Please refer to the Red Pepper story of Saturday, November 16 2013 titled ‘Why M7 Carried Out Massive Promotions in UPDF’ authored by Dalton Kaweesa. The story was not only speculative in nature but was also misleading and grossly inaccurate.
The story peddled a lot of falsehoods – for instance the author states in reference to the latest promotions in the army: ‘the reshuffle, insiders say comes at a time when many of the soldiers in Special Forces Command had applied to return to the regular UPDF.’ He continues, ‘a number of the soldiers had deserted the force and others left the Command to return to the regular UPDF.’
For the record, nobody in the military, at least in Uganda, chooses were to work at any particular moment, or ‘applies’ for that matter. Rather, the army leadership deploys individuals after careful consideration of the tasks, challenges and resources available to do a job leading to regular and continuous tours of duty. As for desertions, quite obviously these are isolated decisions of individuals for which there are laws in place to deal with such characters.
The other misguided intimation in the story is its attempt to create, artificially, a ‘wedge’ between the SFC and UPDF. The SFC is just one of the independent units of the greater UPDF, just like for instance the Air force, Artillery Division, Air Defense, etc. Wherever the UPDF operates, all units of the army are represented, including the SFC. Each plays their different specialized roles to achieve the same end state. Therefore to run away from the SFC would be to run away from UPDF – and besides, the process of promotions is the same throughout the army, with the Commissions and promotions Board mandated to take the ultimate decisions in that regard.
For purposes of clarity, promotions in the military are based on discipline, performance, hard work, capacity, and courses attended. There is just no shortcut to that – and the only remedy for someone not promoted is for them to continue to improve on their work and maintain their discipline and focus. It does not help anyone running to the Red Pepper or any other newspaper.
The SFC is the result of the UPDF’s bid to professionalize, and though relatively young compared to the other units of the army, the SFC has quickly distinguished itself as a dependable and reliable partner in operations both in Uganda and the region contributing to greater overall UPDF successes.
Indeed just recently, in the suburbs of North Eastern Mogadishu, SFC elements acting on intelligence conducted a rapid cordon and search operation which foiled AlShabab plans of carrying out massive suicide bomb attacks in the slowly rebuilding Capital. 11 Alshabab operatives were captured, and numerous explosives and other weapons were recovered.
At the height of the battles for Mogadishu between 2009 and 2011, the SFC was instrumental in neutralizing the highly dangerous and well trained foreign Alshabab snipers that dominated the Mogadishu skyline and made walking in open spaces impossible – to the relative atmosphere of tranquility it is today. Hundreds of Alshabab fighters and snipers were eliminated.
At home, the SFC tackled the LRA in Lango and Teso in the period 2003-04 and played a decisive role in the defeat of the insurgents in the region. In 2007, ADF rebels who had infiltrated Bundibugyo in western Uganda were decisively wiped out by SFC Commandos in the Semiliki National Park and out of the estimated 100 invaders, only 13 rebels managed to escape with their lives.
During Operation Lightening Thunder in Eastern DRC in 2008-09, the SFC seized nearly a dozen LRA camps within 48 hours of the launch of the operation. Quite clearly this is not evidence that suggests a demoralized force as some would rather have us believe. Any attempts to portray disharmony in the force is at best misguided and at worst sheer ill will.
The SFC remains united and strong.
Spokesman SFC (Contact: 0 772 331 905/0 714 292 222)