Source: The Monitor/allAfrica
Uganda will command the proposed 5,000 African Union forces that will fight the Lord’s Resistance Army in the Central African Republic and DR-Congo.
Col. Dick Olum, the commander of UPDF military police, will lead the Force which will comprise of UPDF, South Sudan, Central African Republic and DR-Congo forces.
An internal magazine, published by the UN regional office for Central African Republic, said the Force will be based at the current UPDF headquarters in Nzara, South Sudan. Uganda now commands two AU military campaigns out of three in Africa. Nigeria commands the Darfur mission while AU mission in Somalia is commanded by Uganda.
During an AU meeting in Addis Abaaba, Ethiopia, in 2010, AU agreed to the proposal by the four countries to form a joint force.
The UPDF spokesperson, Col. Felix Kulayigye, said they are waiting for the AU to approve Col. Olum’s appointment and designing the time table of when the Force would be deployed.
The formation of the continental Force, which is supported by the AU, UN and American government, is in final stages.
A team composed of UN and AU officials has held meetings with key security officers in the four countries are yet to agree on the operational model.
Four countries affected by the LRA agreed to form a Force against the rebels.
The magazines quotes Gen. Jeje Odong, the State Minister for Defence, on January 5, welcoming the involvement of the international community to fight LRA rebels who have displaced and killed thousands in the four countries.
« Our troops are already present in every site where LRA operates. In due course, we could possibly make their re-organisation based on the stakes and needs, » he said.
The AU-UN team led by the AU special envoy on the LRA issues, Mr Francisco Madeira and the Special Representative of the UN secretary-general and the head of UN office for Central Africa.
By Risdel Kasasira