General Katumba Wamala: UPDF Declined Mali Peace Keeping Mission

2723 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The Uganda People Defence Forces – UPDF has declined to take up a peace keeping mission in Mali West Africa because the army is over stretched.

Uganda People Defense Forces – UPDF declined to take up a peace keeping mission in Mali in West Africa because it is over stretched. General Katumba Wamala, the Chief of Defense Forces says taking on another mission would stretch the force further.  Katumba Wamala who was addressing a press conference denied allegations that the declining to take up the mission there was as a result of a disagreement between the UPDF and the United Nations over who should manage the soldiers’ allowances while on mission.

Sources have told Uganda Radio Network that while UN was asking for individual soldiers’ accounts on which to deposit the money, some elements with the UPDF wanted the money to be paid to UPDF so that its pays its soldiers. Katumba Wamala said it was because of the burden of securing Somalia under Amisom and pursuing the Lord’s Resistance Rebels in the Central African Republic and the disarmament program in Karamoja that UPDF declined to take up the mission in Mali.

Katumba Wamala said that the UPDF is yet to secure some parts of Somalia making it difficult to take up another mission. Katumba Wamala said if the UPDF were to deploy soldiers it would be in Somalia to raise the numbers there and secure the whole region from Mogadishu, Balawe, and Malaka to Kisimayo against the Al Shabab.

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Katumba Wamala explained that spreading out further would give an opportunity to the Al Shabab to re-occupy some areas which prompted the UPDF to stop. Katumba Wamala said they had now suggested to the UN to arm the Amisom forces with military capacity to fly and another means of transport to get everywhere they want in a short time. 

The UPDF also suggested that the UN would train its army to take over from the UPDF which he said is not even being thought about right now. He said that what is happening is defeating the fight against Al Shabab.

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Katumba Wamala called for fast training of Somali Military, equip them and pay them well to take up the security of their country.