Somalia:Amison’s response to the qoryooley and marka incidents
Mogadishu, 19 December 2016 – AMISOM expresses concern over reports appearing in a section of the media that its troops were behind the deaths of civilians in Qoryooley and Marka. Initial reports established that on the night of December 17th, AMISOM troops came under mortar attack by suspected Al-Shabaab terrorists hiding in the neighbourhood.
This was after the troops on patrol noticed an unusual movement of vehicles in the night, believed to have been ferrying Al-Shabaab fighters. There is an agreement in place between the local administration and AMISOM banning movement of vehicles in the area after 19:00hours to minimize terrorist attacks in the night, which had become frequent, killing innocent civilians.
The movement of vehicles prompted AMISOM troops to set up a roadblock to thwart attacks by Al-Shabaab militants. A minibus approaching the roadblock was ordered to stop but the driver defied the order and reversed the vehicle in haste, forcing our troops to shoot, killing six people in the minibus.
The same evening at 19:00 hours, near Buffow, an AMISOM convoy en-route to Mogadishu was ambushed by Al-Shabaab militants after it hit an improvised explosive device (IED). Our troops fought off the attackers and managed to arrest one of the fighters. By the time AMISOM left the area, no civilian casualty had occurred.
AMISOM operates under the international human rights law and takes civilian casualties, by its troops, seriously.
All allegations made against its personnel are thoroughly investigated and action taken under the rules and procedures governing the mission’s operation in Somalia.
AMISOM and the Federal Government of Somalia have launched investigations into the two incidents and appropriate action will be taken once completed.