The Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF), Gen David Muhoozi has emphasized the need for officers of the army to understand the history of their country as a requisite for being good service personnel.
He said one can only defend what he or she understands well.
Muhoozi made the remark at UPDF’s Peace Support Operation Training Center (PSO-TC) while officiating at the closure of a one-month ideological orientation course for 2,143 soldiers of Uganda’s 30th battle group who are in the last stages of their pre-mission training to deploy under African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
He noted that one of the key roles of the army is ensuring territorial integrity and maintenance of the peace but this can only be achieved by a force that is conscious, nourished by political education and not the sorts of Uganda’s past armies.
Muhoozi pointed out that Uganda’s past armies worked against the common good of the people of Uganda and rather served the interests of certain groups, such as the colonial masters, monarchs and the interest of their commanders as well as their own, at the expense of the people they were supposed to protect.
He emphasized that the UPDF is different from the past armies.
He said the UPDF works in the interest of Ugandans as stipulated in its core functions in Article 209 of the 1995 Constitution.
“The UPDF strives to defend Uganda’s territorial integrity, help its people in case of emergencies, cooperates with civilian authorities, and participates in the economic development of the country. UPDF is a disciplined Force built on a pro-people ideology,” said Gen Muhoozi.
He urged the troops to maintain the historical discipline when they deploy to Somalia.
“Exhibit discipline while in Somalia for the wellbeing of our neighbours, well aware that our biggest foundation is based on political education. Work as a team, respect the culture of the Somali people and lift the flag of our country high,’’ he said.
The Deputy Chief Political Commissar of the UPDF, Col Ba-Hoku Barigye thanked the leadership of PSO-TC led by Col Bonny Wolimbwa, the training team and facilitators for a good work done in the training of the officers and militants.