WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2017 — Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan met with Ugandan Defense Minister Adolf Mwesige in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the 2017 U.N. Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial conference yesterday.
Shanahan is on his first international trip in his current role.
In a statement summarizing the meeting, Navy Cmdr. Sarah Higgins, a spokesperson for Shanahan, said the deputy secretary recognized that Uganda has been in Somalia for 10 years and thanked Mwesige for his country's contribution to security there.
"He also acknowledged those Ugandan lives lost in Somalia," Higgins said. "He expressed his understanding of the frustration with the pace of progress in Somalia, but also his confidence that progress is being made."
Helping the Horn of Africa
The leaders discussed how to best help the Horn of Africa move forward toward stability in Somalia, Higgins said, noting that the Defense Department continues to support Ugandan forces in Somalia with equipment, including mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles and five new Huey 2 helicopters, which were delivered yesterday.
"Both leaders confirmed the importance of continued collaboration between DoD and the Ugandan Ministry of Defense in advancing regional security in East Africa," Higgins added.