Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Human Rights Watch commentary on AMISOM troops' misbehavior

Human Rights Watch's Laetitia Bader has written a strong op-ed in The East African on misbehavior by troops belonging to the African Union Mission in Somalia. She writes, in part:
Uganda and Burundi have exclusive legal jurisdiction over their forces in Somalia. As AU troops mentor Somali armed forces to fight Al-Shabaab they should lead by example and rid their ranks of those abusing their power, violating the trust of local communities, and undermining the credibility of the mission. Rather than dismissing or denying allegations, troop-contributing countries should hold their own soldiers accountable for their conduct in Somalia.
This will require troop contributors to reinforce their investigative and prosecutorial capacity in Somalia. Uganda sent a military court to Somalia in late 2012 to try wrongdoing by its soldiers. This can help facilitate evidence gathering, ensure witnesses are available to testify, better assure victims of justice, and serve as a deterrent. Unfortunately, the court was recalled in 2013 without explanation, but the model should be replicated.

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