The Africa Mission to Somalia-AMISOM is investigating Ugandan troops for allegedly selling off weapons, Captain Deo Akiiki, the AMISOM spokesperson has confirmed.
The investigations follow recent reports implicating UPDF commanders in Somalia for selling weapons, which end up in the hands of Alshabab Militants. A UN monitoring group that visited Somalia in 2011 notes that the major arms being sold in Bakaara Market, the biggest arms market in Somalia, belong to DynCorp Arms Company contracted by the United States to supply weapons to AMISOM forces.
In the report, the group raised queries over machine guns that were bought from Baakara market that belonged to AMISOM forces. 8 of the11 guns the monitors bought from Baakara arms market were traced to the AMISOM stock. Some of the weapons also seized from Al-shabab belonged to AMISOM.
A sack of another 1000 rounds was seized by the TFG forces from defecting Al-Shabab fighters with the factory number 811 which belongs to AMISOM. Sources who spoke to the monitoring group also told them that 90% of 12.7 x 108mm traded in 2011 in the Somali arms market had the lot number ‘41_10’ a number reservedly distributed to AMISOM forces.
In 2010, AMISOM started overseeing all arms under the Somalia Transitional Federal Group following allegations of gross corruption against government forces. At the time, reports also implicated the Somali government forces for trading off weapons.
Under the new arrangement, the Somali government would requisition for arms from AMISOM, which would only be released based on the specific need. Soldiers under Ugabag 10, the latest unit to return from Somalia accused their commander of selling arms and military supplies to insurgents. A rocket launcher confiscated following an Al-Shabab attack in a 2011 confirmed fears that Ugandan commanders may have traded weapons.
The expulsion charge of the launcher was produced in Bulgaria by a company called VMZ and an end user certificate for the launcher was issued by the Ugandan Ministry of Defense stating that the particular ammunition had been supplied by Dyn Corp, an American arms company to the UPDF under the US department of state Africa peace keeping contract.
The contract number for the specific delivery is No.5-LMAQM-03-C-0034. However the was dismissed by Paddy Ankunda, the UPDF spokesperson saying it was based on speculation since UPDF was never consulted by the UN monitoring group.
He insisted that UPDF is a disciplined forces adding that, such cases would have been detected and punished. Despite the denials by the army, several UPDF officers have been lined up for prosecution in connection to their activities in Somalia.