Veterans In Acholi Miss On AMISOM Recruitment On Health Grounds

Several veterans have missed recruitment for a mission in Somalia under the African Union Mission in Somalia-AMISOM over health ailments.

Uganda People`s Defence Forces-UPDF through offices of the District Internal Security Officers last week recruited 242 veterans from the forth division infantry barracks to constitute the 30th battalion group in the war-torn country.

But Major Caesar Olweny, spokesperson of the 4th Division infantry barracks in Gulu said hundreds of veterans missed recruitment on health grounds.

Olweny disclosed that the army was overwhelmed by the turnup, but many veterans were left out after testing positive for Hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, hypertension and diabetes.

Others missed out on the exercise due to lack of national identity cards, discharge and retirement certificates, said the 4th Division spokesman who added that health related concerns has become a major challenge the UPDF faces whenever conducting recruitment.

 Those who were successfully recruited were on Thursday last week taken for a pre-trial training at Ssingo military training wing in Nakaseke district.

Forth division comprises of West Acholi including Gulu, Omoro, Amuru, Nwoya, Oyam and West Niles districts.

The recruitment comes barely two months after President Yoweri Museveni threatened to withdraw Ugandan troops from the AMISOM if the United Nations insists on cutting numbers of troops involved in the Somalia mission.

AMISOM comprises of forces from Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Sierra Leon, Ethiopia and Djibouti who are on a peace keeping mission.

Uganda has the largest number of troops under AMISOM in Somalia contributing more than 64,000 of the 21,626 soldiers deployed since 2007.