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Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba Takes Charge As New Chief Of Defence Forces

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In a significant transition of power within Uganda’s military hierarchy, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the First Son, has officially assumed the role of Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), succeeding Gen Wilson Mbadi. The handover ceremony, held at the 4th Division Headquarters in Gulu on March 28, marked the commencement of Gen Muhoozi’s tenure as the 13th CDF.

Presided over by Gen Caleb Akandwanabo, also known as Salim Saleh, Special Presidential Advisor on Defence and Security, the ceremony was attended by high-ranking officials from the military and government. Among them were the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs, Ms. Rosettie Byengoma, UPDAF Under Secretary for Finance and Administration, Mr. James Mutabazi, and Director General of External Security Organisation (ESO), Mr. Joseph Ocwet, alongside other distinguished guests.

In his acceptance speech, Gen Muhoozi pledged to prioritize the welfare of soldiers, emphasizing the need to combat corruption and mismanagement of resources within the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF). He articulated his commitment to upholding professionalism and moral integrity while ensuring comprehensive national security.

“UPDF continues to be the principal pillar of the Ugandan state that all Ugandans respect. UPDF is the central institution of Uganda’s nationhood because entry into it is open to all Ugandans,” affirmed Gen Muhoozi.

Acknowledging the accomplishments of his predecessor, Gen Muhoozi commended Gen Wilson Mbadi for his efforts in enhancing the capabilities of the UPDF and fostering a modern, professional force. He urged soldiers to remain steadfast in their dedication and cautioned against complacency.

“To have the best equipment, uniforms, education, welfare, and accommodation, among others, can only be achieved by fighting corruption and mismanagement of resources,” emphasized Gen Muhoozi.

Among the immediate challenges facing the new CDF is the ongoing operation against ADF rebels in eastern DR Congo under Operation Shuuja, as well as combating cattle rustling in the Karamoja Sub-region and addressing cyber terrorism.

In his farewell remarks, Gen Wilson Mbadi expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve as CDF, highlighting the dedication and resilience of the UPDF in the face of various threats. He underscored the need for adequate resources to address the evolving security landscape, citing extremist organizations, cross-border tensions, cybercrimes, and livestock theft as ongoing concerns.

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