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Uganda and EU fortify partnerships in a multipolar world

EU supports African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS)

EU supports African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS)

In an increasingly dangerous world where power politics are resurgent, the global order is shifting towards multipolarity and away from multilateralism.

This new reality is not only marked by persistent “old” wars triggered by those who have not renounced their imperialistic ambitions — as witnessed by the Ukrainian people confronted with the revival of tsarism ideology from Russia — but also by emerging threats such as cyberattacks, disinformation, and the weaponisation of trade and migration.

Uganda, like many nations, faces substantial risks from global jihadism, smuggling criminal activities, foreign information manipulation interference, and, as a landlocked country, attacks against the supply of vital commodities.

These threats do not respect national borders; they are part of a single, interconnected security theatre. In such a landscape, no country or organization can tackle these challenges alone. This is where the strength of partnerships becomes crucial.

By collaborating, the European Union (EU) and its partners are enhancing our collective ability to safeguard international peace and security. In Uganda, this cooperation has been instrumental in strengthening the country’s independence and sovereignty.

The EU has been a steadfast partner in confronting these challenges first and foremost through its strong commitment to its partnership with the African Union (AU) and to cooperation in the area of peace and security, from which Uganda benefits as a vital troop-contributing country.

Currently, the European Peace Facility support for AU-led Peace and Security Operations (PSOs) totals €730 million. Facing global jihadism, the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) has been pivotal in regional peace efforts, notably as the main troop-contributing country to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), now transitioned to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).

The EU’s involvement, through the African Peace Facility managed by the AU, had provided substantial support, exceeding 2.5 billion euros, for African troops in Somalia since the inception of the mission in 2007.

Furthermore, in the regional efforts against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), the EU, always in partnership with the African Union, has been crucial, enhancing the operational capabilities of affected countries and supporting humanitarian aid delivery in areas freed from the LRA’s atrocities.

Today, in operations like Shujaa against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in collaboration with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, many brave men and women deployed by Uganda know what they owe to the cooperation between Uganda and European, Union member states, in particular France.

Meanwhile, in Uganda, the EU delegation has supported the government’s efforts in preventing and countering violent extremism and in counter-terrorism efforts, in partnership, notably, with the relevant United Nations agencies and local and international organisations.

The EU is committed to deepening its cooperation with the region, recognizing the importance of engaging more, listening to, and learning from its partners. Uganda’s contributions to regional peace and security are highly esteemed, particularly the valour of personnel from the UPDF, Ugandan police, and diplomatic services.

Their bravery and dedication in difficult theatres across the continent, often supported by the EU through the AU-EU partnership on peace and security, have been critical in combating terrorism and restoring hope to affected communities.

It’s clear that the EU and Uganda share a mutual interest in further strengthening our partnership in peace, security, and defence issues.

The Schuman Forum, which took place recently, served as a vital platform to showcase how together, the EU and its partners can effectively address and overcome the complex security challenges of our times, reinforcing our commitment to a stable and secure global environment.

The writer is the ambassador of the European Union to Uganda.

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