Soldiers belonging to the Burundian contingent of the African Union Mission in Somalia prepare to march on the Al Shabab held town of Ragaele in the Hiraan region of Somalia on September 30, 2014 [AMISOM]Soldiers belonging to the Burundian contingent of the African Union Mission prepare to march on the Al-Shabab held town of Ragaele, Somalia on 30 September 2014 [AMISOM]
A United Nations report has claimed that the African Union’s Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) was responsible for killing 42 children last year. “Child casualties attributed to AMISOM primarily occurred in operations against Al-Shabaab or in indiscriminate fire responding to attacks,” said the report released on Friday.
The Kenyan Defence Forces, which regularly engage with the extremists of Al-Shabaab, are responsible for killing 11 children, it claimed. The UN document added that the US is also responsible for killing at least one child in 2016 in the conflict in the Horn of Africa.
In the most recent US counterterrorism raid operating alongside Somali forces, scores of civilians were attacked in the search for Al-Shabaab fighters in southern Somalia. Ten civilians, including women and children, were killed in the village of Bariire, in the lower Shabelle region. US forces have killed 510 people in Somalia since 2007 using targeted drone strikes.
AMISOM’s mission in Somalia is meant to be restricted to peacekeeping, and it is approved by the UN. It is dealing with the threat posed by Al-Shabaab, a group associated with Al-Qaeda.