Somalis implore Uganda not to withdraw troops
Kampala(OWN)- Somalis living in Uganda have appealed to government to reconsider its threats to withdraw peace keepers from their country.
There are fears a planned withdrawal Ugandan troops would give the momentum to Al-Shabab Islamist militants who are losing their ruthless grip on the country.
An estimated 30,000 Somalis live in Uganda with about 16000 found in Kampala while others are housed at a refugee camp about 400 kilometers from the capital.
Last week, Uganda threatened to withdraw its troops from a peace keeping mission in Somalia after a United Nations Group of experts accused Kampala and Rwanda of supporting M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The government dismissed the report by the exports as “rubbish.”
In a statement Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi said: “Uganda’s withdrawal from regional peace efforts including Somalia, Central African Republic would become inevitable unless the UN corrects the false accusations made against Uganda by bringing out the truth about Uganda’s role in the current regional efforts.”
Uganda has over 7000 troops in Somalia. The soldiers have played a prominent role in liberating Mogadishu and other areas in Somalia.
Hassan Hussein, the chairman of the Somali community in Uganda said the East African country had a big role to play in bringing peace to the Horn of Africa country.
“Some refugees had started going back to Somalia after the AMISOM troops overpowering Al Shabab militants and sending them out of Mogadishu and other areas,” he said.
“That has been possible because of Uganda’s troops. If Uganda pulls out her soldiers, Al-Shabab will re-occupy the country.”
He urged the Uganda government to ignore the UN report.
A leader of Somali refugees at the Nakivale refugee camp Abbas Frah said Al-Shabab had not been defeated and the departure of Ugandan troops would create a vacuum that the militants can take advantage of.
“Uganda should not accept that to take place,” he said.
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