UN makes Entebbe regional airport African peacekeeping base


UGANDA (eTN) – The international airport in Entebbe, for many years now the regional supply and aviation logistics base for the ongoing UN missions in the Congo DR, Sudan, including Darfur and Burundi, has now been elevated into the global body’s main operational peacekeeping base in this part of Africa.

Added scope, according to a reliable source, will be training and pre-deployment preparations of troops, personnel, staff members, and civilians, as well as military contingents attached to the various missions the UN is currently involved in, which now stands at a staggering 60,000 across the region.

Should the UN get involved again in Somalia, as is quietly expected and hoped for by the African Union, as well as in political circles in Uganda, which currently carries the troop deployment burden together with Burundi, added numbers of troops and support personnel could filter through Entebbe in the coming months to acclimatize and train in Uganda.

The UN mission operates dozens of flights every week with aircraft both stationed in Entebbe, as well as those flying in and out of the country, to keep their forward bases in Congo, Burundi, and Darfur supplied. Their base, storage, and supply facilities are now occupying much of the old part of Entebbe International Airport, visible for anyone coming to or from the passenger or cargo terminals.

The UN’s staff based in Entebbe, and their activities including the employment of local Ugandans in various capacities, has already boosted the Entebbe economy substantially, with rented houses and apartments now going at a premium, while restaurants, supermarkets, entertainment hot spots, and nearby attractions like the Botanical Garden; the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre; Ngamba Chimpanzee Island; and further out in the lake, Ssese Islands; all feature on the must-see agenda of staff based in Entebbe or transiting through.