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Uganda: FDC accuses Museveni of creating parallel army

Kampala- Opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has accused President Museveni of creating a parallel force within the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), the Special Forces Command (SFC), saying the action is against the Constitution.

The party accused the SFC of being involved in politics and partisan activities, citing the alleged raid on Parliament during the age limit debate in 2017.

“The FDC demands disbandment of the SFC which is in breach of Article 208 and 210 of the Constitution. This group has been formed to keep President Museveni in power,” Mr Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the FDC spokesperson, said during a press conference at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi, a Kampala outskirt, yesterday.

Article 208 of the Constitution stipulates that; “There shall be armed forces to be known as the Uganda People’s Defence Forces.

The UPDF shall be nonpartisan, national in character, patriotic, professional, disciplined, productive and subordinate to the civilian authority as established under this Constitution.”

“In compliance with this article, Parliament enacted the UPDF Act in 2005 and provided for creation of the Land and Air forces. In total defiance of this article, Mr Museveni created another force called SFC which he uses to undermine the army and the country,” he added.

Army’s take
However, Lt Col Deo Akiiki, the UPDF deputy spokesperson, said SFC is a service just like the UPDF but does not operate independently.

“We are in the process of amending the UPDF Act to provide for the SFC as a service although it is operating unofficially right now. However, let politicians not confuse the citizens that SFC is operating independently from UPDF, it is still the same army,” he said.

Lt Col Akiiki said when the SFC is made official, it will be the third service they would have acquired to provide extra-support and skills to the national army.

“We started with a mono service system, which was just the army, we then moved to a di-service system and we are now moving to a tri-service system. Are we closed from opening more services within the army whenever we deem it fit?” he asked.

Capt Jimmy Omara, the SFC spokesperson, said the highly skilled army-branch is trained with special attention for complicated missions.

“Initially, we were formed to protect the commander-in-chief but we have since been deployed into other departments to offer exclusive support to the other UPDF army,” he said.

By Daily Monitor

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