President Museveni has urged the people of Somalia to consider building a People’s National Army with the correct ideology of defending their country for peace to prevail so that the country is able to raise enough resources to run itself effectively.
This was during a meeting with the visiting President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud who paid a courtesy call on Museveni at State House Entebbe before returning to Somalia.
The call comes at a time Somalia is struggling to contain the al Shabaab terrorism which has left thousands dead over the past decade.
According to President Museveni, like the Uganda People’s Defense Forces, an army should be built on voluntarism to protect the state so that in future the country can raise resources to pay the soldiers.
“This is a problem with many of the West African Countries. The collapse of the security apparatus is caused by mixing defense with money. For us we say, you build a People’s Liberation Army based on voluntarism. That’s how we built our force,” Museveni said.
He added that this will enable Somalia, which is three times bigger than Uganda to recruit enough manpower to defend and liberate the country so that it’s able to collect taxes and pay salaries.
“Get peace first and money later. If the people are there, what you need to tell them is how a poor man can defend himself with or without money,” said the Ugandan leader.
The Somali President, who completed his tour of duty in Uganda on Monday, informed Museveni that because of the peace ushered in by the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) and other peace contributing countries, Somalia has been able recruit a good number of community defense forces who are now able to defend their area under the direct supervision of the Somali National Army.
President Mohamud and his Ugandan counterpart also discussed issues of mutual concern, including an upcoming conference of troop-contributing countries in Kampala, focusing on Somalia’s fight against international terrorism.
While in Uganda, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud alongside his Ugandan counterpart on Sunday witnessed the passing out of 2,900 trainees for the Somali National Army who successfully concluded their 4-month special Basic Military Training at the Special Mission Training Centre in Butiaba –Bulisa district.
In attendance were among others; Ministers for Defense of both countries; Uganda’s Vincent Baamulangaki Ssempijja and Somalia’s Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur respectively.
President Museveni thanked the visiting president for coming to Uganda and later bid him farewell back home.