Enhanced Military Cooperation Between UPDF and ENDF Strengthened by Historical Ties and Strategic Partnerships

General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the Chief of Defence Forces, has praised the robust military collaboration between the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) and the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF), which he credited to the enduring relations between Uganda and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, historically intertwined for centuries. He highlighted that this partnership has been strengthened by senior-level visits and bilateral discussions among military leaders from both nations. “The regions now known as Uganda and Ethiopia have been connected for over 2,000 years, with trade dating back to 100 AD during the Aksum Empire,” stated General Kainerugaba. “Our bond is one of shared history and kinship,” he added.

General Kainerugaba, who also serves as Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations, made these remarks during a bilateral meeting with Field Marshal Birhanu Jula Gelelicha, Chief of General Staff of the ENDF, at the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs (MODVA) Headquarters in Mbuya. He emphasized the long-standing cooperation and mutual assistance between the UPDF and ENDF, influenced by their national interests and regional security dynamics. “We fondly recall our joint operations with Ethiopian forces in 1995 and 1996 against the Sudan Armed Forces and the Lord’s Resistance Army,” remarked the CDF.

Both countries have deployed troops to African Union and United Nations Peacekeeping Missions, particularly in Somalia, through AMISOM and ATMIS. General Kainerugaba praised the exchange of military training and invited ENDF officers to participate in UPDF courses in Uganda.

Field Marshal Birhanu expressed his intention to enhance cooperation and explore new avenues of partnership. “Together, we can build on our shared history and deepen our mutual understanding, working towards a more prosperous and secure future for our nations and the region,” he stated.

The meeting was attended by senior UPDF and ENDF officers, including the Commander UPDF Air Force, Lieutenant General Charles Okidi, Chief of Joint Staff Major General Jack Bakasumba, and Chief of Defence Intelligence and Security Major General James Birungi.

The Chief of General Staff of ENDF was accompanied by the Ambassador of Ethiopia to Uganda, H.E Etegenet Bezabih Yimenu, as well as Generals and Senior Officers of the ENDF.