Somali Soldier Sentenced to 5 Years for Killing Kenyan Engineer

Materials pictured at a construction site.
A photo of materials pictured at a construction site.

A court in Mogadishu has sentenced a Somali soldier to a five-year prison term for killing a Kenyan engineer by the name Fredrick Owino.

According to reports, the incident occurred at the construction site of Aden Abdulle International Airport on July 20, 2023 with investigations showing that Owino's life was claimed by a bullet discharged from the Somali soldier's pistol.

In addition to the prison sentence, the Somali soldier has been ordered to provide compensation to the family of the deceased engineer. The specific amount of compensation remains undisclosed at present.

The court's ruling comes shortly after the testimony of the late engineer's Kenyan colleagues, which was presented before the Armed Forces Court.

"We have stayed here very peacefully in the past and we have been friends. We have trust in the courts. All we want is justice,” they told the bench. 

Aden Abdulle Int'l Airport in Mogadishu
Aden Abdulle Int'l Airport in Mogadishu

“The only danger he knew he faced was an attack from Al-Shabaab, the Somali militant group. He has left behind a young wife and a child," another witnessed said.

On July 20 2023, Owino was tragically struck and killed by a bullet while carrying out his tasks at the construction site. 

The incident occurred during a dispute involving the Somali soldier regarding the drainage of wastewater from their construction activities.

Specifically, the argument revolved around the leaks in the construction, as they were leading water to flow towards the area where the Somali soldier was taking a break. 

In light of this incident, it is believed that the root cause of the conflict was the Somali soldier's desire for the workers to promptly address and seal these leaks to prevent water from reaching the shaded spot where he was resting.

Following the workers' non-compliance with his directives, it was at that moment that an agitated the Somali soldier proceeded to cock his gun and discharged a shot. Tragically, the bullet found its mark in Owino, who was positioned in front of the construction site.

After extensive investigations, on August 14, 2023, the military court's prosecutor's office presented the case to the military court, seeking to uncover the truth behind the incident.

Appearing before the military bench, the Somali soldier pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against him. 

Having listened to the testimonies of witnesses, the military court ultimately delivered its verdict. The Somali soldier was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to provide compensation to the family of the deceased.

A prisoner presenting his fingerprint details inside a detention center
A prisoner presenting his fingerprint details inside a detention centre.
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