President Museveni has praised Lt. Gen. Paul Lokech, the fallen Deputy Inspector General Police, for breaking the back of the Al-Shabab in Somalia.
Lokech, who died of a blood clot on August 21, was laid to rest yesterday at his family home in Pader.
The president stated in a letter read by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafire, that Al-Shabab was vanquished because of Lokech.
The president said that when the UPDF destroyed Al-Shabaab in Mogadishu under his command, they made a historic contribution to African peace.
“Remember, we went to Mogadishu not to fight, but to protect the peace by guarding the Seaport, Airport, and State House,” he explained.
“It was Al-failure Shabaab’s that compelled us to go on the offensive and clear the terrorists from Wanaha Road, the Red Mosque, Bakara market, Mogadishu stadium, Mogadishu University, and other areas.”
He added that Lokech and his coworkers were prepared for the assignment, which is how he earned the nickname “Lion of Mogadishu.”
“I didn’t find out about that [his moniker] until after he died. However, I was aware that Lokech was one of the good commanders who had performed admirably in the Somalia fights against Al-Shabaab,” he said.
Lokech was also raised to the rank of Lieutenant-General by Museveni after his death.
“I heard some civilians leaving their Lubimbi (Katara-area of duty) proposing his promotion to full General. I’d like to teach our population that the army is similar to the church, which civilians are more familiar with. Even if the reverend is very good, you can’t make him a bishop until there’s a diocese that needs one,” he explained.
According to Museveni, army positions correspond to levels of training and performance.
“Having recently served as the Deputy Inspector General of Police, the title of Lieutenant-General is appropriate,” he explained.
He went on to say that some of the criminals who had been attacking people with machetes in Masaka had been apprehended.