Five soldiers of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) were arrested on Sunday for alleged involvement in illegal sales of military supplies, Amisom officials confirmed on Monday.
In a press release, Amisom said the soldiers were arrested in a joint operation they conducted with the Somali police following investigations into the matter.
“Amisom had previously received information that its soldiers were allegedly involved in illegal activity and acted decisively to investigate the matter.
"The investigation culminated in a joint operation to apprehend the soldiers, who were found in possession of fuel and sand bags,” an Amisom source said.
The soldiers were arrested alongside 10 civilians at a garage in the Benadir region. Also recovered were telephones, ammunition materials and petrol, among others.
“Amisom exercises zero tolerance to unprofessional conduct among its personnel and the culprits will be prosecuted in accordance with the law,” they said.
Amisom said the mission would continue to investigate the matter to its logical conclusion, and will take the requisite steps to ensure that this practice was uprooted from within its ranks.
This is the first time Somali government forces have arrested AU peacekeeping troops found engaging in activities against their mission in the country.
The troops from the pan-African body and the Somali National Army are jointly carrying out operations against Al-Shabaab militants in south and central Somalia. Amisom troops are from Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti and Ethiopia.