China has donated three 50-ton cranes, 12 troop transport vehicles, four 10 000 litre water trucks and 16 water trailers to the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) for operations in Somalia.
The UPDF said on Wednesday the equipment is worth around $5.5 million and will be used for Uganda’s contribution to the hybrid African Union/United Nations Amisom mission in Somalia.
“The equipment will be a big boost in helping our efforts in Somalia. The rate of wear and tear of equipment in Somalia is very high, so regular replenishment like this is very necessary,” Chief of Defense Forces Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala said.
“We are all currently faced with terrorist attacks. In the fight against terrorism, we need international cooperation,” Chinese ambassador to Uganda Zhao Yali said.
“Of all the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, we (China) have the biggest number of peacekeepers in several areas including South Sudan. In that regard we have the same mission and need to work with each other,” Xinhua reports Zhao saying.
General Jeje Odongo, Uganda’s state minister for defence, said that in the past decade years, China has donated equipment worth about 20 million dollars, greatly contributing to Kampala’s efforts to professionalize the army and develop the country, Xinhua reports.
Uganda has deployed troops to Somalia since 2007. Currently, Uganda contributes 6223 soldiers, over 500 United Nations Guard Unit (UNGU) forces, and over 150 Policemen of the over 22,000 strong AMISOM force.