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Showing posts from February 2, 2009

Al Jazeera English - Africa - 'AU firing' kills dozens of Somalis

Al Jazeera English - Africa - 'AU firing' kills dozens of Somalis: "Somali officials say at least 18 people died after African Union troops opened fire in response to a roadside bomb targeting their convoy in southern Mogadishu.

However, the peacekeeping force's spokesman denied the charge.

The officials and a witness said the soldiers opened fire on buses after an AU vehicle hit a landmine on Monday.

Yusuf Dhumal, a police commander, said the troops killed the civilians when they opened fired in response to the blast.

'I counted 18 dead civilians who were killed by them after spraying fire on the buses,' he told the AFP news agency.

Abdifatah Shaweye, deputy mayor of Mogadishu, said more than 20 civilians were killed in the shooting.

'The African Union forces committed mass killings today after an explosion hit their convoy. The number of innocent civilians they killed after the explosion exceeded 20,' he said."

US turned blind eye to Somalia abuses-rights group | Antiwar Newswire

US turned blind eye to Somalia abuses-rights group | Antiwar Newswire: "ADDIS ABABA, Feb 1 (Reuters) - The United States has turned a blind eye to abuses by its allies in Somalia and worsened the situation there by reducing a complex conflict to a front in its 'war on terror', a leading human rights group said.

U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said in a letter to African Union Commission chairman Jean Ping that the policies of many governments had been destructive in Somalia.

'U.S. policy on Somalia has been particularly unhelpful, treating Somalia's complex realities as a theatre in the 'war on terror' while turning a blind eye to rampant abuses by the Ethiopian and transitional government forces,' HRW said in the letter that was handed to reporters at an AU summit on Sunday."

The Black Flag Is Waving - by Uri Avnery

The Black Flag Is Waving - by Uri Avnery: "by Uri Avnery

A Spanish judge has instituted a judicial inquiry against seven Israeli political and military personalities on suspicion of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The case: the 2002 dropping of a one-ton bomb on the home of Hamas leader Salah Shehade. Apart from the intended victim, 14 people, most of them children, were killed.

For those who have forgotten: the then commander of the Israeli air force, Dan Halutz, was asked at the time what he feels when he drops a bomb on a residential building. His unforgettable answer: 'A slight bump to the wing.' When we in Gush Shalom accused him of a war crime, he demanded that we be put on trial for high treason. He was joined by the prime minister, Ariel Sharon, who accused us of wanting to 'turn over Israeli army officers to the enemy.' The attorney general notified us officially that he did not intend to open an investigation against those responsible for the bombi…

Renditions May Expand Under Obama’s Watch | News From

Renditions May Expand Under Obama’s Watch | News From
While President Barack Obama reversed a number of the Bush Administration’s anti-terror excesses, the controversial tactic known as extraordinary rendition, the extralegal kidnapping and transportation of detainees, remains conspicuously legal. Only a cursory effort “to study and evaluate the practices of transferring individuals to other nations” with a task force was offered for what has internationally been among America’s most infamous policies. In the end though, the new president has kept the practice legal.According to the Los Angeles Times, unnamed officials of the administration are defending the decision, with one quoted as saying that “if done within certain parameters, it is an acceptable practice.” With those other avenues of torture now closed to them, some have speculated that the Obama Administration may rely even more on rendition than the Bush Administration has.The move has the potential to strain rela…