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Archive for the tag “United Nations”

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.

Briefing of the Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel to the Security Council: “Despite positive political developments, the region continues to witness a devastating surge in terrorist attacks” (08.01.2020)

Burkina Faso: E.M.G.A. – Communique de Presse – Une dizaine de terroristes neutralises a Inata (Province du Soum) – (03.01.2020)

Somalia: Spare the civilians, Red Cross and Red Crescent tell warring parties (31.12.2019)

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.

Security Council Press Statement on Terrorist Attack in Mogadishu (30.12.2019)

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.

Christmas ‘cancelled’ in Burkina Faso, in aftermath of extremist attacks (26.12.2019)

 

President Roch Marc Christian Kabore has declared 48 hours of national mourning, and all Christmas celebrations have been cancelled.

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 26, 2019 – Simultaneous attacks by extremist insurgents on a military base and Arbinda town in Soum province in the north of Burkina Faso resulted in the deaths of 35 civilians – almost all of them women – as well as seven soldiers. President Roch Marc Christian Kabore has declared 48 hours of national mourning, and all Christmas celebrations have been cancelled.

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit lamented the death and suffering caused by these attacks, the deadliest in five years of escalating violence in Burkina Faso and elsewhere in the Sahel region.

“Even in the midst of our celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace, such appalling attacks remind us that conflict and violence remain the daily reality for many communities”, said Tveit. “We pray for the victims of these attacks and their families, and for all the people of Burkina Faso and of the Sahel region, that they might be preserved from such brutality and freed from fear.”

Since 2015 when violence began to spread across the Sahel, Burkina Faso has experienced increasingly frequent and lethal attacks by extremist groups, with hundreds of people killed and an estimated 560,000 displaced. A predominantly Muslim country, Burkina Faso also has a significant Christian population of approximately 20%.

In early November WCC, jointly with ACT Alliance, wrote a letter to President Kabore, based on communications received from Rev. Tegwende Leonard Kinda of the Association des Eglises évangéliques réformées du Burkina Faso which presented an alarming picture of the humanitarian and security situation in the region of Kongoussi town following a spate of attacks in the area. The letter appealed to the Government of Burkina Faso to do its utmost to protect people of that area against an advancing wave of extremist attacks, to preserve all Burkinabé people from sectarian violence and divisions, and to arrest the worsening humanitarian emergency resulting from these attacks.

“We extend our appeal to the whole international community to support the governments of Burkina Faso and its neighbours in addressing this crisis impacting so many lives in the region”, concluded Tveit.

Burkina Faso: Ministere de la Communication et des Relations avec le Parlement – Communique (24.12.2019)

Somalia: FESTU – “Towards a shackle-free development trajectory” – Trade Unions Support Ongoing Negotiations to Secure Debt Relief for Somalia (22.12.2019)

Somalia: Forum for National Parties – Statement on Dialogue between FNP and FGS (18.12.2019)

Somalia: African Union, European Union, Intergovernmental Authority on Development and United Nations holds Consultations in Garowe (18.12.2019)

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.

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