Friday January 24 2014

More UPDF officers held over Somalia fuel theft


KAMPALA- Eight more UPDF officers have been arrested and are being held at Makindye Military barracks over alleged sell of food and fuel in Somalia in 2013.

The latest arrests bring the total number of officers in detention to 13, including the former Ugandan contingent commander, Brig Michael Ondoga.

The officers were arrested on Wednesday after appearing before the investigation team set up by President Museveni last year to investigate the alleged selling of food and fuel meant for military operations in Somalia.

Brig Leopold Kyanda, the chief of Personnel and Administration, chairs the investigations that might lead to more arrests.

The army spokesperson, Lt Col Paddy Ankunda, confirmed the arrests and warned that whoever was involved in the alleged sale of food and fuel meant for operations will face trial.

“Any misconduct by our officers under AMISOM affects the institution as well as the national image. Anyone found in such misbehaviour will be dealt with firmly, “he said.

Those arrested include; Lt Col David Matua, Capt Ssenyonga, Maj Kirabo, Lt Zirussoka Nzabasajja, Lt Felix Ahumuza, Lt Ssebide, Maj Seguya, and LCPL Maruya.

Brig Ondoga, Lt Sam Kirya and Capt Joy Atugonza were arrested last year. It is alleged that in October 2012, Brig Ondoga, while aware of an impending advance operation from Afgooye-Baidoa which required 1,500 troops, committed 1,000 troops which resulted into loss of lives and also diverted 5,000 litres of fuel, thereby endangering the operational efficiency. Lt Col Kirya faces charges of giving false information about the enemy’s position.

Meanwhile, AMISOM on Wednesday welcomed 4,395 troops from the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) at a flag ceremony which took place in Baidoa, in the Bay region of Somalia.

The Ethiopian troops, working alongside the Somalia National Army (SNA), will be responsible for the Gedo, Bay and Bakool regions.
The Ethiopian troops will constitute AMISOM’s sixth contingent, after Burundian, Sierra Leone, Djiboutian, Kenyan and Ugandan contingents.