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Uganda Spends Shs1.6 Trillion On Military Salaries, Kenya Tops Region

Uganda’s military expenditure on salaries and operations is one of the lowest in the East African Community, a new global report shows.

According to data from Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri), Uganda’s current expenditure on Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) spends stands at US$445m (Shs1.68 trillion), far lower than Kenya’s whose military personnel is smaller.

The Kenya Defence Forces’ (KDF) current spending hit US$963.5 million (Shs3.6 trillion) in 2017 from $933 million (Shs3.5 trillion) a year earlier.

Kenya has 24,150 military personnel while Uganda has 45,000 personnel.

Ethiopia’s military expenditure stands at US$488 million (Shs1.8 trillion) despite having a bigger personnel-185,500 compared to Uganda and Kenya.

“Figures for these countries are for current spending only (excluding capital spending) and do not include spending on paramilitary forces,” Sipri said in the report released Friday.

The Sipri report shows that Tanzania stands behind Kenya in the region’s military spending order, having spent US$593 million (Shs2.2 trillion) on its Defence.

Despite growing its budget, Kenya sharply cut its purchase of military weapons last year even as Uganda made a comeback to emerge the top spender on arms in East Africa. Kenya slashed its spending by half to US$13 million.

Uganda ended its lull with its last year’s arms stockpile worth Shs67bn, a departure from 2016 when it made nil purchase.

The Sipri report indicates that defence budget of the two leading economies in the continent stands at US$3.6 billion for South Africa and US$1.6 billion for Nigeria.

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