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Somalia expels Ugandan envoy over ‘interference’

Amisom

Mr Simon Mulonga has been suspended by Somalia (PHOTO /Courtesy)

MOGADISHU — Somalia has told deputy African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) envoy Simon Mulongo, a Uganda National to leave over continuous interference in its internal affairs.

Mogadishu maintains that Kampala representative is meddling in its upcoming elections and accused him of breaching AMISOM and Somalia’s Security Strategy.

Mr. Mulongo has less than seven days to leave the Mugishu according to Somalia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Federal Republic of Somalia presents its compliments to the African Union Commission and has the honour to inform the commission, the individual listed below is designated ‘persona non grata’ and ordered to leave Somalia within seven (7) days,” a statement released Thursday evening says.

Without detailing the nature of the activities the statement adds:
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Federal Republic of Somalia avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the African Union Commission the assurances of its highest consideration”.

Last month, Amisom recommended a court martial for Ugandan soldiers implicated in killing civilians in a battle against Al-Shabaab militants.

Amisom’s investigators found that the soldiers operating in the Golweyn area in the Lower Shabelle region in Southern Somalia, about 110km south of Mogadishu, had on August 10 killed innocent civilians.

In a statement, Amisom said: “The seven people killed were regrettably civilians, and the conduct of the personnel involved was in breach of Amisom rules of engagement.”

The AU mission said that it would hold the implicated soldiers responsible in accordance with the recommendation by a six-member board assigned to conduct a full inquiry.

Thus, Uganda, as a troop-contributing country, is required to carry out the necessary punitive measures.

“Uganda…has constituted a court martial to try the errant soldiers,” the statement reads.

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