A Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) soldier has been accused of deliberately killing 6 civilians at a village 50km North West of Al-Shabaab’s stronghold port city of Kismayo. The incident happened on Sunday the 23rd of September in the southern part of Somalia.  Al-Shabab is the Somalia-based cell of the militant Islamist group al-Qaeda, formally recognized in 2012.

While confirming the incident, a KDF spokesman Col. Cyrus Oguna said KDF had been attacked by Al-Shabab earlier, “KDF had gone to escort civilians to draw water in a well in the village of Janay Abdalla, KDF forces came under attack by Al-Shabaab militants who killed 5 civilians and one KDF soldier. The soldiers withdrew back to their defensive positions and it is alleged that at this point they were approached by the people and a KDF soldier opened fire killing the six men and seriously injuring 2 others.” He further added that the soldier has since been disarmed and detained pending joint investigations by KDF, African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali Government on what really transpired.

Somali Army spokesman Adan Mohammed Hirsi termed the incident ‘hurting and deliberate’ since the civilians were queuing to buy sugar from a shop. He demanded that the government should take action immediately. The KDF army spokesman insisted that despite the incident, the gains made in the operation dubbed ‘Operation Linda Inchi’ has been tremendous and should not be undermined by the unfortunate incident.

Kenya’s president who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forcesis in New York attending the 67thUN assembly’s general summit which ironically has the theme ‘The adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations by peaceful means’. Kenyan troops have been in Somali since October 2011 after the Kenyan government claimed Al-Shabaab had become ‘a threat to its national security’.

A World without Wars & Violence Spokesperson in Kenya said, “We are dismayed at the recent developments and condemn all of these deaths in the strongest terms possible.  We call for thorough investigations to be carried out and action taken to all those responsible to ensure that such acts never happen again. In our opinion, Kenyan troops need to return to Kenyan territory and the region needs to be demilitarized with campaigns undertaken to rid the streets of small arms that cause so much terror in both our countries.”