Special Reports

Gen Katumba Speaks To Chimpreports

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“I am very grateful to be appointed the new CDF of UPDF. I will ensure that we work hard to improve on the conditions of our soldiers,” Gen Katumba said on Saturday in an exclusive interview with Chimpreports on the sidelines of the closing ceremony of the Eastern Africa standby force-field training exercise 2013.



“Although there are very many challenges ahead of me, which includes limited financing of the army budget, among others we shall ensure our soldiers’ remuneration and housing is improved.”


He emphasized that that he would serve the soldiers and the country “with all my power and knowledge.”


However, regarding the controversy surrounding Gen David Tinyefuza’s saga, Katumba noted: “Gen Tinyefuza is my brother, a Ugandan who has a right to return to his home country at any time he wishes as any other Ugandan.”



Katumba added: “But upon his return, Tinyefuza knows very well the conditions he has to fulfill first.”


Formerly Commander of Land Forces, Katumba was on Thursday night promoted from the rank of Lieutenant General to General and also named Chief of Defence Forces.


TRAINING EXERCISE

Over 1292 Troops and Civilians from ten African countries of Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and the host country Uganda; under the hospices of the Eastern Africa Stand by Forces (EASF) have been meeting in Jinja for a field training exercise code named EASF FTX ‘Mashariki Salam 2013’ translated as ‘Peaceful Eastern Africa’.



The Eastern Africa Stand by Force is a regional organization whose mandate is to enhance regional peace and security in the region.


It is one of the five regional Multi-dimensional components of the African Standby Force consisting of the Military, Police and Civilian elements.



The establishment of the force followed the decision of the African Union Summit held in 2004 to create the East Africa Standby Brigade later re-named the EASF, and a follow up implementation by the Council of Ministers of Defence and Security to establish a coordination mechanism.


The Eastern Africa Standby Force was also established as a regional mechanism to provide capability for rapid deployment of forces to carry out preventive deployment, rapid intervention, peace support and stability operations and, peace enforcement.



The exercise sought to endeavor a force readiness when called upon in the event of threats against any other African country.


The main objectives of the training were to test EASF’s ability to generate forces, plan, deploy, sustain and recover a multi-dimensional AU mandated mission and maintain and enhance regional cohesion and co-operation.


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