The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) has more experiance engaging child combatants than any other professional army in the world. Since 1986, it has been in a near constant struggle with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel militia that has abducted and deployed some 60,000 Ugandan children. During this time, the UPDF, without tools or tactics, were often ad hoc with their response to this weapon of war, causing casualties on all sides. Emerging from conflict, Uganda has become a peacekeeping leader in East Africa supporting African Union missions to neighbouring states including South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Somalia.
The Dallaire Initiative’s National Training Programme with the UPDF builds on this experience and regional leadership, equipping them with the tools and knowledge to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers.