Mogadishu, 25 October 2022 – Zambia peacekeepers serving under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), on Monday celebrated their country’s 58th independence anniversary with a colourful ceremony in Mogadishu.
The Republic of Zambia attained its independence from Britain on 24 October 1964.
ATMIS Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Diomede Ndegeya, presided over the celebrations held under the theme, ‘promoting inclusiveness towards a sustainable social and economic recovery.’
During the event, Lt. Gen. Ndegeya praised Zambia for its achievements as a country, as well as its active contribution to African and global peace and security.
“African Union commends the role played by the Republic of Zambia in strengthening peace and stability in the world and on the African continent,” said Lt. Gen. Ndegeya.
He noted that Zambia ranks highly in peacekeeping, with over 1000 peacekeepers deployed to various peace support operations globally. “Your ultimate sacrifices and professionalism are without a doubt empowering the Somali Security Forces with knowledge and skills which will enable them to move forward, to the progressive handover of security responsibilities,” the Force Commander added.
The ATMIS military Chief of Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC), Col. Chrispine Kanjungu, a Zambian, talked about the history of Zambia and how its founding father, Dr. David Kenneth Kaunda, united the 73 different tribes through the ‘One Zambia, One Nation,’ slogan backed by the humanism ideology, which preached dignity and equality.
“We are celebrating today because of two things-the freedom that we have acquired and to remember the men and women who fought and shed their blood for this generation and other generations yet to come. May their souls rest in eternal peace,” said Col. Kanjungu, who led the celebrations.
Zambia is one of the six Police Contributing Countries (PCCs) to ATMIS, with a contingent of Individual Police Officers (IPOs) serving in Somalia, where together with officers from other PCC’s, they train, mentor, and advise the Somali Police Force (SPF).
Zambia also provides military staff officers, deployed at ATMIS Force Headquarters, to assist with implementing the mission mandate and degrading Al-Shabaab. Other PCCs include Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, Kenya and Sierra Leone.
Guests at the event included the ATMIS Deputy Force Commander in charge of Operations and Plans, Maj. Gen. William Kitsao Shume, ATMIS Deputy Commander in charge of Support and Logistics, Maj. Gen. Gerbi Kebede Regassa, ATMIS Police Chief of Staff, Commissioner of Police (CP) Rex Dundun.