Antonio Guterres

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has honored 600 Ugandan troops guarding UN facilities and personnel in volatile Somalia, a Ugandan official said on Monday.

Lt. Col. Deo Akiiki, deputy Ugandan military spokesman, tweeted that the troops, serving under the sixth United Nations Guard Unit in Somalia, received medals from Guterres.

“The medals are recognition of the one-year selfless service… in securing the UN facilities and personnel against al-Shabab threats,” Akiiki said, referring to the al-Qaida-linked extremist group.

An award ceremony, held in Somalia, was presided over by James Swan, special representative of the UN secretary-general for Somalia. The troops are deployed in Somalia on a rotational basis.

Besides providing protection services to the UN, Uganda provides the bulk of the troops under the African Union Mission in Somalia.

Uganda has over 6,000 troops deployed in Somalia.

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