September 17, 2013

UPDF Suspends AMISOM Officers Over Fraud

The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has suspended 20 army officers accused of corruption in Somalia while battling Islamist militants as part of an African Union (AU) force,  army spokesman Colonel Paddy Ankunda told the BBC.

The officers are accused of selling food and fuel, meant for troops, on the black market, reports say.

UPDF soldiers in Somalia
UPDF soldiers in Somalia

Brigadier Michael Ondoga, the Ugandan contingent head, is among those being investigated.

Uganda is the biggest contributor to the AU force of about 18,000.

The force, funded mainly by the United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) is fighting the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia.

Brigadier Ondoga has not commented on the allegations.

He was among the officers who had been recalled for allegedly “getting involved in conduct injurious” to the AU force.

Army spokesman Colonel Paddy Ankunda told international media that the 20 would remain suspended, pending the outcome of an investigation into the allegations against them.

The investigation followed complaints by junior officers of “unscrupulous conduct” by their superiors, he said.

This included allegations that junior officers were not being paid and food meant for them was being sold, Col Ankunda told the BBC.

The suspended officers would be court-martialled and dismissed from the army if found guilty, he added.

Uganda’s privately owned Daily Monitor newspaper said in a report that Ugandan soldiers in Somalia often get only one meal a day because of the alleged theft and sale of food to private companies.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni had cancelled Brig Ondoga’s appointment as military attache to Kenya, it reports.

He was due to have taken the post when his term as head of the Ugandan contingent in Somalia ended at the end of the month, the Daily Monitor adds.

Uganda has more than 6,000 troops in the AU force in Somalia.

Other countries that have deployed troops to Somalia as part of the AU force include Burundi, Kenya and Djibouti.

The force has helped the UN-backed Somali government regain control of key cities and towns from al-Shabab.

However, most of southern Somalia still remains under al-Shabab’s control.

Agencies

2 thoughts on “UPDF Suspends AMISOM Officers Over Fraud

  1. What an army? Like a child who steals from its mother. What type of officers are those? such type are found in Uganda.Remember when one bought junk hericopters to use against Kony. In the days when the NRA was in the bushes…any combatant that lost a weapon (read gun) to the enemy or carelessly, he or she was forced to recapture the same weapon from the enemy using a stone or stick or any other means. So even these so called UPDF officers who are selling supplies of the troops they command, should be charged with sabotage and be put on firing squad.

  2. Quite shamefull if proven true. Imsgine peace keepers selling their food supplies to the locals possibly the al-shabaab!

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