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Somalia: Kenyan troops accused of rape and killings in Gedo

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online
Kenya Defence Forces soldiers converse at their camp in Somalia on February 11, 2017. KDF has killed an Al-Shabaab leader in Somalia. [PHOTO: NATION MEDIA GROUP]

MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Kenyan forces not serving under the African Union [AU] mission in Somalia [AMISOM] have been accused of committing atrocities in Gedo region, Garowe Online reports.

In a statement, eight members of Somali Parliament [Lower House and Senate] who hail from the region said Kenyan soldiers killed innocent residents in cold blood and raped local women and girls.

The Somali Federal MPs have jointly condemned the heinous atrocities carried out by Kenyan Defence forces [KDF] in "the strongest possible terms" and called for a credible probe into continuing abuses in Gedo.

In the latest incident, the KDF gang-raped five Somali women in the countryside of Beled-Hawo district, along with the border with Kenya on the 24th of July, 2018, according to the lawmakers.

They said the rape victims include minor girls.

The statement added that the Kenyan forces who have crossed the border into the country under the pretext of fighting against Al-Shabaab militants are involving in the rampant crimes against humanity.

The parliamentarians described the mass rape and killing in Gedo province as "unacceptable" and urged Jubbaland and the Somali Federal Government to swiftly investigate and bring the culprits to justice.

Dozens of Somali civilians, mostly pastoralists and farmers lost their lives in KDF airstrikes in the rural areas in the region since June of 2015. Large numbers of livestock were also killed in the attacks.

Last month, Kenya's anti-terrorism units used explosives to destroy a communication mast belonging to a Mogadishu-based Hormuud telecom near El-Wak town, and killed two staff members, said the company.

Kenyan military officials could not be immediately reached for a comment.

Kenya sent combat forces to neighboring Somalia in mid-2011 to carry out Operation Linda Nchi (Protect the Country) fighting the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab group after series foreign abductions inside its soil.

In 2012, the troops joined the UN-mandated AU mission [AMISOM] and took the lead in the battle against Al-Shabaab fighters in Gedo, Lower and Middle Jubba regions of southern Somalia.


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