The UPDF is a national armed force , extremely capable in the areas of infantry, intelligence and Special Forces. Deemed one of the best in terms of African peacekeeping capability, the UPDF is highly regarded within and outside of Africa, and justifiably so given the successful operations conducted in Somalia and elsewhere.
The military leadership, including the President, is extremely proud of UPDF peacekeepers and peace operations have become part of the role of the UPDF military.
WE ARE ALWAYS READY TO SERVE AFRICA AS A WHOLE
Uganda was the first country to deploy troops to Somalia as part of AMISOM in early 2007. Although other states have joined AMISOM, Uganda remains the lead contributor, providing over 6,000 troops and police officers, mostly in Sector 1 around Mogadishu, Sector 3 around Baidoa and in the Multinational Force Headquarters also in Mogadishu. As well as a leading contributor to the AU's current deployments, Uganda is also instrumental in the development of the East African Standby Force (EASF) and other AU affiliated conflict management initiatives and developing a Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) for future AU missions.
Rationales for Contributing in Peace Keeping
Ugandan peace operations are driven by several political imperatives. First, addressing African security concerns, especially perceived threats to Uganda, is an important motivation for contributing forces to peace operations. Furthermore these missions have all been AU-authorized and not UN-led indicating a preference for African-led initiatives.
Uganda also sees peace operations as key foreign policy tools when engaging with international actors and other African states. Deploying the UPDF to Somalia is part of Uganda's diplomatic and foreign policy strategy with donors and regional states.
Ugandan military deployments and activities, including peacekeeping, are enshrined in the Ugandan People's Defense Force (UPDF) Act of 2005. The President of Uganda as Commander in Chief, in collaboration with the military High Command and Defense Forces Council, determines UPDF peacekeeping deployments. The Defense Council comprises the Minister of Defense, Chief of Defense Forces (CDF), Deputy CDF, Joint Chief of Staff, Service Commanders, Divisional Commanders and a few select others. Security advisers, the Chief Political Commissar, Inspector General of Police and other senior NRM security figures are also involved. Once deployed, the CDF has strategic oversight of UPDF forces in theatre. After the initial decision to deploy has been made, forces are trained at Singo peacekeeping training camp on either a collective or individual basis depending on the mission.
Peace operations, as with other deployments, should in theory also be approved by parliament. Parliament is supposed to regulate and oversee UPDF activity as stipulated in the constitution and the Defense White Paper of 2004.
FIGHT UGANDA'S ENEMIES
The Mighty UPDF has many uses, though it is primarily a war-fighting organisation to protect the nation and, if required, fight the nation's enemies with absolute commitment.
Functions of the UPDF
1. To preserve and defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Uganda.
2. To cooperate with the civilian authority in emergency situations and in cases of natural disasters.
3. To foster harmony and understanding between the defence forces and civilians.
4. AND LASTLY, To engage in productive activities for the development of Uganda.