Uganda recalls over 2,500 veterans for deployment in Somalia

Africa
Commander of Reserve Forces Lt Gen Charles Otema. UPDF PHOTO

KAMPALA -- The Ugandan military on Wednesday said it is recalling about 2,700 veterans to back-up the soldiers deployed on an African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

Lt. Gen. Charles Otema, commander of the Reserve Force of the Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF), said in a statement issued here that everything is set for the recall which starts on Monday next week.

"The mobilized veterans will form Uganda Battle Group 31 and 32 to augment UPDF operations under African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)," Otema said.

He said the recall only targets retired veterans from the rank of Major and below.

"They should be aged 55 years and below, with no criminal record. The candidates will be screened for physical, medical and mental fitness," he added.

This is not the first time reservists are being called up to serve in Somalia. In 2012 veterans formed a battle group that helped capture the northern axis of Mogadishu, according to Otema.

Uganda provides the bulk of the AMISOM troops. 

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