The African Union troops in Somalia have been accused of killing more than 13 Somali Civilians in the Southern port town of Merka after being attacked with grenades by unknown assailants.
Community leaders and Residents said the soldiers arrived in more than a dozen armored personnel carriers in the early morning hours of Tuesday.
“Soldiers stormed some neighbourhoods. And many lives, men, women and children, were lost and later to be found dead,” said one local elder.
Another elder expressed his anger over the slaughter of the African Union forces.
“They [AMISOM] have a duty to protect, not to attack, the population. We are not the ones who attacked them,’’ he said, calling for the Federal government of Somalia to bring justice to the ones found responsible.
Merka, which is some 70km (45 miles) south of Mogadishu, was once a stronghold for the al-Shabaab extremists and a source of revenue.
It is not the first time the AU peacekeepers have committed atrocities or similar acts.
Somalia’s Federal government has not issued a statement on this incident which has created anger among the Somali communities.
But this incident is expected to damage the standing of the peacekeeping force, where it is relatively popular, in particular in Mogadishu and other urban areas that it has helped seize back from the militants linked to al Qaeda.
AMISOM which has over 17,000 peacekeepers from Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibout and Burundi in the country has not yet commented on the incident.
Published: July 21, 2015