26 August 2017 (Somalia Focus) – The attack in Barire village of Lower Shabelle region was launched by government forces with foreigners early hours on friday.
US-backed forces were planning to attack Al-Shabaab base in Barire area, instead they have attacked local farmers, killing ten civilians, deputy governor Mohamed told the press.
Three children between 8 to 10 and a woman are among killed people. Somali’s information minister said Al-Shabaab militants were killed instead. Hours later, president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo released a statement sending condolences to families of killed people. He then called security services to investigate the incident.
Controversial statements released by government minsters suddenly created waves of criticism against the government, which forced the removal of posted statements on state house’s Facebook account and information minster.
Yusuf Garad, the foreign minister has also fuelled the incident saying no civilian casualties involved in the raid.
Meanwhile, defence minister Abdirashid told reporters that they have targeted armed clan-militias and al-Qaeda-linked extremists in Barire area.
Bodies of civilians often are taken from remote areas to Mogadishu seeking media attention. Their images have been published on social media and local papers widely.
According to Mohamed, deputy governor of Lower Shabelle region, the local farmers were attacked while looking after their crops.
Analysis: A failure of intelligence?
What planned at first to be a successful mission against extremists has now emerged as a complex issue. It seems to be a ‘misdirected’ attack but described as a massacre by some Somalis including Lawmaker Mahad Salad.
It suggests a failure of intelligence by the Somali forces along with their alliances but this isn’t unusual incident. There has been several other civilian attacks involved by Somali forces and foreigners. Nursing grievance and repeated statements never improved dare situation of marginalised people in Lower Shabelle region.
Throughout the day online users have been criticising the government by releasing contrary statements addressing the same incident.
Armed clan rivals in the region and al-Shabaab elements who continue to hide themselves in rural areas have worsened the state of this region.
The current government led by a former Buffalo resident is struggling to restore law and order in the federalised Somalia.