AU Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia Takes Responsibility for Civilian Deaths

AU troops in Somalia

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – The African Union mission in Somalia has taken full responsibility for killings of civilians in the Lower Shabelle region that led to weeks of protests in the capital Mogadishu and calls for the withdrawal of troops serving the peacekeeping mission.

In a statement issued on Friday, AMISOM said, a commission assigned with an investigation into allegations of civilian casualties in Golwayn on August 10, had established that “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, which was chaired by a representative from the African Union Commision Headquarters in Addis Ababa with membership including representatives from both AMISOM and the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), confirmed that, on that fateful day, AMISOM soldiers did indeed, encounter Al-Shabaab fighters at the area of the incident following which there were exchanges of gunfire,” AMISOM said in a statement.

AMISOM will hold the implicated soldiers to account with a view to ensuring that justice is served, as recommended by the BOI. Following due process, 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.”

The peacekeeping mission said it had taken full responsibility for the “unlawful acts of its personnel”.

According to AMISOM, Ugandan government will reach out to the bereaved families to “atone for the lives of those killed” and the peacekeeping mission will “follow up this matter to its conclusive end”.

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