The Rt.Hon. Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah has praised the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) for their efforts in transforming Somalia from a war ravaged country to a stable nation.
Presiding at a signing event for a book titled, “Black Hawks Rising” Oulanyah said no nation in Africa can be prosperous in a hostile environment and without peace in that region. The event was held at Aristoc Bookshop, Garden City on 15th July 2017. The book is written by Dr Opiyo Oloya, a distinguished educationist based in Canada and also New Vision columnist.
“With a Somalia in pain, Africa cannot claim to be rising, with Somalia rising Africa can proclaim and say we are all rising,” said Oulanyah.
He also said that, “this book proclaims the African hope, that we are rising; it is a story for the UPDF, it is a story for the Somali people but overall it is a story of the African people, that we are rising.”
Oulanyah urged Ugandans and Africans as a whole to take pride in the efforts of the UPDF which is recognised for its peace efforts in Somalia and other parts of Africa.
“It is an African outfit, led by our country Uganda that has been able to bring transformation in Somalia,” he added.
The army spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire said the book would help tell the tale of UPDF’s “Pan Africanist” efforts, and that it will aid the force in relaying its experiences to the world.
“Many times we have come out directly to tell our story in Somalia but at times some people are told its just mere propaganda and it is not clear to some why we went there and the challenges we faced,” Karemire said.
Dr Oloya said that it was important to have this book published to put the army’s experiences in ‘black and white’ so it is not forgotten.
“Today Somalia is a much better place; today Somalia has had four Presidents since the UPDF went there. It is a better place because Uganda went there,” Oloya said.
He castigated Ugandans for always finding fault in themselves, taking no pride in any Ugandan effort but praising the perceived superiority of neighbouring countries in the region.