Somali Governor Accuses AU Soldiers of Killing Civilians After Al-Shabaab Ambush

A Somali governor reports that troops attached to the Africa Union Mission in Somalia have shot and killed seven civilians, including five farmers, following an ambush by al-Shabaab militants last week.

Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur, the Governor of Lower Shabelle region, Southern Somalia, added that two other civilians whose vehicle broke down on the side of the road were also killed by the AU troops.

Nur said he confirmed the killings through meetings with local residents.

The shootings took place near the village of Golweyn on August 10.

Both the Somali government and the African Union confirmed the al Shabab militants ambushed peacekeepers while on a routine patrol near Golweyn. The soldiers engaged the militants in heavy fighting that lasted several hours in a farmland area about 2½ kilometres from Golweyn, Nur said.

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One AU soldier was killed; two others were injured, according to Nur.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), in a statement on August 11, promised a thorough investigation of the incident.

“On August 10, 2021, soldiers of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) while on a routine patrol to secure the Main Supply Route along the Beldamin-Golweyn Forward Operating Base in the Lower Shabelle region, were ambushed and attacked by Al-Shabab militants,” the AU said in a statement on August 11.

“AMISOM has since received reports that civilian lives were lost. To this end, AMISOM has launched a thorough investigation into the reported incident. The investigation team will present its findings and this will be followed by a Board of Inquiry.”

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AMISOM said troops seized firearms, rounds of ammunition and mobile phones during the gunfight against al-Shabab.

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