By Andrew Irumba
Uganda Peoples Defence Forces’ (UPDF) Gen.Benon Biraaro, a former presidential contender, has breathed his last this Wednesday morning at the age 68, according to family sources.
A family source who preferred anonymity revealed to this Website that Gen. Biraaro passed away at Kampala Hospital after a longtime battle with cancer.
Spy Uganda has since learnt that the general has been battling cancer for more than a year and had sought treatment abroad although it wasn’t successful.
Who Is Gen. Biraro?
Born on March 1, 1958, Biraaro joined the National Resistance Army bush war in 1982 straight out of Makerere University and by 1984, he had risen to the High Command and National Resistance Council and by 1986, he was the deputy to President Museveni’s Principal Private Secretary.
He was then posted to Kitgum as the special district administrator until 1987 before being sent to Kyankwanzi where he served as deputy commandant of the National Leadership Institute. Biraaro served as the commanding officer of the 97th battalion in Eastern Uganda which helped end the insurgency in Teso sub-region.
He later served as the commander of the military police, was later appointed the representative of the office of the Inspector General of Government, after which he served as a member of the Adhoc committee on human rights before he became the director of training in the UPDF.
In 1998, Biraaro commanded the Ugandan contingent to the Democratic Republic of Congo, before becoming the commander of the Infantry division in Western Uganda. He was later appointed the deputy chief of staff in the UPDF, the fifth highest-ranking office in the Ugandan army and later served as the commandant for the Senior Command and Staff College in Kimaka.
Biraaro also served as the chief of the Strategic Planning and Management Unit of the Peace and Security Council at the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia. He attended an officers’ courses in the United Kingdom, Nigerian Defence Academy, Fort Leavenworth, USA , Nasser Military Academy, Egypt and the Master in Global Security Studies at Cranfield University in the UK.
In 2016, Gen.Biraaro contested for the February 18 presidential polls under the Farmers’ Party which he lost to the incumbent, President Yoweri Museveni and from then he retired to his private business.
His military education included the following courses:
Officer Cadet Course Junior Staff College in the United Kingdom Junior Command and Staff College at the Nigerian Defence Academy, in Kaduna, Nigeria Senior Command and Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, USA Africa Strategic Studies Course at Nasser Military Academy, Cairo, Egypt Masters in Global Security Studies at Cranfield University, United Kingdom