War crimes ‘rampant’ in Somalia: The worst abuses have been by Woyanne Soldiers – BBC

August 13th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

All sides have committed war crimes in Somalia’s conflict this year, according to lobby group Human Rights Watch. (more…)

All sides have committed war crimes in Somalia’s conflict this year, according to lobby group Human Rights Watch.

It says the worst abuses have been by Woyanne soldiers, who are supporting the government against insurgents.

Ethiopians have often indiscriminately attacked civilian areas and looted hospitals, its report says.

While insurgents have fired mortars into residential areas and executed civilians, since Islamists were driven from power in Mogadishu last December.

Both Ethiopia and the Somali government have denied the claims, reports Reuters news agency.

More than 1,000 people were killed this year in the heaviest fighting since 1991, as Ethiopian and government troops tried to drive the insurgents out of Mogadishu.

“The insurgency placed civilians at grave risk by deploying among them,” said Human Rights Watch executive director Ken Roth.

“But that is no justification for Ethiopia’s calculated shelling and rocketing of whole neighborhoods.”

“Commanders who knowingly or recklessly order indiscriminate attacks are responsible for war crimes,” the report said.

But these charges were denied by Ethiopia.

“As usual, Human Rights Watch is engaged in its now well-known fabrication, and in misinforming the world in unsubstantiated fairy-tales,” Bereket Simon, special adviser to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, told Reuters.

Somali government troops played a “secondary” role, backing up the Ethiopians but failed to help civilians, said the report – Shell-Shocked: Civilians Under Siege in Mogadishu.

Somali government spokesman Abdi Haji Gobdon told Reuters the government’s only goal was “to restore sanity” not “massacre its own people”.


The UN says some 400,000 people have fled the violence in Mogadishu in the past four months.

HRW says the international community has ignored the suffering in Somalia.

“The UN Security council’s indifference to this crisis has only added to the tragedy,” said Human Rights Watch executive director Ken Roth.

Mr Roth urged the Security Council to make strong provisions to protect civilians when it discusses proposals to turn the 1,500 strong African Union force into a UN peacekeeping mission.

Since the end of the April offensive, insurgents have continued to stage deadly attacks on an almost daily basis.

Over the weekend, two prominent journalists were killed.

Some 1,600 Ugandan peacekeepers are in Somalia but they have failed to end the violence.

A reconciliation conference is under way in Mogadishu but Islamists and the city’s clan elders have refused to attend unless the Ethiopians leave the country.

  1. selamhunu
    | #1

    What kind of so called human right is it?

    Do they know the reason why it is happening? I don’t think so. If they knew they wouldn’t judge the situation based on the consequences.

    If Sudan was acting on time 5 years a go when Eritrean gangs (shabia) was arming and sheltering the Darfur factions before they got root in Darfur, what the darfurians have been through and the world have been witnessed couldn’t be happened.

    The situation in Somalia and inside Ethiopia (In Ogaden) is not started by accident. It is a very well calculated and the big investment by Arabs with Eritrea being their agent to destabilize Ethiopia and spread they Arabaization of Africa policy. They almost have succeeded to landlocked Ethiopia and control the red sea by themselves, which is failing because of the boarder between eritrean, and Ethiopia is not known and as the result Eritrea as a country doesn’t exist except in paper. The Arabs mainly Libya, Egypt and Saudi are behind ONL, ICU and OLF to destroy Ethiopia in close door after land locking her by an Arab UN general secretary. The main aim to control the source of the blue Nile which 86% during the less rainy and 95% during the flood season Nile water in Egypt comes from. Water the life next to Air. Our water is clean and they are getting for free for many, many years. They want to continue this way using the same tactic as they did before. But it will not work. The world of yesterday is no longer the world of today and will not be tomorrow. One season no blue Nile water means, the existence of Egypt is over. They know it. We also now know it. Instead of appriciation, being good friend and benefit together, they choose conflict as they did with EPLF, we know how to block the Nile(blocking it from the gorgue toi change it course towards East to use if in afar where water in needed.

    Ethiopia must and will defend her interest until the last breath including against nations that are supporting Islamic terrorist groups against her. US, UK and many other nations have crossed seas and oceans where the terrorists are in order to protect their country. But when it comes to Ethiopia, the so called human right groups are criticizing Ethiopia while she is fighting terrorism inside the country and in the boarder. Their aim is not about human right. It is about encouraging and being the PR to the terrorist groups.

    The govt need to hunt all Islamic terrorist groups based in Eritrea and financed by the Arabs and eliminate them from the surface of the African soil. Govt need to have Good relation with countries such as Russia, China, India, US and other western countries. Remember, During Gragn Mohammed, All Arabs that were under Ottoman Empire were engaged destroying Ethiopia. Islam came to Ethiopia this way through war and invasion, not by choice. Abyssinia had lost her Indian Ocean coast full control at that time. The Somalis and Oromos (gallas) became able to occupy southern, south eastern and central Ethiopia after this Islam against Christian war.

    During that time Christian Europe did help us. Many Portuguese have sacrificed for their Ethiopian Christian brothers and sisters against The Arabs (Ottomans).
    History is repeating itself. They are coming back now. They are badly beaten by the west. But they are looking us to revenge their anger and frustration on us. They are looking to arbaize the Africans as they did to Sudan? Do you think Sudan is an Arab nation the same as Syrians and the rest do with different physical appearance? No. Sudan being Arab is just a joke. They are by far too close to Ethiopians or at that matter to Africans not Arabs in Jordan, Morocco, Algeria or elsewhere.
    I think the world must be smart stopping the Islmaization and arebization of Africa using oil money. Not African but UN with west full involvement need to keep Darfur peace as UN mission. AU is became an Arab private property mainly Libyans and Egyptians.

    So, our Govt need to have good relation with west, Russia (traditional friend of Ethiopia), China, India and others to stand with us in order to keep the Islamic expansionists out of our beloved country.

  2. Merto
    | #2

    The conflict between North and south Sudan and between the black pretending Arab Sudan and darfurian was/is not just a civil war but the Arabs’ war against the Africans. The nr.1 Reason to this is water, which is the basic need to life. South sudan is rich with all resources including water.

    We are hearing about Nile initiative with 10 member countries. It is a good idea if it stands for fair and open benefit to all members. But in reality it is there to protect other members except Egypt not to use their own water resources.

    After all only 5-14% Nile water in Egypt comes from the rest of member states. The rest of the water(86-95%) comes from Ethiopia. For this reason Ethiopia needs to play roles that protects her interest. But in reality we don’t see it. What we see is when they sign documents written by Egyptians to impose their interest over the interest of the legitimate and primary beneficent of the highest wealth any nation could have (fresh water).

    If Ethiopia gets brave and smart leaders, they could use the Fresh water resources they have for their advantage. The Arabs are using oil, which is a secondary use to their advantage. The same times we became unable to use the primary source any life has to have for our advantage(our water wealth). If we know how to be good first and for most for ourselves together, not latter or tomorrow but now and today we can make Egypt on our side instead of they being with Eritrea and the Somalis to destabilize us. Not they but we must play the game on our water wealth as the Arabs do with their Oil which is to burn and affecting the environment.

    We want to see the govt and oppositions that have one and united Ethiopia doctrine to come closer and act as politicians of our time. The new millennium need to be the millennium of we Ethiopians stand together for one and prosper Ethiopia with different ideas to reach there. We have to learn to be divided with ideas for the sake of one country and the same time feel all are sisters and brothers with respect and care one another. When it happens, Ethiopia benefit and our enemies including the Nile beneficent don’t like it. Who cares about them. We have to care about ourselves. If we know how to be good for ourselves, our highland territory with its rich water resources

  3. | #3

    kill zenawi and the world be better place to live

  4. | #4

    Let change the foreign policy of the LIERS regim first.

  5. Tigist
    | #5

    Zenawi has been committing crimes against humanity for years. Everywhere he goes that is what he does. As long as he is still in power, he will keep doing that…It is time for the whole world to work to ends the dark Zenawi years.

  6. zalalm
    | #6

    US moves to shut Eritrean mission

    The United States has ordered the closure of Eritrea’s consulate in California, in a sign of worsening diplomatic relations.
    US embassy officials in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, say the decision is due to a string of restrictions imposed on its embassy.

    In response, Eritrea has accused the US of an unjust and unfriendly policy.

    Relations between the two countries soured after US-backed Ethiopia entered Somalia to fight Islamist forces.

    The BBC’s Peter Martell in Asmara says the closure will affect the Eritrean government’s attempt to collect a 2% income tax on Eritrean expatriates in California – an important source of income.

    This row is the latest in a series of tit-for-tat measures the countries have imposed on each other.

    These include Eritrean demands to inspect confidential diplomatic bags against international conventions, as well as imposing visa restrictions – claims rejected by Eritrea

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