Tag Archive | Somalia

Trump Administration Signals Escalation of War in Somalia*

Trump Administration Signals Escalation of War in Somalia*

By Abayomi Azikiwe

 

Trump lifts “restrictions” on bombing operations and targeted assassinations

Even with 22,000 western-trained and funded AMISOM troops stationed in Somalia, the country still has not been stabilized. Trump’s directive will only create more death and destruction.

United States President Donald Trump has pledged to intensify the war against the people of Somalia which has gone on for decades.

This latest manifestation of Washington’s intervention in the oil-rich Horn of Africa state came in the form of an executive order granting the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) greater latitude in carrying out military operations inside the country against the al-Shabaab guerrilla movement. However, the Pentagon is attempting to maintain a semblance of caution in their public remarks about military engagement in Somalia.

AFRICOM Commander Marine Corps General Thomas D. Waldhauser said of the situation in Somalia on March 24:

“It’s very, very important that we have a very, very high degree of certainty in limiting or entirely avoiding civilian casualties. And obviously the cardinal rule in these types of engagements is to not make more enemies than you already have.”

Trump claims that the policy of the previous administration of President Barack Obama hampered the capacity of the Pentagon to defeat al-Shabaab. In reality the Obama White House continued the same routine bombing operations, funding and training of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), the maintenance of a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) field station in Mogadishu and a flotilla of naval warships off the coast of the strategically located country in the Gulf of Aden.

Despite the militarized posture of successive administrations in Washington extending back to President Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s, the nation remains a source of instability throughout the region with a worsening situation for its citizens who are facing growing food insecurity and economic crisis. Even though multi-national oil firms have been drilling for petroleum in the country the people have yet to benefit substantially from their presence.

An article published in the neighboring Kenya’s Daily Nation on April 10 reported: “His March 29 directive removes a requirement that proposed U.S. strikes on Shabaab be vetted at high levels in Washington. The new policy also ends the Obama condition that U.S. attacks can be launched only when the targeted entity is believed to pose a specific threat to Americans. And U.S. raids will no longer be predicated on high probability that civilians will not die as a result.”

There is really no evidence that these were the parameters that guided Pentagon and CIA military and covert action attacks in Somalia. AFRICOM has often denied that its strikes and commando raids deliberately endanger civilians; nevertheless this happens more often than not.

Drone strikes and aerial bombardments have resulted in the deaths and injuries of thousands of Somalis since 2007 when the former administration of President George W. Bush, Jr. sought to undermine the ability of the people to determine their own destiny. Every Somali administration since that period has been under the political dominance of Washington and Wall Street. As a result corruption and inefficiency is widespread while hundreds of thousands of people face joblessness and starvation.

The same Daily Nation report goes on to say that:

“the Trump order permits attacks when civilian casualties ‘are deemed necessary and proportionate.’ U.S. officials have acknowledged the heightened danger of civilian deaths — and enhanced recruitment opportunities for Shabaab — as a result of this new authorization.”

A newly-elected administration headed by President Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed, who holds a U.S. passport, declared a renewed war on al-Shabaab after giving its members 60 days to surrender. Nonetheless, the capacity of the Federal Government to maintain security even in the capital of Mogadishu has proven to be extremely limited.

Wave of attacks

On April 9 it was reported that at least fifteen people were killed in a car bomb attack aimed at assassinating the newly-appointed military leader of the Somali Federal Government. This operation took place right in the heart of the capital of Mogadishu in the aftermath of the inauguration of General Ahmed Mohamed Jimale. A driver attempted to ram a vehicle into the convoy carrying General Jimale. The military official survived the attack yet a minibus carrying commuters was struck causing the bulk of casualties.

In a statement made by the spokesman for the Ministry of Internal Security Abdikamil Moalim Shukri, he noted:

“A Shabab suicide bomber targeted a military convoy left from the ministry of defense compound which was carrying the newly appointed Somali military chief. No officials were hurt in the blast. All the victims were civilians.”

Within 24 hours yet another attack took place when a soldier wearing military gear walked into the training academy and detonated a bomb. The academy is located in the western section of Mogadishu.

A survivor of the bombing which killed two colonels said of the attacker: “He entered the camp unstopped. We were sitting under a tree when he came and blew himself up among us.”

Also on April 10 a civil servant died when a bomb in his vehicle was detonated apparently through a remote control device in the Hamarweyne district of the capital.

Insecurity in the Gulf of Aden

Just the day before the attempt to assassinate General Jimale, there was a major effort to seize a commercial cargo ship off the coast of the country by so-called pirates. The ship had 19 Filipino sailors aboard during the attack and was only repelled due to the intervention of a joint Chinese and Indian anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden.

This incident was only one of five which have been reported over the last several weeks. Pirates recently took control of a Pakistani-owned ship which was transporting food off the coast of central Somalia. Later an Indian-owned vessel was commandeered and redirected to an area for the purpose of seizing its goods.

Somali Minister of Information Abdirahman Omar Osman told the international press in response to the rash of attacks in the Gulf of Aden:

“Somali federal government is ready to do its part. But due to our limitation in terms of resources and capacity, we urgently require the support.”

U.S. policy has undermined Somalia

Even with 22,000 western-trained and funded AMISOM troops stationed in Somalia, the country still has not been stabilized. Trump’s directive will only create more death and destruction.

The humanitarian crisis in the country is worsening with people fleeing to neighbouring war-torn Yemen which is also under siege by U.S.-backed forces led by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). A boat filled with Somalian refugees was bombed by the GCC U.S.-manufactured warplanes killing many people on March 17 as they attempted to travel along the Red Sea from Yemen to the Republic of Sudan.

An East African regional bloc of nations known as the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has failed to secure a ceasefire in Somalia. IGAD’s response to the recent bombings has been to threaten further military activity directed against al-Shabaab.

A statement issued by the regional group on April 10 said:

“IGAD condemns in the strongest terms possible the Al-Shabab terror attack of Sunday (April 9) that killed innocent citizens and injured others in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. This atrocious terror attack which was targeting Somalia’s new military chief is a failure that once again showed Al-Shabaab terror group’s disrespect for human life and civilians’ protection.”

Yet the regional states in East Africa should condemn U.S. policy in Somalia which has resulted in further militarization of the area, destabilizing the society and enhancing the impoverishment of the people.

Source*

Related Topics:

World War 3: Trump Begins Paying His Penance to Rothschilds*

Somalian Refugees Massacred in the Red Sea off Yemen Coast*

Hundreds Dying from Hunger as Severe Drought Grips Somalia*

Imminent Starvation Resulting from U.S. Led Wars: U.N. Officials Warn of Worst Famine Crisis Since World War II*

Obama Just Expanded the Global War on Terror to Somalia*

U.S. Expands Army Presence in Somalia*

Once a Somali Refugee, She’s Now Running as Somalia’s First Female President*

Somalia a Failed State by Courtesy of the State Department and CIA*

The REAL Pirates of Somalia Stand Up!‏

Somalia: Thieves in the Night

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Somalian Refugees Massacred in the Red Sea off Yemen Coast*

Somalian Refugees Massacred in the Red Sea off Yemen Coast*

By Abayomi Azikiwe

United States engineered war of genocide encompasses contiguous nations and waterways

 

Somalian community representatives in Yemen have issued a statement denouncing the brutal killings of 42 people and the injuring of 120 others when their vessel was struck in the Red Sea area near the port city of Hodeida on March 17.

Reports indicate that the deaths were a direct result of an airstrike carried out by the Saudi Arabian-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in a war being waged against the people of Yemen.

These refugees were traveling to the Republic of Sudan utilizing the Bab-el-Mandeb, a strait near Yemen, Djibouti, and Eritrea which joins the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. This area is one of the most lucrative shipping lanes in the world transporting oil, military hardware and other commodities.

The Somalians living in Yemen are demanding that the international community investigates the circumstances surrounding the bombing. In addition, they are urging that those found responsible should be prosecuted for the crimes committed. (Saba News Agency, March 21)

A United States manufactured Apache helicopter attacked the vessel carrying Somalians who were fleeing from the war torn state of Yemen. Since March 2015, the White House and Pentagon has backed a war inside the country to defeat the Popular Committees led by the Ansurallah Movement (Houthis) and allied military forces still loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Over 12,000 people have died over the last two years while tens of thousands of others have been injured. A blockade that often prevents essential supplies reaching the people of Yemen has 3.3 million people facing famine.

Saudi-GCC airstrikes and ground operations have targeted civilians, educational institutions, power stations, communications facilities, water sources and municipal services. The Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has supplied the Saudi-GCC forces with sophisticated air power, refueling technology and geographic coordinates needed to inflect maximum damage on the ground.

The persons on board the vessel were said to have documents in their possession certifying them as displaced persons. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees UNHCR) said of the massacre that the agency was “appalled by this tragic incident, the latest in which civilians continue to disproportionately bear the brunt of conflict in Yemen.”

U.S.-backed Forces Deny Involvement

In response to the charges that the Saudi-GCC Coalition was responsible for the massacre, the alliance in a statement said:

“”We are also aware of allegations that the attack was carried out by a helicopter and naval vessel belonging to the Saudi-led coalition. We can confirm the coalition was not responsible for any attack on a refugee boat on Friday (March 17) and … there was no firing by any coalition forces on Friday in the area of Hudaida.” (Middle East Eye, March 19)

Not only did the U.S.-allied forces deny responsibility, they then proposed the port city “be placed immediately under United Nations supervision”. Such an action by the U.N. would be in contravention of international law since Hodeida is part of Yemeni national territory.

For the U.N. to enact this suggestion would be tantamount to the colonization of a section of the country.  Saudi Arabia has occupied sections of Yemeni territory in the recent past aimed at curtailing the advances of the Ansurallah movement which they claim are supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Attempting to conceal its political motivations the Saudi-GCC Coalition declared:

“This would facilitate the flow of humanitarian supplies to the Yemeni people, while at the same time ending the use of the port for weapons smuggling and people trafficking.”

Nonetheless, it is well documented that it is the forces loyal to Riyadh which have continued to target civilians in the war and prevent the transport of essential goods and services from reaching millions of people in Yemen.

The Somalian government fresh from electing a new president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, is a member of the Coalition which is conducting war against neighbouring Yemen. Mogadishu has become an outpost of U.S. and European imperialism which finances, trains and coordinates military operations both inland and offshore in Somalia.

Some 22,000 African Union (AU) troops from Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia are patrolling the capital of Mogadishu and other areas in the central and southern regions of the Horn of Africa nation. Pentagon and CIA advisors are embedded in the Somali National Armed Forces and AMISOM units to guarantee the security of the Federal Government which is still waging a war against the Al-Shabaab Islamic movement.

Former Somalian Foreign Minister Abdusalam Omer did not immediately condemn the massacre of his own citizens on March 17. In a statement issued on March 18, Mogadishu said

“We call on our partners in the Saudi-led coalition to investigate the raid.”

However, it is unlikely that any substantive investigation into these deaths will occur from Mogadishu, Riyadh or its allies in the Yemen war. During the course of developments since March 2015, the U.S. under both the previous administration of President Barack Obama and his successor Donald Trump, there has been no condemnation of the way in which the war has been carried out by the Saudi-GCC Coalition.

War Continues at Feverish Pace

Meanwhile, the situation in Yemen remains tense and volatile. On March 21 authorities seized a vehicle packed with explosives found traveling on the al Azrakain road north of the capital of Sana’a. (Saba, March 21)

On the same day according to Saba news agency:

“A man was killed by a hand grenade in a popular market in Azzancity of Shabwa province. A local official told Saba that an armed man dropped the grenade at the middle of the Qat Market in Azzan, killing the man and injuring 30 others, some of them are critically injured. Shabwa province experiences insecurity in the light of al-Qaeda controls on a number of areas.”

It is the al-Qaeda presence in Yemen which provides another rationale for the escalation of Pentagon military strikes inside the country. In January, a disastrous commando operation authorized by President Trump resulted in the deaths of more than two dozen civilians as well as a Navy Seal in Bayda Province.

Stratfor, the intelligence consultancy firm based in Austin, Texas, said of the escalation in direct airstrikes authorized by Washington claiming to target al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) that:

“The United States has carried out around 30 airstrikes against the group in Yemen over the past several days, marking a significant increase in the pace of strikes from the previous year. In fact, the United States only publicly acknowledged carrying out 31 strikes during all of 2016.” (March 6)

New York Times reporters Helene Cooper and Eric Schmitt wrote on March 2:

“The coordinated series of attacks occurred in three Yemeni provinces — Abyan, Shabwa and Baydha — that have been linked to terrorist activity, according to the Pentagon. The strikes were conducted against targets that had been developed before the January raid, a senior official said.”

Consequently, the war against the people of Yemen has been intensified under the Trump administration. These developments coincide with the increasing role of the Pentagon in Syria which has announced the deployment of additional troops to this embattled state.

Official pronouncements from the Pentagon say approximately 500 U.S. Special Operations forces are already engaged in Syria ostensibly supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near Raqaa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State.  An additional 250 Rangers and 200 Marines are reportedly in the same area.

Trump has ordered Secretary of Defense James Mattis to draft a plan to place even more troops in Syria by the end of March. These troops could come from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit transported by warships harbouring 2,200 Marines currently moving in the direction of Syria along with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, which has 2,500 troops en route to Kuwait.

Source*

Related Topics:

Hundreds Dying from Hunger as Severe Drought Grips Somalia*

U.S. Expands Army Presence in Somalia*

Somali Man Takes Legal Action against US, Germany Over Father’s Drone Killing*

Somalia a Failed State by Courtesy of the State Department and CIA*

Saudi Airstrikes on Market Kills Civilians in Yemen*

Nine Young Children Killed: The Full Details of the Botched U.S. Raid in Yemen*

Idlib Raid Hits CIA/Saudi Backed Rebels as “President Banner” Tries to Bury Yemen Blunder*

Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. 8-Year-Old Sister Killed in Raid Ordered by Trump *

Imminent Starvation Resulting from U.S. Led Wars: U.N. Officials Warn of Worst Famine Crisis Since World War II*

Imminent Starvation Resulting from U.S. Led Wars: U.N. Officials Warn of Worst Famine Crisis Since World War II*

By Patrick Martin

More than 20 million people face imminent starvation in four countries, United Nations officials warned over the weekend, the largest humanitarian crisis since the end of World War II. All four countries—Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, and Nigeria—are wracked by civil wars in which the U.S. government is implicated in funding and arming one of the contending sides.

U.N. emergency relief coordinator Stephen O’Brien gave a report to the U.N. Security Council Friday detailing the conditions in the four countries, and the UN issued published further materials on the crisis Saturday, seeking to raise $4.4 billion in contributions for emergency relief before the end of March. So far, according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, only $90 million has been pledged, barely two percent of the total needed.

As outlined by U.N. officials, the populations most immediately at risk number 7.3 million in Yemen, 2.9 million in Somalia, 5 million in South Sudan, and 5.1 million in Nigeria, for a total of 20.3 million. The number of children suffering symptoms of acute malnutrition is estimated at 462,000 in Yemen, 185,000 in Somalia, 270,000 in South Sudan, and 450,000 in Nigeria, for a total of nearly 1.4 million.

While adverse weather conditions, particularly drought, are a contributing factor in the humanitarian disasters, the primary cause is civil war, in which each side is using food supplies as a weapon, deliberately starving the population of the “enemy.”

U.S.-backed forces are guilty of such war crimes in all four countries, and it is American imperialism, the principal backer of the Saudi intervention in Yemen and the government forces in Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria, which is principally responsible for the danger of famine and the growing danger of a colossal humanitarian disaster.

The worst-hit country is Yemen, where U.S.-armed and directed military units from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf monarchies are at war with Houthi rebels who overthrew the U.S.-installed president two years ago. Some 19 million people, two-thirds of the country’s population, are in need of humanitarian assistance.

The Saudi forces, which fight alongside Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, control the country’s major ports, including Aden and Hodeida, and are backed by U.S. Navy units in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden in imposing a blockade on the region controlled by the Houthis in the west and north of the country.

U.S. forces operations range throughout the country, with drone missile strikes and occasional raids, like the disastrous attack on a village at the end of January in which at least 30 Yemeni civilians were killed, many of them small children, and one U.S. Special Forces soldier was shot to death.

In Somalia, the protracted civil war between the U.S.-backed government in Mogadishu and Al Shabab militias, who control most of the country’s south, has laid waste to a country which already suffered a devastating famine in 2011, and has been ravaged by civil war for most the past quarter-century.

At least half the country’s population, more than six million people, is in need of humanitarian aid, according to U.N. estimates. Drought conditions have killed off much of the country’s animal population. In Somalia, too, U.S. military units continue to operate, carrying out Special Forces raids and drone missile strikes. There is also an extensive spillover of Somali refugees into neighboring Kenya, where another 2.7 million people are in need of humanitarian aid.

The civil war in South Sudan is a conflict between rival tribal factions of a U.S.-backed regime that was created through Washington’s intervention into a long-running civil war in Sudan. After a U.S.-brokered treaty and a referendum approving separation, South Sudan was established as a newly independent state in 2011.

Tribal conflicts within the new state have been exacerbated by drought, extreme poverty, and the struggle to control the country’s oil reserves, its one significant natural resource, which is largely exported through neighboring Sudan to China. The country is landlocked, making transport of emergency food supplies more difficult.

The crisis in South Sudan was said to be the most acute of the four countries where famine alerts were being sounded, with some 40% of the population facing starvation. Last month, U.N. officials declared a full-scale famine alert for 100,000 people in South Sudan. A cholera epidemic has also been reported.

The famine crisis in Nigeria is likewise the byproduct of warfare, this time between the Islamic fundamentalist group Boko Haram and the government of Nigeria, which has military support from the US and Britain. The focal point of this conflict has been the Lake Chad region, where Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger share borders. This is the most densely populated and fertile of the four areas threatened with famine.

A recent offensive by Nigerian government forces pushed backed Boko Haram and uncovered the extent of the suffering among the local population in the region, where food supplies were cut off as part of the U.S.-backed military campaign.

U.S. military forces range throughout the Sahel region, the vast area on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert which encompasses much of western Africa. The armed forces of French and German imperialism are also active in former French colonies like Mali and Burkina Faso, as well as further south, in the Central African Republic.

According to the U.N. reports, the humanitarian disaster in Yemen has accelerated in recent months. The number of Yemenis in immediate danger of starvation jumped from four million to seven million in the past month. One child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen from a preventable disease.

When the U.N. humanitarian chief’s mission was in Yemen last week, it was able to secure safe passage for the first truckload of humanitarian supplies to the besieged city of Taiz, the country’s third largest, which has been blockaded for the past seven months.

The debate on O’Brien’s report to the UN Security Council featured one hypocritical statement after another by imperialist powers like the US, Britain, France, Japan and Italy, as well as by China and Russia, all bemoaning the suffering, but all concealing the real cause of the deepening crisis.

Typical were the remarks of the U.S. representative, Michele Sison, who declared,

 “Every member of the Security Council should be outraged that the world was confronting famine in the year 2017. Famine is a man-made problem with a man-made solution.”

She called on the parties engaged in fighting in the four countries to “prioritize access to civilians” and “not obstruct aid”—although that is exactly what the U.S.-backed forces are doing, particularly in Yemen, and to a lesser extent in the other three countries.

The U.N. report does not cover other humanitarian crises also classified by the World Food Program as “level three,” the most serious, including Iraq, Syria, Central African Republic and the Philippines (the first three due to civil war, the last due to the impact of several Pacific typhoons). Nor does it cover the devastating civil conflict in Libya or Afghanistan, ravaged by nearly 40 years of continuous warfare.

Nor does it review the worldwide total of people in acute need of food assistance, estimated at 70 million in 45 countries, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network. This figure is up 40 percent since 2015, as a result of escalating civil wars, drought and other climate-driven events, and rising food prices.

The World Food Program experienced a shortfall in contributions of nearly one-third in 2016, receiving only $5.9 billion from donors towards a total outlay of $8.6 billion, forcing the agency to cut rations for refugees in Kenya and Uganda. Total unfunded humanitarian aid appeals came to $10.7 billion in 2016, larger than the combined total of such appeals in 2012.

While these sums are gargantuan in terms of the need, they are a drop in the bucket compared to the resources squandered by the major powers on war and militarism. The total deficit in humanitarian aid amounts to less than three days’ worth of global military spending. The $4.4 billion in aid sought for the famine crisis is half of what the US Pentagon spends in a typical week.

Source*

Related Topics:

U.S. World Population Control Programme Revealed Creates War and Famine*

‘No Food, No Medicine, No Money’ in Yemeni Town Just Death by Starvation*

US-Saudi Man-Made Famine Threatens 20 Million Yemenis*

Hundreds Dying from Hunger as Severe Drought Grips Somalia*

Starvation Is an Imperial Resource for Britain*

Indigenous Australians being Starved by their Occupiers*

Fallujah’s Residents Starving, Murdered, Besieged by U.S. Backed Government Forces and ISIS*

 

 

 

Hundreds Dying from Hunger as Severe Drought Grips Somalia*

Hundreds Dying from Hunger as Severe Drought Grips Somalia*

110 people have died from hunger in the past 48 hours in just one region of Somalia as severe drought gripped the country, causing hunger crisis. The death toll was announced by Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire today and it comes from the Bay region in the southwest part of the country alone. Humanitarian agencies report worrying similarities to the 2011 famine, in which nearly 260 000 Somalis lost their lives. Somali elders say they have never seen drought as severe as this one.

On Tuesday, February 28, 2017, just a week after his inauguration, President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has declared the drought a national disaster. The declaration comes amid an ongoing war with al-Shabab and is expected to be a trial for all those involved in Somalia’s struggles. It will test the international community’s response, the government’s ability to assist, and the strength of security provided by the African Union forces, Al Jazeera explains.

In the far north of Somalia, three years with little rain has had increasingly disastrous effects for a population reliant on the land. The parched earth has failed to produce food for the camels and goats that the people depend on for their income, meat, and milk for their children.

Critical health services are needed for 1.5 million people currently affected by drought conditions and a worsening food crisis, according to the WHO.

The humanitarian situation in Somalia continues to deteriorate, the organization said, and there is a high risk that the country will face its third famine in 25 years. More than 6.2 million people – half of the total population – are in urgent need of humanitarian aid, including almost 3 million facing a food security crisis. Nearly 5.5 million people are at risk of contracting waterborne diseases, more than half of whom are women and children under 5 years of age.

Acute drought in many parts of Somalia has reduced the availability of clean water sources, and the food crisis has given way to malnutrition. More than 363 000 acutely malnourished children and 70 000 severely malnourished children are in need of urgent and life-saving support, it said. According to United Nations estimates, if the current situation food and security continues, these numbers are estimated to double in 2017.

Drought conditions have also increased the spread of epidemic-prone diseases such as acute watery diarrhea, cholera, and measles. In the first 7 weeks of 2017, over 6 000 cases and 65 deaths by acute watery diarrhea/ cholera have been reported, and a total of 2 578 cases of suspected measles were reported as of September 2016.

“Somalia is now at a critical point as a result of this drought and environmental hazards and lack of basic services,” said WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr. Mahmoud Fikri.

“We named this (2017) drought ‘Odi Kawayn,’ which is Somali for ‘something bigger than the elders.’ None of our elders has ever seen a drought as severe as this one,” said drought victim Halima, as reported by the International Organization for Migration.

Somalia, however, is not the only African country currently dealing with severe hunger crisis, Ethiopia and Kenya are too.

These three countries in the Horn of Africa are currently suffering a severe drought that is threatening the lives of more than 11 million people.

“Unfortunately, the international community is responding very reluctantly. People don’t have any reserves left, as in recent years their harvests have failed and animals died because of the lack of water and fodder. Every donation helps us save lives,” said Till Wahnbaeck, Welthungerhilfe chief executive officer.

According to U.N. figures, more than 20 million people in Africa are dependent on humanitarian assistance for survival.

Source*

Related Topics:

Obama Just Expanded the Global War on Terror to Somalia*

U.S. Expands Army Presence in Somalia*

Once a Somali Refugee, She’s Now Running as Somalia’s First Female President*

Somalia a Failed State by Courtesy of the State Department and CIA*

LA Judge Issues Most Sweeping Order Yet against Trump Immigration Ban

LA Judge Issues Most Sweeping Order Yet against Trump Immigration Ban

By Susan Seager

A Los Angeles federal judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of part of President Donald Trump’s immigration and refugee ban. This order may be the most sweeping order yet against Trump’s executive action.

U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr

U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr

U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr. ordered the federal government late Tuesday to allow the 28 Yemeni-American plaintiffs in the new lawsuit to be granted entry to the United States on the grounds that they obtained valid visas overseas and were unlawfully blocked from entering the United States.

Unlike the previous federal court orders that appeared to focus on mandating the release of detained travelers who already arrived at U.S. airports,  Birotte’s order requires federal officials to allow persons from the seven banned countries to come to the United States even though they are still overseas, so long as they have valid U.S. immigration visas.

Birotte, the former U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, is the sixth federal judge to issue an order freezing part of Trump’s travel ban. This new case is Mohammed v. United States.

Birotte’s order was broadly worded and not restricting to helping the plaintiffs.

Not only did Birotte block federal officials “from … removing, detaining, or blocking the entry of Plaintiffs,” but the judge also froze the removal, detention and blocking the entry of “any other person from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen with a valid immigrant visa.”

Judge Birotte also ordered the federal government “to IMMEDIATELY inform all relevant airport, airline, and other authorities at Los Angeles International Airport and International Airport in Djibouti that [the Yemeni] Plaintiffs are permitted to travel to the United States on their valid immigrant visas.”

The lawsuit and related filings were filed Tuesday under seal. The plaintiffs are 28 Yemeni-Americans, including United States citizens living here and family members who remained behind in Yemen but had received immigrant visas to come to the U.S., according to a newspaper report.

Before Birotte issued his order,  judges in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Boston, Seattle and Alexandria, Virginia issued different temporary injunctions restraining federal enforcement of parts of  Trump’s travel ban last weekend, although the other orders dealt with immigrants who had already arrived in the United States, not those  stranded overseas.

Trump’s executive order blocks citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from coming to the U.S. for at least 90 days, bans refugees for 120 days, and bans Syrian refugees indefinitely. No new travel or immigration visas are being given to people from these countries.

When the refugee ban is lifted, Trump’s order says that the United States will give preference to minority religions in the seven Muslim-majority countries, and Trump told the Christian Broadcasting Network that his executive order would give priority to Christians.  “So we are going to help them,” he said of Christians in the Middle East.

Judge Birotte’s order did not order the federal government to issue new immigration visas, but requires the government to honor “valid immigration visas” issued before Trump’s executive order. The order does not apply to refugees or those with tourist visas.

Under Birotte’s order, government officials apparently can no longer instruct airlines and border officials outside the United States to block immigrants from the seven countries from boarding airplanes to the United States even though those immigrants had obtained valid visas before Trump’s order.

In the Los Angeles lawsuit, the Yemeni families argued Trump’s order violates their right to due process, unlawfully targets Muslims based on their religion in violation of the First Amendment, among other constitutional arguments.

The plaintiffs had left war-torn Yemen and obtained their U.S. immigration visas in the nearby country of Djibouti, Africa, after completing the U.S.’s vetting process and before Trump issued his executive order, but were blocked from leaving Africa.

Birotte instructed government attorneys to file written arguments defending the executive order and both sides to appear at a Feb. 10 hearing.

Source*

Related Topics:

Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. 8-Year-Old Sister Killed in Raid Ordered by Trump *

Congress Just Passed Part of Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan in the Budget Bill*

Argentina Trumps U.S. on New Immigration Laws*

Trump Will Sign Order to Build Wall, Ban Refugees, Muslims*

Jewish Members of Trump Administration Might Explain a Few Things*

Giving Thanks for a Nation of Migrants, Refugees, and Immigrants*

Native American Council offers Amnesty to 220 million Undocumented Whites*

Obama Just Expanded the Global War on Terror to Somalia*

Obama Just Expanded the Global War on Terror to Somalia*

With just over a month left in office, President Obama has once again expanded America’s global war on terror, announcing that he has formally added Somali militant faction al-Shabaab into the “perpetrators of 9/11” war authorization from back in 2001.

Passed on September 14 of 2001, the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) was intended to authorize the war against al-Qaeda, but officials have used as the legal justification of myriad unrelated American wars around the world, of which al-Shabaab is just the latest.

The AUMF authorized war against any nations or organizations involved in 9/11. Al-Shabaab didn’t exist until years later, with the group forming in 2007 and becoming a U.S.-listed terror group in 2008. President Obama, however, seems comfortable continuing to abuse the AUMF for any war that strikes his fancy.

The timing is particularly unusual, with Obama previously saying he didn’t want to start any new wars this late in his term to leave for the next president. While Obama has been attacking al-Shabaab for years anyhow, the reason behind the official declaration is unknown.

Source*

Related Topics:

Once a Somali Refugee, She’s Now Running as Somalia’s First Female President*

Somalia a Failed State by Courtesy of the State Department and CIA*

The REAL Pirates of Somalia Stand Up!‏

Life or Death: Humanity Runs Awry in Somalia

Somali Man Takes Legal Action against US, Germany Over Father’s Drone Killing*

The Foreign Fighters of Boko Haram, and El Shebaab*

 

Britain’s Seven Covert Wars*

Britain’s Seven Covert Wars*

This is the sort of thing that Britain’s hamstrung media are covering up. It’s just one reason why people go to the alternative media, such as RT and Global Research, to find out what’s going on. It’s hardly surprising that last week’s Commons debate on Aleppo was a farago of lies and ignorance. It’s what we’ve come to expect from our brainwashed, idiot MPs. – Gordon Logan

Dead Yemeni child – one of thousands that the British government has helped to kill.

Dead Yemeni child – one of thousands that the British government has helped to kill.

By Mark Curtis

Britain is fighting at least seven covert wars in the Middle East and North Africa, outside of any democratic oversight or control. Whitehall has in effect gone underground, with neither parliament nor the public being allowed to debate, scrutinise or even know about these wars.

To cover themselves, Ministers are now often resorting to lying about what they are authorising. While Britain has identified Islamic State (among others) as the enemy abroad, it is clear that it sees the British public and parliament as the enemy at home.

Syria

Britain began training Syrian rebel forces from bases in Jordan in 2012. This was also when the SAS was reported to be ‘slipping into Syria on missions’ against Islamic State. Now, British special forces are ‘mounting hit and run raids against IS deep inside eastern Syria dressed as insurgent fighters’ and ‘frequently cross into Syria to assist the New Syrian Army’ from their base in Jordan. British special forces also provide training, weapons and other equipment to the New Syrian Army.

British aircraft began covert strikes against IS targets in Syria in 2015, months before Parliament voted in favour of overt action in December 2015. These strikes were conducted by British pilots embedded with US and Canadian forces.

Britain has also been operating a secret drone warfare programme in Syria. Last year Reaper drones killed British IS fighters in Syria, again before parliament approved military action. As I have previously argued, British covert action and support of the Syrian rebels is, along with horrific Syrian government/Russian violence, helping to prolong a terrible conflict.

 

Iraq

Hundreds of British troops are officially in Iraq to train local security forces. But they are also engaged in covert combat operations against IS. One recent report suggests that Britain has more than 200 special force soldiers in the country, operating out of a fortified base within a Kurdish Peshmerga camp south of Mosul.

British Reaper drones were first deployed over Iraq in 2014 and are now flown remotely by satellite from an RAF base in Lincolnshire. Britain has conducted over 200 drones strikes in Iraq since November 2014.

Libya

SAS forces have been secretly deployed to Libya since the beginning of this year, working with Jordanian special forces embedded in the British contingent. This follows a mission by MI6 and the RAF in January to gather intelligence on IS and draw up potential targets for air strikes. British commandos are now reportedlyfighting and directing assaults on Libyan frontlines and running intelligence, surveillance and logistical support operations from a base in the western city of Misrata.

But a team of 15 British forces are also reported to be based in a French-led multinational military operations centre in Benghazi, eastern Libya, supporting renegade Libyan general Khalifa Haftar. In July 2016, Middle East Eye reported that this British involvement was helping to coordinate air strikes in support of Haftar, whose forces are opposed to the Tripoli-based government that Britain is supposed to be supporting.

Yemen

The government says it has no military personnel based in Yemen. Yet a report by Vice News in April, based on numerous interviews with officials, revealed that British special forces in Yemen, who were seconded to MI6, were training Yemeni troops fighting Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and also had forces infiltrated in AQAP. The same report also found that British military personnel were helping with drone strikes against AQAP. Britain was playing ‘a crucial and sustained role with the CIA in finding and fixing targets, assessing the effect of strikes, and training Yemeni intelligence agencies to locate and identify targets for the US drone program’. In addition, the UK spybase at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire facilitates US drone strikes in Yemen.

Britain has been widely reported (outside the mainstream media) as supporting the brutal Saudi war in Yemen, which has caused thousands of civilian deaths, most of them due to Saudi air strikes. Indeed, Britain is party to the war. The government says there are around 100 UK military personnel based in Saudi Arabia including a ‘small number’ at ‘Saudi MOD and Operational Centres’. One such Centre, in Riyadh, coordinates the Saudi bombing campaign in Yemen and includes British military personnel who are in the command room as air strikes are carried out and who have access to the bombing targets.

The UK is of course arming the Saudi campaign: The British government disclosed on 13 October that the Saudis have used five types of British bombs and missiles in Yemen. On the same day, it lied to Parliament that Britain was ‘not a party’ to the war in Yemen.

A secret ‘memorandum of understanding’ that Britain signed with Saudi Arabia in 2014 has not been made public since it ‘would damage the UK’s bilateral relationship’ with the Kingdom, the government states. It is likely that this pact includes reference to the secret British training of Syrian rebels in Saudi Arabia, which has taken place since mid-2015. Operating from a desert base in the north of the country, British forces have been teaching Syrian forces infantry skills as part of a US-led training programme.

Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, the public was told that British forces withdrew at the end of 2014. However, British forces stayed behind to help create and train an Afghan special forces unit. Despite officially only having ‘advisors’ in Afghanistan, in August 2015 it was reported that British covert forces were fighting IS and Taliban fighters. The SAS and SBS, along with US special forces, were ‘taking part in military operations almost every night’ as the insurgents closed in on the capital Kabul.

In 2014, the government stated that it had ended its drone air strikes programme in Afghanistan, which had begun in 2008 and covered much of the country. Yet last year it was reported that British special forces were calling in air strikes using US drones.

Pakistan and Somalia

Pakistan and Somalia are two other countries where Britain is conducting covert wars. Menwith Hill facilitates US drone strikes against jihadists in both countries, with Britain’s GCHQ providing ‘locational intelligence’ to US forces for use in these attacks.

The government has said that it has 27 military personnel in Somalia who are developing the national army and supporting the African Union Mission. Yet in 2012 it was reported that the SAS was covertly fighting against al-Shabab Islamist terrorists in Somalia, working with Kenyan forces in order to target leaders. This involved up to 60 SAS soldiers, close to a full squadron, including Forward Air Controllers who called in air strikes against al-Shabab targets by the Kenyan air force. In early 2016, it was further reported that Jordan’s King Abdullah, whose troops operate with UK special forces, was saying that his troops were ready with Britain and Kenya to go ‘over the border’ to attack al-Shabaab.

Drones

The RAF’s secret drone war, which involves a fleet of 10 Reaper drones, has been in permanent operation in Afghanistan since October 2007, but covertly began operating outside Afghanistan in 2014. The NGO Reprieve notes that Britain provides communications networks to the CIA ‘without which the US would not be able to operate this programme’. It says that this is a particular matter of concern as the US covert drone programme is illegal.

The Gulf

Even this may not be the sum total of British covert operations in the region. The government stated in 2015 that it had 177 military personnel embedded in other countries’ forces, with 30 personnel working with the US military. It is possible that these forces are also engaged in combat in the region. For example, the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones, has said that in the Gulf, British pilots fly US F18s from the decks of US aircraft carriers. This means that ‘US’ air strikes might well be carried out by British pilots.

Britain has many other military and intelligence assets in the region. Files leaked by Edward Snowden show that Britain has a network of three GCHQ spy bases in Oman – codenamed ‘Timpani’, ‘Guitar’ and ‘Clarinet’ – which tap in to various undersea cables passing through the Strait of Hormuz into the Gulf. These bases intercept and process vast quantities of emails, telephone calls and web traffic on behalf of Western intelligence agencies, which information is then shared with the National Security Agency in the US.

The state of Qatar houses the anti-IS coalition’s Combined Air Operations Centre at Al Udeid airbase. The government says it has seven military personnel ‘permanently assigned to Qatar’ and an additional number of ‘temporary personnel’ working at the airbase. These are likely to be covert forces; the government says that ‘we do not discuss specific numbers for reasons of safeguarding operational security’.

Similarly, the government says it has six military personnel ‘permanently assigned’ to the United Arab Emirates and an additional number of ‘temporary personnel’ at the UAE’s Al Minhad airbase. Britain also has military assets at Manama harbour, Bahrain, whose repressive armed forces are also being secretly trained by British commandos.

Kenya and Turkey

Kenya hosts Britain’s Kahawa Garrishon barracks and Laikipia Air Base, from where thousands of troops who carry out military exercises in Kenya’s harsh terrain can be deployed on active operations in the Middle East. Turkey has also offered a base for British military training. In 2015, for example, Britain deployed several military trainers to Turkey as part of the US-led training programme in Syria, providing small arms, infantry tactics and medical training to rebel forces.

The web of deceit

When questioned about these covert activities, Ministers have two responses. One is to not to comment on special forces’ operations. The other is to lie, which has become so routine as to be official government policy. The reasoning is simple – the government believes the public simply has no right to know of these operations, let alone to influence them.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told parliament in July that the government is ‘committed to the convention that before troops are committed to combat the House of Commons should have an opportunity to debate the matter’. This is plainly not true, as the extent of British covert operations show.

Similarly, it was first reported in May that British troops were secretly engaged in combat in Libya. This news came two days after Fallon told MPs that Britain was not planning ‘any kind of combat role’ to fight IS in Libya.

There are many other examples of this straightforward web of deceit. In July 2016, the government issued six separate corrections to previous ministerial statements in which they claimed that Saudi Arabia is not targeting civilians or committing war crimes in Yemen. However, little noticed was that these corrections also claimed that ‘the UK is not a party’ to the conflict in Yemen. This claim is defied by various news reports in the public domain.

British foreign policy is in extreme mode, whereby Ministers do not believe they should be accountable to the public. This is the very definition of dictatorship. Although in some of these wars, Britain is combatting terrorist forces that are little short of evil, it is no minor matter that several UK interventions have encouraged these very same forces and prolonged wars, all the while being regularly disastrous for the people of the region. Britain’s absence of democracy needs serious and urgent challenging

Source*

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