Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) has refuted reports of attempted mutiny within soldiers currently deployed on a peacekeeping mission in Equatorial Guinea, saying the reports are false.
While addressing the press on Monday, the Deputy Defense/UPDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Ronald Kakurungu said mutiny “is impossible” within the UPDF ranks owing to it’s command and structure as a professional force.
The remarks follow a newspaper report last week, claiming that some UPDF soldiers under the Ugandan Military and Mentoring Team (UMTMT), on mission in the West African country, were on the verge of revolt over alleged mistreatment and discrimination meted on them by their immediate commanders.
The Observer newspaper wrote that soldiers accuse the contingent commander. Col James Kato Kalyebara, for his short temper that has resulted into arbitrary suspensions and expulsions, and that they had threatened to turn their backs on him. Quoting unnamed sources, the paper said the army bosses back in Uganda had remained adamant about the situation despite repeated pleas from the soldiers.
Lt. Col. Kakurungu says UPDF, unlike armies of the past, is a well structured institution with organs to handle internal grievances and therefore cases of mutiny are impossible.
Lt. Col. Kakurungu however stated that there are issues of misconduct within the Ugandan contingent in Equatorial Guinea, for which the Commander of Land Forces Gen Muhoozi Keinerugaba, dispatched a team of investigators to expeditiously handle.
“The commander of Land Forces dispatched a team of investigator and their report will inform decisions for appropriate action” He said during a weekly security briefing at Uganda Police Headquarters in Kampala.
Ugandan forces were first deployed in Equatorial Guinea in 2017 under a peacekeeping mission, and the forces are mandated to undertake mentoring Guinean military forces along with other assignments including security of the country’s president, First Family and other key installations. Ugandan troops are also supposed to mentor .
Curently, UMTMT V troops are deployed in three sectors of Bata (taskforce headquarters), Malabo and Mongomo.