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Amnesty denounces US "disregard" of Somali civilians - RFI

2019-10-04T16:55:10.551Z

The United States is increasing year by year the number of air strikes targeting Islamist Shebab terrorists in Somalia. An air war



By RFIPosted on 04-10-2019Modified on 04-10-2019 at 18:27

The United States is increasing year by year the number of air strikes targeting Islamist Shebab terrorists in Somalia. A discreet aerial warfare, most often conducted using drones. After a previous report earlier this year, Amnesty International again accuses Americans of killing civilians.

On March 18, a Toyota taxi near Afgoye, in central Somalia, is hit by a missile, probably pulled by a drone. Two passengers die. The third will die three weeks later at the hospital. The following day, the US military command in Africa claims to have killed three terrorists belonging to the Islamist group Shebab .

But for Amnesty, the three men were farmers returning from their farms. To affirm this, the organization interviewed a dozen people: relatives, colleagues, witnesses went to the place of the strike. Amnesty investigators scoured the vehicle papers, medical records, and studied photos and videos of the scene. Their conclusion is without appeal: the bombing is a blunder and the three victims were not terrorists.

Additional proof: Shebabs did not claim to have lost their men, nor did they prevent families from recovering the remains and burying them. While usually, the movement takes over the bodies of its fighters. Amnesty sent his information to the US command. Again, no reaction. For the NGO, Washington shows " deplorable contempt for civilians killed and their families left in distress ." The three men killed 19 children behind them.

" The authorities must also compensate the families of the victims and put in place an effective mechanism to ensure that people have a safe and accessible way to report civilian casualties resulting from military operations themselves, " Abdullahi Hassan, a researcher for Amnesty International, writes on Twitter. .

The authorities must also compensate the victims' families and implement an effective mechanism to ensure a safe and accessible way to people to self-report civilian casualties of military operations. https://t.co/kPnRcq1FVh

Abdullahi Hassan (@ abdullahisom1) October 1, 2019

Read the Amnesty International survey (in French)

This survey raises the question of the American strategy in the region, but also of Washington's behavior in the face of these errors. A problematic attitude, according to Abdullahi Hassan, Amnesty's researcher on Somalia.

In early 2017, President Trump signed a decree for large parts of Somalia to be considered active hostilities. Since then, Africom targets all armed men circulating in areas controlled by shebabs. This is a very broad way of categorizing people living in these areas.

Abdullahi Hassan, Amnesty International researcher

04-10-2019 - By Sébastien Nemeth

    On the same subject

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    Source: rfi

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