Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Elders from Gedo Region, Southern Somalia condemn air strikes by Kenyan fighter jets in and around Damase village and El-wak District area.
Local media reports say that Kenya Defence Forces bombarded Damase village with mortar shells; one of the shells reportedly hit an elderly lady's house killing her on the spot.
The elders have said that in the last few days Kenyan forces have bombarded Damase village which is 60km from El-wak town, causing death, injury and destruction of property.
They said many heads of livestock were also killed in the shelling.
Locals have complained that they did not know who to approach with their grievances since the "Kenyan government seemed unconcerned and has shown little to no mercy on the residents."
This comes amid a recent warning by the Kenyan government that Al-shabaab members have destroyed a communication mast at Damase village which is on the Kenyan side of the border.
Media reports say the warning was followed by bomb attacks by KDF.
Last week, KDF fighter planes also bombarded an area near El-wak where four children, one girl and three boys were killed. In the same air strike many camels were also killed.
This also angered the residents of El-wak town (in Kenya) who took to the streets and burnt tires in protest.
KDF and AMISOM officials suspect renewed Al-shabaab activities in Gedo region. Last week, they said 10 vehicles carrying Al-shabaab militants were spotted in El-Adde town.
In January last year, El-Adde military camp manned by AMISOM’s Kenyan contigent was attacked by Alshabaab militia killing atleast 100 soldiers. AMISOM and KDF fears that the militias in the vehicles were on their way to attack other camps of KDF or Somali National Forces around El-wak, Gedo Region.
The local elders call on KDF and AMISOM to fight Al-shabaab without killing, bombarding or harming innocent civilians.