African Union troops accused of Somalia gang rape
Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops prepare to board a UN aircraft
in Mogadishu last month. The African Union force fighting in Somalia is
investigating the alleged gang rape of a woman by its soldiers, a case
that has sparked outrage in Mogadishu, the AU said Thursday. (AU-UN IST/AFP/File)
The African Union force fighting in Somalia is investigating the
alleged gang rape of a woman by its soldiers, a case that has sparked
outrage in Mogadishu, the AU said Thursday.
A Somali woman has
alleged she was abducted, drugged and then repeatedly raped earlier this
month by soldiers from both the Somali national army and from AMISOM,
the 17,700-strong African Union force that supports the
"AMISOM is aware of the allegations levelled against its troops," the force said in a statement.
joint AMISOM and Somali army team has been set up "to investigate the
matter and appropriate action will be taken once the facts of the case
have been established," the statement added.
The AU mission "strongly condemns any incidents of alleged sexual abuse or exploitation", it said.
troops, including soldiers from five nations -- Burundi, Djibouti,
Kenya, Sierra Leone and Uganda -- have been fighting against
Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents in Somalia since 2007.
confirmed, the case -- which has been widely reported in recent days by
media in Mogadishu -- will badly dent the reputation of the AU force,
and play into the hands of the Shebab.
Somalia's army, an often
rag-tag force incorporating militia fighters, has been in the past
accused by rights groups of a string of abuses against women, including
Still, the extreme nature of the woman's allegations and the accusations of AMISOM involvement has shocked many.