News / Africa

AU Peacekeepers Deny Indiscriminately Shelling Mogadishu Residents

AMISOM spokesman Barigye Bahoku says militant groups such as al-Shabab must take responsibility for their frequent use of civilians as human shields.

Multimedia

Audio
James Butty

A spokesman for the African Union Peacekeeping mission in Somalia known as AMISOM is denying published reports that African Union peacekeepers are indiscriminately shelling civilians in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Earlier this week, the Associated Press cited “internal African Union reports” which said that if indiscriminate shelling continues the AU mission will lose the support of the Somali people.

AMISOM spokesman Major Barigye Bahoku said that while he did not know about the report, he believes militant groups such as al-Shabab must take responsibility for their frequent use of civilians as human shields.

“I don’t know where the AP (Associated Press) got this report from, and I am quite uncomfortable responding to a report that I’ve not seen. But whatever case it is, I think what we should be thinking about is that the forces opposed to the peace process which unleash their regular attacks from residential areas and all types of places using human shields is what’s causing the loss of life in Mogadishu. So, blame must be taken to the doorsteps of those who always provoke those situations,” he said.

Bahoku expressed regrets that civilians are regularly caught in cross fire, but he said that is the nature of the place called Mogadishu.

The AMISOM spokesman also said he wanted to clarify that not all dead bodies in Mogadishu are necessarily those of civilians.

“Some of the dead, in fact, the majority of those bodies that are being talked about are bodies of the fighters, but they are putting on the same clothes as any other Somali,” he said.

African leaders meeting in Uganda’s capital, Kampala this weekend are likely to consider sending more troops to Somalia or change the mandate of AMISOM.

Major Bahoku said the peacekeepers will carry out whatever decision reached in Kampala.

“The decision of the AU summit in Kampala is the decision of the heads of state. I don’t think I’m at liberty to comment on whatever decision they will take. They are leaders of Africa and we trust that they have got the wisdom to take a decision concerning any country in Africa. And so any decision that they take that can be helpful toward resolving this conflict would be very welcome by AMISOM troops that were mandated by the same leaders to come and help the Somalis gain their freedom and peace,” Bahoku said.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid