Somalia: 'UPDF Instructors Trained Al-Shabaab Fighters'

UPDF instructors trained ten Al-Shabaab fighters using African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) facilities on instructions from their commanders. Lance Corporal, Jackson Byabagambi, told the General Court Martial in Makindye, a Kampala suburb, Tuesday that the ten Al-Shabaab fighters were trained at Aljazeera training ground shared by AMISOM troops and Somalia National Army (SNA) last May.

Maj. Frank Kawero, formally the training officer at Aljazeera training school and Capt. Hassan Wantimba, formally the school's chief instructor, are facing trial for having allegedly sneaked the Al-Shabaab fighters into the military facility to attend training on firing guns.

Byabagambi told court presided over by, Brig. Moses Ssentongo, that the alshabab fighters were trained under instructions from Watimba. He added that the SNA commandant in the camp stopped them from training the group because they were not known and their training had not been scheduled.

"Watimba and Kawero then met the SNA commandant. After their meeting, Watimba told us to continue with the training without worry, but he asked us not to use SNA facilities," Byabagambi said.

The witness explained that the two weeks training took place at the time when the AMISOM commandant from Ethiopia was on leave and he had left Watimba and Kawero in charge.

During examination by prosecutors Capt. Gerald Bamwitirebye and Lt. Ambrose Baguma, the witness said before the group arrived in the camp for training, Watimba told them to be prepared to train "a group" from alshabab

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