The African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM has confirmed the shooting incident last evening which killed a 14 year old boy who was playing football near a military base in Yakshid district, Mogadishu.
AMISOM spokesman Col. Paul Njuguna has told Goobjoog News the incident was regrettable and that the mission is still processing the information regarding the incident before taking necessary steps.
However Njuguna said the soldiers could have been acting on a point of defense over concerns that the boy may have crossed a defense line.
“Somebody ran into a defense position and our soldiers took it as a threat. When you’re faced with an imminent threat when somebody would run into a defense position in that manner, definitely the soldiers would want to defend themselves,” said Njuguna.
But the family of the deceased told Goobjoog News last evening the boy was shot by the second soldier after the first one handed the ball to the boy when it crossed into the fence of Mogadishu Stadium which now serves as AMISOM base.
“The soldier shot him as he was trying to pick the ball near the fence of Mogadishu. We could not understand why he shot him even when he knew these were just young boys playing football,” said Adan Ahmed Mohamed, the boy’s cousin.
Civilian casualty unit
Col Njuguna said the AMISOM civilian casualty unit has received information regarding the incident and he called on Somalis to utilise the new web portal in its website to report any such incidences for necessary action.
The development comes around two months after a deadly incident involving AMISOM troops in the coastal town of Marka where the soldiers were accused of shooting dead nine family members and friends who had gathered for a wedding ceremony.
The AMISOM spokesman said plans for compensation are afoot but only after the process is concluded which includes the participation of the government, AMISOM and the African Union.
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon last month called on troops contributing countries to various missions to ensure proper legal mechanisms are put in place to ensure incidences of human rights violation by troops are adequately addressed and more importantly avoided at all cost.
“I appeal to you to institute on-site court martial proceedings to preserve chains of evidence and allow justice to be done and witnessed by the communities and individuals whose trust has been shaken,” said Ban.