Brigadier Patrick Knakiriho, the second division commander, is dead.
Kankiriho, who has been the commander of the Mbarara based 2nd division, passed away on Monday at about 6pm at Nakasero hospital in Kampala.
Former Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) spokesperson Colonel Felix Kulaigye confirmed that Kankiriho passed away from Nakasero hospital Monday evening.
Although the former army spokesperson could not divulge the cause of death, other reports indicate Kankiriho has been battling high blood pressure.
52-year-old Brigadier Kankiriho is famed for commanding ‘Operation Lightening Thunder’ in 2008 that forced the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels out of Garamba forest.
Kankiriho joined the guerrilla National Resistance Army (NRA) headed by President Museveni in 1982.
He was among the junior army officers who were deployed in Northern Uganda to fight the Holy Spirit Movement led by Alice Lakwena.
Kankiriho, while still a captain, fought against Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in Western Uganda.
Close army friends say Brig. Kankiriho served as the UPDF 13th battalion commander in the north before he was promoted to a Lieutenant Colonel in 2003 and appointed the commander of the UPDF 401 infantry brigade based in Lira and Pader.
In 2006, Kankiriho was promoted to the rank of Colonel after completing a one-year course at Kimaka Senior Command and Staff College and sent to the UPDF 3rd Division based in Moroto, where he was involved in the disarmament exercise.
A year later, he was promoted to the rank of a Brigadier and deployed to 2nd division as commanding officer.