17 January 2013

Somalia: MP Accuses Amisom of 'Massacre', Amisom 'To Investigate Civilian Killings'

Photo: United Nations
A Somali girl crosses a street on her way to school while AMISOM soldiers stand guard (file photo).

Mogadishu — A member of Somalia 's federal parliament has accused African Union peacekeepers (AMISOM) committing a 'massacre ', while AMISOM officials have announced that they are 'investigating civilian killing ', Garowe Online reports.

Somalia MP Dahir Amin Jisow told Somali media in Mogadishu on Thursday that AMISOM troops were responsible for killing civilians, including children.

"The incident occurred on Tuesday morning near Leego village, around 120km to the west of Mogadishu. Some 7 civilians were killed, including 5 young children under the age of 10 years old, who were studying at a Koranic school, " said MP Jisow.

The report of civilian killings could not be independently verified.

Continuing, MP Jisow said that AMISOM commanders have "pledged to prevent civilian killings " and demanded an "immediate investigation " into the matter.

Maj. Gen. Salvatore Harushimana, the acting AMISOM commander, told reporters in Mogadishu that AMISOM is investigating the matter.

"AMISOM is committed to protecting civilians in Somalia and we are seriously investigating this new matter, " said Gen. Harushimana.

It is not the first time that AMISOM troops have been accused of committing civilian killings during military operations against Al Shabaab militant group. AMISOM troops have aided Somali government forces regain control over Mogadishu and most regions in south-central Somalia since August, 2011.

Al Shabaab terror group has vowed "revenge attacks " for the civilians near Leego village, in Lower Shabelle region.

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