Uganda is to deploy two battalions in Nigeria to join in the fight against Boko Haram militia. This move is part of the continental effort to tackle the conflict with the insurgents.
According to sources, UPDF is ready to deploy up to two battalions in northern Nigeria to face Boko Haram, that is known for abducting, ruthless massacres, burning of churches and other public institutions.
Sources have revealed that the contingent received a briefing from the UPDF High Command on Monday and could be deployed in the next two weeks.
Chief of Defence Forces General Katumba Wamala confirmed the developments. He said the army is only waiting for clearance from African Union before it deploys.
“… We are just waiting for clearance because we have already accepted to deploy there as a country,” said Chief of Defence Forces, General Katumba Wamala
“As UPDF, we are always ready to deploy where there is a problem, but for Nigeria case, we are waiting for “some small” clearance from Africa Union.”
The army is however silent on who will foot the bills of Uganda’s deployment in Nigeria.
Fred Opolot, Foreign Affairs ministry spokesperson says, Uganda’s decision is in response to an appeal made by Nigerian President at last week’s African Union summit for help to fight Boko Haram.
However efforts to get comments from Fidel Ayoyu, Nigerian High Commissioner in Uganda proved futile as officials from his office reported that he is back to Nigeria to prepare for elections due on February 14th.
They insurgents are fighting a religious war with the aim dividing the Country in to two as they want the northern part to remain under their leadership as Muslims while the south remains under the leadership of Christians.
Boko haram insurgents that started in the first regime of President Goodluck Jonathan came to light a year ago after they became organised and declared their interest to have their own leadership other than that of the current President.
Ugandan soldiers have been involved in peace keeping mission and combat in Somalia, South Sudan, DR. Congo and recently Central African Republic where Joseph Kony and his rebels are camping.
Boko Haram has recently launched cross-border attacks from Nigeria into Cameroon and Chad as part of its drive for an Islamist state in the north-east of Nigeria.
Chad has deployed about 2500 troops and Cameroon has also stepped up deployment in the border areas.
African leaders agreed last week at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, to send 7,500 troops to fight the Boko Haram insurgency. The US and Iran, have also rallied against the militia.
The UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, has said he supports the deployment of AU troops to fight Boko Haram.