BAIDOA, Somalia, October 22, 2021 / APO Group / –
The Commission of Inquiry (BOI) convened by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to investigate the allegations of civilian casualties in Golweyn on August 10, 2021, established that, sadly, the seven people killed were civilians and the conduct of the personnel involved violated AMISOM’s rules of engagement.
The six-member Council, which was chaired by a representative from the African Union Commission headquarters in Addis Ababa and including representatives from AMISOM and the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), confirmed that this fateful day, AMISOM soldiers did, in fact, meet Al-Shabaab fighters in the area of the incident, following which there was an exchange of gunfire. During the encounter, an AMISOM soldier was killed and another was shot and wounded.
As a result, AMISOM assumes full responsibility for the illegal acts of its staff.
AMISOM will hold the soldiers involved to account to ensure justice is done, as recommended by the BOI. In accordance with due process, the government of the Republic of Uganda, as the Troop Contributing Country (TCC) to which the soldiers involved belong, has established a court martial to try the wandering soldiers. The court martial will sit and conduct its proceedings in Somalia.
It is expected that, in accordance with its obligations under the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the African Union, the Ugandan government will reach out to bereaved families to discuss how to atone for the lives of those killed. For its part, AMISOM will follow this case to its conclusion.
AMISOM remains deeply committed to the cause of peace and security in Somalia and the protection of the local population is part of its core mandate. Accordingly, the leadership of the Mission will continue to ensure strict compliance with its obligations under international humanitarian law (IHL), human rights law and its applicable rules of engagement.
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