Did UPDF officers sell arms to Kony?

>> Monday, March 31, 2008


REVELATIONS that some UPDF 4 Division commanders could have sold arms to Joseph Kony's LRA rebels shocked the committee that investigated the presence of ghost-soldiers on the army payroll.

Sources close to the committee chaired by Mr Amama Mbabazi, then minister of Defence, told Daily Monitor that several testimonies gathered from the Fourth and Fifth Divisions in northern Uganda, indicated that some commanders may have "sold their souls" in return for Kony's dollars.

The reports come in the aftermath of jailing former army commander James Kazini for three years for profiteering from the ghost soldiers's scam. The Mbabazi committee implicated Maj. Gen. Kazini. A source close to the committee, who did not want to be named because
he is not authorised to speak about the activities of the investigation told Daily Monitor that cases of arms supply to the LRA, who would in return pay handsomely in dollars were apparent and shocking as the committee conducted investigations in bases of both the Fourth and Fifth divisions.

The committee grilled the late Noble Mayombo, then chief of Military Intelligence about shocking revelations that apart from findings that more than half the UPDF's Fourth Division were ghosts, the unit's commanders also sold arms to the sometimes well funded LRA.
Sunday Monitor yesterday reported that the late Mayombo admitted that the Fourth Division was before the commencement of operation Iron Fist in March 2001 "a ghost division" and the army had to deploy another 4,000 troops to support the operation that was supposed to, once and for all, rout the rebels.

Though the late Brig. Mayombo did not specifically admit that commanders were selling arms to the rebels, he shockingly confirmed that some UPDF commanders were "blinded by money".
Q: So the meeting agreed that 4th Division was about (50%) fifty percent of its establishment, how was that figure arrived at?

Mayombo: Through head count. Ninety percent of the available strength was at Aswa ranch.

Q: But what would prevent a commander who has been so blinded by money as to maintain ghosts on the strength of his unit from selling his arms to Kony?

Mayombo: They are blinded by money from what we know. "There is possibility of loss of firearms to the enemy due to the units failing to declare arms which belong to ghost soldiers," the committee noted in their analysis of the effects of ghost-soldiers on the army, adding that the practice undermined the fighting capability of the UPDF and enhanced the culture of impunity and "possible subversion".

Gulu LC5 Chairman Nobert Mao, told Daily Monitor yesterday that he has also heard reports that some UPDF commanders have sold arms to the LRA though he did not have "any specific information".

"I have heard some reports," he said. "But even the rebels have told us that some of the sources of their supplies were from UPDF," Chairman Mao, told Daily Monitor on phone, adding that the war had failed to end because "of corruption and abuse of office" on what he termed as "conflict entrepreneurs" within the UPDF.

Mr Mao, who was Gulu Municipality MP in Sixth and Seventh Parliament, said Gen.Kazini was not alone.

Gen. Kazini was last Thursday jailed together with former 507 Brigade commander Lt. Col. Dura Mawa Muhindo and Capt. Michael Baryaguma after they were sent to the General Court Martial in December 2003 for trial as result of the recommendations of the Mbabazi committee.

Gen. Salim Saleh and Gen. David Tinyefuza were the other members of the committee which gathered evidence between June and September 2003. The committee, appointed by a High Command meeting at Bombo on June 3, later appointed 12 support staff including -President Museveni's Military Assistant Col. Proscovia Nalweyiso, the Chief of Legal Services in the Army, Col. Ramadhan Kyamulesire and Mr Paul Mugisha the deputy director of Counter Intelligence at the External Security Organisation.

The others were, Maj. Julius Bakirana (CMI), Capt Timothy Kanyogonya (CMI), Lt Patrick Ssemuju (UPDF Political Commissariat), Lt Oscar Munanura (CMI), Lt Carol Basaliza (CMI), Pte Were Wange (DPU), Mr David Nuwamanya (MOD), Ms. Jane Namirembe (ESO) and Ms. Christine Nabirye (MOD).

Maj. Bakirana would later be implicated in the same report, as among the officers who were used and later benefited from the money from ghost-soldiers. He was also in December 2003 fired from CMI and sent to the General Court Martial for trial.



About This Blog

The X.U.G (Xpose Uganda's Genocide) Coalition was created to bring to light the truth about Yoweri Museveni's woefully undemocratic regime and the ongoing secret genocide in northern Uganda, with the aim of the restoration of human rights and peace.

The coalition's secondary goal is to ensure accountability for reconstruction and development funds slated for war-torn N. Uganda by the US and other donors.

A crisis of epic proportions, the genocide being carried out against the Acoli for the last two decades has produced devastating consequences.

For the sake of current and future generations in Uganda, the world must recognize and end the genocide in Uganda. All Ugandans have a right to basic human rights, including the right to health, protection and education.

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