“Hopefully, the UN will consider to increase the number of UNGU in strength, in your other deployments elsewhere in Somalia,” said Deputy Ambassador Mugisha.