FAMILIES of the fallen soldiers killed during peacekeeping duties in Somalia have received $50,000 each as compensation from the African Union. Four were killed in a bomb blast in Mogadishu on May 16, when their convoy was attacked.
FAMILIES of the fallen soldiers killed during peacekeeping duties in Somalia have received $50,000 each as compensation from the African Union.
Payments to the relatives of Privates Ojok Kilama Lagole from Gulu, Julius Peter Ongu from Pader, Frederick Wanda from Kamuli, Osbert Tugume from Bushenyi and Corporal Rwegira Wilberforce, also from Bushenyi, were coordinated through the Ministry of Defence.
Four were killed in a bomb blast in Mogadishu on May 16, when their convoy was attacked.
Rwegira was killed by artillery fire on April 1 while guarding the presidential palace. Declared heroes by the Commander in Chief, President Yoweri Museveni, the dead soldiers were buried at their respective ancestral homes with full military honours, including gun salute.
Army spokesman Maj. Felix Kulayigye confirmed the payments.
He also revealed that the deceased have since been replaced in Somalia, while eight others injured in the attacks have returned to their bases after being treated in different hospitals in Uganda and Kenya.
Those treated at Nairobi hospital in May were Fred Ssentogo, Boaz Kasswala, Peter Mucunguzi, Simon Tumusime, Sulait Labu and Odong Okoth.
Another soldier injured in the eye by shrapnel is still recovering in Kampala. All the soldiers briefly visited their homes before rejoining the AU forces.
â€œAll is well. Our soldiers are doing well. They have so far received the March and April AU allowances,â€ said Kulaigye.
On top of their salaries, each of the peace keepers serving under AMISOM, the African Union Mission in Somalia, receive $412 monthly in allowances.
The Ugandan contingent, deployed in Somalia since March 6, are commanded by Col. Peter Elwelu. The over-all commander of the AU mission is also a Ugandan, Maj. Gen. Levy Karuhanga.
Uganda is the only country that has sent 1,500 troops out of the needed 8,000-strong force.
The peace-keepers are expected to take over from the Ethiopians, who ousted the Islamic Courts in March. Burundi promised to send troops this month. Nigeria, South Africa, Malawi and Ghana, who also pledged troops, are yet to deploy.
Families of dead Ugandans paid $50,000