China has donated defense equipment worth US $5.5 million to Uganda for its peacekeeping operations in war-torn Somalia.
The chinese donation includes three 50-ton cranes, 12 troop carriers, four 10,000-liter water wagons and 16 water trailers and is the biggest to the Ugandan military over the past years, Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, spokesperson for Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) was quoted as saying by Xinhua Chinese news daily Wednesday.
“The equipment will help our efforts in Somalia. Regular replenishment of the equipment is required as the rate of wear and tear is very high,” Chief of Defense Forces Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala was quoted as saying by the daily.
"China welcomes Uganda’s idea to deploy the equipment in Somalia. International co-operation is the need of the hour in the fight against terrorism," Chinese ambassador to Uganda Zhao Yali said.
"UPDF plays a big role in safeguarding security for the benefit of Uganda and the entire region," Zhao said.
“China has in the past decade has donated about US $20 million in equipment to Uganda greatly contributing to Kampala's efforts to professionalize the army and develop the country,” Gen. Jeje Odongo, Uganda's state minister for defense said.