2,200 army veterans to be deployed in Somalia
Posted Tuesday, December 31 2013 at 02:00
The ex-soldiers, who include Arrow Boys, are expected to undergo a three-month training.
The army has recalled at least 2,200 ex-soldiers for deployment against the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab terrorists in war-ravaged Somalia. The recall targets army veterans, retired soldiers, reserve forces, Local Defence Units and members of auxiliary forces like Amuka and Arrow Boys in northern and eastern regions.
The UPDF’s Fifth Division spokesperson, Lt Telesphor Turamumanya, at the weekend said the recruitment is intended to beef security in Somalia early next year. He also said more than 180 ex-soldiers are expected to come from the Fifth Division which covers Lango and Acholi regions after undergoing a three-month training.
The Fifth Division spokesperson also said the veterans must be below 47 years and should have been at the rank of lieutenant at the time of retirement if they are to be eligible for deployment.
Lt Turamumanya said they must also present a discharge certificate, a letter of recommendation from local council authorities and should be physically and mentally fit. “Army deserters and those dismissed with disgrace will not be considered. Successful candidates will undergo refresher training at the Peace Support Operations Training School in Singo,” he said.
Apart from the UPDF troops on the peacekeeping mission in Somalia, Uganda also deployed police personnel, some of whom supervised the recent presidential elections in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia.
With a current force of about 7,000 troops in Somalia, Uganda contributes the bulk of the African Union peacekeeping Mission in Somalia, followed by Kenya, Burundi and Djibouti.
UN resolution passed this year permitted an increase in the number of troops, allowing the peacekeeping force to extend operations to all the regions of Somalia.