I know this is a special subject. One that I don’t have the insights or the oversights over. As the number are sketchy at best. What is worst is the lack of real numbers of the civilians and innocent bystanders to the United States Drone Strikes in the Federal Republic of Somalia. Where the FGS and AMISOM is allowing the continuing strikes to occur.
In 2019 alone there is reported about 52 drone strikes in Somalia alone. Total killed about: 315-325. Civilians killed: 0-6. Children killed: 0-1. People reported injured: 0. These numbers are from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. However, they are portraying the same numbers the press releases from the U.S. Africom does in Somalia. Therefore, these numbers aren’t everything, but only a fragment and the narrative the U.S. want to portray. I have hard time believe so few civilians are hit by all of these. Some are even claiming there was 55 drone strikes in 2019. That’s why numbers are hard to get verified and correct answers too.
The amounts of strikes has grown during the Presidency of Trump. Since being elected in 2016. In 2015, there was 11 strikes. In 2016 it risen to 14 and 2017 it went to 35. In 2018 it was 45 and last year it was 52. That shows an rise in usage and targeted approach by the Trump Presidency to use drone attacks in Somalia. It has gone from 11 in 2015 to 52 last year. That is over 4 times more in just four years.
Just like they sent three air-strikes on the 29th December 2019 and a new drone attacks on the 3rd January 2020. Who knows when the next ones is happening, but it will be nearly one every week and some extra surplus ones to add for the weeks in the year of 2020.
What is striking in this case is that the U.S. Africom, AMISOM and SNA doesn’t drop the real numbers from the strikes. I have hard time to believe the numbers of civilians and such from 2019. There got to be dark numbers, as the times we have looked into the numbers dropped from the strikes and the ones from the Al-Shabaab. They have differed, by all reasons the Al-Shabaab want it either to look bad or score points when they attack others. Therefore, all numbers has to be questioned from what story the armed parties want to tell.
What I cannot solve or resolve is the lack of numbers, also that the problematic issues of this. Also, bugging for a guy like me, does the U.S. Africom ask FGS before all of the drone strikes happening or do they do it on their own? .
Also, what I wonder about, does the U.S. Congress look into the actions and the usage of the drones in Somalia? Does the Lower House of Somalia accept these drone strikes? Does the Upper House accept it? Has AMISOM and UNSOM any say in it? Finally, does Villa Somalia silently let it all happen or do they accept the drones too?
I am just wondering, why there isn’t a bigger discussion on the value of the drones, does it help or is a damaging routine of the U.S. Africom in Somalia? Do the FGS accept these actions or are they bound by UNSOM/AMISOM mission there. I don’t have the answers, but I am wondering. While I got questions about the numbers that are kept in the dark. Because, I have doubt these drones hasn’t hit civilians in a larger scale. Since it doesn’t make sense to me. Peace.
Mogadishu (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS) call on all armed actors to show restraint and take constant care to spare civilians in accordance with international humanitarian law. Almost 90 people were killed in the weekend bombing in Mogadishu, and more than 140 were injured, among them children and university students.
“We are absolutely horrified by this attack. Civilians are again paying the price of this conflict, and it’s unacceptable. We remind all sides involved in the conflict to be mindful of civilians. They must be protected. They must be spared,” said Mohamed Ibrahim, who oversees ICRC operations in Somalia’s capital.
The ICRC delivered medical supplies and body bags to Medina Hospital and supported SRCS First Action teams to help respond to the massive number of casualties.
“We have done 52 surgeries since Saturday and are hoping most of the patients pull through. Four of the patients have been referred to Turkey for further treatment,” said Dr. Mohamed Yusuf Hassan, director of Medina Hospital, which the ICRC supports year-round.
The attack is one of the deadliest in recent years and evoked the horror of the twin blasts in the heart of Mogadishu that killed nearly 580 people in October 2017.
“I saw women and children dead, body parts strewn all over the street. We transported almost 70 dead bodies,” said Noor Abdikarim Ali, team leader of the SRCS First Aid Action team.
The ICRC works in Somalia to ensure humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence. This includes promoting respect for international humanitarian law.
The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the people and Government of Somalia.
NEW YORK, United States of America, December 30, 2019 – The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack of 28 December 2019 at the Ex-control Afgoye Junction in Mogadishu, which killed and injured innocent people.
The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the people and Government of Somalia. The members of the Security Council wished a speedy recovery to those injured.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.
The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Government of Somalia and all other relevant authorities in this regard.
The members of the Security Council reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist attacks.
The members of the Security Council paid tribute to all Somali and international actors working to bring peace and stability in Somalia. The members of the Security Council reiterated their determination to support peace, stability and development in Somalia. They underlined that neither this nor any other terrorist attack would weaken that determination.
Garowe – Representatives of the African Union, European Union, Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and United Nations visited Puntland today in the fourth and last of a series of consultative meetings in the Federal Member States.
As we look ahead to 2020, and what will be a critical year for Somalia, we have been engaging with a range of stakeholders across the country to hear their views on how the key national priorities can be realised next year.
These priorities include preparations for ‘one-person, one-vote elections,’ finalisation of the Federal Constitution, continued progress towards debt relief, and the fight against Al-Shabaab.
Here in Puntland, the representatives of some of Somalia’s multilateral partners have come to seek the views of the Puntland authorities, elders and civil society. We have conducted similar consultations in South West State, Hirshabelle, Jubaland and with the national authorities and President Haaf of Galmudug.
These consultations have been an opportunity to hear directly from stakeholders on how Somalia’s national priorities can be achieved, and challenges overcome. We thank the people of Puntland for the warm welcome in Garowe as we conclude our visits.
2020 has the potential to be an historic year for Somalia if all Somali leaders, institutions and communities engage in dialogue to agree a way forward.
We look forward to supporting Somalia to ensure that 2020 is a milestone year for the country, and a year that enables Somalia to continue its upward trajectory.