The Army said the reservists were supposed to be deployed in Somalia in April 2020 but the plans were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Reserve force comprises of soldiers who have been officially retired from Army.
More than 1,000 Uganda People’s Defence Forces –UPDF under the
reserve forces have been recalled for deployment in war trodden country,
Maj Bilal Katamba, UPDF First Division that superintends reserve forces, says that
the recalled soldiers should report to nearby barracks not later than tomorrow.
The Army said the reservists were supposed to be deployed in Somalia in April
2020 but the plans were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Reserve force
comprises of soldiers who have been officially retired from Army.
Maj Katamba said the combatants will report at Kakiri barracks for those in
Kampala Metropolitan areas that include Kampala City, Wakiso and Mukono
districts. In greater Masaka, the soldiers will report at Kasajjagirwa, those
in Jinja and neighbouring districts will report at Gaddafi barracks while those
in Mubende and neighbouring districts will go to Kabamba barracks.
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Section 31 of UPDF Act 2005 and Article 17 of the Constitution of Uganda
mandates Commander in Chief [President] to keep all or some of the army
retirees under military service for a period he or she wishes.
The reserve force is believed to have more 20,000 personnel who are currently
under the command of Lt Gen Charles Otema. Retirees now being recalled will
have to undergo a four months’ intensive military training to prepare them for
strenuous military operations in Somalia against Al-Shabaab.
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UPDF mixes reservists with fulltime soldiers to form a Battle Group of over 15,000
combatants who replace a group that has completed its one-year tour of duty.
Maj Katamba said the reservists will be under Battle Group 33 which is expected
to be deployed in Somalia in the next few months.
Uganda has over 6,000 soldiers in Somalia who have been confronting Al-Shabaab
terrorists since 2007. UPDF is applauded for flashing militias out of Somalia
Capital Mogadishu and other major towns.
Among other requirements
for a reserve soldier to qualify for the mission, the deployment includes being
aged 55 and below without any criminal record and in possession of original
Joseph Kato is currently a Master's candidate at Makerere University. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communication from Kampala International University, a Diploma in Journalism and he's also a graduate in Guidance and Counseling.