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AMISOM admits it killed civilians in Lower Shabelle

Friday October 22, 2021

Ugandan soldiers during Operation Indian Ocean. Photo Credit: Wikiwand

Nairobi (HOL) - AMISOM forces admitted that its peacekeepers unlawfully killed seven civilians in Somalia, promising that the soldiers responsible will be held accountable.

"The Board of Inquiry (BOI) convened by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to investigate allegations of civilian casualties in Golweyn on August 10, 2021, has established that, regrettably, the seven people killed were civilians and the conduct of the personnel involved was in breach of the AMISOM Rules of Engagement."

The six-member board said that AMISOM bore "full responsibility" for the massacre, which it described as "unlawful acts."

The incident happened on August 10 when Ugandan forces were patrolling the main supply route between Beldamin-Golweyn. At the time, AMISOM reported that its fighters dislodged an impending Al-Shabaab ambush.

"During the counter-attack, seven terrorists were killed while others sustained injuries, and an assortment of weapons was recovered. AMISOM commends the bravery and fast action of its soldiers in which one peacekeeper sustained injuries."

However, Mohamed Yonis, the father of one of the victims, spoke with local media and directly challenged AMISOM's claims. Yonis said that his son and six others -  including the farm owner - were killed on the spot by the Ugandan soldiers. He said that following the massacre, the troops detonated a landmine to cover their tracks.

A day later, AMISOM released a second statement that conceded that the seven victims were not Al-Shabaab fighters. They said they were working with elders, and community leaders assured locals that it would identify and punish the troops.

The Ugandan military is responsible for court-martialing the rogue soldiers.

"The Government of the Republic of Uganda, as a Troop Contributing Country (TCC) to which the implicated soldiers belong, has constituted a Court Martial to try the errant soldiers. The Court Martial will sit and conduct its proceedings in Somalia.

AMISOM previously said that any proceedings would be held in Somalia for transparency.


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