The Africa Union Peacekeeping Mission
in Somalia (AMISOM) has sharply denied backing government troops fighting hard line insurgents. Media reports Sunday suggested that
AMISOM troops reinforced government forces in a raging fight against Islamist
Some political observers said AMISOM would have flouted its own
mandate if it were involved in active combat.
But AMISOM denied any involvement
in the fighting between government troops and hard line Islamic insurgents.
Major Barigye Ba-Huko is the spokesman for AMISOM. He told VOA that AMISOM troop
movement has been misconstrued.
are reports that have been created by opposition forces to attack our
positions. What has happened is that AMISOM pre-empted and tried to do what it
should to ensure that the safety of troops and the safety of supply routes are
guaranteed," Ba-Huko said.
said AMISOM wanted to ensure its troops and supply routes were protected.
force commander made a statement to the effect that there was a limit and there
was a red line. And that any person, any force crossing that red line would
obviously be engaged," he said.
said AMISOM acted to prevent insurgents from taking over areas under its
"We did a show of force, one
to guarantee that the routes are open and two to ensure that the safety of our
soldiers is in place. That is what people have misconstrued to mean that we are
engaged in active combat," Ba-Huko said.
He denied allegations AMISOM
violated the African Union mandate by allegedly fighting alongside Somali
"We've not in any way
violated our mandate. In fact, it is known that we are supposed in the whole of
Somalia. So, there is nothing absolutely wrong in AMISOM being any part in
Mogadishu," he said.
Ba-Huko said the AMISOM
troop presence in different areas of Somalia was misconstrued.
"What possibly people are
talking about is that for the first time our troops have moved to certain areas
where maybe we have never been seen before…that is what people say that we are
getting actively involved in the battle," Ba-Huko said.
Meanwhile, Somali insurgents
were believed to be closing in on the presidential palace in the capital,
Mogadishu in Sunday's raging fight that has reportedly left dozens dead.