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Defence ministry officials in Angola for veterans’ welfare tips

By Chris Kiwawulo

Added 28th June 2019 12:15 PM

The four-day visit between June 25 and 29 will see the seven-member Ugandan defence ministry delegation acquire lessons from their Angolan counterparts as it reviews and amends the UPDF Act, 2005 to improve the care of military veterans and to streamline military courts.

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Uganda’s defence state minister, Lt. Col. (rtd) Bright Rwamirama. Photo/File

The four-day visit between June 25 and 29 will see the seven-member Ugandan defence ministry delegation acquire lessons from their Angolan counterparts as it reviews and amends the UPDF Act, 2005 to improve the care of military veterans and to streamline military courts.

 

KAMPALA - A team of Ugandan defence ministry officials has travelled to Angola for a bench-marking visit in which they hope to draw lessons on how to improve the welfare of retired soldiers and their families.

The four-day visit between June 25 and 29 will see the seven-member Ugandan defence ministry delegation acquire lessons from their Angolan counterparts as it reviews and amends the UPDF Act, 2005 to improve the care of military veterans and to streamline military courts.

The Ugandan delegation will also learn from their Angolan stakeholders lessons of how to support the implementation of a new United Nations (UN) joint programme – the UN integrated support towards Uganda’s Ministry of defence and veteran affairs, as well as support the amendment of the UPDF Act.

The amendment will include among other areas; management of military veteran affairs, military pensions management, administration of military courts, rehabilitation, resettlement, reintegration and psycho-social support to military veterans, innovative integration of the military in development interventions, and mainstreaming of gender in the military.

This is because the plight of Ugandan veterans’ families has become an increasing concern, a joint statement issued by Uganda’s defence state minister, Lt. Col. (rtd) Bright Rwamirama and Rosa Malango, the UN Resident Coordinator in Uganda revealed.    
  
“The legal framework that governs military veterans in Angola, compensation for disability, pension management, and resettlement, rehabilitation for disabled and post-retirement benefits will help Uganda in the process of amending the UPDF Act,” said Rwamirama.

The innovative joint programme was also developed to enhance gender equality and women empowerment within the UPDF structures and among households of families, the statement said, adding that this is expected to support UPDF families, women combatants and veterans to access socio-economic opportunities through livelihood initiatives.

“As the UN, we believe that our role is to help countries identify the best possible options to implement their national visions for inclusive development and sustaining peace. The South-South Cooperation framework provides us with a pathway for Uganda to exchange and gain knowledge from other member states like Angola who have undergone similar experiences,” said Malango.

The South-South cooperation is a broad framework for collaboration among countries of the South in the political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and technical domains. Involving two or more developing countries, it can take place on a bilateral, regional, sub-regional or inter-regional basis where countries share knowledge, skills, expertise, and resources to meet their development goals through concerted efforts.

Since independence in 1962, Uganda’s number of military veterans has been on the increase without a proper capacity to manage their welfare including; compensation, rehabilitation, resettlement, and re-integration, psycho-social support and terminal benefits.

Malango expressed pleasure at the benchmarking visit by Uganda to Angola.  “I thank the Ministry of Defence Angola and the United Nations in Angola for making it possible that this happens.”

She said the visit was anchored on the strategies of the UN work in Uganda of fostering South-South Cooperation to develop a holistic approach to peace and development.

As African states take action to accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations (UN) has begun identifying opportunities for member states to exchange experiences on critical issues of shared concern.

This is the foundation for the four-day visit by a joint UN-government of Uganda delegation that will be in Angola from June 25 to 29. To demonstrate the robust partnership between government and the UN system in Uganda, the mission is being co-led by Uganda’s defence and veteran affairs state minister, Lt. Col. (rtd) Bright Rwamirama, and Rosa Malango, the UN Resident Coordinator for Uganda.

Uganda’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) government under the leadership of Gen. Yoweri Museveni is Pan African in character and considers Angola as a brotherly country that has a similar history of political evolution after a long civil war.         

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