Somali Soldier gets 5-year prison term for killing Kenyan engineer in Mogadishu

A court in Mogadishu has handed down a five-year prison sentence to a Somali soldier responsible for the death of Kenyan engineer Fredrick Owino.

The incident, which took place at the Aden Abdulle International Airport construction site on July 20, 2023, has sent shockwaves through both the Somali and Kenyan communities.

According to reports, investigations revealed that Owino lost his life due to a gunshot fired from the pistol of the Somali soldier. The court’s decision not only imposes a significant prison term but also requires the soldier to provide compensation to the grieving family of the deceased engineer. The exact amount of compensation remains undisclosed at this time.

The court’s ruling follows the testimonies of Owino’s Kenyan colleagues, who appeared before the Armed Forces Court seeking justice for their fallen friend.

“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 expressed to the bench.

Another witness emphasized that Owino’s only known danger was the threat of an attack from Al-Shabaab, the Somali militant group. He leaves behind a young wife and child.

On that fateful day, July 20, 2023, Owino lost his life while fulfilling his duties at the construction site. The incident unfolded during a heated dispute between the Somali soldier and the workers regarding the drainage of wastewater from their construction activities.

The argument centered around leaks in the construction, which caused water to flow towards the area where the Somali soldier was taking a break. It is believed that the root cause of the conflict was the soldier’s insistence on the workers promptly addressing and sealing these leaks to prevent water from reaching the shaded spot where he sought rest.

As tensions escalated due to the workers’ non-compliance with his directives, the Somali soldier, in a moment of agitation, cocked his gun and discharged a shot. The bullet found its mark in Owino, who was positioned in front of the construction site.

Following an investigation, the military court’s prosecutor’s office presented the case before the military court on August 14, 2023, with the aim of uncovering the truth behind the incident. The Somali soldier, maintaining his innocence, pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against him.

After carefully considering the testimonies of witnesses, the military court delivered its verdict. The Somali soldier was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison. Furthermore, the court ordered him to provide compensation to the family of the deceased engineer, acknowledging the emotional and financial hardships they now face.

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