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Uganda, CAR sign military cooperation deal to build troop capacity to foster regional stability

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Uganda and the Central African Republic (CAR) have signed a military cooperation agreement to build the operational capacity of the latter’s troops to promote peace and stability in the region.

The agreement was signed on Wednesday by Vincent Ssempijja, Uganda’s minister of defense and veteran affairs, and Claude Rameaux Bireau, CAR’s minister of national defense and army reconstruction, said a statement by Uganda’s Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs on Wednesday.

“Uganda has always been committed to promoting peace and stability in the region, and we strongly believe that the best to achieve this is through cooperation and collaboration with our neighbors,” said Ssempijja, according to the statement.

“Our defense partnership with CAR is a testament to this commitment, and we will continue to work together to ensure that our region remains peaceful and prosperous,” he said.

The pact was reached during a bilateral meeting between the ministers held in the Ugandan capital of Kampala on Wednesday.

“The focus of the MoU (memorandum of understanding) on military cooperation is to normalize the partnership aimed at building the operational capacity of the Central African Armed Forces,” said Bireau, according to the statement.

“Bireau expressed his country’s desire to benchmark the professionalism of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF), which he described as a role model,” it said.

Ssempijja commended CAR’s unconditional support to Uganda during last year’s repatriation of the former fighters of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group from Zemio and Mboki camps to the East African country.

Uganda received about 146 ex-combatants and their family members repatriated in three batches from the CAR in July, August, and September 2023.

Bireau thanked the government of Uganda for sending the UPDF troops at the peak of LRA activities in CAR.

“He (Bireau) added that they hope to learn from the UPDF in terms of production and technological support, and in the future, they wish to sign an economic agreement,” said the statement.

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