A senior U.S. officer has been working to restore the morale of some
600 Ugandan guards, most of them serving abroad for the first time, following
the allegations that they were sexually abused while working with the U.S. forces
Some of the Ugandan recruits at Alasad Airbase, northwest of Iraq,
one of the biggest U.S. fortresses, were allegedly sodomized by foreign soldiers
and admitted at the Gettysburg health facility inside the fortress, according
to a report of Daily Monitor on Thursday.
Sources said two Ugandans, Enock Bashaija and Geoffrey Kawuka, slipped into
a coma due to brutal assaults at the hands of foreign officers at Alasad Airbase
after they queried terms of the contract.
Ugandans would have gone on strike to protest the beatings of Bashaija and
Kawuka, if it has not been intervened by Fred Lynch, the retired Commanding
Officer of the US army at the airbase and Paul Hegue, the executive officer
of SOC-SMG, a private security management firm that manages the airbase, according
to the report.
But the United States embassy in Kampala could not confirm or deny the allegations
emerging out of Iraq involving Ugandans.
"We cannot comment; only the Defense Department (in Washington) can answer
those questions," Ms Alyson Grunder, the US embassy spokesperson told the
Documents obtained from sources in Iraq and Kampala said all is not rosy between
Ugandans and the private firms contracted by the U.S. government to recruit
them. Ugandans are unhappy that after leaving Uganda they are forced to change
from one contractor to another, some reported to be middlemen.
Ugandans guard U.S. military bases, oil fields, airports, highways, towns
water and electricity installations among others under multinational forces
to pacify the volatile Iraq.
Ugandan employees can earn 1,000 U.S. dollars with 100 dollars deducted at
source as out of pocket allowance, leaving 900 dollars which is wired to their
accounts back home, while laborers from other countries doing similar work get
4,000 dollars with allowances.
As a result of grumbling and unrest in camp, authorities have so far deported
15 Ugandans from Camp Victory and Camp Gettysburg,all in Alasad Airbase, accusing
them of being the ringleaders of the uneasiness at the base.
American guards have in the past engaged in sadistic abuses against
Iraqi detainees but these only came to light after the photos were exposed in