US violation of humanitarian law in Somalia: Amnesty International
US air strikes have been killing civilians in Somalia, in a possible violation of international humanitarian law, Amnesty International says.In the report five incidents resulting in 14 civilian casualties, with eight more civilians injured within the past two years.
The US has stepped up its air strikes in Somalia, carrying out 110 strikes in the past two years.
It says the strikes killed more than 800 people, none of them civilians.
According to the US military, its drones and manned aircraft carried out 47 air strikes in Somalia in 2018. They have already conducted more than half that number of strikes in the first three months of 2019.
Brigadier General Donald Bolduc, confirmed that “the burden of proof on the target was changed … and so automatically opens up the aperture [for taking more strikes],” enabling the US to carry out strikes that it previously would not have, due to the increased risk or probability of civilian casualties.
The report highlighted a US military strike in the early hours of 12 November 2017. The US military said at the time that the strike had killed al-Shabab militants.
The Amnesty International report urges the UN, EU and African Union, to call upon the US and Somalian government to conduct independent investigations into allegations of civilian casualties in Air Strikes, and to urge them to implement the recommendations the report lays out.