Liberia has joined Uganda and the African Union (AU) to mourn the death of the former Head of Mission to the African Union Support to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA), Major-General Dr. Julius Facki Oketta.
Dr. Oketta passed away in Kampala, Uganda following a heart attack on Saturday, November 5. He was 60 years old.
During the height of the Ebola epidemic in the Mano River Union, Maj.-Gen. Oketta headed the ASEOWA Mission, which included 855 civilian and military health volunteers, who battled against Ebola in the sub-region.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, Maj.-Gen. Oketta, being a disciplined soldier, led the successful defeat of Ebola without the AU losing a single soldier (health volunteer) in 2014.
On February 11, 2015, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia, and President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, honoured him for his contributions to the fight against Ebola and decorated him with the national honour of “Distinguished Service Order” during the 58thArmed Forces Day celebration in Liberia.
Maj.-Gen. Oketta led the Regional Reserve Forces Command when the Uganda People’s Defense Force helped in combating the Ebola epidemic in Northern Uganda.
He was the Director of the National Emergency Coordination and Operations Center (NECOC) in the Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda and had been seconded to the African Union-led the humanitarian mission.
Until his death last week, Major General Oketta was the deputy coordinator Operation Wealth Creation.
He held a Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration and attended Senior Command and Staff College (SCSC).
Dr. Oketta was a Member of the Parliament of Uganda and served as a Member of the Advisory Board of the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (UN CERF).
He also served as the Chief of Logistics and Engineering for the Ugandan Army.
He had many years of experience in the field of civil-military humanitarian response.
The late Maj.-Gen. Oketta will be laid to rest on Wednesday, November 9, in Katikati, Uganda.