Somali police have arrested five soldiers of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and ten locals in Mogadishu on Sunday for the illegal sale of military equipment and fuel.
The soldiers confirmed to be from Uganda were arrested while selling fuel, improvised detonators, sandbags and empty ammunition boxes in a garage in Mogadishu, Banadir neighbourhood, local media report.
Somali police say they have been investigating the matter for some time as military equipment belonging to AMISOM were found in the hands of locals.
AMISOM exercises zero tolerance to unprofessional conduct among its personnel and the culprits will be prosecuted in accordance with the law.
AMISOM failed to comment about the arrest until Monday when they used their Twitter account to say they had been informed of the “allegations” and are in touch with the Somali police for the truth of the matter.
AMISOM had been made aware of allegations on Social Media against some of its #troops claimed to have been arrested selling our equipment— AMISOM (@amisomsomalia) June 5, 2016
We are in touch with the Somali Police Force to establish the veracity of these claims. More info. to follow with factual details. #Somalia— AMISOM (@amisomsomalia) June 5, 2016
AMISOM later released a statement on their website confirming the arrest saying “the soldiers were arrested in a joint operation conducted by AMISOM and the Somali Police Force, following investigations that have been on-going into the matter.”
Somalia’s Internal Security Minister, Abdirizack Omar told local media that the arrested will be brought before court for prosecution.
AMISOM also said it “exercises zero tolerance to unprofessional conduct among its personnel and the culprits will be prosecuted in accordance with the law.”
The African Union Mission in Somalia, created in 2007, has over 22,000 peacekeepers helping to restore peace and stability in Somalia.
Troop contributing countries include Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.