The defence minister, Adolf Mwesige, said the Japanese military will deploy its 22 personnel to train UPDF. The training will run from August 26 to November 18 at the UPDF facility in Jinja district.
The training will be taken under the UN project for the rapid deployment of enabling capabilities. The minister said the training will be handled in batches expected to greatly improve the capabilities of the Ugandan army.
The Japanese military will offer medical training, a key component of the international peacekeeping missions.
Uganda was the first country to deploy peacekeepers in the conflict-torn Somalia in 2007 and later joined by other countries, including Kenya, and Burundi, among others. The force’s performance in international peacekeeping operations has earned it a global reputation.
“We are grateful to Japan for the non-lethal support extended to UPDF to strengthen its capabilities. We welcome the mobile engineering teams from Japan to build the engineering teams of UPDF,” Mwesige said.
The Japanese ambassador, Kazuaki Kameda, said as a prelude to the forthcoming training, beginner and intermediate courses for the 35 UPDF personnel was conducted by Japan in Nairobi last June.
“I have great pleasure to announce that the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force will come to Uganda for the first time ever to support the UPDF. The rapid deployment to peacekeeping missions is a particularly urgent challenge,” the ambassador said.
He noted that Japan has earned credibility for its engineering operations and transport units, which are indispensable in enabling smooth peacekeeping operations.
Kameda explained that Japan has injected about $70m in training and procurement of heavy engineering equipment under UN peacekeeping missions since 2015.