- German soldiers are participating in a European Union mission in Uganda to train Somali soldiers to help bring peace to their wartorn nation. A visit to the camp shows just how difficult it is to turn raw recruits into loyal, effective fighters. Not even Brussels is convinced of the mission's usefulness. The German soldier is squatting in the Ugandan savanna as 30 pairs of eyes follow the felt-tipped pen in his hand. He is writing the most important commands onto a metal slate, once in English and once in Somali: "Attention" and "Fire."
His muscles twitch under the skin of his tattooed arms, and mosquitoes buzz around his shaved head. It's hot in the savannah, but dark thunderclouds are gathering on the horizon. "Let's go then," mumbles Ralph Westermann, a master sergeant in the Bundeswehr, Germany's armed forces. On this day, he will push the 30 men, all recruits from Somalia, on a patrol through the bush. He will drill it into them that they can't just spray random fire with their AK-47s. He'll tell them that it's often better to switch the lever to semiautomatic, aim and fire. The next 30 recruits will arrive tomorrow.