26.09.2021: Garbahaarrey, Gedo
Reports coming in from the border district of El Wak in the Gedo region of Jubaland are indicating that the Kenyan Air Force authorised and conducted an airstrike in four areas of the district. Local residents and journalists have reported that there have been civilian casualties in the bombardment however there remains to be an unclear number of deaths and injuries currently.
The bombing comes following an Al-Shabaab attack on a KDF Forward Operating Base (FOB) in the town of Honsigow, Southern Somalia on Wednesday which killed two according to AMISOM.
This is not the first time that Al-Shabaab has attempted to overrun a KDF base in Somalia. In 2016, the terrorists attacked the town of El-Adde FOB which killed over 200 soldiers. A year later, the militants attacked Kulbiyow FOB which killed 70 KDF soldiers.
The Federal Government of Somalia issued a firm response at the United Nations condemning the Kenyan bombing of Gedo earlier this year which killed children and women in the border region of Gedo. A government press statement released unequivocally elucidated that the Kenyan/AMISOM regime must consult with authorities in Mogadishu before conducting airstrikes within Somali territory.
Horumar cannot currently confirm whether the Kenyan authorities had consulted with Federal government officials.
Civilian deaths unaccounted for
Yet again, AMISOM forces engage in bombings and attacks which cost Somali lives. Only a few months ago, Somalis witnessed the brutal murders of 7 civilians in the town of Golweyn. The subsequent silence from the Somali government and AMISOM resulted in major protests in Mogadishu which continued for months.
Protesters refused to bury the bodies of their loved ones until justice was achieved for the victims of the brutal crime.
While Prime Minister Roble setup a committee to investigate the deaths and AMISOM pledged an open investigation, much like the Gedo bombing, no investigation has begun.
Both the Somali government and AMISOM command seem to be reluctant to investigate the war crimes committed against Somali civilians.
There currently remains no official records or investigations into any major war crime committed by AMISOM forces in Somalia.
More silence in Somalia
Despite the deaths of civilians by a hostile country engaging in an unauthorised bombing within Somali territory, senior Somali Presidential candidates are yet to address, condemn or send condolences to the victims and the crime.
The wall of silence is an eerie reminder of the silence by politicians following the Golweyn atrocities and the Gedo bombing. Conversely, the same politicians have been utilising the unresolved case of Ikraan Tahliil as a political football to score easy points during a period of political volatility and adversary.
The death of Ikraan has been politicised and unfortunately, the death of the young woman has become an infamous case in Somali political history.
In the other camp, the Somali government has been awkwardly quiet with Somali state media not reporting the bombing at all, which resulted in backlash on social media from Somalis.
It seems as though a Somali life is of little value to Somali leaders.
The same leaders that were to represent the defenceless Somali farmer or nomad are instead turning a blind eye.