20 August 2014

Uganda: UPDF Somalia Troops Not Paid for Six Months

Photo: Stuart Price/UN
Uganda troop on Mogadishu's Frontline (file photo).

UPDF soldiers keeping peace in Somalia have not been paid for six months, The Observer has learnt.

Frustrated, the soldiers have asked Parliament to intervene. Each soldier draws a gross salary of $1,028 (Shs 2.6m) which translates into a net pay of $828 (Shs 2.15m). Kigulu South MP Milton Muwuma told us on Monday that several soldiers had telephoned him and raised similar concerns.

"After registering several concerns from our soldiers in Somalia, this is an issue that the UPDF and ministry of Defence officials will have to explain when they appear before the committee [on Defence and Internal Affairs] on Thursday," Muwuma said.

Ministry of Defence officials are scheduled to meet the committee to defend their 2014/15 budget. The Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Katumba Wamala, said on Tuesday that the delay in payments was not UPDF's fault.

"Payment of that money is not handled by the UPDF, it is not in our budget, we are only conduits of the money," Katumba said.

The money, Katumba added, is not paid to soldiers as salary but as allowances.

"Amisom is not a Ugandan mission, it is managed by the AU [African Union] and if they have not given us the money, we will not pass it on to our forces," he said.

"AU gets the money from the European Union and before EU releases it, AU will not get it, and we [UPDF] will as well not get it to pay them," Katumba explained.

Uganda has the biggest contingent of soldiers serving under the UN- funded Africa Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) numbering at least 6,000 soldiers and 200 police personnel. Other countries with troops in Somalia are Burundi (5,435), Ethiopia (4,395), Kenya (3,664), Djibouti (960) and Sierra Leone (850).

More on This

Security Budget Soars Even As Insecurity Drops

A review of four national budgets shows that in the five years of President Museveni's current term, government will… Read more »

Copyright © 2014 The Observer. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 1,200 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.