The Deputy Head of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), Ms Fiona Lortan, this afternoon received and handed over weapons captured from Al Shabaab and other illegal armed groups by the Ugandan Troops in Somalia, to the Federal Government of Somalia.
The weapons which were handed over included 14 Sub Machine Guns (SMG), 01 Semi Automatic Rifle (SAR), 03 G3 guns, 03 Multi Purpose Machine guns (PKM type), 816 rounds of ammunition of different gun types and calibres and other military accessories, including magazines, pouches and gun spare parts.
The weapons were captured by Ugandan troops under ATMIS since November 2021 to April 2022, and were handed over by the Sector One Commander, Brig Gen Keith Katungi, at UPDF Sector One Headquarters at Base camp Halane, Mogadishu Somalia.
Speaking at the hand over of the weapons, Ms Fiona Lortan thanked the Ugandan troops operating in Sector 1 (Lower shabelle and Benadir region) for the sacrifice made to achieve the ATMIS mandate.
“I take this opportunity, on behalf of ATMIS and on my own behalf to congratulate Sector one personnel for sacrificing themselves to achieve our mandate, in peace building and stability of Somalia,” she said.
While receiving the weapons on behalf of the Federal Government of Somalia, the Commander Land Forces of the Somalia National Army (SNA) Gen Mohammad Tahlil Bihi, appreciated the cooperation between SNA and the Ugandan troops in particular and ATMIS in general. He prayed for more cooperation to defeat all the insurgents.
“I pledge, on behalf of the Federal Government of Somalia in general, and SNA in particular to work together to liberate all regions of Somalia from the insurgency,” he emphasized.
The acting ATMIS Force Commander Maj Gen William Kitsao Shume applauded the Sector One Commander Brig Gen Keith Katungi for the achievement.
“Your efforts are not in vain, the weapons are now in safe hands” he said. He pledged more support and encouraged Sector One to carry out more Joint Operations with the Somali security forces (SSF) and Somali National Army (SNA)
While handing over the weapons, Brig. Katungi said the exercise was an achievement out of the Troops continued efforts to degrade and deny the Al Shabaab, freedom of movement and freedom of action. He pledged for more Joint operations with Somali security forces as per the ATMIS mandate.
Brig Gen Katungi added that, due to sustained offensive operations, Al shabaab had resorted to the non conventional tactics of use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as a predominant weapon of choice.
Handing over of captured weapons is in line with ATMIS SOPs on the management of recovered Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). It is also a requirement from actors under ATMIS as per the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2444(2018) to document and register all military equipment captured in the course of carrying out their mandate.