By Brian Bariyo Tumuramye
Kenya: The Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) sports team which traveled to Kenya for the East Africa Community (EAC) Military games and cultural events on Friday 23 August emerged triumphant after winning two Gold medals one in netball and the other in Volley ball.
UPDF further attained two silver medals in basketball and athletics to be crowned overall winners of the games that started on August 11 2019.
The closing and awarding ceremony of the games which ran under the theme “One people, one destiny through games and cultural events” at MOI International Stadium and was graced by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta who is the Commander in Chief of the Kenyan Armed Forces and Chief of the Golden Heart.
UPDF team code-named “Mission Uganda” emerged as the overall winners followed by Rwanda whereas hosts Kenya were third, followed by Tanzania as fourth , Burundi and South Sudan in that order.
Southern Sudan team that is Team Juba participated for the first time and competed in only two disciplines of basketball and cross country.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, President Kenyatta complimented the East African Community for granting his country the opportunity host this year’s edition of the games which he said had created a positive impact on his country.
He also stressed that hosting military games in any country has become a fundamental pillar for supporting the efforts to build the unity and objectives of the region.
”I want to remind all the participants that the biggest objective for East African Community is to foster the spirit of cooperation among EAC countries,” Kenyatta said.
“In the same way I congratulate our sister country South Sudan for being part of this year’s games which gives a brighter future and we look forward for their continued involvement in the next edition.”
While speaking to journalists, the UPDF Chief of Education and Sports, Brig. Francis Takirwa who is led the Ugandan delegation attributed the team’s excellent performance to ample preparations prior to the games, good facilitation from the UPDF leadership and discipline of the participants.
He emphasized the issue of cooperation and spirit of brotherhood that he said needs to continue among the East African partner states.
Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs Hon Adolf Mwesige and Chief of Defence Forces Gen David Muhoozi escorted the Ugandan delegation to the closing ceremony.
South Sudan will host the 13th edition of the East African military games in 2020.