By Eddie Ssejjoba
ENTEBBE - General Elly Tumwine has applauded the Uganda People’s Defense Air Force for its hardwork and discipline, saying its improvement was key in pushing the LRA out of Uganda.
Under the stewardship of Joseph Kony, the Lord's Resistance Army is blamed for committing several human rights atrocities for several years in Uganda.
Kony, now wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), is believed to be operating in the troubled Central African Republic.
He is also on the US wanted list.
Gen. Tumwine recognized the efforts of the Ugandan air force when warlord Kony was forced out of the country in 2006 after 20 years of insurgence in northern Uganda.
“We are proud of you because when we made efforts to improve the air force with all the necessary equipment and trained personnel is when we ended the Kony war,” he said.
The army man, who chairs the UPDF Caucus in Parliament, was on Monday addressing 90 Air Force personnel, their spouses and relatives who were decorated after they were promoted to various ranks.
Those promoted included four colonels, six lieutenant colonels, 20 majors, 57 captains and three lieutenants in a function that took place at Entebbe Air Force headquarters.
Colonels Dick Lutaaya, Nassan Begumisa, Moses Amanya and Sebastian Cherotin were decorated.
(PHOTOGRAPHER: Eddie Ssejjoba)
The promotions came from hardwork and patience, said Gen. Tumwine, cautioning the promoted officers to expect a lot of challenges and responsibility ahead.
“The purpose of the pips is to make you different from others and once you are a leader the challenges of leadership take precedence, you must maintain that recognition every day.”
He talked of a constant vision of the force, which is to ensure peace and security for the country.
The general warned the officers against unacceptable work behavior and conduct, maintaining that they should always exhibit good communication skills and accountability in everything they do.
Air force commander Maj. Gen. Samuel Turyagenda said this was the biggest number to be promoted at once in the air force and said such achievement could not be underestimated.
He also cautioned the promoted personnel that they would be in position to account for their actions and the actions and failures of their subordinates.
The chief of staff of the air force, Col. James Birungi told those who had missed out on the promotion not to lose hope, saying 90 was such a big number that they ought to appreciate and be thankful.