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New UPDF Mountain force will boost tourism

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President Museveni watches mountain military exercises at the foot of Mount Rwenzori. PHOTOS PPU

The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) is set to establish a specialized mountain warfare force to boost the army’s capacity, secure all Uganda’s mountains, and boost tourism.

President Yoweri Musevei, who is also Commander-in-Chief, outlined the plans on Friday at Kyanjuki Village in Kasese ,at the foot of Mt. Rwenzori, where he had gone to witness a military exercise by the unit who are being trained by French instructors.

 

The president said the training of the UPDF on mountain warfare was necessitated by the need to secure the Ugandan mountains for security of those living nearby and for tourism.

“These places like the Rwenzori Mountains are very beautiful and we should cherish them and make them safe. Even non-Ugandans love them that’s why you see them coming here everyday and visiting to see them and as a country we earn from them,” Museveni said

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Museveni, who thanked the French government for their support, said although the UPDF was doing a good job securing the mountainous areas, it was important in the modern era for the army to have a specialized institute. The French Ambassador to Uganda, Sophie Makame, accompanied the President.

The President also inspected a set of modern equipment used in mountain warfare training and operations such as Mountain climbing and river crossing.

The French lead instructor, Capt. Pierrick Balanche, commended the UPDF for being a “reliable force”, adding that the trainees were good learners, disciplined and physically fit. He was joined the event by Deputy Chief of Defence Forces, Lt. Gen. Charles Angina, the French military attaché to Uganda Lt. Col. George Jacuno and the 2nd Division Commander Brig. Peter Erweru.

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