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UGANDA PEOPLES' DEFENCE FORCES
To preserve and defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Uganda.
Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces was so named in the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda. It was initially called the National Resistance Army which was the Force that fought the February 6, 1981 to January 26, 1986 Liberation war that saw the final overthrow of dictatorship in Uganda. NRA picked up the struggle from earlier Liberation struggles of the 1970's against oppressive and anti People Governments in Uganda.
Right from the immediate post-colonial era, the state was by nature and characters an oppressive one. At independence, the same army recruited, trained and left behind by the colonialists just changed the name from King's African Rifle (KAR) to first Uganda Rifles (UR) and then Uganda Army (UA). KAR's main function was to repress and suppress any opposition to the British rule. The senior non commissioned officers in KAR, like Idi Amin, who had been promoted on account of their brutality against the MAU MAU freedom fighters, became officers in the UA. It would be excessive naivety to expect the rule of terror to have changed by a mere change of guards.The mandate is derived from the Constitution of Republic of Uganda 1995 (as amended). In accordance with Articles 208 and 209, the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) is established and mandated to carry out the following functions:
1. Defend and protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Uganda, ensuring non-violability of peoples and individual rights, the rule of law and good governance.
2. Cooperate with civilian authorities in emergence situations and in cases of natural disasters.
3. Foster harmony and understanding between Defence forces and civilians.
4. Engage in productive activities for Natural Development.