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Uganda gets EU funding for Somalia

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th September 2010 03:00 AM

THE defence ministry has received sh112b from the African Union (EU) to clear salary arrears of Uganda’s troops participating in the peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

THE defence ministry has received sh112b from the African Union (EU) to clear salary arrears of Uganda’s troops participating in the peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

By John Odyek

THE defence ministry has received sh112b from the African Union (EU) to clear salary arrears of Uganda’s troops participating in the peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

The state minister for defence, Maj. Gen. Jeje Odongo, told MPs yesterday that the soldiers’ payments had been delayed, but they expect the funds to support the soldiers till next year, when they expect to get more money.

Odongo was appearing before the parliamentary committee on defence and internal affairs to provide financial accountability for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) activities.
“The EU pays $750 (sh1.7m) monthly to every peace-keeper in Somalia.

"Of this, $100 (sh230,000) is given to them in Mogadishu, while the balance is deposited on their bank accounts in their home countries,” Odongo said.

AMISOM is funded by Britain, USA, Sweden and the EU. The funds are channeled through the AU.

“Government will no longer spend additional resources on AMISOM. Its activities will remain budget neutral,” Odongo added.

He said they were seeking parliamentary approval to spend the money which is not provided for in the national budget.

The funds, he explained, are also used to clear benefits of the injured and dead soldiers and for equipment.

However, Hussein Kyanjo (JEEMA), protested the approval of the money by the committee, saying the defence ministry spends a lot of money under classified expenditure.

“We have a problem with the defence ministry. They are skilled in providing accountability. They can get the money under classified expenditure, anyway. The national budget was passed and now they are here seeking parliamentary approval. Somebody must pay more attention,” Kyanjo said.

Milton Muwuma, the vice-chairman of the committee and chairman of the day, noted that when the Government sent troops to Somalia, no money had been released, adding that it was a relief that the AU had released the funds.

He said the Government had to feed soldiers, pay their allowances and repair equipment.

Uganda has the largest number of peacekeepers in Somalia, with close to 4,300 soldiers. The defence ministry budget stands at sh623b this financial year.

Uganda gets EU funding for Somalia

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