A medical team of The Uganda Peoples' Defence Force (UPDF) soldiers is in Rwanda to participate in the rotational regional Eastern Africa Community (EAC) Armed Forces Civil-Military activities.
According to the statement issued yesterday by the UPDF, the team is in Nyamata District offering free medical care services.
“Both the UPDF and Rwanda Defence Forces’ (RDF) medical teams are operating at Nyamata District Hospital and offering general medicine, ear-nose-throat surgery, dental and eye treatment, anaesthesia, orthopaedics, general surgery, and gynaecology, among others, as part of their contribution to this year’s free one-week civil-military activities in Rwanda,” the statement said.
The relations between Uganda and Rwanda went low in February when Rwanda closed its border following accusations that Uganda is harbouring Rwandan dissidents, an allegation Uganda has flatly dismissed.
But in an interview with Taz, a German newspaper, President Paul Kagame said Uganda and Rwanda would not go to war because it would be disastrous for both countries.
The statement said the medical teams from Kenya Defence Forces are at Rwamagana Hospital, while Tanzania Peoples’ Defence Forces are at Gahini Hospital and those from South Sudan Peoples’ Defence Forces are at Nyagatare Hospital, all in Rwanda.
Rwanda’s Col Alex Butera, the chief consultant orthopaedic surgeon and officer-in-charge of education, training and research at Rwanda Military Hospital, flagged off the exercise.
He commended UPDF for turning up for the exercise as a demonstration of the existing spirit of brotherhood “since all EAC military medics exist for the noble cause of treating people to save lives.”
The UPDF medical team is led by Col Nelson Ahaabwe, the UPDF Deputy Director of Civil Military Cooperation activities.
This is the second edition of the regional armed forces CIMIC activities after the first edition was held in Uganda in 2018.