By Igah Bakasambe
President Museveni has conveyed his best wishes to President Hassan Sheik Mohamud, the 10th president of Somalia as he prepares to take up the responsibilities and challenges of the presidency of the war torn country.
“As you embark on the new responsibilities, President Museveni wishes to assure you and the people of Somalia of continued friendship and sympathetic interests of the Uganda government. He looks forward to working with you not only to develop closer relations between our two countries but also to unite our efforts in the cause of peace and brotherhood of all peoples,” Museveni said in a speech delivered by former premier Amama Mbabazi, who is now his special envoy.
Mbabazi represented Museveni at the inauguration ceremony of President Sheik Hassan Mohamud on June 10.
In his Inauguration speech, Mohamud re-echoed his slogan: “Somali at peace with itself and with the world.”
He promised true, wide reconciliation among Somalis, co-operation with the international community on security, democratic system that allows universal suffrage, fair and independent judiciary and appealed for support in response to drought to avoid famine among others.
Uganda’s minister of Defence, Vincent Ssempijja stated that Uganda’s defence sector is very proud that the people of Somalia and the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) have been able to have a peaceful transfer of power.
“In the spirit of Pan-Africanism, Uganda deployed her troops in Somalia and together with other partners and the FGS, we have been able to pacify large parts of Somalia. Our efforts have yielded a new era where the Somali people are at a level where they are able to have an elected government,” Ssempijja said.
Uganda was the first country to deploy troops to Somalia in March 2007 .