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Published On: Tue, Aug 23rd, 2011

Human Rights Watch: Abuses by All Sides Fueling Crisis in Somalia

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20110817_button1Somalia (ANN)-A new report by Human Rights Watch accuses all sides in the Somali conflict of committing war crimes. The report, “‘You Don’t Know Who to Blame’: War Crimes in Somalia,” calls on all sides to immediately end abuses against civilians, hold those responsible to account, and

 

ensure access to aid and free movement of people fleeing conflict and drought. The report is highly critical of the Islamist group al-Shabab, as well as the U.S.-backed Somali Transitional Federal Government and the African Union peacekeeping forces. Human Rights Watch is calling on the United States and other international donors to withhold financial and military aid to the Somali transitional government, unless the government sets clear benchmarks for the respect of international humanitarian and human rights law and accountability for serious abuses. We look at the connection between the conflict and the devastating famine with Rona Peligal, deputy director of the Africa Division for Human Rights Watch. [includes rush transcript]

Horn of Africa Famine: Millions at Risk in “Deadly Cocktail” of War, Climate Change, Neoliberalism
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The United Nations has called an emergency meeting to discuss the Horn of Africa drought, which it says has already claimed tens of thousands of lives. Famine was declared in two regions of Somalia on Wednesday where 3.7 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Another eight million people need food assistance in neighboring countries including Kenya and Ethiopia. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls the situation a “catastrophic combination of conflict, high food prices and drought” and has appealed for immediate aid. We go to Nairobi for an update from Kiki Gbeho of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. We also speak with Christian Parenti, author of “Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence.” “This was predicted long ago by people on the ground,” Parenti says. “It’s a combination of war, climate change and very bad policy, particularly an embrace of radical free market policies by regional governments that mean the withdrawal of support for pastoralists, the type of people you saw with their dead cattle.” [includes rush transcript]

Jeremy Scahill Reveals CIA Facility, Prison in Somalia as U.S. Expands Covert Ops in Stricken Nation

 

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In a new investigative report published by The Nation magazine, independent journalist and Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill reveals the CIA is using a secret facility in Somalia for counterterrorism as well as an underground prison in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. Scahill says theCIA is training a new Somali force to conduct operations in the areas controlled by the militant group, Al Shabab, and in Mogadishu. While a U.S. official told The Nation that the CIA does not run the prison, he acknowledged the CIA pays the salaries of Somali agents. [includes rush transcript]

Famine in Somalia, Horn of Africa Described as “Worst Humanitarian Disaster in the World”

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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has issued an urgent appeal over the crisis in Somalia, where more than 11 million people are in need of life-saving assistance as they face the worst drought in decades. The United Nations describes the Somali drought as the worst humanitarian disaster in the world, and a top U.N. official, Valerie Amos, urged the world to make the link between climate change and the drought. The extended drought is forcing an estimated 3,000 people a day from Somalia to neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia. We speak to Yves van Loo in Nairobi of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Somalia, who was in Mogadishu just two weeks ago. We also speak to investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill, who recently returned from assignment in Somalia. [includes rush transcript]

Red Cross Provided with Location of Secret Somali Prison Used by CIA

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Democracy Now! correspondent and The Nation investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill provides an International Committee of the Red Cross spokesperson with the location of the secret prison used by the CIA he uncovered in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, which the Red Cross says it didn’t know existed. “There are scores of people that have been held without charge in this basement, some of them, as far as we can document, for more than 18 months,” Scahill says. “The Red Cross should be insisting on access to this prison, which is actually within [a] Somali government compound.” [includes rush transcript]

“Obama Has Kept the Machine Set on Kill”–Journalist and Activist Allan Nairn Reviews Obama’s First Year in Office

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In an extended interview, award-winning journalist and activist Allan Nairn looks back over the Obama administration’s foreign policy and national security decisions over the last twelve months. “I think Obama should be remembered as a great man because of the blow he struck against white racism,” Nairn says. “But once he became president…Obama became a murderer and a terrorist, because the US has a machine that spans the globe, that has the capacity to kill, and Obama has kept it set on kill. He could have flipped the switch and turned it off…but he chose not to do so.” He continues, “In fact, as far as one can tell, Obama seems to have killed more civilians during his first year than Bush did in his first year, and maybe even than Bush killed in his final year.” [includes rush transcript]


Somalia Declares State of Emergency After Intense Fighting

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In Somalia, thousands have fled the capital of Mogadishu as government forces continue to fight opposition Islamist fighters. Fierce street fighting over the past month has claimed hundreds of lives. Just last week, bombs killed two lawmakers, the country’s security minister, the police commander of Mogadishu and nearly two dozen civilians. We speak to Somali American writer and human rights activist Sadia Ali Aden. [includes rush transcript]

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source:  democracynow.org

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