What you need to know:
- Somalia is accuses KDF under Amisom of killing civilians int Elwak, Somalia, on September 21.
- KDF, for a week now, has kept vigil along the common border.
- Residents of Mandera along the border have since left their homes.
The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) has written to the Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson for Somalia (SRCC) and Head of Amisom, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, asking for an inquest into recent killings in the Gedo region.
Somali locals are accusing Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers under Amisom of being complicit in the killing of civilians in Elwak, Somalia, on September 21.
In the letter dated October 1, Mr Abdisaid Ali, National Security Adviser in the Office of the President, said the Somali government is gravely concerned about the incident.
“Reports are circulating of an incident near Elwak, Gedo region in which it is alleged that Amisom soldiers opened fire on a Somali civilian in the week of 21 September 2020. The Federal Government of Somalia is gravely concerned about the graphic and violent images in circulation and requests that Amisom open an immediate and transparent inquiry into the incident,” says the letter seen by the Nation.
Mr Ali asked Amisom to share the initial facts that led to the shooting incident on September 21 at Bula-hache (Elwak, Somalia) with FGS.
“We request that the inquiry is concluded swiftly so that those involved may be held accountable,” he wrote.
Residents of Bulahawa, a Somali town neighbouring Mandera, have reported trooping in of Somalia National Army (SNA) personnel after a shootout ensued between KDF and SNA on Saturday along the common border.
Somali and Kenyan troops engaged in a minutes-long firefight along the common border in Mandera but no casualties were reported.
It was reported that Kenyan security forces fired shots to deter Somali demonstrators from approaching.
The demonstrators from Somalia’s town of Bulahawa attempted to cross into Mandera to present their grievances to Kenyan authorities over alleged killing of civilians, but their mission failed after the firefight.
KDF, for a week now, has kept vigil along the border with government authorities in Mandera keeping mum on the same. But residents of Mandera who live along the border have since left their homes.
“I left my home on Sunday after I was told the military from Somalia was gathering in Bulahawa in readiness for a clash with KDF. I cannot wait for death at my doorstep,” said Mr Ali Adan, a resident of Mandera town.
Locals allege that KDF officers killed three civilians at Elwak Somalia a few days after a deadly clash with suspected Al-Shabaab militants that left a soldier dead and two others injured at Alungo, Mandera South.
At least five Shabaab fighters were killed in the Alungo clash, according to local security agencies in Mandera.
Over the past year, relations between Nairobi and Mogadishu have soured, especially over a political crisis in the semi-autonomous Jubaland region of Somalia.
The Somali government initially refused to acknowledge the contested re-election in August 2019 of Jubaland President Ahmed Madobe, a political ally of Kenya.
Somalia has severally accused Kenya of interference in its internal affairs, in particular through Jubaland.
In March, when fierce fighting broke out between Somali and Jubaland troops, also near Mandera, Somalia accused Kenya of harbouring wanted Jubaland Minister for Security Abdirashid Hassan Abdinur alias Abdirashid Janan.
Since then, Jubaland troops have remained in Mandera for unknown reasons.