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UPDF Turns Down UN Request On CAR Mission :: Uganda Radionetwork
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UPDF Turns Down UN Request On CAR Mission

It has emerged that the Ugandan People's Defence Forces (UPDF) turned down a request by the United Nations to take over a peace keeping mission in Central African Republic (CAR).

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It has emerged that the Ugandan People's Defence Forces (UPDF) turned down a request by the United Nations to take over a peace keeping mission in Central African Republic (CAR).

 

The UPDF in correspondences shared with the African Union and the United Nations declined to take over the peace keeping mission in CAR after raising concerns of losing mission focus while in the war-torn country.

 

The UPDF has a contingent of close to 3000 soldiers in CAR under the African Union Regional Taskforce in the hunt for war lord Joseph Kony. This force is stationed in the forests of Garamba where they make routine patrols and checks for the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) insurgents. 

 

The Ugandan army had earlier on applied to the United Nations to join the peace keeping force in CAR but the UN suggested that the UPDF takes close to 6,000 soldiers and also withdraws from the hunt of Joseph Kony to focus on a more sustainable peace solution in the whole of Central African Republic.

 

When contacted, the Chief of Defence Forces General Katumba Wamala said they had indeed rejected the initial offer because it would ‘take them off' the original mission – the hunt for Joseph Kony. He however didn't rule out working with the UN if they agree to let them maintain forces in the areas LRA has active operations.

 

He said the force is focused on continuing the hunt for Joseph Kony and are majorly working around rescuing abductees that have been taken by the LRA force.

 

Central African Republic descended into chaos after the Seleka rebels overthrew the government in March. The Seleka rebels were later defeated and a new rebel group calling themselves the ‘Anti-balaka' arose to counter the Seleka fighters. The country has had a number of militia groups that have prompted the UN to deploy a 12,000 man peace keeping force.

 

Back home in Uganda, there has been a growing concern over the thinning of the army and its continuous foreign deployments. Critics have said the UPDF has taken on more foreign missions than it can handle hence weakening the force back home.

 

A fresh recruitment drive that was announced by army spokesperson Paddy Ankunda to start next week will among many things look to beef up contingents of UPDF deployed outside the country.

 

Asked whether the request from the UN was turned down because of low capacity of soldiers, Lt Col. Ankunda said the UPDF has enough troops to deploy to all missions they intend to carry out.  

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