Former presidential aspirant, Gen.Benon Biraaro has passed on, the MS News has learnt.
Biraaro succumbed to cancer of the colon at Kampala Hospital. The general has been battling the illness for more than a year and he has sought treatment abroad. In a press statement, the hospital said Biraaro had been admitted there since February 6.
We would like to pass our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and to the nation at large,” read part of the statement.
Born on March 1, 1958, Biraaro joined the National Resistance Army bush war in 1982 straight out of Makerere University and by 1984, he had risen to the High Command and National Resistance Council and by 1986, he was the deputy to President Museveni’s Principal Private Secretary.
He was then posted to Kitgum as the special district administrator until 1987 before being sent to Kyankwanzi where he served as deputy commandant of the National Leadership Institute.
Biraaro served as the commanding officer of the 97th battalion in Eastern Uganda which helped end the insurgency in Teso sub-region.
He later served as the commander of the military police, appointed the representative of the office of the Inspector General of Government, served as a member of the Adhoc committee on human rights before he became the director of training in the UPDF.
In 1998, Biraaro commanded the Ugandan contingent to the Democratic Republic of Congo, before becoming the commander of the Infantry division in Western Uganda.
He was later appointed the deputy chief of staff in the UPDF, the fifth highest-ranking office in the Ugandan army and later served as the commandant for the Senior Command and Staff College in Kimaka.
Biraaro also served as the chief of the Strategic Planning and Management Unit of the Peace and Security Council at the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia.
He attended an officers’ courses in the United Kingdom, Nigerian Defence Academy, Fort Leavenworth, USA , Nasser Military Academy,Egypt and the Master in Global Security Studies at Cranfield University in the UK.
In 2013, Maj. Gen. Benon Biraaro retired from the active service of the army together with Brig. Benard Rwehururu, the Ssabanyala Maj Baker Kimeze and Lt. Patrick Kasumba at a colorful function held at Ministry of Defence headquarters in Mbuya graced by the then Chief of Defence Forces, Gen.Katumba Wamala.
In 2016, Gen.Biraaro stood for the February 18 presidential polls under the Farmers’ Party where he lost to the incumbent, President Museveni and from then he retired to his private business.