Obbo-CAR May 18th 2017: The State Minister for Defence and General Duties, Hon Col (Rtd) Charles Engola, presided over the disengagement ceremony of Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces from Central African Republic.
The security of the eastern part of the country was handed over to its army at a function held in the town of Obo, 1200km East of Capital Bangui.
The UPDF, Chief of Defence Forces, Gen David Muhoozi, said UPDF was leaving CAR when the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels are “degraded in terms of personnel and equipment”.
As a gesture of appreciation, UPDF donated medicines to Obbo hospital to help treat diseases like malaria which is common in the area.
The Ugandan flag was lowered and the Central African Republic’s was hoisted in the presence of the host Minister of Defence Mr Joseph Yakite, USA representatives, United Nations peacekeepers, the Governor Haute-Mboumou province Mr Ghislain Diei-beni Kolengo and Obbo Civilian community.
Hon Judith Nabakoba and Hon Pamela Kamugo Nasio on the Parliament Defence Internal Affairs Committee also travelled to attend this function, according to UPDF spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire.
In April 2017, Uganda started withdrawing troops involved in the US-backed operations against LRA warlord, Joseph Kony, and his rebels.
A total of 31 UPDF soldiers were received by Brigadier Joseph Katsigazi, the UPDF Chief of Staff, at Gulu Airfield in Gulu District, a move confirmed by the 4th Infantry Division Spokesperson Lt Hassan Kato.
Uganda deployed troops in CAR in 2009 after it was reported that LRA rebels were causing instability in the densely forested western town of Obbo.
In 2010, the US government sent 100 of its Special Forces soldiers to support the UPDF in intelligence gathering on LRA activities in CAR.