January 9, 2015

Amisom Chief Frustrated in Quest for Troop Compensation

Ambassador Maman Sidikou, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, says the pursuit for compensation of Soldiers killed in Somalia has been frustrated by bureaucrats at African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa.

Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia
Maman Sidikou, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia

Sidikou made the revelation a day after Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga openly protested the delay in compensating families of soldiers killed and military assets lost under the UN funded African Union Mission in Somalia – Amisom.

When a soldier is killed in combat, his family is entitled to USD 50,000 (Ugx135m) as compensation but according to Kiyonga, Uganda has not yet been compensated for the lives 94 soldiers’ killed and military hardware lost in the mission area. These also include a helicopter that crashed in Mt. Kenya in 2012 en-route Somalia.

In an exclusive interview with our reporters(URN), the ambassador said the issue of compensation took centre stage during the joint operations meeting of troop contributing countries yesterday.

“Compensation is not only a moral duty; it is a right to the orphans and widows whose relatives have sacrificed to see the pacification of Somalia,” He added.

Regarding the security loopholes caused by the many foreigners infiltrating the camp, Sidikou said a probe had been established composed of Somalia government, troop contributing countries and AU to take stock of the mistakes that led to the December 25th attack.

He said the attack was captured on video and the probe is examining how it happened. The ambassador explained that more scrutiny is being subjected to service providers like contractors operating in the camp.

“This probe is being helped by the sector commander and Somalia government has pledged to help. Such a mistake will never happen again,” he said.

He said Amisom had defeated Al-shabab and the terrorists have resorted to asymmetrical warfare, like IDs suicide bombers. The ambassador said there is a need for better resources in liberated the towns so as to guarantee safety.

“We need resources in instruments to face them, and calling our partners to provided them. We need cleaning machines for the IDs,” he said.

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