The process of withdrawal of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldiers from the Central African Republic (CAR) has started.

“The decision to withdraw was premised on the realisation that the mission to neutralise the LRA has now been successfully achieved,” Ugandan army spokesman Brigadier Richard Karemire said in a statement.

The army said that Kony now commands fewer than 100 fighters and has been left “weak and ineffective.”

Kony “no longer poses any significant threat to Uganda’s security,” said Karemire.

Uganda sent troops to CAR in 2009 after the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) led by Joseph Kony were were flushed out of Uganda and pitched camp in the CAR western town of Obo, terrorising locals.

In a press release the UPDF Spokesperson Brigadier Richard Karemire said the first batch of soldiers was received today in Gulu by the Chief of Staff Land Forces (COS-LF) Brig Katsigazi Tumusiime and 4Div Commander Brig Emmanuel Kanyesigye.

The UPDF has since 2012 been part of the African Union Regional Task Force.

The first batch has been received today 19th April 2017 in Gulu by the Chief of Staff Land Forces (COS-LF) Brig Katsigazi Tumusiime and 4Div Commander Brig Emmanuel Kanyesigye.

The army says The LRA capacity and means of making war against Uganda have been degraded citing Senior Key Commanders such as; Dominic Ongwen, Okot Odiambo and other fighters who have over the years been killed, captured or surrendered, rendering their leader Joseph Kony weak and ineffective.

The UPDF operations have contributed significantly to the restoration of peace and tranquillity in big areas of the Central Africa Republic (CAR). This won them admiration from the people exemplified by the 16th April 2017 demonstration by civilians in Obbo town calling upon the forces to stay.

However, Uganda may also join the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) under a strengthened mandate to effectively deal with LRA as one way of supporting the country.