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With the support of French instructors, Uganda has intensified military training of specialized units in mountain warfare, Chimp Corps report.

A force is currently undertaking drills in the foggy hilly areas of Ntoroko district near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The development comes at a time of heightened tension in the region.

The soldiers in the training exercise

The rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) which recently pledged allegiance to international terrorist organization Islamic State (IS) has in recent months intensified attacks in DRC near the Uganda border.

The Commandant Karugutu Training School Col Dothan Mukasa Kavuma commended the French and Ugandan troops for the cooperation exhibited in the ongoing combined military training code named ‘Mountain Ghost’ in Ntoroko district.

Ugandan soldiers take instructions from the instructor

Deputy Defence Spokesperson Lt Col Deo Akiiki said the exercise which is set to run for 10 days commenced on Monday and will help to make soldiers’ maneuverability within the mountains easier as far as protecting the country is concerned.

Col Kavuma urged the trainees to maintain maximum discipline and morale during their course of exercise if they are to finish the exercise successfully.

He commended the government and the leadership of the UPDF for the advanced equipment given to them during the training.

UPDF soldiers rehearse an attack in the mountains

”Initially, we had  problems of fighting tactics and advanced equipment to be used in the mountains, now we are well equipped with modern tools, enough knowledge and experience shared with our French colleagues that UPDF did not have before,” Col Kavuma said.

The Chief Instructor Lt. Col JK Kiyengo encouraged team work and cooperation during the exercise which he said is the culture of the UPDF.

“In UPDF there is no competition but cooperation and team work, so help each other because you cannot work alone,” Lt Col Kiyengo added.

The soldiers clearing obstacles

The Administrative Officer Karugutu Training School, Maj Adam Kyeyune encouraged trainees to endure tough conditions and work hard until the end of the exercise.

He also noted that during the exercise, soldiers will demonstrate different military tactics ranging from obstacle crossing, patrols among others as were taught during the training course.

A soldier crossing an obstacle using a rope

The Head of the French troops Maj Asedu applauded the government of Uganda and the UPDF for the good hospitality and cooperation between the two countries.

He said the French will continue sharing knowledge, help and also learn from their Ugandan counterparts during the training exercise.

The combined training exercise is to equip soldiers with mountain fighting tactics and make the operations easier in mountainous areas.

The soldiers rehearse an operation during the training (Photos: Uganda Defence Ministry)

Karugutu Training school, which was established 3 years ago with the help of the French government, specializes in Mountain Warfare Technical Courses.

In attendance were the exercise commanding officer Maj SM Okole, instructors, French representatives and trainees.

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