Friday, January 27, 2023

Somalia: Amnesty accuses U.S. army of killing civilians

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Staff Writer
Staff Writer
Africa Feeds Staff writers are group of African journalists focused on reporting news about the continent and the rest of the world.

Amnesty International has accused the United States of killing three civilians in an air strike in Somalia.

The international rights group said the U.S. failed to investigate claims that those killed were farmers with no ties to Al-Shabaab.

Amnesty said on Tuesday that its investigations revealed that the farmers were killed in the March 18 strike in southern Somalia.

It said the civilians killed were innocent, but the US Africa Command (Africom) claims they were jihadists.

According to Amnesty many civilians have been killed in series of US air raids in Somalia targeted at jihadists.

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Africom had provided no evidence to support its assessment the three men were militants.

The US military is also accused of not following up claims that the men killed were innocent despite promising to do so.

The military leadership also failed to make any effort to contact their families.

Abdullahi Hassan, a Somalia researcher for Amnesty, said in a statement that “It’s bad enough that the US Africa Command appears not to know who its air strikes are actually killing and maiming in its secretive war in Somalia,”

“But it’s reprehensible that Africom offers no way for those affected to contact it and has failed to reach out to the families of victims after its version of events was called into question in this case.”

Amnesty claimed it arrived at it’s conclusion after interviewing 11 people about the March 18 strike.

It said those spoken to included co-workers and family of the men killed when their car was hit in Lower Shabelle, in southern Somalia.

It said all those interviewed in the investigation “were adamant that none of the men was a member of Al-Shabaab”.

Since April 2017, US strikes in Somalia have surged with rate of air strikes rising sharply in 2019.




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