Two Ugandans sentenced to death for killing Somalia civilians

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Relatives and eyewitnesses accused the Amisom soldiers of placing the bodies of some of the victims on remotely controlled mines before they were detonated.

•At the time, AMISOM said its forces were dislodging an impending al-Shabaab ambush.

Two Ugandan soldiers have been sentenced to death for causing the death of civilians in Somalia.

The court also jailed three others to 39 years each in prison.

They are accused of the killings during a fight between AMISOM forces and and Al-Shabaab militants along the Beldamin-Golweyn Forward Operating Base in the Lower Shabelle region on August 10, 2021.

Relatives and eyewitnesses accused the Amisom soldiers of placing the bodies of some of the victims on remotely controlled mines before they were detonated.

At the time, AMISOM said its forces were dislodging an impending al-Shabaab ambush.

AMISOM has some 20,000 soldiers in Somalia deployed to fight an insurgency waged by Al-Shabaab.

Although the Al-Qaeda linked militants were ousted from Mogadishu a decade ago, they continue to stage deadly attacks in the capital.

After reviewing all facts including witness statements, the court martial found soldiers guilty of killing the civilians.

The court ordered that they be repatriated from Somalia to Uganda to serve their sentences.

“As soldiers, we have a responsibility to protect lives and property. Our mission in Somalia is to degrade al Shabaab and other armed groups,” Ugandan People Defence Force Continent and Amisom sector one  commander Don Nabasa said.

“In doing so, we absolutely have every responsibility to protect the civilian population and this is very clear in our rules of engagement.”

In a statement to newsrooms, Amisom commander Diomede Ndegeya said as a military component of amisom, they will continue to ensure strict compliance with their obligations.

This is not the first time Ugandan soldiers in Somalia have been implicated in illegal activities.

In 2016, nine Ugandan soldiers were found guilty of illegally selling fuel meant for Amisom to civilians.

 

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