Uganda and Israel have committed themselves to stepping-up defence cooperation in order to safeguard peace and security.
Defence officials from the two countries on Tuesday discussed possible areas of mutual cooperation, such as collaboration in the fight against terrorism and further professionalization of the UPDF. “Israel Defence Forces are famous for their expertise in building capacity for partners and therefore offered to support UPDF in that regard,” a Ministry of Defence statement released after the meeting indicates.
The commitment was made during a meeting between Col (Rtd) Charles Okello Engola, Minister of State for Defence (General Duties), and Brig Gen (RET) Mishel Ben Baruch, Israel’s head of International Defence Cooperation-Directorate, held at the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs headquarters – Mbuya.
Engola applauded the Israel Government for supporting Uganda in its development programs and supporting mechanisms that ensure peace and security on the African continent. He further said that it is such support that has enabled Uganda to be a beacon of peace on the continent “We have been able to help our brothers in Somalia and other parts of Africa partly because of your country’s support” he noted.
Brig Gen (RET) Mishel Ben Baruch briefed the meeting on the partnership and military experience that can be shared with Uganda. He said the visit was “deeply moving” and symbolized the deepening relationship between Israel and Uganda. He hailed the UPDF for its successful mission in Somalia and said the Israel government will continue sharing experiences because of the strategic relationship both countries have built over the years.
The meeting was attended by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs Rosette Byengoma, the UPDF Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen David Muhoozi, and Deputy Commander Air Force Maj Gen Gervase Mugyenyi among others.