The Somali Prime Minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble has setup a committee to investigate the killing of 7 Somali civilians in Golweyn, Lower Shabelle.
According to reports, AMISOM forces were travelling between the cities of Golweyn and Danow in the Shalanbood district when an IED exploded damaging the vehicle and possibly causing non-life threatening injuries to occupants.
Following the incident, AMISOM forces travelled to a near by farm owned by the deceased AUN Omar Hassan, rounding up a total of 5 individuals including his workers. The soldiers also stopped two individuals that were fixing their vehicle on the side of the road and executed them all.
‘We will not accept and will not allow any Somali to be harmed‘
Earlier today, PM Roble met with the Ugandan Ambassador to Somalia, Sam Turyamuhika and the AMISOM commander for the Lower Shabelle who have both sent their condolences to the victims.
Speaking to the press, the PM pledged that the Federal Government will protect Somali citizens and the FGS “shall not allow any Somali to be harmed. The Somali citizen is untouchable.”
The PM also launched a Ministerial Committee to investigate the Golweyn incident. The committee will convene in tomorrow to outline the task ahead according to State Media.
The Committee will compose of:
- Minister of Defence
- Minister of Interior
- Minister of Security
- Minister of Justice
PM Roble has told Somali National TV that he promises to bring justice to the families and bring the culprits before a court of law.
Days of Outcry
Scores of people held consecutive protests in Mogadishu this week with families of the deceased demanding justice for the crimes and convictions for criminal soldiers that committed the massacre. Additionally, the families of the victims have refused to bury the victims until justice has been served.
“We want the Somali people to see this. Remove these AMISOM forces. We want Somali soldiers”, said a relative of the victim speaking to Shabelle Media Network.
Four days ago, an event held by community leaders, elders, political activists and the families of the victims in Mogadishu attended by hundreds witnessed large scale condemnation and criticism of AMISOM. Some community leaders went so far as to threaten violence against AMISOM in retaliation if no actions were taken by the Federal Government or AMISOM.
It is after days of protests, campaigning both on social media and on the ground that the Somali government finally decided to investigate the Golweyn atrocities.
Continued War Crimes Unaccounted for
This is not the first war crime that has been committed by AMISOM in Somalia this year. A few months ago, the KDF Airforce under AMISOM bombed areas in Gedo which resulted in the deaths of numerous Somali children and women.
The war crime was showcased to the world by the Somali ambassador to the UN, Abukar Osman at the UNSC in New York, showing pictures of the victims for the world to see.
Despite a pledged investigation into the crime by the African Union and AMISOM as well as the Federal government, there has yet to be any investigations into the killings, with relatives of the deceased still yearning for justice.
The Somali government must provide answers immediately and begin an investigation. For far too long, crimes committed on Somali lands, seas or air have gone unchecked. A change is needed now.
Time to go?
A recent report released by the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) stated the need for AMISOM to remain in Somalia for another five years, explaining that the Somali National Army is incapable of defending Somalia. The report also criticised the Federal Government, accusing Somali politicians of being ‘corrupt and incompetent‘.
The FGS rejected this report, outlining that the statements made in the report are baseless. Additionally, the report was finalised and released without bilateral discussions with the Somali government. Many critics have deemed the report a ploy to increase AMISOM presence in Somalia for another five years despite the implementation of the Somali Transitional Plan under the UNSC plan.
The recent agreement reached in Mogadishu between Somali Ministry of Defence and the AUPSC has reversed the initial report and will kickstart a bilateral report which involves the Somali government, with the report expected to follow the guidelines set out by Mogadishu.
With a presence in Somalia for over a decade, AMISOM has played an undeniable role in Somalia during periods of uncertainty. However, the recent successes by the SNA demonstrates that the time has come for AMISOM to hand over the torch back to the Somali nation.
An offensive conducted by the SNA across Mudug, Hiiraan, Lower Shabelle and Lower Jubba in killed over 300 militants, destroyed over 200 hideouts and 4 bomb-laden vehicles and liberated over five towns and 16 villages in the space of a month.
It is time for Somalis to lead Somalia again.