By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Mogadishu: After critical investigations into allegations of civilian casualties in Golweyn on 10 August 2021, the Board of Inquiry (BOI) convened by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has established that, regrettably, the seven people killed were civilians and the conduct of the personnel involved was in breach of the AMISOM Rules of Engagement.
According to the six-member board, which was chaired by a representative from the African Union Commission Headquarters in Addis Ababa with membership including representatives from both AMISOM and the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), 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. In the encounter, one AMISOM soldier was killed and another sustained gunshot injuries.
”Accordingly, AMISOM takes full responsibility for the unlawful acts of its personnel,” reads a statement released by AMISOM.
According to the statement, AMISOM will hold the implicated soldiers to account with a view to ensuring that justice is served, as recommended by the BOI.
AMISOM further reveals that 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,” statement adds.
It is envisaged that, in accordance with its obligations under the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the African Union, the Ugandan Government will reach out to the bereaved families to discuss how to atone for the lives of those killed. For its part, AMISOM says will follow up on this matter to its conclusive end.
”AMISOM remains deeply committed to the cause of peace and security in Somalia and the protection of the local population as part of its core mandate. Accordingly, the Mission leadership will continue to ensure strict compliance with its obligations under the applicable International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Human Rights Law and its Rules of Engagement,” noted AMISOM.