The Somali government and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have jointly agreed to launch an investigation into last Friday’s clashes between Somali forces and AU troops in Mogadishu, the Interior Ministry confirmed.
On February 23rd, a friendly-fire shootout involving the convoy of Brigadier Paul Lokech, the head of the Ugandan contingent of AMISOM, began when soldiers from the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) erected security checkpoints at KM4 roundabout after twin bomb blasts by Al-Shabaab killed dozens.
The AMIMSOM troops were denied entry through the checkpoint and ended in a shootout between the forces at NISA checkpoint that claimed the lives of a Somali soldier and injured four others.
Officials from Somali government and AMISOM commanders on Tuesday held talks over the clashes.
Somali Minister for Interior, Abdi Mohamed Sabriye who attended the meeting said both sides agreed to form an investigative committee to probe the incident.
“In fact, that incident happened accidentally. When we came to know about the circumstances of the issue between the two troops, we agreed as the Somali government and AMISOM to remedy that matter, to investigate it fully and have a decision based on the outcome of the investigations,” Sabriye said.
Sabriye pointed out that both officials from Somali government and AMISOM expressed concern over the friendly-shoutout.
Francisco Madeira, African Union Special Envoy to Somalia who also spoke at the meeting has disputed with the number of the people killed in the skirmishes saying AMISOM expresses regret over the incident where its troops killed only one NISA soldier and injured four others including two civilians.
“Together, much as we expressed regret of what has happened, decided that we have to continue in the common purpose, focused and pursue our objective of stabilizing the country,” the SRCC, who was accompanied by Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Jim Owoyesigire, and the Acting Police Commissioner, Christine Alalo, said.
Previously the Ugandan military has maintained that it has acted in self defence.
Brigadier Richard Karemire, Ugandan military spokesman has said the soldiers were position self-defence.