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Brief History of Special Forces in Uganda

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Brief History of Special Forces in Uganda

Last updated Sep 15, 2014

From independence in 1962 to 1986, the history of the various manifestations of the Uganda Army had different Special Forces units. They earned a notorious reputation for brutality and viciousness against the population.

These so called ‘Special Forces’ units were essentially paramilitary forces that were behind some of the most heinous extra-judicial killings ever witnessed by the nation. Some estimates put the total number of Ugandans killed in that period of political instability and complete lack of human security at eight hundred thousand.

Uganda’s history was written in blood for a quarter of a century, there was widespread insecurity and severe repression at the hands of the dictatorships.  This suffering was finally put to an end when the guerrillas of the National Resistance Army (NRA), led by Yoweri Museveni, captured state power in 1986. The NRA became the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) after the promulgation of the new constitution in 1995.