AMISOM: UPDF Update on Ambush on own Troops of Battle Group XX in Somalia (31.07.2017)

Burundi: “Imminent retrait et retour Immediat au Burundi des hommes et du materiel militaire de la Somalia”

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African Union letter on the Burundian posistion from December 2016:

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Uganda Chief of Defence Forces urges speedy security sector reforms in Somalia (02.01.2017)

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MOGADISHU, 02 JANUARY 2017 – Visiting Chief of Defence Forces of Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF), General Edward Katumba Wamala wants Somali leaders to fast-track implementation of security sector reforms and the rebuilding of the national army, to enable them effectively take over the country’s security from African Union troops.

The Uganda Chief of Defence Forces arrived in Mogadishu today for a three-day official visit to Somalia. “As you interact politically with whoever will take the chair, this should be among their priority area; to make sure that they address the issue of building their security apparatus,” he told a meeting of senior officials from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The Somali security sector reforms which are in line with AMISOM’s revised Concept of Operations (CONOPs) and its exit strategy, are aimed at building the capacity of Somali National Security Forces to take over the security of the country, when AMISOM troops begin drawing down in 2018.

Gen. Wamala praised the implementation of the quick-impact projects (QUIPs) by AMISOM, describing it is a big asset for the mission in its efforts to provide essential services to populations liberated from Al-Shabaab rule.

During the meeting, Hon. Lydia Wanyoto, the Deputy Special Representative of the of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) updated Gen. Wamala on the ongoing electoral process in the country and the security arrangements in place to ensure a smooth transition of power. “We are doing everything it takes to ensure that we give the support and that our offices are open 24/7 for supporting the troops for which your country contributes,” Hon. Wanyoto stated.

Earlier, military officers from AMISOM Sector One, briefed Gen. Wamala on the security situation in Lower Shabelle and Banaadir regions, which fall under the AMISOM Ugandan contingent’s area of responsibility . Lt. Gen. Osman Noor Soubagleh, the AMISOM Force Commander said AMISOM troops continue to jointly conduct offensive and defensive operations aimed at improving the security situation in Somalia.

“The security situation in Mogadishu city has improved significantly, the city being a strategic value for the seat of power, with a high population density, good infrastructure and good for political and economic activities. Therefore the center of gravity plays an important role for the stabilisation of Somalia,” Lt. Gen. Soubagleh said. Gen. Wamala also held a meeting with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Somalia, Michael Keating.

Opinion: Mwenda’s life shouldn’t be in focus, there are so many other important political questions unanswered right now in Uganda!

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I find it weird that the Facebook posts on Facebook are addressing the sexual preferences of Independent Magazine editor and owner Andew Mwenda, the man who has gone from a lone voice for the citizens to suddenly sounding like a regime imposter. Still, that is a another discussion than what has been on the web of late. Whatever sort of love-life he has is in my opinion his business, unless he marries and get wedded to the daughters of President Museveni or related to his kin. If so, than he is part of the Movement elite and the discussion of his “free” mind would be more in question, than it is already is after the revelations of late about his economic transgression with Rwandan Government and other questionable clientele.

Still, the bum-fun and the dirty dozen is the questions that are trying to figure out, instead of discussion needed political transgression that needs to be addressed, as of all of sudden in Masaka where there only green area that is saved the Masaka Golf Club, but the rest of land is grabbed by rich Chinese investors in haste that seems more like a heist than a power move from the buyers of the land. As they have sealed of land for banking business without proper titles or informed the other Central Government and not even the Local Government; the Local Council seems also boggled as much as the Masaka Golf Club who even written a letter to Central Government on the 27th December.

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This is interesting enough as the trial and imprisoned soldiers that came from the UPDF garrison in the AMISOM mission, that has already leaked pictures of torture where the fellow who are alleged for selling weapons and ammunition to Al-Shabaab warlords that the AMISOM mission tries to squash and get rid of, apparently have been mistreated by their own before a trial and proof of evidence. Soldiers and men who are serving the military and one apparent wrong to selling equipment while being on tour; still, the reason for these activities is that the UPDF and Ugandan Government haven’t paid steady salaries and the hungry fighting soldiers has to get funds to sustain themselves. Even stealing and selling ammunition to the ones they are trying to fight. That shows how wrong the systematic eating of the Central Government towards their own, how forgotten and how the mismanagement of funds from African Union and United Nation in the AMISOM army. They even torture their own who has done the last resort to pay themselves as the soldiers needs to eat food and send their family needed funds. That is why they signed up in the first place, not because all of them loves to shoot-to-kill. We already has seen during the years that the Ugandan Garrisons has sold gasoline and other equipment to sustain themselves, so that the soldiers goes to these extend says something about the arranged maladministration from the top to the bottom of the food-chain.

These two cases alone should be put on blast, more than the Mwenda’s troubles and that he cannot keep his house in order. That the land-grabbing happens as rampant that the commercial golf-course in Masaka reacts by the Chinese land-grab should put the fear in the locals and the ones who feels that the state shouldn’t just move people and take away land for a simple dime without consideration of the Local Council and Local Government, because the Central Government really needs funds. That is evident with the recent case of soon starting to print own monies that even the Bank of Uganda, fearing the inflation and devalued currency that could make the hyper-inflation as pure case for Uganda. So that President Museveni can follow the suits and shades of President Robert Mugabe who made it possible in 2007-2008. So the 50,000 note wouldn’t be biggest anymore after the start of printing. The Ugandan Citizens might have use 300,000 to buy a hand of tomatoes at the market and pay for a short ride on a boda-boda 100,000 instead of the about for instance 3,000 now. So the biggest note from the Central Government of Museveni will be after the deal is sealed is 500,000 or even a 1,000,000. That is if his business partners are lucky and get their hands in the cookie-jar while the citizens will struggle more to pay for ordinary products. That is the worst case scenario, but not far away from the regulated funds and monies in the market might be juked and fixed to the moment of brilliance of Museveni instead of technocrats that can keep the inflation at bay.

Still, people are more worried if the Mwenda has a gay-lover or more, if he has a girlfriend or even if has land overseas, as the editor is that special and needs to be discussed in this matter. Like Tamale Mirundi needs to explain how he orders tires to his taxis, buses and how make his wife happy. Instead of us hearing and understanding their machine mouths of ignorance, brilliance or nonsense depending on their day.

We should be worried of the debate, the level of what is important when the national dialogue goes on this while we haven’t gotten answers for the apparent violation of movement and religious activity as the Police Force and the other Security Organizations went into the Nakasero Mosque in the middle of the night without any pre-warning and raided the holy-house on non-existent intelligence during the Christmas Season.

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We are not to may days ago since the UPDF and Special Force Command burned the Bukihari Royal Palace in Kasese. The Kasese clashes and the deaths of several guards, police officers and soldiers during the bloody days of November 2016; this together with the aftermath where the Ombusinga bwa Rwenzuururu Charles Wesley Mumbere are lingering on treason charge at Luzira Prison while the state and security organization isn’t delivering any profile or case worth talking about. But they could pull the trigger and delete the existence of Royal Guards, kids and other bystanders as the UPDF, UPF and Special Force Command had no issues killing hundreds of people during 48 hours.

Still, a month after this we have no answers, a silent President Museveni who couldn’t care less about the killed and slaughtered citizens in Kasese and in the sub-counties close to Royal Palace. This done without precautions and done with purpose to unsettle the area and also keep people afraid of the Central Government as they can go in with all weapons and guns on civilians without any warrant. Just like they did at the Nakasero Mosque, we will see more of this as the NRM Regime doesn’t care about the loss of life and the viable aftermath after the violence. They are trying to shade over the deaths and move-on. Like they families of the dead can get a new father or mother. They just vanished in the middle of no time and without any charges except the bullets from security organizations from the NRM regime.

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When we have all of this, as much as we have a Parliament who are just thinking about themselves and not the public, why can I say that because the MPs are more important that the rest of the ordinary paying citizens who pays taxes on their salaries; something the MPs in Uganda doesn’t have to care about. While that is happening after all the newly created districts and new levels of MPs the old Parliament in Kampala is to small and doesn’t have enough facilities to the loyalist of Museveni. They need bigger space and that cost, so they can divert funds to fix the building and chambers to be filled with all of them, even if they are not always there and instead fixing suits, fixing fresh posh cars and other casual business. Like a MP who we’re caught during December that he wanted to pay over 1,5 million shillings for a three-some with two female Makererere Students while their University we’re closed. The disgraced MP has not answered after the leaked conversation came unto the web. Still, that discussion is more interesting than the bumping movements of Mwenda.

People shouldn’t dance easy just because these men are Honourable, they are MPs because they are “elected” by the people and they are paying for their existence. Still, they are fist eating without any courtesy and now their workplace get upgraded, while schools are falling apart, teachers payments are inadequate and they even has small farms to feed themselves; while the same teachers are seeing ghosts being paid to secure the local government needed funds to their post cars. Still, the MPs let them walk because the allocations are happening slow and never as much as the budget. They claim there trouble in the system, but not the people who are doing this to eat of it in the Central Government so that the ones in districts has less or nothing to eat off. That is the current state and in this state the MPs decided they doesn’t deserve to pay tax and secondly deserves a better working condition. This is disgraceful to all the diligent civil servants who doesn’t get their salary on time or getting needed funds to keep their buildings, schools and police station that are falling apart.

This is the reality of Steady progress, the proof that the Yellow Movement is a poof, it’s a created manufactured design to divert attention while the President is having a splendid time. Let you forget the torture, the mismanagement and the greed of the MPs. While the system are led by a party where the NRM EC Dr. Tanga Odoi has also been going unpaid and even Justine Kasule Lumumba had to go public and tell that the Movement we’re broke. So dope the Party running the country, the steady progress has let their men and woman go without payments for 6 months. As fresh funds has dwindled. NRM are like Central Government very broke and out of bound with reality. They are spending stupid and not caring about the consequences. Therefore the solution in the silence to print own currency together with a company that is inter-connected with the Museveni clan; that is double payment for the Executive while the citizens pays to pay for their money. A brilliant idea, but also a way of certify the inflation, if they are actually going through with this arrangement.

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Still, people care more about the donuts that Mwenda is eating. So beautiful way of spending Christmas season discussing the dumping grounds of a editor, instead of torture, ghost-salaries, land-grab or Parliamentary Mismanagement where the systemic idiocrasy of Museveni gets into the same speed as Lewis Hamilton on the Formula 1 race track in Dubai. That speed is so fast we cannot follow all of the curves as the track is burning after the wheels leave stains on the tarmac.

The same is happening with real news when the Editor is in focus for his love-life and not all of these government acts. The Ugandan President Museveni should be happy his family and elite can run their Wild West show and let a egocentric writer get all the attention. Still, the people and citizen should react to the UPDF; question the acts of Kasese and not forget together with all the other current events. Peace! 

African Union Special Representative urges continued assistance for Somalia’s security forces

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Mogadishu, 29 August 2016 – The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, on Monday urged international partners to increase their support to the Somali National Army (SNA), describing the fight against militant insurgency by Al-Shabaab as at a “critical stage.”

Speaking at the conclusion of a six-day meeting of Force Commanders of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the SNA, Ambassador Madeira said a needs assessment task undertaken by both AMISOM and the Somalia National Army (SNA) was complete.

“The next step requires concrete operational commitments, logistical commitments and intelligence gathering commitments. It is something that cannot be done by SNA alone, AMISOM or development partners alone. It is something that can be effectively and successfully done with convergence and concurrence of all the three stakeholders,” Ambassador Madeira observed.

Madeira said following the assessment task a committee would soon be established to determine the requirements of training camps to be set under the Guulwade Plan, launched by the Somali Ministry of Defence, which outlines the SNA’s arms and equipment needs for effective joint operations with AMISOM. Under the plan, a total of 10,900 SNA troops, comprising units from the regions, would receive support from international partners for participation in joint operations with AMISOM.

The conference was attended by the AMISOM Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Osman Noor Soubagleh; SNA Chief of Defence Forces, Maj. Gen. Mohamed Aden Ahmed; SNA Deputy Chief of Defence Forces Brig. Gen. Ali Bashi, UN representatives and other senior AMISOM and SNA officers.

“We have been planning and preparing to ascertain the conditions for execution of offensives to disrupt, degrade and deny Al-Shabaab their freedom of movement and access to safe havens across Somalia,” Gen. Soubagleh noted.

Speaking on behalf of his troops, the SNA Deputy Chief of Defence Forces Brig. Gen. Ali Bashi promised its full participation in joint operations.

“We take AMISOM as a reliable partner. We will improve the way in which we coordinate. We will build the level of trust and build further on the meetings that we have had by meeting more regularly at all levels,” Brig Bashi added.

The meeting was meant to foster cordial working relations between the officers and enhance collaboration in operations against Al-Shabaab.

Press Statement: Nine Ugandan soldiers serving under AMISOM sentenced to prison for misconduct (16.08.2016)

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Mogadishu, August 16, 2016Nine Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) soldiers serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have been sentenced to prison for misconduct.

The soldiers were found guilty of pursuing personal interest and endangering operational efficiency of the UPDF, contrary to section 124 of the UPDF Act. The nine were part of a group of soldiers implicated in a fuel racket that was busted by AMISOM officials in June.

The UPDF Divisional Court Martial sitting in Mogadishu, yesterday, handed sentences ranging from one year to three years after finding the soldiers, who included both senior and junior ranking officers, guilty of misconduct and violating the rules and regulations of peacekeeping.

The sentences were read to the soldiers by the Chairman of the Court Martial, Brig. Gen. Dick Olum, who warned that UPDF will not tolerate any incident of misconduct among its officers serving in peacekeeping missions.

“The prosecution has proved all the accusations of pursuing personal interest and endangering operational efficiency beyond reasonable doubt. The accused persons are hereby convicted of the charges against them and this conviction is given under my hand and seal this 15th day of August 2016. You are convicted as charged,” Gen. Olum told the soldiers.

In addition to imprisonment at Luzira prison, Uganda, three of the soldiers were dismissed with disgrace from the army. It means that they will leave the army without any benefits, unlike many of their colleagues who have served the Mission with diligence and upheld high standards of discipline as required by the Ugandan government.

Those convicted are: Maj. Sulait, 50, who was sentenced to three years imprisonment and dismissed with disgrace from the UPDF; Maj. Kundu Weyaula, one year and demoted to the rank of Captain; Warrant Officer II Kakooza Mathew, 18 months imprisonment; Staff Sergeant Abwot Richard, 18 months in prison and demoted to Sergeant, and Cpl. Sekandi Ronald was handed a two-year prison term and also dismissed with disgrace from the army.

Others are Lance Corporals Kasule Budala and Atugiriire Dennis, both sentenced to 18 months in prison and demoted to the rank of Private; Private Tibaijuka Expedito, two years imprisonment and dismissed with disgrace and Private Mwanja Noah, 18 months in prison.

Prior to the sentencing, the Judge Advocate, Maj. Harry Lully Lulecera, informed the court that the charges were within the ambit of the UPDF Act, adding that the Court Martial had the powers to sentence the accused soldiers. However, the Defence counsel Lt. Lilian Tugume, pleaded for a lighter sentence on the grounds that all the nine were first time offenders and had shown remorse.

Gen. Olum defended the penalties, saying the soldiers had not only damaged the image of the UPDF and AMISOM but had also endangered the lives of others.

“The sentence that military courts give out to soldiers who have committed a crime is a deterrent sentence. It is a sentence that sends out a message to the rest of military personnel whether back at home or in any other mission out of the country. It is a message that goes out to soldiers and officers of the UPDF that if you commit an offence, you will face the law and face it very harshly,” Gen. Olum said.

Both Major Saifu and Weyaula were stripped of their ranks and together with the rest of the convicts, will stay in custody until they return to Uganda to begin serving jail terms.

The nine are part of 18 soldiers who were earlier arraigned before the same court for selling fuel belonging to the Mission. They were charged after five soldiers were arrested in June, in connection with the illicit sale of fuel in a scam involving civilians in Mogadishu.

However, out of the 18, two pleaded guilty and were immediately charged, six were acquitted and one turned into a state witness, leaving the nine, who had denied any wrongdoing, to face trial.

The Divisional Court Martial is constituted by the UPDF high command and is charged with the trial of cases of misconduct committed by soldiers serving in missions out of the country.

Press Release: AMISOM confirms arrest of five of its troops (06.06.2016)

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