AMISOM to probe civilian deaths in southern Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia-African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) will be launching an investigation into the death of four people, the Mission said in statement on Sunday, GaroweOnline reports.
By Saturday, African Union peacekeepers killed four civilians in Lower Shabelle region town of Bula Marer, sparking off storm on social media.
“In accordance with AMISOM’s standard operating procedures in such situations, a board of inquiry will immediately be set up and, working very closely with the Federal Government of Somalia and South West Regional Administration, it will seek to clarify, in the minute detail, the exact circumstances in which the incident occurred and propose the action to be taken,” read the statement issued following the deadly incident.
Moreover, AMISOM expressed regret with the loss of civilian lives, and condoled with the bereaved families of victims.
African Union Mission to Somalia also claimed that the incident occurred during an operation to neutralize suspected Al Shabaab militants in Bula Marer.
“A speeding vehicle approached the roadblock and failed to adhere to repeated warnings to stop. Assuming the car to be a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED), the troops opened fire resulting in the death of four occupants of the vehicle.”
AU troops have battled Al Shabaab insurgents in central and southern Somalia alongside Somali National Army (SNA) for years as part of stabilization efforts.
In August, 2015, then-AMISOM head Maman Sidikou admitted that peacekeepers were responsible for the tragic killing of civilians at wedding party in Merca.
In July last year, Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused AMISOM troops in Somalia of civilian deaths. UN-backed central government is struggling to bar off Al Shabaab that carried out a string of suicide attacks, largely in Mogadishu.