UPDF to Build Oil Protection Base

1999 Views Kampala, Uganda
The Uganda People's Defence Forces is building an army base in Hoima district to protect the country's oil interests. The Dow Jones Newswires report today that the new army base will be ready by the end of the year. Lieutenant Colonel Felix Kulayigye, the UPDF spokesperson, is quoted as saying the base will be built on 10 square miles of land in Hoima. He said building is expected to start in November. Kulayigye said the base is part of preparations to increase security in the oil-rich Albertine region. He said it will be located on public land, formerly used as a refugee camp. Tom Kyahurwenda, the Member of Parliament for Buhaguzi, where the army base is to be built, said people living on the targeted land would not vacate the areas without adequate compensation and resettlement packages. He however welcomed the plan to secure the region from attack. Oil discovery on the Ugandan side of Lake Albert have reportedly accelerated cooperation and eased tension between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In May this year Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Joseph Kabila agreed to upgrade diplomatic relations and boost cooperation on security and oil exploration. Oil exploration on the Congolese side is far behind. Exploration companies are still in talks with the government over a disputed block. Given the history of natural resource exploitation in Congo, the prospect of Congo's oil passing through Uganda is sensitive. The uncertainty surrounding the oil sector has put government on the guard, and for good reason, some pundits say. iInvesting in Peace,i a report released by International Alert two weeks ago, says there is an urgent need for policies to be enforced that will prevent conflict regarding oil resources. International Alert suggests that conflict risks associated with oil have to date been overlooked. It proposes a iconflict-sensitive" approach to developing the industry, any future conflict related to oil can be avoided. Current estimates of the country's oil potential would put Uganda among the foremost of African oil producers.

 

Tagged with: oil security updf