UPDF Joint Chief of Staff, Major General Leopold Kyanda, on behalf of the Chief of Defence Forces, General Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, has lauded the government of Nigeria and Nigerian Armed Forces for the continued friendship and bilateral co-operation with Uganda and specifically the Ministry of Defence/UPDF on matters of defence and security.
He made the remarks to a delegation of officers from the Army War College Nigeria, Course 7/203, on a Geo-Strategic Study Tour in Uganda which engaged with the strategic leadership of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces at the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs Headquarters, Mbuya on Tuesday 13.
The study tour is under a theme; Protection of Critical National Assets and Infrastructure for National defence.
“This tour presents a valuable opportunity to share experiences and seek solutions to the global security challenges. This is because the globe and Africa in particular are shaped by its geo-strategic location, natural resources and competing foreign interests which have socio-economic, political and security connotations that call for new approaches, strategies and partnership to deal with common security challenges,” said Maj. Gen Kyanda.
Maj. Gen Kyanda commended the Nigerian Government and Army War College for embracing and supporting initiatives of bilateral, regional and international levels aimed at finding sustainable solutions to crosscutting security issues that affect peace and stability. He reaffirmed UPDF’s commitment to supporting all initiatives and protocols aimed at combating the existing security threats. He encouraged them to keep on networking sharing and exchanging relevant information that may guide strategic military decisions in order to ensure sustainable peace, stability and social economic transformation.
The Deputy Chief of Military Intelligence Brig. Abdul Rugumayo said that the Uganda and Nigeria enjoy a long history, which predates colonial times. The two countries are multilingual with multi-ethnicities, with a history of civil wars and instability. He also noted that the first Chief Justice of independent Uganda Sir Udo Udoma (1963-69) was a Nigerian.
Speaking at the same function, the Chief Political Commissar (CPC) Maj Gen Henry Matsiko reaffirmed Uganda’s commitment to Africa’s integration which will lead to economic and later political integration. He said that Africa had four broader original groups; the Bantu/Kwa, the Nilotic-Luo in the Sahel African region, the Afro-Asiatic/Hamitic group and the Khoisan group as he called for the uniting of Africa.
“For us to remain relevant, definitely the answer is not to remain the way we are. Integration is not a matter of luxury but a matter of survival. Separate as independent states we are all vulnerable to people that have already harnessed the entire space. Our ideological disposition is that our future is in integration. Uganda is convinced that the only guarantee for strategic security, prosperity through bigger markets and a stronger voice in the world affairs of our people only lies in integration,” Maj. Gen Matsiko.
The head of the visiting Delegation and Commandant of the Army War College Nigeria, Maj. Gen Bamidele Ali that there is need for Nigeria to borrow a leaf from Uganda and UPDF in particular for Nigeria to ensure it protects its assets like oil, gas and population. He called upon both countries to engage more in terms of military co-operation and exchange of students.
“History has it that Uganda is one of the most stable countries in Africa and we admire the approaches that you use to achieve this. You do not allow traitors to come to you rather, you move and check traitors before they come to you,” said Maj Gen Alabi.