Ugandan troops deployed in Somalia have not received their allowances since last year and are living on handouts from their colleagues from Burundi.
The Minister of State for Veteran Affairs, Hon. Maj. Bright Rwamirama has confirmed that government is aware of the development.
Hon. Thomas Tayeewa (NRM, Ruhinda North), who raised the issue during the Thursday, 27th April 2017, plenary sitting of Parliament, said that due to lack of allowances, Ugandan troops were selling their food and juice to their Burundi counterparts to raise money for essentials.
“The UPDF troops have not been paid for ten months; they are selling their food and juice in order to buy soap and airtime to call their relatives,” said Hon. Tayebwa adding that, “The situation is bad.”
Uganda deployed the UPDF in Somalia as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia to bring peace to the war torn country. Uganda was later joined by Burundi and Kenya.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, said that Ugandan troops needed to be paid considering their great contribution in pacifying Somalia and the region.
“This is a hopeless situation which must be handled immediately,” he said.
Hon. Rwamirama however said that the troops had not received their allowances since October last year. He said that government was engaging the European Union to resolve the matter.
“It is true that our troops have not been paid their allowances since October. This is because the EU, which is the contributing partner, has not released their money,” said Hon. Rwamirama adding that “However their local salaries are being paid into their bank accounts.”
“We are engaging the EU to make sure that their allowances are paid as soon as possible,” Rwamirama said.