The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has had a shakeup in command. A statement released by the UPDF on Thursday indicated that Maj. Gen. Paul Lokech and three others have been appointed to new positions.
Lokech has been appointed as the Uganda People’s Defence Air Force’s chief of staff. This comes after his recent promotion from brigadier to major general. He has been serving as the commandant of the Uganda Rapid Deployment Capability Centre in Jinja, a position he was appointed to the office in December last year.
Maj. Gen. Lokech has previously served twice as commander of the UPDF contingent in Somalia and is renowned for driving al-Shabaab terrorists out of Mogadishu. He replaces Maj. Gen. James Birungi, who is now serving as commander of the Special Forces Command.
Other appointments made by the Commander-in-Chief, President Yoweri Museveni, include Brig. Bob Ogik, who is now the deputy commandant at the Senior Command and Staff College — Kimaka and Brig. Winston Byaruhanga as the commandant at the Junior Staff College Jinja.
The army spokesperson, Brig. Richard Karemire, said Brig. Ogik has previously been a battle group commander in Somalia, a directing staff as well as a co-ordinator at the Senior Command and Staff College.
“As for Brig. Byaruhanga, he has previously served as a defence attaché to the Embassy of Uganda in Juba, South Sudan. But before deployment in Juba, he was defence advisor in London. It is from the UK that he went to Juba and now to his new deployment,” Brig. Karemire explained.
The other appointments include Brig. Peter Omolla as commandant of the Uganda Rapid Deployment Capability Centre. He replaces Lokech. Brig. Omolla was formerly the commander of the Mountain Brigade and is a recent graduate of the US Army War College.
Brig. Karemire says these appointments have been made to enhance command by filling positions that were left vacant as a result of recent transfers.