AMISOM investigating UPDF involvement in civilian deaths in Somalia

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The leadership of African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has said it is investigating circumstances under which its troops are implicated in the death of seven civilians who were killed during an operation against Al shabab militants inside Somalia.

According to the 21 August, 2021 AMISOM statement, Ugandan troops serving under the peacekeeping mission are being investigated in alleged killing of seven civilians. The incident according to the statement followed an attack by Al shabab on Ugandan troops on August 10 in Golweyn town Lower Shabelle region.

Following the incident, AMISOM notes that preliminary findings from investigations involving meetings with elders, community leaders and government officials, have confirmed that the victims were civilians and not Al shabab as presumed earlier.

To probe further and take punitive action, AMISOM stated that a seven member board of inquiry (BOI) has been constituted to establish the extent to which AMISOM troops are responsible for the death of the seven civilians and the circumstances.

The statement further notes that the Ugandan government has assured the AMISOM leadership that in the spirit of transparency, if the board establishes that its officers have a case to answer, a Court Martial will be constituted and held in Somalia, to try those that are implicated.

AMISOM says it is taking this serious legal to these serious allegations in line with International best practice and committed to conducting a thorough investigation as quickly as possible, hold anyone accountable responsible and abide by all the findings or recommendations of the inquiry.

This legal inquiry is led by a senior officer and two other members of the AMISOM commission in Adis Ababa, a senior official from the Federal Government of Somalia, and senior officers from AMISOM military, Police and Headquaters. The mission working directly with the Federal Government of Somalia and affected families, has given its commitment to a swift and transparent inquiry which will conclude its work by 6th September, 2021.

It also noted that the BOI has already commenced its investigations and it will recommend payment of amends to the affected families in the event AMISOM soldiers are found culpable, and make recomendations to avoid a reocurrance.

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