Somalia: 5 AU Soldiers Arrested Over Military Equipment Sales

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Five African Union (AU) soldiers have been arrested after allegedly selling military supplies illegally in Somalia.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) announced their arrest on Monday, revealing the group had been found with improvised detonators, fuel and sandbags. They were detained in a joint operation between AU forces and Somali police, as part of an ongoing investigation into the illegal sale of military supplies.

 

Soldier identities not revealed

The identities of the five soldiers have not been revealed to the public, including their nationalities. However, some reports have emerged claiming the arrested troops are from Uganda – the largest contributor to AMISOM’s 22,000-strong security force.

This is the first time AU soldiers have been arrested in Somali since AMISOM was established in 2007. The situation in Somalia has deteriorated severely this year as terrorist group Al-Shabaab stages an increasing number of attacks.

An investigation into the potential sale of firearms and military supplies has been ongoing for some time. The fear is that supplies could be reaching Al-Shabaab militants who then use them to stage attacks against AU troops and civilians in the country.

 

Zero tolerance

AMISOM stated on Monday its zero tolerance approach to “unprofessional conduct” in response to the incident.

“Amisom exercises zero tolerance to unprofessional conduct among its personnel and the culprits will be prosecuted in accordance with the law,” it said in a statement. “All personnel serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia are bound by the Amisom Code of Conduct and any deviation from the standards set therein will be met with the full might of the law.”

The organisation promised to take “requisite steps to ensure that this practice is uprooted from within its ranks.”

 

Featured image:

By AMISOM Public Information – Flickr, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41444107