The United Nations Human Rights Office and the U.N. Assistance Mission in Somalia have said that more than 4,500 civilians have been killed or wounded in the conflict in Somalia since the start of 2016. And their report has pointed the finger at the guilty parties responsible for the majority of the violence plaguing the country.
In the report, covering a period from January 1, 2016, until October 14, 2017, UNSOM documented 2,078 civilian deaths and 2,507 injuries. The worst perpetrators of the killings against civilians are the al-Shabab militant group that is responsible for more 60 percent of the casualties according to the report. About a quarter of the death toll comes from the October 14 truck in Mogadishu where a special committee tasked to investigate the incident reported that 512 people were killed and more than 300 others were injured. Al-Shabab has been blamed for the attack.
“They are by far the worst when it comes to activities that kill civilians in conflict,” said U.N. Special Envoy to Somalia Michael Keating. “Of the incidents attributable to al-Shabab, 79 percent are as a result of the use of IEDs [improvised explosive devices] whether they are vehicle borne or otherwise.”.
The report says clan militias are responsible for 13 percent of the casualties, while state actors, including the army and the police, are responsible for 11 percent. The report says the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) is responsible for four percent. A further 12 percent of the casualties was caused by unidentified or undetermined attackers, the report said.
The U.N. reports that the citizens of Somalia are the ones paying the price for the government failing to address the issues of the country by political means. And that child endangerment is rising sharply with thousands of cases of child-recruitment with the vast majority of those being blamed on al-Shabab.
Photo courtesy Wikipedia
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