By Tatenda Gwaambuka
On the 25th of August, the United States of America’s military led an operation in Somalia’s Bariire region that resulted in the death of 10 civilians and at least one child on the 25th of August. It was a massacre whose taint on the U.S. forces’ reputation can be compared to the Black Hawk Down incident of 1993. The victims of the operation were farmers and in its wake, hundreds of people in the Somali town of Afgoye protested, demanding justice for those killed. Survivors refused to bury the dead until the Somali government withdrew allegations that they were members of Al-Shabab and paid reparations. This was revealed in a Daily Beast report written by Christina Goldbaum.
Here’s what we learnt:
AFRICOM claims all its soldiers do is advise, assist and in very limited circumstances, accompany missions. This implies that U.S. soldiers do not go in the front line yet that is exactly what happened in Somalia. The Daily Beast report says U.S. Special Operators fired upon unarmed civilians as bullet casings found on the scene were American, instructed Somali counterparts to collect weapons stored inside a home and place them beside the bodies of those killed before photographing them. American diplomats are said to have also pressured the Somali government to bury unfavorable findings of a Somali Federal Government investigation. This is the height of dishonesty.
The operation in Somalia is said to have been based on information from unreliable sources. The U.S. soldiers got their information from a Somali National Army brigade leader who is a former Al Shabab commander as well as from a militia leader who is in direct rivalry to the clan of the killed farmers. The translator they used was the same person who they used in another operation that resulted in the death of civilians. These three may have misled the U.S soldiers who are also to blame for their lapse in vigilance. The military was thus sucked into what seems to be a local clan conflict.
Predictably, however, the United States Military denied the claims.
This article was originally published by The African Exponent –