Ugandan soldiers part of the AMISOM force fighting al-Qaeda-linked militants in Somalia have not received any payment from this year. This is after the EU withheld last tranche over accounting issues.
An European Union source told the BBC that last six-month payment was being withheld over “accounting issues”.
The EU provides $1,028 (£700) for each Amisom soldier each month; their respective governments then deduct around $200 for administrative costs meaning the soldiers are supposed to take home about $800.
This deployment allowance is much more than the meagre salaries the soldiers receive from their governments.
The BBC understands there have been delays over the last two tranches – and last year’s June-November payment has only just arrived.
So soldiers are now receiving money owed to them last year but have not received any of it owed to them this year.
EU ambassador to Somalia Michele Cervone d’Urso said he was “concerned about the delay” in the stipend which he said was “essential for the motivation of soldiers”.
In January the EU, a major donor to the Somalia mission, cut its funding by 20 percent saying African countries must bear more of the burden of soldier salaries.
Soon afterwards Kenya threatened to withdraw its 3,700 troops in protest.
Despite the denials by the army, several hungry Ugandan troops have been lined up for prosecution for allegedly selling off weapons to Somali insurgents.
Last week, we reported how Gen Katumba Wamala said the decision to withdraw Ugandan troops by December 2017 was taken because of frustration with the Somali army and military advisers from US, UK and Turkey.
General Wamala said he unable to describe the extent of his frustration over the late payments.
Paddy Ankunda, Uganda military spokesman when contacted declined to give a reason for the planned Somalia withdrawal, however the BBC’s revelation now brings light to the matter.
Uganda deployed in Somalia in 2007, the first of several troop contingents from the region and accounts for about a third of the roughly 22,000-strong AMISOM force.
Amisom has helped push al-Shabab out of most of Somalia’s major towns.
But the militants continue to mount deadly suicide bombings and guerrilla attacks.
EagleOnline security correspondents say Uganda’s decision will surely tilt in regional security balance and also give room for the spread of Islamic extremism and violence.