France to Deepen its Military Training Collaboration with Uganda

The UPDF Spokesperson Brig. Richard Karemire (L) chats with French Ambassador to Uganda H.E Stephanie Rivoal (R) at the Ambassador's residence in Nakasero on Thursday

The French Ambassador to Uganda H.E Stephanie Rivoal has committed continued support from the French towards strengthening the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) skills capacity and fighting terrorism.

She said that for many years now, page France has been supporting the Ugandan army in attaining basic training, store learning French language as well as mountaineering warfare tactics.

H.E Rivoal was speaking on Thursday during an event aimed at deepening the links of loyalty and respect between the French Armed Forces and the UPDF.

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The defense themed event held at the Ambassador’s residence in Nakasero was among the many activities that to mark the Uganda – France Friendship Week.

“Terrorists are waging war against our values and our way of life but we will never stop fighting for life. Together, Ugandan and French forces are united to fight against terrorism for national and international stability,” Rivoal added.

“With international operational detachment, Uganda and France have been building strong ties and expertise since 2007 with a common objective of stability, peace and freedom,” she added.

She hailed the UPDF for their professionalism and courage that they have exhibited while securing Somalia through the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Asked about the lessons Uganda can draw from France regarding counter terrorism, the Ambassador told ChimpReports; “Uganda is already skilled in fighting terrorism. Infact I think it (Uganda) are ahead of France. The approach Uganda has taken by engaging the civil society and communities so that terror activities are prevented is impressive.”

“I have learnt about the way the Somali community in Uganda is collaborating with the army and government to report whoever in their own community is likely to commit an attack.”

She said France has lessons to draw from Uganda’s approach to terrorism by engaging the public since most of the recent terror attacks in France have been committed by French citizens.

The UPDF spokesperson Brig. Richard Karemire who also attended the event attested to the benefits that the Ugandan army has attained from partnering with France.

He said the UPDF army has learnt from the experience and skills that the French army has acquired over time.

“Our forces have been trained and given the necessary capabilities before their deployment in Somalia. This collaboration has also helped our soldiers to get skills in mountain warfare which is a relatively new area,” Brig. Karemire told ChimpReports.

He said this is an opportunity for the army to be able to secure the country not just on land, water and in air but also in mountainous terrains.

“France has been fighting terrorism in many parts of the word, as Uganda, we have also fought terrorist groups like ADF, LRA so both countries have experiences to share and learn from,” he added.

The event was attended by Minister of State for Veterans Bright Rwamirama, Maj. Gen. Joseph Musanyufu the UPDF Joint Chief of Staff, diplomats, officers from both the French and Ugandan military including the French military soccer team which is in Uganda ahead of a friendly match with the Uganda Cranes tomorrow.


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