The African Union Mission in Somalia will investigate allegations by Somalia Kenyan forces in the Amisom are launching airstrikes against civilians in the Gedo region.
“The Mission is currently engaged in gathering information on the reported incident and we shall work closely with the Federal Government of Somalia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and all other relevant stakeholders as we investigate this matter,” Amisom said in a statement on Saturday June 5.
In a statement on June 4, Somalia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation accused the Kenya Defence Forces of targeting civilians in its airstrikes.
The indiscriminate airstrikes that took place on Thursday in El Adde and Hisa-u-gur in the Gedo region resulted in the death and maiming of civilians.These KDF operations cloaked under a claim of carrying out operations against extremism are undoubtedly conducted in a manner that is bereft of its obligations under the UNSC’s AMISOM mandate,” the statement read in part.
Somalia said KDF’s conduct is becoming “increasingly provocative and indiscriminate under the pretext of fighting extremism”.
Somalia said this will not contribute to the efforts towards stabilising and confronting extremism but only further radicalise communities in support of extremism.
Consequently, Somalia called on Amisom to strengthen uniformity of reporting of civilian causality.
In its response, Amisom said it is obliged to carry out its mandated tasks in Somalia in manners that are consistent with its Troop and Police Contributing Countries obligations under all applicable international legal instruments.
“The Mission is therefore committed to investigating all allegations of rights violations that are levelled against troops under its command in Somalia. Towards this end, AMISOM shall fully investigate the alleged incident and the findings shall be shared with all relevant stakeholders,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Amisom Sector II Commander Brigadier Jeff Nyagah, who is also the Contingent Commander of the Kenyan troops serving in Somalia, on Saturday June 5 visited troops deployed in various Forward Operating Bases in the country.
In the two-day visit, Brigadier Nyagah visited troops based at Kolbiyow, Ras Kamboni, Kuday, Abdale Birole, New Airport, Old Airport and Sea Port FOBs.
He commended the soldiers for their service and resilience in ensuring sustainable peace in Somalia and in the region.
“We thank you for your service to humanity which is a service to God, your sacrifice in not in vain. Your efforts have highly contributed to spurring of socio-economic activities, which are critical in achieving peace.”
“We remain committed to the AMISOM’s mandate and the peace process therein,” Brigadier Nyagah said at Ras Kamboni base.
Brigadier Nyagah urged the troops to remain vigilant throughout their tour-of-duty to deter and defeat emerging threats to security.
He also encouraged the troops to continue enhancing interoperability with Somali security forces as enshrined in the Somali Transition Plan.
“The visit served as a morale booster to the troops it being an indicator of the KDF command appreciating the selfless efforts of the troops as they execute its mandate,” Amisom said in a statement.