UPDF would never seek for help from Europe - Museveni
Posted Thursday, February 7 2013 at 02:00
The President says the Ugandan army has over the yearsbuilt itself to become a skilled professional Force and seeking external help would be a big shame.
President Museveni has said Uganda cannot rely on European military intervention like Mali, saying it would mean that the UPDF is an army without ideology and technical skills.
Speaking at the Tarehe Sita celebrations at Arua Hill Grounds yesterday, the President said: “I normally don’t thank European countries for offering military support. But this time I thank the French president for supporting Mali because the terrorists were going to overtake the country.” He said some of the African armies go to European colleges only to get training on how to shoot and salute. “To call France [support] is like a vote of no confidence in the Malian Army. It is a big shame. So for me, I cannot call France or any other European country to come and support me,” he said.
Mr Museveni, who led the guerilla movement that eventually overthrew the regime of Gen. Tito Okello, has boasted of building a professional army with an ideology, discipline and technical skills. “No external or internal force will disturb this peace in Uganda.
Anybody who tries will fail badly. And in DR Congo, the UN that has been engaged in terrorism conservation projects has been living in peaceful co-existence with the terrorists like the ADF. But ADF will never try us again,” he said.
The President’s comments on Mali come at a time when the UN, Europe and African officials were set to meet in Brussels to discuss how to hold democratic elections in Mali.
French and Malian forces are currently forcing back the al-Queda linked fighters who seized the vast north of the country.
The UPDF has since 1986 been at war with rebel groups such as the LRA, the Holy Spirit Movement of Alice Lakwena, UNRF I and UNRF II, West Nile Bank Front and the ADF. Although the groups have been defeated, the ADF and LRA still remain a security threat to the country.
The Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, assured that the challenges posed by the al-Shabaab, ADF and LRA would soon be completed. “We still have a challenge of politically-motivated violence, terrorism and insurgency, but we are dealing with this decisively,” he said.
During the function, some 100 ex-servicemen and UPDF officers were honoured with Nalubaale, 50th Golden Jubilee and Luwero Triangle medals.
Tarehe sita medals
Golden Jubilee medals
Late Brig. Shaban Opolot
Gen. Salim Saleh
Gen. Jeje Odongo
Late Gen. James Kazini
Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi
Gen. Mugisha Muntu.
Police chiefs since 1962
Late Erinayo Oryema
Late Gabriel Luke Ofungi
Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura
Late Benjamin Otieno
Lt Gen Katumba Wamala
Dr J Byabashaija
Robert Masolo Director ESO
Col. Ronnie Balya (Director ISO)
Officers in W. Nile
Maj Gen Emilio Mondo
Maj Gen Ali Bamuze
Brig Hussein Ada
Lt. Col. M F Abiriga
Maj. M Ojale
Capt Ibrahim Abiriga
Kelil Magara, Obiga Kania, Haruna Ndema and Romano Asiku.