AU should release investigation into unlawful killings of 14 Somali civilians by Ethiopian forces in July 2016.
By CAJ News,
The African Union has been urged to holds its forces into account following the killing of 14 Somali civilians by the Ethiopian contingent of a regional force fighting terrorists.
Among those killed were village elders, religious leaders, and Islamic school teachers in the poor rural community of Wardinle.
They were killed after troops fired shots into a hut where men had gathered to pray for a sick villager.
AU is accused of sweeping the killings under the carpet after the community received no reports on the investigation nor compensation for their loss six months after the incident.
Troops claimed they had received intelligence information of Al-Shabaab terrorists present in the area.
Witnesses and local authorities refuted the version of the army.
Laetitia Bader, Africa executive at Human Rights Watch, said the absence of Al-Shabab fighters indicated the attack was unlawfully deliberate or indiscriminate, and possibly a war crime.
“The African Union and Ethiopian leadership needs to hold its forces to account by releasing its findings, ensuring that any wrongdoers are brought to justice, and compensating the victims.”
Bader said the United Nations Security Council, which meet on Friday to discuss the situation in Somalia, must urge AU Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) to place emphasis on ensuring it complies with human rights policies.
Ethiopia officially joined AMISOM in 2014 and also deploys significant forces inside Somalia.