SOMALIA: AMISOM Disciplinary Hearings

Published: March 15, 2011

AMISOM soldier / Photo by AMISOM
On 23 November 2010 and 25 January 2011, AMISOM soldiers were detained following shooting incidents in which civilians were hurt in Mogadishu.
Boards of Inquiry conducted investigations into both incidents in liaison with the Somali civil police and civilian hospitals where the injured were taken. Witnesses were interviewed and evidence gathered.
In both incidents the Boards of Inquiry concluded that the soldiers involved acted recklessly as individuals and recommended that three soldiers should face a Unit Disciplinary Court.
The Boards of Inquiry further concluded that no civilians died in either incident, despite reports of fatalities at the time. No evidence was ever brought forward by police, medical staff or the families supposedly involved to prove that anyone had died. Some witnesses refused to participate.
Under the terms of reference for Troop Contributing Countries within AMISOM, soldiers are disciplined by their own military operational laws. In these cases, all three soldiers were serving with the Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF).
Two soldiers involved in the November incident and one soldier involved in the January incident were consequently charged with Carelessness contrary to Section 125 of the UPDF Act Number 7, 2005.
The Unit Disciplinary Court sat in Mogadishu twice during February 2011 to hear each case individually and all three soldiers were found guilty and sentenced to 24 months detention at the Makindye Military Police Detention Centre in Uganda. The soldiers are now serving this sentence.
The AMISOM Force Commander, Major General Nathan Mugisha, said:
“These regrettable incidents have now been fully investigated with the help and assistance of the civil police and medical authorities. The soldiers involved have now faced the due process of law and been punished. Their sentences illustrate that any acts of carelessness and irresponsibility will not be condoned or tolerated.
“AMISOM is here to serve and we are committed to helping the TFG restore stability in Somalia.
“Sadly, accidents such as these will occasionally happen. They are deeply regrettable and deplorable. I will always acknowledge them and apologise and I will always take immediate action to investigate. Where wrongdoing is established, people can have confidence that our system will take action against those found guilty.”

Barigye Ba-Hoku
AMISOM Force Spokesman

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