Uganda: December 16, 2003

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The Ugandan defense ministry issued a report on ghost soldiers in the army. The highest number of ghosts exists in northern Uganda. What are ghosts? They are soldiers reported on the rolls for pay purposes who in fact are either no longer in uniform or never existed. The commanders of these "ghosts" take the money for themselves. It's an ancient scam. The worst abuses occurred from 1996 to 1998 when the Ugandan Army was creating Local Defense Units (LDUs) in the northern districts of Kitgum, Gulu, and Pader. Battalion commanders reported non-existent recruits for these units and then pocketed the pay. The Ugandan report also said the numbers of men serving in the Rwenzori mountain-based Alpine Brigade was highly inflated. The report is part of Ugandas attempt to professionalize the army as well as eliminate governmental corruption.

 

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