Confronting the hidden US war in Somalia

The US military has acknowledged two civilian casualties from a 2019 air attack in Somalia. Human rights researchers say the toll is much higher.

INDIAN SPRINGS, NV - NOVEMBER 17: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been reviewed by the U.S. Military prior to transmission.) An MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) is prepared for a training mission

For 12 years, the United States denied any civilian casualties from its air attacks in Somalia.

Last month, it admitted two civilians were killed in a 2019 US air attack. It was the second known incident in which the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) has acknowledged killing civilians in Somalia. The first was an air raid in April 2018 in central Somalia, in which AFRICOM reported it had unintentionally killed two civilians.

Monitoring groups, however, tell us that the low figures do not match the reality on the ground.

In this episode, we hear from Somali journalist Mohamed Osman Abdi, who laid the disconnect bare, and from two people working to uncover the human toll: Abdullahi Hassan, a researcher for Amnesty International in Nairobi, Kenya, and Chris Woods, the founder and director of Airwars.

For more:

US admits killing civilians during air attacks in Somalia

A family mourns as US drone attacks in Somalia continue

US air strike kills telecom worker in Somalia

The team:

Alexandra Locke produced this episode with Amy Walters, Priyanka Tilve, Ney Alvarez, Dina Kesbeh and Kevin Hirten. Alex Roldan was the sound designer. Natalia Aldana is the engagement producer. Stacey Samuel is the executive producer. Graelyn Brashear is Al Jazeera’s head of audio.


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Source: Al Jazeera