Residents in the eastern Central African Republic (CAR) have asked the Uganda government to build roads, repair schools and hospitals in the area, the key social services Uganda has been grappling to deliver to her citizens.
The UPDF is in the area hunting for the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels, some of whom are hiding in DR Congo.
The governor of Hauti-Mbomou and other provincial leaders told visiting Ugandan journalists and the soldiers that their government had no capacity to provide services to them.
“We request the government of Uganda, if possible to repair our road from Obo to Bambuti. We also do not have ambulances. Is it possible for the government of Uganda to help us?” Chief Bathelm Mbolicam asked.
The country experienced religious violence early this year.
The area governor, Mr Djouma Daimane, also requested the Ugandan army to train youth in the region to reinforce it.
UPDF operates in vast lands of CAR. Hauti-Mbomou youth representative Jerry Magloire said they were ready to be trained and defend the population against LRA threats.
“UPDF has fought and pushed tong tong (rebels) out of this place but we also want to join them and defend our people,” he said.
However, the commander of African Union Regional Task Force, Brig Sam Kavuma, said the UPDF’s role was to hunt for LRA.
“When the Regional Task Force was being formed, our role was clearly defined. We are here to hunt and capture LRA. We cannot do that [train youth],” he said.
The commander of Ugandan Contingent, Col Michael Kabango, said 507 rebels have been killed since 2008 when Uganda, South Sudan and DR Congo launched operation that forced the Joseph Kony-led rebels out of Garamba National Park.