Uganda is peaceful – Maj Gen Bakasumba

Maj Gen Jackson Bakasumba, Chief of Joint Staff of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF), has reassured citizens and foreigners that Uganda is generally safe for business and tourism to flourish.

“The security of the country is very peaceful, and there is no cause for alarm,” he said, speaking on behalf of Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Chief of Defence Forces, during a meeting with Italian Ambassador to Uganda, His Excellency Mauro Massoni.

The bilateral meeting at the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs (MODVA) headquarters in Mbuya, Kampala, focused on strengthening cooperation between the two countries in training, equipment, and business.

Maj Gen Bakasumba praised the Italian government for its significant support in stabilising Uganda through various socio-economic transformation programmes.

Regarding the African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), Maj Gen Bakasumba commended International Partners and Development Partners for their efforts to pacify Somalia despite Al-Shabaab threats.

He acknowledged the UPDF’s efforts towards restoring peace and security in Somalia, saying, “Surely, UPDF has sacrificed a lot for the mission as if it is our own country, and yet Uganda does not share a border with Somalia,” adding that “Uganda’s commitment in Somalia is great.”

Maj Gen Bakasumba emphasised that Uganda remains eager to see a stable Somalia and said, “All these years, we have been working hard to degrade Al-Shabaab so that we can go in as tourists; that is our wish.”

He noted that security challenges persist in Somalia due to imminent clan clashes and urged Somalia to build a robust force to address its security challenges.

Regarding the Allied Democratic Force (ADF) terrorists, Maj Gen Bakasumba stated that the group has been significantly degraded and can no longer stand to fight.

“We have partnered with the DR Congo army to derail all ADF capabilities. We are doing well in the mountainous area and regret the unfortunate incident of the death of tourists in Kasese,” said Maj Gen Bakasumba.

He assured the Ambassador on the safety of tourists, especially in Queen Elizabeth National Park, saying that culprits behind the death of the tourists in Kasese have been brought to book.

“Don’t worry, the park is now very safe. What happened in Kasese was a wake-up call to ADF. We encourage tourists to come in big numbers,” said Maj Gen Bakasumba.

However, he requested the Italian government to support the UPDF in terms of training personnel and acquisition of modern equipment.

Ambassador Mauro Massoni expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to strengthen collaboration between the two countries.

He pledged to consolidate the existing partnership, saying, “Our collaboration with the army is very important. We have to make our relationship with Uganda very important.”

The Italian Ambassador further promised to contribute to Uganda’s development. “We are ready to help whenever you want us,” he said.

The Italian Defence Attaché to Uganda, Col Marco Poddi, Col Younes Bagada, and Col William Kakuru, among others, attended the meeting.


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