OCTOBER 5, 2010: New Host Base for UN Peace Force

New Host Base for UN Peace Force

SOURCE: New Vision

By Barbara Among

UGANDA has become the UN regional hub from which it will carry out all its peace-keeping activities in the Great Lakes region.

The UN peace-keeping missions in the region will be serviced by the Regional Service Centre to be based at Entebbe Old Airport.

The UN base will have an annual budget of $5b (about sh11 trillion), with an overall strength of about 50,000 military and police contingents and 11,100 civilian staff.

"The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution (64/269) paving way for the establishment of a Regional Service Centre at Entebbe as part of a Global Field Service Strategy aimed at improving service delivery to peace-keeping operations," said the Uganda's Foreign affairs ministry in a statement released yesterday.

It said the memorandum of understanding on the use of facilities at Entebbe by the UN had already been signed by Uganda's permanent representative to the UN, Ruhakana Rugunda, and the UN under-secretary for the department of field support, Susana Malcorra.

Functions like air assets management, civilian pre-deployment training, procurement and human resource management, which are currently carried out in peace-keeping areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Burundi, will be relocated to Entebbe.

A UN Security Council delegation left New York yesterday as part of efforts to promote peace and security in the region and will also tour the base.

The team, which is led by Rugunda, will discuss the Somalia situation with President Yoweri Museveni.

In 2003, the UN established a logistics base at Entebbe for peace-keeping missions in the region. Entebbe will now take on more responsibilities as a regional service centre.

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