Tag Archives: Uganda

US Trains Uganda Military

Uganda

Uganda People’s Defence Force soldiers recently completed a 10-week joint engagement with U.S. Marines and Sailors assigned to Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa for a deployment to Somalia later this year.  Uganda provides troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia, or AMISOM, a regional peacekeeping mission in Somalia supported by the United Nations. The Marine task force supports Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s mission, which is to counter violent extremist organizations in Somalia and East Africa, by sharing best practices and building strong partnerships with the Ugandan soldiers.  Held at the Peace Support Operations Training Center-Singo in Kakola, Uganda, the Americans and Ugandans exchanged ideas to improve soldiers’ skills in marksmanship, vehicle maintenance, communication equipment and convoy operations.

Since January, the team has worked with more than 800 African service members in 12 countries.

Excerpt, US Marines, sailors enhance Ugandan force capability, Africom Monday, July 29, 2013

UGANDA 2012 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT  from US State Department PDF
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Uganda is a constitutional republic led since 1986 by President Yoweri Museveni of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party. Voters reelected Museveni to a fourth five-year term in February 2011. While the election marked an improvement over previous elections, it was marred by irregularities. State security forces (SSF) generally reported to civilian authorities.
The three most serious human rights problems in the country were a lack of respect for the integrity of the person (including unlawful killings, torture, and other abuse of suspects and detainees); unwarranted restrictions on civil liberties (including freedom of assembly, the media, and association); and violence and discrimination against marginalized groups such as women (including female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), children (including victims of sexual abuse and ritual killing), persons with disabilities, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
Other human rights problems included harsh prison conditions; arbitrary and politically motivated arrest and detention; incommunicado and lengthy pretrial detention; restrictions on the right to a fair trial; restrictions on freedom of press; electoral irregularities; official corruption; mob violence; trafficking in persons; and forced labor, including child labor.
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), driven out of the country in 2006, continued to hold children forcibly abducted from the country. The governments of Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic (CAR), and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continued military actions against the LRA.  The SSF and other government agents committed human rights abuses, generally with impunity. The government took minimal steps to hold perpetrators accountable.

Why UN is Failing Congo? the purpose of Rwanda covert action

monusco

The United Nations said it had launched a comprehensive review of its Congo peacekeeping mission, which suffered a severe blow to its image last month after it stood aside and let rebels seize control of a major eastern city.  But U.N. Security Council diplomats and officials said any changes in the U.N.’s largest peacekeeping force would matter little if authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo did not improve their own army, and neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda continued to finance, equip and train rebel groups in mineral-rich eastern Congo.  U.N. officials have defended the U.N. Congo force, MONUSCO, for not preventing the well-equipped M23 rebels from taking the eastern city of Goma last month.  They said any attempt to have done so would have put Goma’s civilian population at risk. But they are painfully aware of the damage to the image of the mission, which U.N. officials say has been quite effective over the years, in Congo and across Africa.  “MONUSCO’s reputation has been severely damaged in the DRC and the region,” a U.N. diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity. “The U.N. is looking closely at MONUSCO now to consider whether there can be changes.

U.N. peacekeeping spokesman Kieran Dwyer said the United Nations was launching a comprehensive assessment of MONUSCO, and diplomats said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon would present the results to the Security Council early next year…

One idea U.N. officials are considering is the creation of an “enforcement wing” of MONUSCO, that would take a more robust approach to dealing with insurgents in eastern Congo, U.N. diplomats and officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity.  “The idea would be to create a wing of MONUSCO that would do more than simply support the FARDC (Congolese army) but could take on more difficult battlefield tasks,” an envoy said.   Details are sketchy, since the review has just begun. But the idea is that the enforcement wing and the international neutral force could deploy along the Rwandan border, possibly with a separate, beefed-up mandate from the rest of MONUSCO, though they would all be part of the same overall mission.  Diplomats said the idea would have to be approved by troop-contributing countries and the Security Council.

A U.N. panel of experts has said M23 rebels are getting money, sophisticated equipment, training and reinforcements from Rwanda, as well as some additional support from Uganda. Analysts, diplomats and U.N. officials say Rwanda and Uganda have been interfering in eastern Congo for many years.  Rwanda and Uganda deny the charges….

It is not the first time Goma residents have felt let down by blue-helmeted U.N. troops. In 2008, the Security Council increased the size the peacekeeping force by 3,000 troops to help Congo’s weak army confront Tutsi rebels in eastern Congo.  At that time, angry displaced people and residents rioted and hurled stones at the peacekeepers, accusing them of failing to protect them from raping and pillaging Tutsi rebels led by renegade General Laurent Nkunda.  Despite recent setbacks sparked by the M23 rebellion and political instability in Congo, U.N. officials and diplomats say MONUSCO has done much good in Congo, which has seen five different peacekeeping forces over the last five decades…One problem in eastern Congo is that the army itself is in shambles. Not only is it widely seen as incapable of providing security in the region, it routinely faces accusations of rape and other atrocities.  Another problem is the weakness of President Joseph Kabila’s government, which has virtually no control over eastern Congo, an area the size of France. U.N. officials have spoken of Rwanda’s de facto annexation of Congo’s eastern provinces.

By Louis Charbonneau, U.N. launches review of Congo force with battered reputation, Reuters, Dec 13 2012