Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Netherlands army has concluded a five year Memorandum of Understanding-MoU to provide lecturers and financial aid to towards capacity building of the UPDF legal officers at their Jinja based Legal training center-LTC.
The MoU signed in 2015 with UPDF involved offering undisclosed amounts of financial aid to boost the construction of the Jinja based UPDF LTC which would in turn offer legal courses to AMISOM troop contributing countries.
It also provided provision of scholarships to excelling participants where 85 UPDF legal officers were sponsored to study military law at the international institute of humanitarian law in Sanerimo, Italy.
Four UPDF senior legal officers were also offered scholarships to pursue masters in international and European law at the Amsterdam law school.
A total of 40 Dutch army lawyers and 30 United Kingdom-UK tutors have offered free lectures to 400 legal officers from the East African community-EAC states of Rwanda, South Sudan, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Since inception, UPDF’s LTC under the stewardship of the Dutch military legal officers has offered 29 courses in humanitarian law, human rights and international military operational law to all selected participants from the EAC countries.
The Dutch embassy also donated 30 laptops equipped with different training modules and unspecified additional funds, which will be used to construct a syndicate room and kitchen for the LTC.
Henk Jan Bakker, the Dutch ambassador to Uganda, says that capacity building had been made to train UPDF legal officers in managing their LTC without foreign aid.
Bakker implores UPDF officers to avoid military orders, which undermine the basic standards of international humanitarian laws and procedures.
The Commander of the Junior Command and Staff College, who represented the chief of Legal Services, Brig. Winston Byaruhanga on Friday, said that competent legal officers are the silent voices behind successful military operations.
On his part, Maj. Victor Chemusu, the LTC commander said the MoU has climaxed with a two weeks training in refugee law and human rights.
He said courses in the different military legal procedures have fostered clean military operations for commanders in foreign missions, and refugee camps who seek counsel from the force’s legal officers before countering complex situations.