A day of prayer for famine-stricken Karamoja will be observed in Roman Catholic churches throughout Uganda on 31 August.
GV EXTERIOR Helicopter hanger at Entebbe airport, Uganda, with people looking on.
GV Mechanics working on helicopter in hanger in preparation for test flight. (3 SHOTS)
GV Mechanics putting final touches to helicopter as paratroopers look on.
GV Helicopter being towed onto runway, by tractor. (2 SHOTS)
GV Helicopter taxiing before take-off.
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Background: A day of prayer for famine-stricken Karamoja will be observed in Roman Catholic churches throughout Uganda on 31 August. At the same time, Christians throughout the country have been asked by the church to contribute cash and food for the relief of the famine victims. More aid was promised on Thursday (21 August) with an undertaking by Tanzania to seel Uganda 30-thousand head of cattle to revive the livestock industry Cattle raids by armed bandits have been responsible for much of the distress in the Karamoja and the gesture by Tanzania is regarded by the Uganda government as a genuine effort at a longer-term famine-relief solution. In the meantime, international aid programmes are in full swing, particularly the military-style operation mounted by France.
SYNOPSIS: The first of two French Army Puma helicopters was in its hanger at Kampala's Entebbe Airport on Monday (18 August), being serviced before its first test flight since arriving from France. A second identical helicopter will be based at the small town of Soroti, near the border of the Karamoja area in uganda's northeast.
Operating as a backup to the helicopters are thirty French paratroopers who were airlifted into Kampala on Sunday (17 August). Under an agreement with the Ugandan Government, they will not carry firearms. The two helicopters are under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Alain Pfister who says they will be used to carry food, medicine and personnel to French relief centres in the Karamoja heartland.
They also have a convoy escort role. All relief agencies are concerned for the security of convoy crews who have been threatened by bandits and even Ugandan soldiers on supply routes to the Karamoja.