PHOTOS: Katumba Receives Uganda’s Special Combat Force – ChimpReports
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PHOTOS: Katumba Receives Uganda’s Special Combat Force

The UPDF force that broke Al Shabaab's spine in Somalia

President Yoweri Museveni has strongly encouraged tourists globally to visit the African continent in general and Uganda in particular as the country enjoys the best climate in the world.

The President was Wednesday opening the 39th World Congress of African Travel Association (UTA) at the Commonwealth Speke Resort Munyonyo, information pills near Kampala City.

The 5-day conference that is running under the theme ‘Tourism is Everyone’s Business’ has attracted local, prostate regional and international delegates who are engaged in the tourism industry worldwide and who are also brought together under the umbrella of ATA.

African Travel Association, pills founded in 1975, is a registered non-profit Association in the United States of America, headquartered in New York.

It has branches around the world and has so far signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with the African Union with the aim of promoting tourism in Africa.

President Museveni added that all parts of Africa are miracles.

Tropical forests, huge lakes, rivers, snow capped mountains like the Rwenzori and even in the deserts oases are found that, among many others, are tourist attractions.

He, therefore, called on tourists to take advantage of the beautiful climate in Africa and Uganda as well as neighbouring countries in East Africa and visit the land that does not require any air-conditioning like those in Europe and other parts of the world.

Mr. Museveni informed delegates that historically, Africa is also the cradle of humankind, civilization and the main religious groups that include Christianity and Islam.

Commenting on faith based tourism, President Museveni noted that it’s quite a vibrant one and Uganda benefits from it citing the 3rd of June of every year when over a million pilgrims from all over the world flock to Namungongo Martyrs’ shrine to commemorate Martyrs’ Day.

The President also observed that peace is prevailing in most parts of Africa adding that pockets of conflict and strange diseases cannot severely affect the tourism industry.

He pointed out that other challenges to infrastructure for tourism, such as hotels, have been addressed and others such as air, land and water transport are being worked on.

The Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Ms. Maria Mutagamba, hoped that challenges affecting tourism like lack of adequate media publicity would be addressed.

The ATA Executive, Uganda Chapter, Mrs. Susan Muhwezi, called on the local and international media, to portray Africa positively in their publicity in order to attract more tourists.
The Chief of Defence Forces in UPDF Gen. Katumba Wamala has warned soldiers against living reckless lives which he said is a grave concern for the nation.

The army commander issued the warning Wednesday while receiving of more than 2, visit web 900 soldiers under the leadership of Brig. Dick Olum who had just returned from Somalia where they served under the AMISOM UGABAG XII.

Officials say this is one of Uganda’s finest and battle-hardened contingent that managed to liberate several towns from the deadly Al Shabaab.

The function was held at the Peace Support Operations and Training Centre, online Singo in Nakaseke district.

“You have survived Al Shabaab insurgents while in Somalia .Don’t go out there and become overexcited. You should not die of over excitement but protect yourselves because we still need you,” Katumba warned.

Gen Katumba (R) shares a light moment with Brig. Dick Olum (L)

Gen Katumba (R) shares a light moment with Brig. Dick Olum (L)

“After one year of sacrifice of sleeping under the sun and the bad weather, use the money you have got to change your lives. At least build a 2 bed roomed house that will you will always remember that you were part of the Ugandan representatives in Somalia.”

Katumba further warned soldiers against conmen who he said are eagerly waiting to feast on their hard earned money, stressing that they (soldiers) ought not to trust anyone with money.

The army commander however applauded the AMISOM forces for  bringing sanity in the volatile Somalia region which he said no one dared to step foot.

“We were not sending the soldiers to die but do the job and come home alive as they have done. We never went to Somalia to fight for a territory but the lives of people in the country. In fact we wanted to give an opportunity to that small child, old man or woman in Somalia to live another day and this was our major concern,” the CDF stressed.

The army commander however noted that as much as they have been able to restore peace to a once abandoned country, a lot of challenges remain in Somalia’s quest for prosperity.

The commandos in a parade at Singo on Wednesday

The commandos in a parade at Singo on Wednesday

“There is need to consolidate what we have gained in Somalia. There is no cohesion in the Somali force and so we need to train and rebuild them because we shall not stay there forever. We don’t want Somalia to be like Iraq who are facing the ISIL/ISIS threat after the Americans pulled out.”

Katumba further noted that there is still a problem of road bombs (Improvised Explosive Devices) and the poor road networks which have stalled completion of the mission.

The Ugandan army was sent to Somalia in 2007 by the African Union under the AMISOM and has been able to capture and take full control of an area code named Sector 1 which includes among other towns Mogadishu, Afgoye and Barawe.


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