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Japan to train UPDF on engineering operations 

By Vision Reporters

Added 17th August 2019 12:07 PM

The defence minister, Adolf Mwesige, said the Japanese military will deploy its 22 personnel next week, with training slated to run from August 26 to November 18 at the UPDF facility in Jinja district.

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Defence minister Adolf Mwesige. Photo/File

The defence minister, Adolf Mwesige, said the Japanese military will deploy its 22 personnel next week, with training slated to run from August 26 to November 18 at the UPDF facility in Jinja district.

By Pascal Kwesiga and Fridah Asiimwe          

PEACE      SECURITY

KAMPALA -  Japan is set to deploy members of its military to train Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) on the operation of heavy engineering equipment in peacekeeping operations.

The defence minister, Adolf Mwesige, said the Japanese military will deploy its 22 personnel next week, with training slated to run from August 26 to November 18 at the UPDF facility in Jinja district.

The training will be taken under the UN project for the rapid deployment of enabling capabilities. The minister said the training will be handled in batches and it is expected to greatly improve the capabilities of the Ugandan army in international keeping operations.

“Peacekeeping operations are complex activities. Sometimes we need to open up roads and we need all sorts of engineering equipment like bulldozers, caterpillars, excavators, and others. We need to boost our capacity in handling these machines,” the minister told journalists at Media Centre in Kampala on Friday.

He explained that the Japanese military will also offer medical training –another key component of the international peacekeeping missions. Uganda was the first country to deploy peacekeepers in the conflict-torn Somalia in 2007.

It was later joined by other countries, including Kenya, and  Burundi, among others. The force’s performance in international peacekeeping operations has earned it a global reputation.

“We are grateful to Japan for the non-lethal support extended to UPDF to strengthen its capabilities. We welcome the mobile engineering teams from Japan to build the engineering teams of UPDF,” Mwesige said.

The Japanese ambassador, Kazuaki Kameda, said as a prelude to the forthcoming training, beginner and intermediate courses for the 35 UPDF personnel was conducted by Japan in Nairobi last June.

“I have great pleasure to announce that the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force will come to Uganda for the first time ever to support the UPDF. The rapid deployment to peacekeeping missions is a particularly urgent challenge,” the ambassador said.

He noted that Japan has earned credibility for its engineering operations and transport units, which are indispensable in enabling smooth peacekeeping operations.

Kameda explained that Japan has injected about $70m in training and procurement of heavy engineering equipment under UN peacekeeping missions since 2015.

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