Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF)

Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) is a winner of the 2015 Uganda Sustainable Development Award and accredited Uganda's Top50 Sustainable Development Agencies in recognition and appreciation of its enormous contribution towards social-economic development of Uganda and attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in Uganda. Awarded and Accredited by Public Opinions International

 

Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces was so named in the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda. It was initially called the National Resistance Army which was the Force that fought the February 6, 1981 to January 26, 1986 Liberation war that saw the final overthrow of dictatorship in Uganda. NRA picked up the struggle from earlier Liberation struggles of the 1970’s against oppressive and anti People Governments in Uganda.

Right from the immediate post-colonial era, the state was by nature and characters an oppressive one. At independence, the same army recruited, trained and left behind by the colonialists just changed the name from King’s African Rifle (KAR) to first Uganda Rifles (UR) and then Uganda Army (UA). KAR’s main function was to repress and suppress any opposition to the British rule. The senior non commissioned officers in KAR, like Idi Amin, who had been promoted on account of their brutality against the MAU MAU freedom fighters, became officers in the UA. It would be excessive naivety to expect the rule of terror to have changed by a mere change of guards.

 

 

For the first two decades of her independence, Uganda had to contend with problems of national unity and cohesion because of its military which was characterised by anti-people attitude and manipulation.

It is against such background that in 1972, a young Ugandan man called Yoweri Museveni launched a liberation struggle under the name “Front for National Salvation” (FRONASA). There were other forces in the 1970’s struggle against Idi Amin that in March 26, 1979 merged with FRONASA to form the Uganda National Liberation Front (UNLF) with its military wing, the Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA). They included Kikosi Maalum (led by Milton Obote with Tito Okello and David Oyite Ojok as commanders), and other smaller groups like Save Uganda Movement (led by Akena P'Ojok, William Omaria and Ateker Ejalu) and Uganda Freedom Union (led by Godfrey Binaisa, Andrew Kayiira and Olara Otunnu), that after the merger fought alongside Tanzania Peoples’ Defence Forces to oust Idi Amin’s dictatorship in April 1979.

UNLF ruled Uganda from the overthrow of Amin until the disputed national elections in December 1980 in which Obote was declared a winner after massively rigging elections. This prompted Yoweri Museveni to lead a final Liberation struggle under the National Resistance Movement (NRM) with its military wing the NRA that in February 6, 1981 started protracted guerilla warfare with only a platoon of fighters, 27 of whom were armed.

The NRA guerilla force persisted, being at the fore front of quelling the dictatorships of the time, and in 1986 they registered a landmark in the much needed liberation after a five-year people’s protracted war that climaxed in defeat of fascism in Uganda. This liberation brought about the restoration of dignity amongst the people and the state. From 1986, the NRM under President Yoweri Museveni embarked on, among others, formation of a constitution and in 1995, it was promulgated.

That is how the NRA became the UPDF. The UPDF is a nonpartisan force, national in character, patriotic, professional, disciplined, productive and subordinate to the civilian authority as established under the constitution.

 

Members of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces are citizens of Uganda of good character who are recruited from every District of Uganda.

The UPDF is regulated by laws made by parliament of Uganda, and, in particular, providing for—

 

  1. The organs and structures of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces;
  2. Recruitment, appointment, promotion, discipline and removal of members of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces and ensuring that members of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces are recruited from every district of Uganda;
  3. Terms and conditions of service of members of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces; and
  4. The deployment of troops outside Uganda

Composition of the UPDF

The UPDF is a bi service;

  1. Land Forces
  2. The Air Forces

The UPDF Act provides for room of creation of other services as prescribed by parliament. The Reserve Forces and Special Forces are under that process.

 

Mission

To preserve, defend and protect the people, property, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Uganda, contributing to regional stability and supporting international peace initiatives.

UPDF Mandate

To preserve and defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Uganda.

Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces was so named in the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda. It was initially called the National Resistance Army which was the Force that fought the February 6, 1981 to January 26, 1986 Liberation war that saw the final overthrow of dictatorship in Uganda. NRA picked up the struggle from earlier Liberation struggles of the 1970’s against oppressive and anti People Governments in Uganda.

Right from the immediate post-colonial era, the state was by nature and characters an oppressive one. At independence, the same army recruited, trained and left behind by the colonialists just changed the name from King’s African Rifle (KAR) to first Uganda Rifles (UR) and then Uganda Army (UA). KAR’s main function was to repress and suppress any opposition to the British rule. The senior non commissioned officers in KAR, like Idi Amin, who had been promoted on account of their brutality against the MAU MAU freedom fighters, became officers in the UA. It would be excessive naivety to expect the rule of terror to have changed by a mere change of guards.

UPDF Modernisation Themes

  1. Equipped and trained for combat and peace support operations,
  2. Deployment.
  3. Sustainability and logistic support,
  4. Joint/combined operations,
  5. Technology and doctrine,
  6. Policy and planning,
  7. Finance,
  8. Logistics.
  9. Procurement and infrastructure,
  10. Personnel and welfare.

Functions of the Defence Forces

  1. To preserve and defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Uganda;
  2. To cooperate with the civilian authority in emergency situations and in cases of natural disasters
  3. To foster harmony and understanding between the defence forces and civilians; and
  4. To engage in productive activities for the development of Uganda.

Statement of Objectives

  1. Defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Uganda.
  2. Build adequate and credible defense capacity to address external threats and in the medium term assist in maintaining internal security.
  3. Create a productive and self-sustaining force.
  4. Ensure adherence to and furtherance of international obligations.
  5. Ensure continuation and strengthening of the Defense forces that has respect for Human Rights.
  6. Create military alliances to enhance regional security and stability
  7. Maintain national cohesion.
  8. Promote co-operation with the East African countries, which share common political, economic, social and cultural values, and interests.
  9.  Support regional and continental integration through the East African Community and African Union.

Current Projects and Programs of the Center

Doctrine Development (In progress)

The Center has so far developed the strategic Doctrine that is awaiting validation and will be launched this year (2014). Thereafter, component doctrines will be written for the Land Forces, Air forces and other Services. It is hoped that in coming years, the goal of having written doctrines at all levels will be achieved.

Research

The center conducts military history and contemporary research on the military development.

Lessons learnt

In all these engagements, there have been victories and defeats worth taking account of and have lessons learnt that support leadership, organizational and operational goals and procedures by promoting recurrence of successful outcomes and precluding the recurrence of unsuccessful outcomes. This program aims to build a repository of actionable knowledge, lessons learned and best practices that can easily be retrieved and applied.

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CENTER FOR DOCTRINE SYNTHESIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT (CDSD)

About CDSD

The Centre for Doctrine Synthesization and Development is responsible for the development of Uganda People’s Defence Forces’ (UPDF) doctrine. It is located at the Ministry of Defence/UPDF General headquarters, at Mbuya hill, in Kampala. It is currently headed by a senior officer at the rank of Major General with the title of Commander. The centre has full time staff; Civilian and UPDF personnel in active service, as well as the retired.

Mission

To enhance research and doctrine development in order to contribute to the generation and consolidation of UPDF capabilities

For more information, contact;

 

Commander CDSD

Ministry of Defence

Chwa II Road, Upper Mbuya hill

P.O.BOX 3798 Kampala

Tel: +256414565214/+256414565211/+256414565179

Fax: +2567 414565186/222183

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Awarded and Accredited by;

Public Opinions International

P.o Box 35297 Kampala-Uganda

Tel:+256701992426

Web:www.pubopinions.org