Uganda and Israel have committed to step-up defence co-operation in order to safeguard peace, security and jointly combat terrorism.
The development comes at a time Africa, including the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, is grappling with increased cases of terrorism.
International terrorist organisation, Islamic States (IS) recently claimed responsibility for an attack in DRC near the Ugandan border, saying they had established a Central African Caliphate.
According to a statement sent to ChimpReports on Tuesday, Uganda and Israel “discussed possible areas of mutual cooperation such as collaboration in the fight against terrorism and further professionalization of the UPDF.”
Defence Spokesperson Brigadier Richard Karemire said Israel Defence Forces are “famous for their expertise in building capacity for partners and therefore offered to support UPDF in that regard.”
The commitment was made during a meeting between Hon Col (Rtd) Charles Okello Engola, Minister of State for Defence (General Duties), and Brig Gen (RET) Mishel Ben Baruch, Israel’s head of International Defence Cooperation-Directorate, held at the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs headquarters – Mbuya.
Hon Engola applauded the Israel Government for supporting Uganda in its development programs and supporting mechanisms that ensure peace and security on the African continent.
He further said it is such support that has enabled Uganda to be a beacon of peace on the continent “We have been able to help our brothers in Somalia and other parts of Africa partly because of your country’s support,” he noted.
Brig Gen (RET) Mishel Ben Baruch briefed the meeting on the partnership and military experience that can be shared with Uganda.
He said the visit was “deeply moving” and symbolized the deepening relationship between Israel and Uganda.
He hailed the UPDF for its successful mission in Somalia and said the Israel government will continue sharing experiences because of the strategic relationship both countries have built over the years.
The meeting was attended by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs Mrs Rosette Byengoma, the UPDF Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen David Muhoozi, and Deputy Commander Air Force Maj Gen Gervase Mugyenyi among others.