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Amisom refutes Ahlu Sunna claims of involvement in Guriel fighting

MOGADISHU (SD) – African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) has refuted allegations that its formed bombed a town in central Somalia during fighting between Somali government forces and fighters of Ahlu sunna waljamaa, a moderate Islamist group in central Somalia.

Fierce fighting between the government forces broke out last Saturday in Guriel town, killing more than 120 people including combatants and wounded over 600 people. The fighting lasted for four days as both sides received reinforcement from different parts of Galgaduud region.

Last Tuesday, Ahlu Sunna accused AMISOM forces of providing illegal weapons to Somali government forces and bombing Guriel town

“ASWJ regrets that AMISOM peacekeepers were involved in destroying hospitals and aid facilities in Guriel district. We also regret that AMISON was transferring illegal weapons to the Federal Government of Somalia,” the group said.

Responding the allegations, Amisom through statement termed the allegations as false, toxic and malicious, deliberately (which) intended to cause disaffection between AMISOM and the Somali communities.

“The leadership of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has noted with deep concern, allegations that our forces were involved and extended support to the Somali Security Forces (SSF) in the fight that broke out between them and Ahlu Sunna Walja’ama,” the statement reads in part.

The mission said they have not provided support to the government of Somalia at either national or regional level to fight Ahlu Sunna Walja’ama, nor have they, in any way, been involved in the bloody armed confrontations between the government and Ahlu Sunna Walja’ama in Guriel town or elsewhere.

“AMISOM, wishes to categorically state that its forces are in Somalia to fight terrorism, Al shabaab, Isis and their affiliates, not to turn their guns against Somali stakeholders engaged in political disputes with other Somali stakeholders,” the mission said.

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