The Foreign Affairs Ministry has finally okayed the Egyptian Defense office in Kampala.
According to Colonel Ahmed Fahmy, Egypt’s military attaché to Uganda despite the fact that, the Defense office was opened in May this year; it was not cleared by the Foreign affairs ministry until this month.
Early this week, Ahmed Abdel Aziz, the Egyptian Ambassador to Kampala announced plans to officially open the office next week.
He said the defense office will be used to ‘monitor’ projects on River Nile and co-ordinate the relationship between UPDF and the Egyptian army.
He said the Egyptian army was strengthening ties with Uganda as partners in the international realm. Aziz said the office will also be a co-ordination point for collaborations on combating terrorism in East Africa, adding that, the military office is to protect the ‘Cairo-Kampala axis’.
The Cairo- Kampala axis is famously discussed in Alex De Waal’s book ‘Islamism and Its Enemies in the Horn of Africa’. It was famously used by the Egyptian military to weed out Islamist groups against Egypt that hid in Sudan and Ethiopia.
The axis, the ambassador hopes, will span into joint military manoeuvres in the region.
The ambassador also offered insight that the military relations between Egypt and Uganda had been resumed when Uganda pushed for the world to recognize General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s coup in Egypt.
Our Reporters visited the Egyptian Defense office, which sits on two plots on Kololo rise early this week and found it guarded by Egyptian military and is only accessible with prior notice.
According to the Special Forces Command on his arrival to Uganda, Fahmy was accompanied by the Cairo head of foreign attaches’ branch in the Egyptian Military Intelligence Brig. Gen. Osama Abdel Motteleb.
Paddy Ankunda, the UPDF spokesperson said the move is welcome and that the UPDF will be happy to co-operate with the Egyptian army on specific projects.
Egypt and Uganda have had a rocky past with war threats over the use of River Nile.
However, the relationship started picking up when the Egyptian army allowed training Ugandan officers at their universities. Over 60 UPDF soldiers have undergone training in Egypt on combating terrorism and military strategies and planning.