African Union (AU) forces killed seven civilians in Somalia during a recent ambush by Al Qaeda-linked terrorists, a probe into the incident by the bloc announced Thursday.
A six-member board of inquiry that included representatives from the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somalian government confirmed that AU troops were responsible for these civilian deaths during the clashes with the Al-Shabaab terror group in the village of Golweyn, some 90 kilometers (56 miles) from the capital Mogadishu, on August 10, 2021.
“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,” AMISOM said in a statement.
“Regrettably, the seven people killed were civilians and the conduct of the personnel involved was in breach of the AMISOM Rules of Engagement,” it added.
The AU mission said that it took full responsibility for the unlawful acts of its personnel and would hold the implicated soldiers to justice, with the Court Martial of the troops to sit and conduct proceedings in the Horn of African country.
All the implicated soldiers serving under AMISOM are nationals of Uganda.
AMISOM said that in line with an agreement with the African Union, the Ugandan government would reach out to the bereaved families to discuss how to atone for the lives of those killed.