Britain announces further military and financial support to Uganda

Kampala

President Yoweri Museveni last week commended the British Government for its continued support to his government and towards the fight against terrorism in the region and war-torn Somalia where the AU-led AMISOM force that is largely manned by Ugandan forces and Burundi, is fighting the Al Shabaab alleged to be sponsored by Al Qaeda.

The President made the remarks while meeting the British Minister for Africa, Mr. Henry Bellingham, who arrived in the country last Sunday and called on President Museveni at State House, Entebbe.

Museveni and the visiting British Minister discussed bilateral and regional issues, especially the developments in Somalia. The Minister was accompanied by the British High Commissioner to Uganda Mr. Martin Shearman.

Mr Bellingham was also accompanied into the country by a team of 27 British soldiers whose role it is to train UPDF soldiers who are soon to be deployed in Somalia in cordon and search operations, patrolling and civil-military relations.

The team will train Ugandans for two weeks before their deployment to fight al-Shabaab militants in the second phase of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).

The Minister also announced an extra Shs915 million funding for training of Ugandan peacekeepers. The UK has previously been contributing Shs1.5 billion.

On bilateral relations between Uganda and Britain, President Museveni extended an invitation to British entrepreneurs to come and invest in the Ugandan economy.

He told Mr Bellingham that he has compiled a list detailing the possible areas that British entrepreneurs could invest in Uganda. He promised to avail the list to the British Premier Mr. David Cameron.

Mr Bellingham, on his part, assured the President of the British government’s continued support and that the UK was also keen to promote trade between Uganda and the United Kingdom especially in sectors of flowers, processed and semi-processed goods.

Mr Bellingham then visited British soldiers and senior UPDF officers at Singo Military Training School in Nakaseke District where the peacekeepers are undergoing training.

“This is a good opportunity to pacify Somalia because the al-Shabaab has been chased out of Mogadishu. This was a sacrifice worthwhile. Achievements made on the military front should be compatible with the political side,” he told them.

Mr Bellingham said the UK funding to Amisom has been increased by 15 million Pounds following the UN resolution that called for increased funding and expansion of AU troops from 12,000 to 17,731.

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