BREACHED RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

Amisom soldiers involved in killing of seven civilians in Golweyn — Inquiry

The soldiers were on routine patrol when they encountered the militants.

In Summary

• In a statement on Thursday, the BOI said it had concluded its probe and established that Amisom soldiers were in breach of rules of engagement.

• The BOI said the Amisom soldiers involved, who belong to the Government of the Republic of Uganda will be held to account, in a Court Martial that will conduct its proceedings in Somalia.

Commander of the Land Forces (CLF) of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), Lieutenant General, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, interacts with Ugandan soldiers serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) at the Barawe Forward Operating Base (FOB) in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia on 25 September 2021.
Commander of the Land Forces (CLF) of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), Lieutenant General, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, interacts with Ugandan soldiers serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) at the Barawe Forward Operating Base (FOB) in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia on 25 September 2021.
Image: AMISOM

The Board of Inquiry constituted by the African Union Mission in Somalia has said that its soldiers were involved in the killing of seven civilians in Golweyn.

In a statement on Thursday, the BOI said it had concluded its probe and established that Amisom soldiers were in breach of rules of engagement.

“The Board of Inquiry (BOI) convened by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to investigate allegations of civilian casualties in Golweyn on 10 August 2021, 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,” the statement said.

“Accordingly, AMISOM takes full responsibility for the unlawful acts of its personnel.”

The six-member board also confirmed that on that fateful day, Amisom soldiers encountered Al-Shabaab fighters where the incident occurred and there was an exchange of fire that also led to the death of one soldier, while another sustained gunshot injuries.

The inquiry was led by a senior officer and two other members from the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa.

Others include; a senior official from the Federal Government of Somalia, and a senior officer each from the Amisom military, Police and Mission Headquarters. 

The soldiers were on routine patrol when they encountered the militants.

The BOI said the Amisom soldiers involved, who belong to the Government of the Republic of Uganda will be held to account, in a Court Martial that will conduct its proceedings in Somalia.

“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,” the Board said.

Amisom assured that it is committed to the course of peace and security, as well as the protection of the people of Somalia, and it will continue to ensure strict compliance with its obligations under applicable International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights Law and its rules of engagement.

Edited by D Tarus