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Exclusive: UPDF Recruits 1,500 Veterans for Somalia Mission

Uganda’s armed forces have commenced the process of recruiting 1, 500 reserve forces across the country, Chimp Corps report.

Defence spokesperson Brigadier Richard Karemire said the reservists will operate from Somalia after fresh training.

“Physically and medically fit UPDF veterans will be given an opportunity to serve under AMISOM after retraining,” Karemire told ChimpReports on Tuesday afternoon.

“1,500 are being mobilised,” he added.

Asked how the recruitment was being conducted, Karemire responded: “We are going to announce. It’s not a secret thing.”

Pressed to explain why the army was engaging reservists yet the army boasts a large number of active soldiers, Karemire observed: “We have had almost 29 battle groups in Somalia. Almost every soldier has gone to Somalia and some have gone back for the third time.”

He said this was “a good opportunity for our comrades to serve. If there is an opportunity, we give them. We’ve not forgotten our brothers.”

Ugandan soldiers earn $722 (Shs 2.6m) in Somalia.

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In a month, 1,500 veterans will earn about $1,083,000 (Shs 4bn) per month and Shs 24bn in six months – a considerable amount of money to transform their lives.

This amount will rise if they spend more time in Somalia.

The development comes at a time development partners who are funding AMISOM are calling for a reduction in the number of soldiers deployed in Somalia.

In 2018, the international community approved Somalia’s security transition plan, laying the country’s path towards assuming full responsibility for its own stability.

The Somalia Transition Plan is a comprehensive guide developed by the Federal Government of Somalia and its partners to the transfer of security responsibility to Somalia National Security Forces ahead of Amisom’s anticipated exit in 2021

But Karemire today said the “Deployment still fits within the support roadmap of AMISOM towards the Somalia Transition plan.”

The formation and Reserve Force Commanders are charged with the recruitment drive.

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