UPDF To Recall 2000 Reservists For AMISOM Duty

2641 Views Mbale, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
The Uganda People’s Defense Forces - UPDF is set to recall a total of 2000 former soldiers for deployment in Somalia under the African Union Mission to Somalia – AMISOM.

The Uganda People’s Defense Forces - UPDF is set to recall a total of 2000 former soldiers for deployment in Somalia under the African Union Mission to Somalia – AMISOM.

Captain Deo Akiiki, the third Division army spokesperson, told Uganda Radio Network on Monday that the soldiers to be recalled include those who retired as UPDF soldiers and auxiliary forces that include the Local Defence Units -LDUs, Amuka, and Arrow Boys.

He said they should be those who were trained by UPDF and fought together against LRA, ADF and cattle rustling.

He said a directive from the Office of General Commanding Officer Reserve Force Headquarters indicates that the exercise will kick off on Tuesday November 27, 2012.

Akiiki said they will be trained before they are deployed to replace Uganda Battle Group 9 or UGABAG9+ in Somalia in the near future. He explained that deserters, those dismissed with disgrace and those whose service was no longer required do not qualify for call up.

Akiiki said that the recruitment would be held at Bugema Barracks in Mbale for the Elgon region, Soroti Barracks for Teso sub region, 3rd Divison army Barracks in Moroto for Karamoja region and at Gadaffi Barracks in Jinja for the Busoga sub region.

According to Akiiki, a total of 134 reservists would be recruited from the Elgon region, 162 from Teso sub region, 8 from Karamoja region and 88 from Busoga sub region.
This is the second time the army is recalling its former servicemen for duty in Somalia, where Uganda forms the bulk of the over 17,000-strong AMISOM force fighting al Shabaab terrorists. In March this year, up to 1700 reservists were deployed in Somalia and their nine-month tour of duty comes to an end in January next year. Akiiki says the new team is to replace their colleagues after January.

The announcement to recall former soldiers for deployment in Somalia comes just weeks after the government threatened to withdraw its forces from all foreign countries including Somalia with the view to consolidate internal security.

Uganda was enraged when a United Nations report accused Uganda and Rwanda of supporting M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Officially, Uganda has its forces in Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Somalia.

UPDF-led AMISOM saw the fall of Mogadishu and subsequent pacification of Somalia. Other countries maintaining forces in Somalia include Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya and Ethiopia.
The United Nations passed a resolution earlier this year permitting AMISOM to hike the number of troops and launch the second phase of their military offensive outside Mogadishu. UPDF increased its strength from 5,160 to 6,860 officers and men.


About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.