The US private military contractor Bancroft has dismissed media reports that its operatives in Somalia were involved in the military operation in Barire, Lower Shabelle which claimed ten terming the statements as ‘disappointing’.
Bancroft said in a statement that neither its personnel nor the Somali Special Forces, Danab which it works participated in the operation which the Somali government has now affirmed civilians were killed vacating an earlier position that those killed were Al-Shabaab militants.
“There have been reports that Bancroft participated in this operation. That is false Bancroft personnel works wirth Amisom units and Somalia’s Danab battalion on operations. There were no Amisom forces or Bancroft personnel involved in today’s operation. There were no Danab soldiers involved either,” said Bancroft.
Media reports Friday quoting Lower Shabelle officials indicated Bancroft personnel were involved in the killing of ten people whose bodies were later transported to Mogadishu by families.
Bancroft said it was disappointed to learn of rumours that its personnel harmed Somali civilians. Bancroft describes itself as providing a package of mentoring services to the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), and through AMISOM to the Somali government.
Meanwhile families of those killed in Barire Thursday are meeting in Mogadishu today with legislators and elders from Lower Shabelle region to deliberate on the fate of their kin. The families declined to bury their dead noting they were still seeking answers from the government.