The Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) in partnership with facilitators from the Joint Special Operations University from the United States of America has developed a Civil-Military (CIMIC) syllabus.
This will be incorporated in all training manuals for the different training schools and colleges within the UPDF.
The syllabus, developed from 23rd to 27th September 2019, during the Civil-Military Basic Phase 1V Course held at Rivonia Suites in Kampala includes topics like introduction to CIMIC, its core functions, principles, duties and responsibilities, communication, Law of armed conflict, and terms of female engagement, among others. Representatives from different UPDF units and formations were the participants at the workshop.
In his remarks, while presiding over the closing ceremony of the CIMIC Basic Course, the UPDF Chief of Training and Recruitment (CTR) Brig Gen James Kinalwa hailed the US Government for supporting UPDF in building capacity and professionalism.
He noted that conflicts have changed faces, they no longer have frontlines and are not visible; thus necessitating the training to transform forces to suit the demands of the situation.
Brig Kinalwa that added UPDF puts humanitarian considerations at the fore front of all its engagements since it’s a pro-people force thus calling for the need to have a CIMIC officer at all the different levels of command to identify, assess and coordinate humanitarian factors before engagement.
“The UPDF umbilical cord are the civilians and this syllabus is a great milestone in the professionalization of UPDF,” he said.
The CTR pledged to support the implementation of the newly developed syllabus and called upon CIMIC officers to behave rationally and show commitment.
Maj Miller, on behalf of the American Ambassador to Uganda, explained the importance of supporting CIMIC operations for the success of any engagement.
He said UPDF CIMIC operations are already on record within Uganda and Somalia, saying this must never stop but rather be improved and strengthened through training and the creation of a special CIMIC program. Maj Miller encouraged participants to design a CIMIC syllabus that is in tandem with the UPDF doctrine.
The UPDF Deputy Chief of CIMIC operations Col Nelson Aheebwa on behalf of the Chief of CIMIC Brig Gen Innocent Oula commended both the UPDF leadership and US Government for identifying the training gap and addressing it.
In his speech, Brig Oula noted that the situation is always changing and forces should be adaptive.
“Using soft power capability strengthens our relationship with the people. This is work in progress evidenced by the need for a needs assessment before any engagement,” he noted.
The main instructor from the Joint Special Operations University, Mr Ken La Voy, thanked participants for their zeal to learn and urged them to practice and harmonize what they have learnt with what they already know.
The workshop climaxed with the award of certificates to all participants.