May 21, 2024

Breaking Africa News

We bring you developing Stories, Politics, Economic, Sports, Entertainment , breaking news and lifestyle across East Africa, Central Africa, Western Africa, South Africa, Across Africa and globally

Somalia: Amnesty International Accuses Somali Military of Civilian Killings in Drone Strikes

2 min read

Mogadishu — Amnesty International has released a new report accusing the Somali military of killing 23 civilians, including 14 children and five women, during drone strikes conducted with support from Turkish drones on March 18, 2024.

The strikes, which targeted Islamist insurgents in the southern Somali region of Lower Shabelle, also resulted in injuries to 17 other civilians, including 11 children and two women.

The human rights watchdog has called on both the Somali and Turkish governments to investigate these incidents for potential war crimes. Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, Tigere Chagutah, stated, “The devastated survivors and their families deserve truth, justice, and reparations.”

The report details the extensive damage caused by the drone strikes, which took place in the village of Jambaluul and near the village of Bagdad. It includes testimonies from victims and eyewitnesses, as well as a review of satellite imagery, medical reports, photographs of victims and weapon fragments, and geolocated videos. The investigation also identified the bombs dropped from the drones as “MAM-L glide bombs,” citing photos of munitions scrap metal.

In response to the report, Amnesty International has sent letters to the governments of Somalia and Turkey, requesting details on the operation, including which military forces were controlling the drone at the time of the strikes. The United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) did not respond to Amnesty’s inquiries regarding whether US forces were involved in the strikes.

This incident is part of a larger, ongoing conflict between the government of Somalia and Al-Shabaab, an Islamist insurgent group designated as a terrorist organization by the US government.

The Lower Shabelle region has been particularly affected by the insurgency, with Al-Shabaab storming a military base in the region and resulting in the deaths of nearly 20 soldiers in March 2024.

The international community and human rights organizations are closely watching the situation, urging both the Somali and Turkish governments to take immediate action and investigate the drone strikes as potential war crimes.

Amnesty International’s call for truth, justice, and reparations for the victims of these attacks highlights the urgent need for accountability and adherence to international humanitarian law in the conduct of military operations.

BY Shabelle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *