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US congratulates Uganda on 55 years of Independence

By John Masaba

Added 10th October 2017 04:48 PM

Relations between Uganda and US date back to as far back as October 9, 1962, when US first set up an embassy in Kampala.

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Relations between Uganda and US date back to as far back as October 9, 1962, when US first set up an embassy in Kampala.

INDEPENDENCE | US MESSAGE

More than 24 hours after Uganda celebrated 55 years of acquiring independence from Britain, congratulatory messages have continued to pour in.

In the latest message, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, said:  “On behalf of the people of the United States, our best wishes to all Ugandans as you celebrate the 55th anniversary of your independence.”

The statement added: “The United States values its relationship with Uganda, a key partner with shared interests in promoting regional security and economic growth.”

He said after decades of co-operation, the bond between the two governments is stronger than ever before.

“I have no doubt that our relationship will continue to grow and mature as we work together toward our mutual goals of peace and prosperity,” Tillerson said.

Relations between Uganda and US date back to as far back as October 9, 1962, when US first set up an embassy in Kampala.

John F. Kennedy, who was US president then, had earlier sent a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Milton Obote.

In 1973, the American Embassy in Kampala was closed, and US withdrew diplomatic personnel following a souring of ties between President Idi Amin and US. The embassy only opened in 1979 when Amin was overthrown.

US later cited factors that prompted the closure of their embassy as “persistent internal security problems, operating difficulties for American programmes and personnel, repeated public threats against Embassy officials and by high Ugandan officials”.

US also blamed the closure to abrupt expulsion of the US Marine Security Guard that protected the Embassy.

Fast forward to 2017, ties between the two countries are stronger, with Uganda currently serving as US key strategic partner on peace in the Great Lakes region.

Under former US president Barak Obama, US provided logistical support to Uganda to fight the LRA rebels in the jungles of Central African Republic.

With Uganda’s troops currently operating in Somalia, terror groups have been denied a foothold in the region, an achievement which has received a lot of plaudits from US. 

 

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