KAMPALA —The Commander of Reserve Forces Lt Gen Charles Otema has on January 6 revealed that Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) has recalled 2,752 veterans.
According to Otema, the four day exercise will start on January 20 2020.
“The UPDF leadership through the office of General Officer Commanding Reserve Forces will conduct a four day countrywide call up of 2,752 reservists starting from January 20, 2020,” he said.
Otema added that the mobilized veterans will form Uganda Battle Groups Thirty-One and Thirty-Two to expand UPDF operations under African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
He said the call up targets only the honorably discharged/retired UPDF veterans from the rank of Major and below.
“Candidates must be aged 55 years and below, have no criminal record, and in possession of original national IDs as well as discharge/retirement certificates,” said Otema.
He further noted that the candidates will be screened for physical, medical and mental fitness.
He also dismissed claims that the call up has been done to avoid a scenario where veterans can be used by any other politicians seeking to take over power as the country prepares for the general elections.
“How many elections have taken place in this country, have these veterans not been there, did they go to any group to come and take over the country, how?” Lt Gen Otema asked.
“Because they know if they take the other side, they know what UPDF can react towards them, so you don’t risk. So really they are better off to be with UPDF,” he added.
The first call up of reservists was in 2012 where they formed battle group nine Plus (BG9+) that captured the northern axis of Mogadishu from Masillah to 115 km at Jowhwar.
Otega said the UPDF is committed to building its Reserve Force as part of its professionalization drive.
Article 17 of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and Section 31 of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) Act 7 of 2005 empower the Commander-In-Chief to order all or part of the Reserve Force to be on continuing full-time military service for such a period of time as he (C-In-C) may determine.