Soldiers Injured in Somalia Cry for Compensation
Five UPDF soldiers, Moses Opala, Tony Wandaba, Emmanuel Bwambale, Joakim Kule and Francis Mbabazi are imploring to be compensated after they sustained injuries while fighting in the peace keeping mission in Somalia.
The victims were taken to Somalia in 2014 to fight under the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).
Opala and his colleagues were in 2015 attacked but fortunately survived with injuries. The casualties, Opala said, would then be taken to a hospital in Nairobi for treatment.
“We were really liable for compensation. But since then, we would move to Bombo and they would say, ‘you wait, your names are going to come out’. People’s names came out, ours did not come out,” Opala told ChimpReports.
The medical board that assesses the severity of injury sustained by the soldiers sits in Bombo.
Opala noted that the persons responsible for the exercise of compensating them would only tell them to be patient.
After years of moving up and down, COVID-19 struck and victims could no longer follow up the exercise since they could barely move due to restrictions that included suspension of public transport.
“When the transport system was opened, we went there (Bombo) last month (July). We found that our names were no longer on the lists. They told us that they are now compensating those registered from 2015 and above. For us, we are in the 2014 batch,” he narrated.
He wondered how their names were scrapped from the list of those to be compensated.
“We told them we are going to go to Uganda Human Rights Commission and they said we should do as we please. We really got so disappointed because, for long, we have been keeping quiet. We were hurt. Other people are given and for us we are sidelined,” Opala added.
Their colleagues with whom they were receiving treatment at a hospital in Nairobi after the tragedy, he said, were given their compensations way back.
ChimpReports contacted Lt Col Deo Akiiki, the UPDF deputy spokesperson for a response and he explained that the compensation of injured soldiers under AMISOM is done by African Union.
Akiiki advised them to remain calm.
“All compensations are paid by the African Union (AU) and the partners like European Union, not UPDF. Therefore, UPDF under AMISOM only submits the required documentations and wait for AU to pay,” said Akiiki.
He added, “A number of our wounded soldiers or even those who died have been compensated and the rest are still on the waiting list. I advise the soldiers to keep calm and wait.”
Akiiki also noted that there is an office of the AMISOM coordinator that follows up on such issues and informs the leadership accordingly.