Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Uganda

US military operations a disaster.  Congress: “Contracting out low-paid mercenaries hurts our reputation…”

Yoweri Museveni is Uganda dictator for over 20 years: He mortgaged his citizens and soldiers to serve as low-paid mercenaries in the US Iraqi invasion.  Over 20,000 Ugandan mercenary soldiers (called Kyeyo) were paid less than $300 per month in 2009 in order to be at the beck of US security services organizations such as Torres, DynCorp, Triple Canopy, Sabre, and Special Operations Consulting (SOC).

The White mercenaries from South Africa, Israel, England, France, Serbia…are paid about $10,000 per month, not including side benefits.  The mercenaries from the Third Countries Nationals (TCN) have to submit to the arbitrary, indignities at work, humiliating kinds of jobs, and bad treatments at all levels.

For example, the TCN mercenaries need winter gloves, and receive them during the hot season. They need masks for the frequent malefic and infection leaden sandstorms, and the TCN have to cope bare-faced and get aspirin for infections of the nasal and throat diseases…The TCN wait months before they are issued Chinese second-hand outfits…The TCN are not pais for the months of training: They are simply fed…TCN are allowed vacations after a year, but even these unpaid vacation days, are postponed indefinitely…

The kyeyo is paid $300 per month, but the security company is paid $1,700 per head and per month by the Federal government…and the Ugandan recruiting company is paid $200 per head dispatched in Iraq or Afghanistan

In 2008, the US forces in Iraq was composed of about 150,000 regular soldiers and 70,000 mercenaries TCN (mostly from Uganda, sub-Sahara States, and the sub-Indian continent who can comprehend English).  In 2009, the two components were about equal in numbers: 47,000 regular to 40,000 TCN mercenaries, and this is why the pay dropped from an initial of one thousand to $300 per month, and from ingenious tactics executed by the hiring local companies in Uganda, such as Askar and Dreshak International.

For example, the Ugandan applicant receives two months of “military training” for free and are simply fed. After the training period, the applicant is sent home to wait for the call. The applicant thinks the call is coming in any day now, and he is spending all his savings, selling his furniture…Three months later, he is summoned to come and  sign a 22-page contract…in just 15 minutes to read and agree on whatever this mass of “legal” paperwork means…and not even accepted by the US legal system in the US…

The applicant has no choice by to sign and be shipped to Iraq, and later to Afghanistan… The recruiting company Ashkar is owned by Kellen Kayonga, sister-in-law of General Salim Saleh (a brother of the dictator).  In 2005, Ashkar was recruiting demobilized Ugandan soldiers for the US SOC, a security organization founded in Nevada by two veteran US military officers. The two recruiting companies are expanding their business and opening branches in Afghanistan…

The TCN are necessary for basic maintenance tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, washing, laundry, food serving, health care for the injured…They maintain 25 US military bases, and the most famous of all Camp Liberty, close to Baghdad and counting about 100,000 military personnel. The TCN constitute 60% of the effectives in Camp Liberty. The TCN are the “Invisible Army” as Sarah Stillman labelled them in an article to The New Yorker (June 6, 2011)

What’s the story?

In 2003, Uganda had managed to disengage from the civil wars plaguing East Africa. The civil war in Sudan was “technically” ending for Uganda; in the east, the civil war of the Great Lakes is officially terminated, and the internal uprising by the Lord Resistance Army was quelled…

Dictator Musevini has to demobilize a big army and has no idea how to win their peace.  Musevini rallied with Bush Jr. preemptive war in Iraq and arranged to ship the surplus demobilized soldiers oversea…

All these security corporations are paid by the Pentagon, and the mercenaries receive no health care or any benefits after the end of the term of their service…Most of them are shipped back to their country of origin when they fall very sick, handicapped…and their medical records destroyed so that the insurance companies such as AIG won’t have to pay no health care benefits or medicines…

US lawyer Tara K. Coughlin, engaged by an US Christian association for helping US soldiers in Iraq, discovered the horrifying conditions or the cases of the Ugandan mercenaries serving in Iraq.  The Multinational insurance corporation AIG hired Tangier International to discredit “repatriated” Ugandan who insist on receiving compensations, and illegally sending them to visit physicians at Tangier sold…

The independent  commission on contracts signed during the Iraqi war presented its report to Congress in August 2011. The report states: “The crimes and wrongdoing committed by the security corporations that contracted out “mercenaries” blemish the reputation of the US overseas…”

The US military is “officially” out of Iraq, but 16,000 are employed are the US embassy and four consulates. And who is maintaining and “securing” the US personnel? Over 5,500 Ugandan mercenaries were hired. The pentagon is spending 10 billion on 8 US private  security companies. Among them Triple Canopy and SOC (that will receive 973 million for providing static security in a 5-year term)

Note: Post inspired from a lengthy report by Alain Vicky to the French monthly Le Monde Diplomatique (May, 2012). The title is: “African mercenaries for US wars

Kid-Soldiers; (October 30, 2009)

 

The last two decades witnessed recruiting kids to joining guerillas and armies in the various civil wars in Africa. The UN estimates that more than 300,000 kids played soldiers in various functions.  Since many kid girls were also swiped into “the war efforts” and be used mainly as “sexual slaves” and partners in many other tasks then the UN decided to name these kids “Kids associated with armed groups”.

Over thirty conflicts in the Congo, Chad, Sudan, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leon, Mozambique, Angola, Burundi, Darfur, and Myanmar (former Burma) made the forced recruiting of children a way of life; many kids who grew up quickly by committing murder and learning to survive are still carrying arms after the cessation of hostilities.  The task of re-integrating these kids into their communities is turning to be a daunting effort.  Communities had to re-create rituals of purification so that the kids feel comfortable when welcomed in their families.  The UN is doing its best in that regard under the various MINU* missions.

Isolating these kid-soldiers is not the solution: families and communities have to be encouraged to taking these kids back within society.  The main difficulty is that families have greater need for psychological supports then the kid-soldier since families will have the burden of assimilating and controlling aggressive kids who turned out to be “best soldiers” for killing and executing their “enemies”.  Many of the kid-soldiers were forced to mutilate members of their families to discourage them from escaping the military group and going back to their communities. The kid-soldiers had the opportunity to realize their dreams of omni power status; they feel immortal with power to back it up.

These kid-soldiers would not go into agriculture or solitary jobs outside urban environments: they have dreamt of getting out of their former peasant or tribal restrictions and will not return.  Kid-soldiers like driving taxis in cities, mixing with people, and get remunerated as adult soldiers when disbanded.  Kid-soldiers are mostly ready as reservists for regular armies: fighting is their main job and they learned it better than adult soldiers.

International Justice failed to sent the strong right signal to those who hired and recruited kid-soldiers; actually, many of those recruiters were elevated to ranks of Generals after the civil wars.  What the UN is doing for re-inserting these kid-soldiers is not enough and short on target: the specialists are still in the phase of learning what to do with kid-soldiers before they can measure successes of re-insertion programs.  The governments offering funds for re-integrating kid-soldiers are doing it to relieve their bad conscience and care less for effective results.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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