PRETORIA, April 1. /TASS/. The Amnesty International non-governmental organization (NGO) accused the US Armed Forces of growing numbers of civilian casualties in Somalia as a result of its "secret air war," "some of which amount to apparent violations of international humanitarian law." The NGO published its report on the ramifications of the US African Command (AFRICOM) strikes on its website Wednesday.
"The evidence is stacking up and it’s pretty damning. Not only does AFRICOM utterly fail at its mission to report civilian casualties in Somalia, but it doesn’t seem to care about the fate of the numerous families it has completely torn apart," Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa, says.
He noted that the NGO had evidence of the US presenting civilian casualties as terrorists, invoking two AFRICOM airstrikes on civilian objects, conducted on February 2 and February 24 this year.
"After both strikes, AFRICOM issued press releases claiming it had killed an Al-Shabaab ‘terrorist,’ without offering a shred of evidence of the victims’ alleged links to the armed group," the report reads.
Earlier, similar allegations were put forth by a number of Somalian news websites, linked with the Somalian opposition forces.
In the meantime, AFRICOM announced on March 31 that it would publish its own report shortly, in which it would provide detailed data on targets, attacked in Somalia during its counter-terrorism operations.