Published On: Wed, Oct 12th, 2016

U.S. government probes Somalia’s airstrikes claims

The U.S. government said it has launched investigations into claims that its forces mistakenly killed 22 Somalia soldiers and injured 16 others in the outskirt of Galkayo town in central Somalia on Sept. 28.

U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz said the U.S. government is working closely with the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), the Interim Galmudug Administration (IGA), and Puntland Administration officials to address concerns related to the incident.

“The United States is aware of reports of casualties in Galkayo and takes such allegations very seriously. The Department of Defense has initiated an assessment of all credible evidence,” Schwartz said in a statement issued in Mogadishu on Wednesday.

The airstrikes sparked demonstrations in Galkayo town with angry protesters accusing semi-autonomous Puntland State of giving false information to American Special Forces to kill the soldiers who were in their military base and not the militants who have been fighting to topple the Western-backed government.

There was a meeting in the area when the joint forces were conducting the operation.

newsinssideThe American envoy held meetings Oct. 6, 7, and 8 in Mogadishu with clan elders, and senior community and political leadership from South Galkayo, including IGA President Guled. He also had conversations with Puntland President Gaas and Somali National Army leadership.

During the meetings, Schwartz emphasized Washington seeks to improve its communication and collaboration with Galmudug security forces and the Somali National Army to fight Al-Shabaab.

“The United States strongly encourages Galmudug and Puntland authorities to undertake serious negotiations to resolve outstanding differences and establish conditions for peace and wider reconciliation,” the statement said.

“The United States remains committed to working with all Somalis to help Somalia progress towards peace, prosperity, and security.”

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