04.12.2022: Elasha Biyah, L/Shabelle
Abdirahman Farah Fidow, a young university graduate was returning to his tailor shop when he was hit by a military vehicle of the African Union forces in Elasha Biyaha in Lower Shabelle on Wednesday. He was rushed to the hospital where he passed away, according to family.
The incident resulted public uproar as angry residents backed blocked the main road after the ATMIS convoy attempted to flee from the crime scene.
According to witnesses, this resulted in ATMIS soldiers firing rounds to disperse the crowd which angered locals.
“My Brother Died in the Hospital”
Speaking to local media, the sister of the late Abdirahman, Asha Farah said that “his injury was very serious as he was hit on the head”.
“What can we do now we can not return him back as he was our breadwinner,” she continued.
The deputy District Commissioner of Elasha Biyaha, Mohamed Hassan said that he communicated with the ATMIS command in nearby Afgoye following the incident however did not receive an immediate response.
On 1 December, ATMIS issued a public statement acknowledging the death of the young man.
“The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia expresses its heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased and has since set up a preliminary investigation team to work closely with witnesses, government, and local authorities to investigate the deeply regrettable accident,” ATMIS said.
“The findings of the investigation team will be presented to a Board of Inquiry,” the mission adds.
We have also reached out to ATMIS Head Offices regarding the incident.
Speaking to Horumar, Deputy Head of the ATMIS, Fiona Lortan confirmed that “there was an unfortunate accident”, insisted that ATMIS “have instituted a joint investigation with the Somali authorities”.
“ATMIS is also committed to upholding acceptable standards of behaviour” she added.
We also reached out to the Somali Police Force and Spokesman Saadik Doodishe confirmed to Horumar that there currently is a joint investigation alongside ATMIS.
This is not the first time ATMIS has killed a Somali civilian.
It was 2021 when reports emerged that from the Golweyn in Shalanbood, Lower Shabelle that AMISOM forces rounded up and killed 7 Somalis in the region according to the Governor of Shalanbood.
According to bystanders and eye witnesses, some of the individuals were immediately executed with a bullet to the head.
“Their corpses were dragged 100 meters from the location of the crime. They were piled up and explosive devices were placed on the pile of corpse before being exploded“,
“We collected a leg from one location, an arm from another location, a leg from another location,”
“It is routine for AMISOM forces to travel on this particular road every few weeks to move supplies. They have always harassed and even killed innocent Somalis along this road”,
“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.
Above the Law?
It was in October of this year when the Ugandan soldiers that were found guilty of murdering 7 Somali civilians in the town of Golweyn had their sentences reduced from death penalties to jail sentences ranging from 15 to 19 years by the Court Martial Appeal Court, overruling a previous decision made by a court in Mogadishu.
Among the convicted murderers include Captain Charles Asiimwe, CPL Edison Bwambale, Lance CPL Phillip Ichumar, and Pte Kerere Tushemereirwe.