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Cablegate: Uganda: Blue Lantern Response On License

VZCZCXYZ0007
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKM #1772 3191545
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 151545Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9636

UNCLAS KAMPALA 001772

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR PM/DTCC - BLUE LANTERN COORDINATOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETTC KMOC PGOV UG
SUBJECT: UGANDA: BLUE LANTERN RESPONSE ON LICENSE
05-050071971

REF: STATE 154616

1. Acting Permanent Secretary of Defense Rosetta Byengoma
and Joint Chief of Staff Brigadier General Robert Rusoke
confirmed to PolOff on November 15 that the reftel firearms
would be used by the Ugandan military for security during the
Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting in Kampala
(November 23-25). Rusoke said that a special task force of
about 10,000 UPDF soldiers would be assembled for CHOGM,
adding that the 500 pistols would go to those most directly
involved in security for dignitaries. He explained that the
weapons would be safely stored in accordance with UPDF
guidelines following CHOGM. Beyengoma stressed the
importance of obtaining the firearms prior to the start of
CHOGM, but admitted that the UPDF should have made the
Embassy aware of its intent to purchase the weapons earlier.

2. Comment: Post believes that the UPDF will use the
firearms for said purpose and make every attempt to store
them appropriately following CHOGM. We are therefore
supportive of its end-use license. While we are unable to
provide specific information on rules of engagement training
for the soldiers that are likely to use the firearms during
CHOGM or afterwards, we consider the UPDF to be one of the
more professional militaries in the region and remain
suportive of CHOGM security precautions. End Comment.
CHRITTON

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