Ugandan officials say about 400 troops will be deployed in Somalia on Thursday under a new United Nations guard unit charged with protecting UN staff and installations in the violence-prone Somali capital.
"UNGU is the United Nations guard unit in Somalia, their mandate is different that of the African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM," said Uganda People's Defence Forces spokesman, Paddy Ankunda on Wednesday.
"Theirs will be to provide static security to UN personnel and installations and also provide escort and other security related issues," he added.
Dressed in the UN blue helmets and Ugandan military fatigues they will wear while on duty in Mogadishu, the troops were urged to show discipline in a ceremony witnessed by their Western trainers on Wednesday.
The UN last year recommended the deployment of a "static" guard unit to strengthen the security of its compound within the international airport in Mogadishu, which has been attacked repeatedly by Somalia's Islamic extremist rebels Al Shabaab, who are linked to al-Qaida.
"The security of UN personnel and installations now is going to be handled separately. That the will free the AMISOM forces, who have been providing similar services to the UN, to pursue the Al Shabaab," Ankunda said.
Ugandan troops have for years led a UN-backed African Union peacekeeping force that in 2011 ousted Al-Shabaab rebels from Mogadishu.