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More blowback from the war on terror | Salon News

More blowback from the war on terror | Salon NewsIn late 2006, the Bush administration backed a full-scale Ethiopian military offensive that ousted the Islamist authorities from Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. The fighting caused thousands of Somalis, including some who were suspected of terrorist links, to flee across the Kenya border.

Kenyan authorities arrested at least 150 men, women and children from more than 18 countries — including the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada — in operations near the Somali border, and held them for weeks without charge in Nairobi. In January and February 2007, the Kenyan government then unlawfully put dozens of these individuals — with no notice to families, lawyers or the detainees themselves — on flights to Somalia, where they were handed over to the Ethiopian military. Ethiopian forces also arrested an unknown number of people in Somalia.

Those rendered were later transported to detention centers in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and other parts of Ethiopia, where they effectively disappeared. Denied access to their embassies, their families and international humanitarian organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, the detainees were even denied phone calls home. Several detainees have said that they were housed in solitary cells, some as small as two meters by two meters, with their hands cuffed in painful positions behind their backs and their feet bound together any time they were in their cells.

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