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IRAQ WAR -
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600 Ugandans reportedly abused while working in Iraq

Posted in the database on Friday, May 12th, 2006 @ 14:29:12 MST (1076 views)
from China View  

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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 in Iraq.

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 paper.

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 the media.



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