Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi mourns Gen Paul Lokech

The Somali leader described the deceased General as "a true son of Africa and a patriot" who worked hard towards peace and security on the continent and particularly in Somalia.

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The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo has condoled with his counterpart Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the people of Uganda over the death of Maj. Gen. Paul Lokech.

In a telephone call to Mr.Museveni on Sunday afternoon, the Somali leader described the deceased General as “a true son of Africa and a patriot” who worked hard towards peace and security on the continent and particularly in Somalia.

Lokech 55, who was at the center of the stabilisation of Somalia, succumbed to a blood clot at his residence in Buwate, Kira Municipality on Saturday morning.

Gen. Lokech is remembered for drawing war plans and commanding special military operations that saw the defeat of Al shamab and eventual fall of Mogadishu.  

In 2011 while serving as commander of the troops under African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Maj. Gen. Lokech launched a major offensive that flashed the Al-shabaab militants from the capital Mogadishu.

He also served as Contingent Commander and is described as the ‘Lion of Somalia’ by his peers in the army.

“On my own behalf and on behalf of the people of Somalia, we condole with Your Excellency and the people of Uganda over the loss of Maj. Gen. Lokech,” said President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, according to a statement from Uganda’s State House sent to various media outlets.

Lokech was between 2017 to 2018 redeployed to Somalia by president Museveni still as UPDF contingent commander and when he returned, he was promoted to the rank of Maj General. He would immediately be posted to Jinja as commandant of the Uganda Rapid Deployment Capability Centre.

Gen Lokech also served as Chief of Staff of Uganda People’s Defence Air Force –UPDAF. 

He previously served as part of the commanders of Uganda’s peace-keeping forces in South Sudan. 

The General was also part of Operation Safe Haven where the Ugandan army launched an offensive on rebels of Allied Democratic Front-ADF who were being commanded by now incarcerated Jamil Mukulu. The ADF was still based in the Democratic Republic of Congo- DRC.

Lokech was sent to South Sudan to monitor on behalf of the guarantors the South Sudan peace process, the assembling, screening, demobilization and integration of the armed forces of South Sudan.

In December last year, Lokech replaced Major General Sabiiti Muzeeyi as Deputy Inspector General of Police.

According to a tentative program released by police on Sunday, Gen Paul Lokech will be buried on Friday August 27,2021 in Baibir Village, Ludele parish, Pader Town Council, in Pader District.

KAMPALA BUSINESS RADIO