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Archive for the tag “U.S. Africa Command”

Somalia: Federal Government of Somalia Strongly and Categorically rejects Amnesty International Report on Freedom and Expression in Somalia (13.02.2020)

Somalia, UN seek humanitarian aid to avert food insecurity (04.02.2020)

The assessment notes that up to 1.3 million people in Somalia face acute food security and require urgent humanitarian assistance.

MOGADISHU, Somalia, February 4, 2020 – Somalia’s federal authorities and the United Nations (UN) are calling for urgent humanitarian assistance to avert an acute food insecurity situation that could threaten millions of people.The call was made during the launch of the post-Deyr (October – December) seasonal Food Security and Nutrition Assessment for Somalia on Monday.

The periodic assessment is conducted twice a year by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), both of which are managed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN, in collaboration with various partners and governments.

The assessment notes that up to 1.3 million people in Somalia face acute food security and require urgent humanitarian assistance. At the same time, more than 690,000 children below five years of age could become acutely malnourished by the end of the year.

The UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula, said that humanitarian needs persist despite favourable Deyr rains that improved the food security situation across the country.

“Approximately 4.1 million people across Somalia will continue to face acute food insecurity through mid-2020, including 1.3 million people who need urgent humanitarian assistance. Over 962,000 children face acute malnutrition, including 162, 000 who could become severely malnourished through this year, if their needs are not addressed,” said Mr. Abdelmoula.

He also noted that although the recent desert locust invasion in Somalia had been limited and localised, it carries a high risk of damage to crops.

“These concerns add to what is already one of the biggest and most complex emergencies in the world today. About 2.6 million people remain internally displaced and highly impoverished. They need to be better protected and supported in finding durable solutions,” the senior UN official said.

Somalia’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, Hamoud Ali Hassan, attributed the country’s humanitarian challenges to factors beyond seasonal weather variations.

“The problem in Somalia is not only because of rainfall. It is due to insecurity and lack of infrastructure, which affects the movement of people between member states. Insecurity is a contributing factor,” the deputy minister noted, further appealing for support from international partners.

The FAO representative in Somalia, Etienne Peterschmitt, concurred that the country has experienced multiple challenges, such as poor Gu rains (the season running from April to June) compounded by the recent invasion of desert locusts. Mr. Peterschmitt pointed out that this complex issue requires concerted efforts to contain.

“If the locust [invasion] does hit the cropping or grazing areas at the worst time, the damage can be huge, up to a 100 per cent,” Mr. Peterschmitt said. He added that, considering where the invasion is located at the moment, it would not necessarily mean that the plague will affect all parts of the country, but nevertheless reminded all partners to be prepared.

Daniel Molla, the FSNAU Chief Technical Advisor, noted that forecasts by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) indicate that most parts of Somalia will register favourable Gu rains this year, except in northwest Somaliland, which may experience below average Gu rains that could negatively impact on crop and livestock production.

“We also have to consider the prospects for the Gu season rainfall that is ahead of us; and the forecast for the IGAD indicates that average and above-average rainfall is expected in most parts of Somalia,” Molla said.

Somalia: FSNAU-FEWS NET Technical Release – Despite improvements, up to 1.3 million people in Somalia face acute food security Crisis or worse outcomes (03.02.2020)

Somalia: Forum for National Parties (FNP) – Press Release on Galmudug election (03.02.2020)

Somalia: Ministry of Agriculture & Irrigation – Federal Government of Somalia Calls for Desert Locust Emergency (02.02.2020)

Somalia: Cooperation Forum between Federal Member States of Puntland and Jubbaland – Communique (20.01.2020)

Opinion: Why are there no accountability with the drone strikes in Somalia?

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.

The Congress Report into the Niger Ambush says very little!

The Capitol Hill report or the Congress Report Service (CRS) who are making studies into wished subjects of the Congress, has recently dropped and made a report into the United States Armed Mission in Niger. Not that it says much and it is shown to be careful with dropping intelligence, as this is a continued mission against Islamist insurgents and militants together with allies of the American government. Therefore, dropping to much intelligence and to much information would spoil the mission themselves. That is why the CRS isn’t saying much new, but shows the state of affairs and the reasoning of United States to interfere on foreign soil. They are even proving the capacity of forces and planned army base in Niger. As they are clearly now cooperating with other armies and camps, where they are based. Since they are building one in the northern town of Agadez. Take a look!

Following the October 4 attack, DOD officials have publicly cited a larger figure of 800 U.S. military personnel in Niger. 17 These figures presumably comprise personnel stationed in the capital, Niamey, as well as those deployed in more remote areas. Notably, a U.S. Air Force facility is under construction in the northern city of Agadez (Figure 1), which the Air Force has described as supporting U.S. logistical and intelligence capacities in the sub-region, and which U.S. diplomats have described as supporting the Niger government’s capacity to secure its borders” (…) “U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) describes the U.S. military presence in Niger, as in most places in Africa, as a “light footprint,” suggesting that a more extensive and/or conventional military mission could require more extensive airlift, close air support capacity, and contingency planning” (CRS, P: 4-5, 2017).

Advisory activities in which U.S. personnel are embedded with local security forces, as was apparently the case in the mission that came under attack on October 4, according to DOD officials” (CRS, P: 7, 2017).

The “golden hour” is described as the first 60 minutes following trauma or the onset of acute illness, where chances of a patient’s survival are considered greatest if advanced trauma life support can be provided. DOD notes that, “historically, wound data and casualty rates indicate that more than 90 percent of all casualties die within the first hour of severe wounding without advanced trauma life support.”58 U.S. military medical support is generally structured to meet this standard of one hour or less” (…) “In the case of the October 4 Niger ambush, at least one Special Forces medic (see below) was present, but he was killed during the ambush. DOD stated the two U.S. soldiers wounded during the ambush were medically evacuated by French air assets to Niamey during the firefight, and that this medical evacuation was “consistent with the casualty evacuation plan that was in place for this particular operation” (CRS, P: 12-13, 2017).

Niger’s Interior Minister Mohamed Bazoum stated in a media interview on October 19 that those who carried out the attack were “youths under the influence of Abu Walid al Sahrawi” who were based in the Niger/Mali border region. Possibly reflecting the extremely complex nature of militant allegiances in the sub-region, Bazoum also suggested that the assailants were loyal to Iyad ag Ghali, a Malian national who heads the Al Qaeda-aligned JNIM, although some analysts portray JNIM and IS-GS as rivals rather than allies. The Interior Minister indicated in his remarks that Niger’s government had yet to identify the precise assailants” (CRS, P: 16, 2017).

We clearly will not know everything now, but there is openings and questions to be asked. There have already been questions over how long it took to get the bodies of the fallen American soldiers from the place of fire. Also, the aftermath of the ambush opening a lot of questions.

That we will know more with time and hope this get investigated, as there are many leads and many more questions arising, as the Department of Defense should have own intelligence on the ambush and the days before. Since, they are there together with the Niger’s own military and French soldiers, these are all in the Sahel region to clear militant Islamist’s there. Clearly, there are some intelligence that is left our or clearly not studied. Since the CRS report are a stripped report. There has already been reported about the ambushes and local chiefs interfering on behalf Islamist’s in the area. This has been overshadowed in this report.

That this report also not look into the failure of human intelligence, because of this Niger ambushed could have been warned against and the troubles in Tongo Tongo close to the border of Mali. Together with the ambush of motorcycles and other reports, that has been neglected. Proves that the CRS are trying to stifle information or not investigate it at all. Just going by the information of different sources in the days after, you could get more intelligence of it, than by the CRS. Therefore, the report didn’t tell much, just showing what official sources within the DoD. Peace.

Reference:

Congressional Research Service – ‘Niger: Frequently Asked Questions About the October 2017 Attack on U.S. Soldiers’ (27.10.2017)

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