By Nkonge I Kaggwa – Kampala Uganda.
The leader of the Ugandan opposition in parliament Phillip Wafula Oguttu, has called for the withdrawal of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) from its current foreign missions in Somalia and South Sudan. Oguttu was presenting the response from the opposition on the State of Nation address presented by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni this month at parliament Thursday. He argued that the relevance and performance of the UPDF in South Sudan and Somalia have now ceased and demanded that government draws a tentative programme detailing when the country’s soldiers will be withdrawn from the above mentioned foreign missions.
“They cannot be a permanent substitute for a Somali national army. It is not a desirable development as it may prove detrimental to the security of the country and the people of Uganda and the region.” Oguttu argued. He observed that the UPDF should have trained more than enough Somali soldiers to protect their own country by now. He complained that it does not make sense for the Ugandan soldiers to stay for so long in Somalia if Somalis do not want to fight for themselves because, it may eventually be regarded as a sort of occupation for the army. The opposition also expressed concern on who is funding the UPDF missions in South Sudan yet the soldiers are exposed to death in the country’s civil war.
s justice system, the leader of opposition noted that the administration of the system has been adversely affected by the regime as it has spent about two years without substantial heads including the Chief Justice and his deputy positions that are currently held by one person in an acting capacity. Oguttu lamented. He pointed out that there is deliberate appointment of National Resistance Movement (NRM) political cadres, former NRM Secretariat officials and former ministers and politicians who lost elections, to judicial positions in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.