Govt Clarifies on Safety of Ugandan Security Guards in Iraq

Ugandan security personnel stand guard inside the U.S. embassy in Baghdad during the protests.

Following the ongoing violent protests in Iraq, government of Uganda has Sunday clarified that the Ugandan security guards are safe and that they have not suffered any injuries or fatalities.

There are about 700 Ugandans deployed in Iraq as security guards.

The protests which broke out this week in the Baghdad are as a result of the U.S. airstrikes on Sunday which killed 25 fighters under the Iranian-backed force, the Kataib Hezbollah militia, in western Iraq and eastern Syria.

The U.S. said the bombings were a retaliation for the death of an American civilian worker killed during a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base.

On Tuesday, the protestors attacked the American Embassy in Baghdad and according to a video clip posted on twitter by Live Breaking News, an American news wire, the angry and rowdy protestors mistook the Ugandan guards there for American marines.

The video shows Ugandan armed guards dressed in ballistic vests and helmets standing at the entrance of the embassy as demonstrators smashed the outer wall.

Back in Uganda, the incident has raised concern over the safety of Ugandans working as security guards in the Middle Eastern country. In a statement, the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development says all Ugandan security guards are safe with no injuries recorded so far.

As a lead agency in the externalization of labour, the Ministry says it is in touch with the office of SOC-USA, the company that employs the Ugandan guards to follow up on the matter.

Special Operations Centre (SOC) is an American company contracted by the U.S. State Department, to provide security services to U.S. embassies in different countries.

“The entire contingent is not involved in any combat operations and as such, no injuries or fatalities have be registered arising out of the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad,” read the statement.

“The Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development is keeping contact with SOC-USA and further details will be availed should there be new developments,” adds the Ministry.

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