Official: Possible War Crimes in Somalia

April 7th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

By CHRIS TOMLINSON(AP) | April 06, 2007

Ethiopian and Somali forces may have committed war crimes in battles against insurgents and European Union countries could be considered complicit if they do nothing to stop them, according to an EU email obtained by The Associated Press on Friday.

The warning, by a senior security official, came in an urgent e-mail to Eric van der Linden, the EU ambassador based in Nairobi.

“I need to advise you that there are strong grounds to believe that the Ethiopian government and the transitional federal government of Somalia and the African Union (peacekeeping) Force Commander, possibly also including the African Union Head of Mission and other African Union officials have through commission or omission violated the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,” the e-mail said.

EU officials, speaking on condition they not be named because a legal matter was involved, confirmed the e-mail’s authenticity.

The author, whose name was blanked out on the copy obtained by the AP but whose senior position was apparent from the text, went on to detail the exact statutes that were violated. They included intentionally directing attacks against civilians and ordering the displacement of civilians for reasons related to the conflict.

“In regard to the above mentioned potential violations of international law there arise urgent questions of responsibility and potential complicity in the commission of war crimes by the European Commission and its partners,” the e-mail continued. The European Commission has been a major financial backer of the Somali government and the African Union peacekeeping mission, which is currently made up of only Ugandan troops.

The e-mail was sent on April 2, following four days of the heaviest fighting in Somalia in 15 years. The day after the e-mail was written, the European Union issued a statement calling for an end to the fighting.

“We are deeply concerned about the humanitarian impact of the conflict in Mogadishu and the indiscriminate shelling of heavily populated areas,” the EU statement said on April 3. Such a statement could absolve the EU from failing to act to stop the alleged war crimes.

Richard Hands, deputy head of delegation for the EU in Kenya and Somalia, said the e-mail was a routine review of the potential for war crimes in conflict areas where the EU is working.

“These allegations are, of course, taken seriously and we are looking into it,” he said. “The European Union takes international humanitarian law very seriously and are always aware in situations where it is working.”

The priority in Somalia is reconciliation that is inclusive and genuine, he added.
Somali officials were unreachable for comment.

The e-mail comes just days before the EU was expected to release $20 million for the African peacekeeping force and could lead to its suspension, a Western diplomat said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

The United States is also a major financial support of the Somali government and the peacekeepers, pledging more than $120 million.

Solomon Abebe, spokesman for the Ethiopian ministry of foreign affairs called the allegations a “fabrication.”

“The international community, everybody knows that this is false,” he said.

But European diplomats said they were concerned.

“We are looking at this from a legal point of view at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stockholm,” said Jens Orlander, the Swedish special envoy for Somalia based in Nairobi, Kenya.

The European Union has no mechanism for investigating and prosecuting war crimes in Somalia, that would fall on the International Criminal Court.

One Somali human rights group, which asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, said it was gathering evidence of war crimes in Somalia for submission to the International Criminal Court for possible future prosecutions.

Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf and his cabinet ministers have repeated called for civilians to leave their homes because insurgents have fired mortars at Ethiopian and government troops from densely populated neighborhoods.

The U.N. refugee agency says some 124,000 people have fled Mogadishu since the beginning of February. In the last six days 73,000 have fled for safety.

New York-based Human Rights Watch called Friday for all sides to end indiscriminate attacks against civilians.

“Civilians in Mogadishu are paying an intolerable price for the failure of all sides to abide by the rules of warfare,” said Georgette Gagnon, deputy Africa director of Human Rights Watch.

  1. Abebe
    | #1

    Eu shouldnt treat the syptom of the east African crises but the cause, Zenawi.

  2. 21st-Century-Ethiopian
    | #2

    The European Union is a spineless union full of no back-bone having apologists to terrorists. The European thinks that you can reason with an Islamic-Terrorist. Thank God our Prime MInister knows otherwise. In fact, the problem is that the Prime Minister is limiting the actions of our soldiers out of fear of International bull crap complaints like the one from the European Union. MR PRIME MINISTER PLEASE DO NOT LIMIT OUR SOLDIERS ABILITY TO KILL THE TERRORISTS. LET THE REIGN OF HELL FALL UPON THEM.

  3. Mesfin
    | #3

    The 21-Century -Woyanne, now you are on the European Union ha! You son of a bitch! You see in 21 Century you don’t shoot on civilians indiscriminately. It is only Woyannes that are doing such horrific crimes. They are evil maniacs. Somalia is not the first time that Meles lead Woyanne committed war crimes. It is going not be the last either, unless otherwise they are stopped. I don’t now what their mothers feed these ugly Nazi’s. Even the official number regarding the death of civilians in Mogadishu is staggering, but I beat the number is bigger than reported. It is so sad that not enough attention is paid yet for atrocities and massacres that have been committed by Meles lead Woyannes. They are inhumane and disasters for all human beings, they need to be stopped and face international courts.

  4. 21st-Century-Ethiopian
    | #4

    Mesfin, you son of a human being. How r ya? The EU is what it is. You think the French saved themselves or the English saved themselves from the onslaught of Nazi’s. It was the United States that acted while the European was talking about pleasing the Nazi. Today, we have Islamic-Terrorists bent on destruction and decisive force is what they respond to. Decisive Force is what they have gotten from the Ethiopian Army. I am appauled by the fact that the Prime Minister is impeding the Ethiopian Army’s ability to kill the terrorists by considering political complications. I say let the Professional Ethiopia Army handle it swiftly and decisively. Let us not take the spineless Europeans into consideration. Mesfin, ayezoshe. Bezu Atecheneke.

  5. Mesfin
    | #5

    Yes, you are a son of a bitch Woyanne. Killing innocent civilians, committing massacre and work crime is a culture of Woyannes as we know it. You evil people don’t have any value for human being and human life. Your inferiority complex is driving you crazy. Now you are showing your craziness to the Somalia’s and the whole world. You moron you don’t even hesitate to call the Europeans spineless, well you son of a bitch, the Europeans are smart and human enough not to kill peaceful protesters, the Europeans are smart enough to uphold the democracy principles at least in their own countries, they have no problem to feed their own people. You so arrogant and crazy to call them names. Do you know Meles shuttled to Brussels a couple of times with out any invitation to beg money from the Europeans? But, you are Woyanne, what do you know?
    Yes, keep screw up and trust the United States will save your ass. Bush doesn’t even know Meles’s last name; he doesn’t care about Meles, for Bush Meles is a slave that would do a dirty job. Let a lone Meles, Bush can’t protect even his staff members, if they commit crimes: Even if he tries that, he as only a year and half in the office. I am defiantly sure that the crimes that Meles committed in Ethiopia and Somalia are going to hunt him down soon or latter. There is no way that son of a bitch keep butchering human beings. The only skipping route he has is to kill him self and go strait to hell. I am defiantly sure that he is in a living hell as we speak, because all what he has been doing lately is not a normal person’s acts; he is biting every thing he sees as a mad dog. Mad dog knows no peace!

  6. Mimi
    | #6

    It should be clear to all that weyann is a terries organization itself.

  7. fish
    | #7

    The rope is tightning slowly but shurely on this ugly tigres neck.This is the sign for meles and its ignorant allies.His time is desaster is aproching very fast.When the time what is going to happen to you woyanes, the US will denay every thing and blame it on you dogs. Then one by one either you will commite sucide or we will pass you to somalian ppls for your judgment and it is obvious they will pull you behinde the truck around mokadisho like those dogs that we have seen on the you tube. Why do you masacar them? There is no hiding place after this because the dispora knows all of you woyanes and put you incourt one by one. No Ethiopian will get married with your cursed ethnic. You will be social out cast.

    peace for Ethiopian

  8. Tigist
    | #8

    I just hope it is not only the European countries, other countries also pays attention to what evil Meles Zenawi has been doing against the civil Somalia people.

  9. 21st-Century-Ethiopian
    | #9

    Mesfin, the engineer, your mom is still a human being. As to the Tigre comment, well, it is precisely because your want to choke a particular ethnicity that like minded individuals are charged with genocide. I would have preferred ethnic intimidation as the appropriate charge. Be that as it may, the Mesfin the engineer likes will keep on yelling, the Fish the zergena type will keep on polluting our enviroment with their tribal crap and guess what? ETHIOPIA WILL KEEP ON BOOMING AND MORE OF YOUR RELATIVES WILL RECEIVE THE BENEFIT. So just sit tight and watch Ethiopia take her place in the 21st century with the proud leadership of her sons and daughters.SEE YOU IN ADDIS FOR THE MILLENIUM. OR MAYBE MAKELLE. I HAVEN’T DECIDED YET. TEKATELU ESTE ENANTE MEKENAOWTCHE. WEREGNAWOTCHE. SEE YOU IN ADDIS.

  10. Reppi
    | #10

    A dog bites the hand that fed it.
    Bandawochu Melese and woyane have attacked the people(the Somalis)that gave them shelter in their time of need.Bandawochu Melese and woyane have attacked the people(the Eritrians)who created them,trained them and helped them into power.
    That definetly makes them dogs, sons of bitches.
    Nobody wants you in addis, better go to mekele. But then again Kelet is something you might not have.Why would you want to go where you are despised?

  11. fish
    | #11

    Listen 21st-Century i don’t think you are living to the standard of your name. I guess you are a cave man. Like woyanes and their asociates, you to are primitive.As a mattr of fact the whole tigre society . They talk shit and just what ever they have in their guts by passing their tiny brain. Reepi says
    “A dog bites the hand that fed it.
    Bandawochu Melese and woyane have attacked the people(the Somalis)that gave them shelter in their time of need.Bandawochu Melese and woyane have attacked the people(the Eritrians)who created them,trained them and helped them into power.” The mistake the ethiopian ppls made is that they considered you changed society but the fact remains the same that you are BANDAS, who doesn’t have any shame.

    ” ke tigre hizbe killet ke konjo joro kelebet ayetefam”

    Our father were right to say this. I was married to a tigree but not any more and i have to go to the church and get my salivation for the adultury i commite by eathing and sleeping for two years with Tigree bitch.

    God bless!


  12. 21st-Century-Ethiopian
    | #12

    Tekatelu. Ahunese be ewinete betame arachehale. Tiru newe, Bortchame weregna sikota mene yadergale. Whiskey ena Tire siga gezito “Zerafe Zerafe Weyane Egdelalehu Yeleale”.
    Bortchame Weregna , Zemedune Yeresa, mene yelale. Whiskey teteto “weye hagere weye hagere” yeleale. Weregna kentu hulu. Dr. Birhanu Nega described you well: ” 90% of the diaspora are a useless bunch and cannot contribute anything towards Ethiopia.” THAT IS DR. BIRHANU DESCRIBING YOUR LAZY GOOD FOR NOTHING WEREGNA. I suggest you work on your relatives so that they stop engaging in their favorite profession–prostitution. I mean tell them to find alternative professions. It is almost as if being a prostitute is quite normal amongst your relatives. Like a part time job. Call your relatives back home, they are all out on the streets of Addis. Haven’t your parents taught them any decency. So stop eating that Tire siga, I think it is messing with your cognitive abilities. Soon, you might have a Mad Amara disease. oops, sorry, I meant Mad Cow disease.:)

  13. Reppi
    | #13

    Nobody wants you in addis.Why would you want to go where you are despised?
    Why does yuor being a salve to the west not bother you?
    Maybe that is what your parents taught you; to be proud of begging.Did they teach you being in servitude to others is something to be proud of?

    Maybe generations of Belles eating has mushed your collective brains.

  14. fish
    | #14

    21st. Prostitution and begging is your profession you know it very well. In this growing econmy of yours why do you think this trade is growing very fast in ethiopia. May be as Professor Meles explained it to you can you please tell me. May be it is an economic indicator hahah you ppls can say anything this days because you don’t think. As a matter of fact, prostitution comes from your families. They inherited it from the italin when they were banda and now you got it form them.The other disturbing thing is that you are not even ashamed of it i mean “badanet”. You know very well Ethiopian ppls generous and still in the street addis we give charity to your tigree childrens despite the atrosity you commite to innocent ppls. Ethiopians are very sophesticated,compationate who doesn,t like bigotery like you woyane tigree.

  15. | #15

    I do not really imagin

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