Somalia: AMISOM Urges all Forces to Spare Civilians
Nairobi‐- The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Ambassador Boubacar Diarra, has reiterated AMISOM's efforts to mainstream the protection of the civilian population in its area of operations and strengthen coordination with the TFG and other allied forces.
“AMISOM takes its responsibility for the safety of the people of Somalia very seriously and fully understands its obligations to conduct operations without causing undue risk to the local population,” Ambassador Diarra said, adding that it was only with the support of the Somali people that AMISOM had been able to achieve success in the capital, Mogadishu, and elsewhere.
He expressed grave concern over media reports of civilian casualties in the city of Kismayo and called on the relevant authorities to expedite investigations into such, noting that AMISOM did not as yet have any air assets or forces in the city.
“We urge all other military forces to exercise due restraint in areas with a substantial civilian population,” he said.
He said that all AMISOM personnel had been trained in the relevant aspects of International Humanitarian Law and that the Mission had adopted a policy on the use of indirect fire weapons which establishes No‐Fire Zones in areas of civilian concentration.
He added that AMISOM’s successful efforts to reduce harm to civilians, including steps to establish a Civilian Casualties Tracking Cell, had been recognized by the UN Security Council as well as by international human rights agencies.