Army Seeks UGX 108.2 Billion for Eastern Africa Standby Force

The Ministry of Defense is seeking an allocation of 108.2 billion Shillings to fund Ugandan army under the Eastern Africa Standby Force.

The deployment is part of the deal signed on September 9, 2022, between President Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo and East Africa Community member states to flash M23 rebels out of DRC’s Ituri, North and South Kivu Provinces.

Burundi, Kenya and South Sudan have already deployed troops under the arrangement, while the deployment of Rwandan troops has been ruled out following accusations that the Rwandan government was providing support for the rebels.

The Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs Vincent Ssempijja told Parliament’s Defence Committee this afternoon that 108.2 billion is urgently needed for Uganda People’s Defense Forces – UPDF to deploy up to 2,000 troops. This money is not provided for in the National Budget Framework Paper for the Financial Year 2023/24.

Ssempijja pointed out that among the key current UPDF tasks that remain unfunded include; the ongoing operation Shujja against Allied Democratic Forces – ADF, an Islamic rebel group in the DRC which requires 21.5 billion Shillings and the disarmament exercise in Karamoja region dubbed salama kwa wote that needs 27.5 billion Shillings.

Further, the Defence Ministry also told the Committee that the Army is facing funding deficits of 39.2 billion Shillings in unpaid medical services to private hospitals, 149.6 billion for food, and 106.7 billion Shillings for fuel.

Overall, the Ministry requires up to 8.7 trillion Shillings. But the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development approved only 3.545 trillion Shillings creating a deficit of 5.356 trillion Shillings during the financial year.

The Committees led by Rosemary Nyakikongoro have since last week been reviewing budgets of the different Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies. So far the army, Police, Prisons, the Directorate of Analytical Laboratory, and the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) have been scrutinized.

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