Lack of Compensation Affecting Amisom Morale - Kiyonga

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In short
Dr. Crispus Kiyonga says Uganda has not yet been compensated for the lives of 94 soldiers killed and military hardware lost in the mission area including a helicopter that crashed in Mt. Kenya in 2012 en-route Somalia. Seven soldiers died on board.

The minister of Defence Dr. Crispus Kiyonga had challenged the United Nations and Leadership of the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to address shortfalls in compensation of soldiers who die or get injured in the mission.

Dr. Crispus Kiyonga says Uganda has not yet been compensated for the lives of 94 soldiers killed and military hardware lost in the mission area including a helicopter that crashed in Mt. Kenya in 2012 en-route Somalia. Seven soldiers died on board.

"We have lost many troops as the troop contributing countries including the eight soldiers who were killed in Mogadishu on Christmas Day. Their parents and relatives keep asking about their money, and we have contacted United Nations but there seems to be nothing coming out," he said.

Kiyonga added that the trend does not indicate a good partnership. "There may be a time when the soldiers will not allow to fight even when they are ordered by their commanders, he added."

Kiyonga, who was today opening a 2-day Amisom retreat, attended by AU officials, army chiefs from countries that have troops and police in Somalia, ambassadors and representatives from countries supporting the peace keeping mission at Sheraton Hotel Kampala.

Uganda was the first country to deploy peace keepers in Somalia in 2007 under AMISOM; to protect the Transitional Federal Institutions of Somalia against attacks from Alshabaab terrorists.

Meanwhile, Kiyonga reiterated that Somalia's complete recovery will depend on how swift structural challenges faced by the country are addressed.  He called on the Somali Federal government to build internal cohesion and cure the division in the political class for the horn of Africa to attain peace.

He said the military generals sent by the contributing troops can't do much if the political divisions aren't sorted.

Ambassador Maman S. Sidikou, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia (SRCC) and Head of AMISOM, in a speech read by his deputy Lydia Wanyoto observed that there is a dire need to help the Federal government on effectively addressing the needs of the population in the places that have been recovered from the alshabaab.

He pointed the areas that need much attention as medical and engineering to facilitate the reconstruction of Somalia.

//Cue In: Wanyoto; We run…
Cue Out:….people//
 
The same statement warned that if the troop contributing countries and the UN didn't do something, they risked the population turning against them.

"We run the risk of turning the population against us if we don't turn our full attention to the population in places in the recovered areas.  Structural challenges, in recovered areas, what is required of us is to help the government address these challenges, support dialogue and local reconciliation," he said.

He called for more cooperation between the mission and military contingent.

Ambassador Abdirahman Sheik Isse, who spoke on behalf of the Somalia government, said there is urgent need for the revitalization of operation in order to achieve peace. He said UN needs to deploy helicopters for not only combat but also quick supply of food stuff.

The retreat is under theme ‘formulating a new paradigm of support the federal government in addressing current realities.