Over 900 Ugandan soldiers seek justice over illegal dismissal

Over 900 Ugandan soldiers seek justice over illegal dismissal Over 900 Ugandan soldiers seek justice over illegal dismissal
The Uganda army has released a series of photos of its soldiers in DR Congo

Over 900 Ugandan soldiers have come forward to seek justice after being allegedly illegally dismissed from the military training school.

These soldiers claim that they were recalled into service under the directive of President Yoweri Museveni to join the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia. The mission in Somalia was aimed at combating the al-Shabaab extremists, but the soldiers were allegedly dismissed without proper compensation.

Over 900 Ugandan soldiers seek justice over illegal dismissal
UPDF soldiers in Lower Shabelle region of Somalia in 2017. More than 900 UPDF veterans have petitioned the IGG over alleged illegal dismissal from a military training school. PHOTO/FILE

In a letter addressed to the Inspectorate of Government, the veterans of Battle Group 39 expressed their dissatisfaction with the UPDF leadership at Singo PSO for attempting to dismiss them without considering their entitlement to seven months’ compensation and TRG allowance. They also noted that they had wasted seven months of their time on harsh mission training, despite having commercial business and farming activities to attend to.

Seeking justice, the veterans formally protested in their petition and called for an expeditious investigation into the matter. They also demanded fairness and compensation for the time they spent on training. Frustrated with the alleged fraud, bribery, and corruption within the military training school, the soldiers requested an audience with President Museveni and asked the Parliamentary Defence Committee to intervene and address these issues.

Over 900 Ugandan soldiers seek justice over illegal dismissal
FILE – Ugandan troops are seen on a road in the Beni district of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dec. 8, 2021. More Ugandan troops will be sent to DRC at the end of November 2022 to help fight rebels.

However, reaching the IGG for a comment proved difficult as calls went unanswered by press time. The spokesperson of the UPDF, Brig Felix Kulayigye, advised the aggrieved soldiers to pursue legal action.

The plight of these Ugandan soldiers highlights a larger issue of mistreatment and disregard for their rights. These soldiers willingly offer their services to protect their country and contribute to peacekeeping efforts abroad, yet they are allegedly dismissed without proper compensation. This raises questions about the treatment of veterans and the responsibility of the military leadership.

“I will not disclose the specifics of the conversation with the Monitor, but if they are dissatisfied with the explanations provided, they are welcome to pursue legal action,” declared Gen Kulayigye.

Furthermore, he stated, “Only trainees receiving a salary or pension are eligible for training allowances. Those who do not fall under these two categories are solely provided with meals.”

Over 900 Ugandan soldiers seek justice over illegal dismissal
The Uganda army has released a series of photos of its soldiers in DR Congo

The Attorney General, Mr Kiryowa Kiwanuka, has acknowledged receiving the notice of intended suit and has stated that his legal team will thoroughly examine it.

He further mentioned that they will reach out to the Defence ministry in order to obtain all relevant information regarding their recruitment process. Once they have assessed whether it is a legal matter, they will provide their official comment on the issue, according to Mr Kiryowa.

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