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UGANDA: One Hundred Ugandan Graduates Leave for Contract Work in Iraq

Ugandan graduates left the country for Iraq in spite of protests from Members of Parliament. Special Operations Consulting Security Management Group (SOC-SMG), a Nevada-based security firm, engaged Kasango to recruit people for non-combat security jobs in Iraq and other countries.


by F. AhimbisibweThe New Vision
May 21st, 2005

A TOTAL of 100 Ugandan graduates and S6 leavers on Thursday evening left the country for Iraq in spite of protests from Members of Parliament.

The recruits left Entebbe Airport at around 10:20pm aboard Emirates Airways and had landed in Dubai by midday yesterday, sources said.

A Kampala lawyer, Bob Kasango of Hall Partners, contracted by an international security firm to recruit Ugandans, yesterday said, “They left on Thursday evening and I think they should be in Dubai by this time.”

“I am in touch with SOC-SMG and we are waiting for them to reach Iraq. I can assure you that they will be safe,” Kasango said, declining to give details.

Special Operations Consulting Security Management Group (SOC-SMG), a Nevada-based security firm, engaged Kasango to recruit people for non-combat security jobs in Iraq and other countries.

Kasango sub-contracted Askar Security Services to carry out the recruitment exercise. He told journalists in Kampala last week that the recruits would be given accommodation, health insurance and a salary of between US$700-$1,000.

“Money will be sent to their accounts in Uganda and the firm provides insurance for the employees. In case of injury, a person is entitled to $300,000. In case of death, the next of kin gets $1m,” he said.

Kasango said this was a private venture, which the MPs should respect.

“They (MPs) have failed to address the issue of joblessness. I was contacted by SOC-SMG and in the spirit of patriotism, I thought it worth trying out. The problem is that some MPs think they have a monopoly of reason,” he said.

A recruit said on Thursday that he felt a bit scared but was told that their duty station was out of danger.

The recruits were on Wednesday secretly recalled by Askar Security Services office in Kamwokya and asked to report on Thursday morning.

“They also told us about the security risks in Iraq and they asked those who were not ready to stay but all of us chose to go,” a recruit said.

Internal affairs state minister Kezimbira Miyingo told Parliament that the Government knew about the recruitment but told the two foreign firms involved that it would not play any role in the deal.



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