Maj Gen Kavuma promoted, appointed new ATMIS Commander

Maj Gen Kavuma promoted, appointed ATMIS commander (Photo/Courtesy)

Kampala, (UG):- Gen Yoweri Museveni, the President and Commander in Chief of the armed forces has promoted Maj Gen Sam Kavuma to the rank of Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) and subsequently appointed him commander of the African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).

Kavuma replaces Lt General Sam Okiding, who assumed command of ATMIS on November 3, 2022, then succeeding Burundian Lieutenant General Diomede Ndegeya.

Despite initial plans for the withdrawal of ATMIS forces from Somalia by the end of 2021, troops from Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, and Ethiopia remained due to concerns about the readiness of Somali security forces to counter threats, particularly from Al-Shabaab militants.

Last week, President Museveni appointed Lieutenant General Okiding as the Deputy Chief of Defence Forces (CDF). According to Colonel Akiiki, the Deputy UPDF Spokesperson, Lieutenant General Okiding’s appointment as Deputy CDF necessitated his return from Somalia.

“Having been appointed deputy CDF, Lt Gen Okiding will return home from Somalia and Maj Gen Sam Kavuma has been promoted to the rank of Lt Gen and appointed ATMIS force Commander to replace him,” Col Akiiki said. In his new role, Lieutenant General Okiding will serve as the Deputy to General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, who now holds the position of CDF.

President Museveni’s decision to appoint General Muhoozi as CDF could stifle his political movement, the Patriotic League of Uganda (PLU), launched two months ago to garner support for him ahead of the 2026 presidential elections.

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As CDF, General Muhoozi is restricted from engaging in public political activities, a role he previously undertook as an advisor to his father on special security operations. General Muhoozi now holds the highest military rank.

Members of General Muhoozi’s pressure group have called for his retirement from the military to focus on political endeavours.

Before his promotion, Lieutenant General Okiding served as the Deputy Commander of UPDF Land Forces, while Lieutenant General Kavuma, his successor as ATMIS Commander, held the position of Deputy Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation.

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ATMIS, formerly known as the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISSOM), underwent a name change after several nations, including the US, China, France, Germany, and the UK, withdrew their funding based on the belief that foreign forces had fulfilled their objectives in the conflict-ridden country.

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