AMISOM Responds to Attacks and Protests in Mogadishu

Ugandan peacekeepers from AMISOM patrol in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. (File photo)
Ugandan peacekeepers from AMISOM patrol in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. (File photo)

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has spoken out on the protests that started in the capital Mogadishu on friday and continued throughout the weekend after a fierce gun fight with a local politician.

AMISOM was at the receiving end of protestors who accused the force of shooting civilians during a battle to disarm local politician Ahmed Hassan Addow known as Ahmed Daci. The AU Mission said that Daci’s militia fired at AMISOM, precipitating a firefight.

The politician was the district Commissioner of Wadajir until April this year, but Somali government argues that he has enormous illegal weapons that could fall into Al shabab hands.

His home was raided as part of the citywide crackdown on illegal weapons which has seen hundreds of weapons and ammunition being recovered from warlords’ homes and militias.

At least 10 people, most of them civilians were reported killed and 20 others injured during a two-hour battle between Somali troops backed by AU forces and militiamen loyal to Ahmed Daci and his colleague Abdullah Sheikh Hassan, a local politician.

Ugandan contingent spokesperson, Deo Akiiki in an email to URN says the force was yesterday Sunday 17 attacked in the town of Marka, 175 kilometers from the capital Mogadishu by unknown men who planted Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) on the road used by the AMISOM convoy.

But Deo Akiiki maintains that AMISOM will fight back at gunmen who fire from buildings where civilians are living.  Similarly, AMISOM Force Commander Lt. Gen. Silas Ntigurirwa says such disarm operations are part of the wider effort to improve security in Mogadishu and Southern Somalia in general.

“During the operation, the militia was overpowered and 19 were arrested, 15 guns and an assortment of ammunition recovered,” AMISOM said

AMISOM STATEMENT IN FULL

Somali security forces supported by AMISOM conducted a cordon and search operations in Mogadishu’s Madina district, this followed a tip off that there are arms cache in a location near the former District Commissioner who is also a former warlord at his home.

The forces closed in at the location and there were fired at by the militia.  There was firefight between militia of former DC Mr Daaci and Somali forces supported by AMISOM. During the operation, the militias were overpowered and 19 of them arrested.

15 guns of different calibres were recovered and an assortment of ammunition. One of our soldiers was slightly injured on the arm and one police Casper was destroyed by an SPG 9 gun bomb.

The fire fight was between militias of a former warlord and somali national forces supported by AMISOM, it was not Alshabaab. Cordorn and search operations have been ongoing for the last four months to get rid of illegal munitions and arms from Mogadishu city.

This is not operation Indian Ocean. Cordon and search operations have been going on for the last four months in mogadishu and other liberated towns to get rid of illegal arms used by shebaabs or former warlords’ militias.

The so called demonstrations in the town of Marka about 175km from mogadishu was after our convoy was attacked by an IED then later fired at and our forces responded with superior fire. That was on Sunday 17th. By all levels no firing at AMISOM should expect to go unchallenged. The shooting from buildings was the worst thing Alshabaab did since it put these buildings on target of AMISOM fire.

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