Wednesday June 17, 2020
Human Rights Watch said Tuesday the U.S. has "not adequately investigated" two U.S. airstrikes in Somalia this year that killed seven civilians.
The global non-governmental organization called on the United States to conduct "thorough, impartial, and transparent" investigations into a Feb. 2 strike that killed a woman at her home and a March 10 attack that claimed the lives of a child and five men in a minibus. The group released a report Tuesday on airstrikes in Somalia, which it considers possible violations of international humanitarian law.
Human Rights Watch said it has no evidence the U.S. Africa Command or the Somali government spoke with the victims' family members or evaluated their claims for reparations.
The group said it interviewed 14 people, including relatives of those killed in the two attacks, four of whom were at the scene of the attacks immediately after they occurred. It also said it reviewed public information about the strikes.
The group said it found no evidence the attacks were targeting the terrorist group al-Shabab, an al-Qaida-affiliated group based in Somalia.
The U.S. has participated in military operations against al-Shabab for more than a decade. Airstrikes in Somalia have increased since 2017. The U.S. military said it carried out 63 airstrikes last year and at least 40 in the first five months of this year.
The U.S. admitted killing two Somali civilians in 2019, but rights groups in Africa contend the deaths could be higher.
The U.S. did not immediately respond to the report.