Kenyan air force kills Somali refugees

Jilib in SomaliaFrom daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Ten killed as air strike hits refugee camp in Somalia

Monday 31 October 2011

Kenyan planes bombed a refugee camp in southern Somalia on Sunday, killing at least 10 people and wounding dozens of women and children.

Aid group Doctors Without Borders said that 52 people were injured by the attack on the camp in Jilib.

About 1,500 families had fled there in the face of a drought earlier this year.

Town elder Ahmed Sheik Don said: “The planes targeted a bus stop. They also hit a refugee camp and finally an al-Shabab food distribution centre,” referring to the armed Islamist group that controls most of southern Somalia.

Kenyan troops moved into Somalia in mid-October to try to stop al-Shabab’s uprising against the country’s UN-backed government, backed by military planes and with logistical support from the French military.


Residents and officials told Reuters earlier on Sunday that at least 12 civilians were killed when two Kenyan jets bombed Jilib.

See also here.

Kenya’s ill-advised incursion into Somalia on Oct. 16 after a rash of kidnappings in the tourist paradise of Lamu will most likely lead to a long and expensive quagmire. The escalation will further destabilize a region already reeling from war, piracy, famine, and international terrorism: here.

Kenya’s blundering mission in Somalia: here.

Kenyan troops set to attack Somali towns: here.

Kenyan army tweets: don’t sell donkeys to militants: here.

9 thoughts on “Kenyan air force kills Somali refugees

  1. Kenyan power workers strike on hold

    Around 12,000 workers belonging to the Kenya Electrical Trades and Allied Workers Union (KETAWU) at Kenya Power were due to go on strike Monday. Their action was expected to deprive most of the country of power.

    However, the strike has been put on hold while the union holds discussions with management. The workers’ demands include a 13 percent pay increase, while management are offering 7 percent and a review of salaries. Around two thirds of the workers are only employed on a casual basis and are seeking to be made permanent and thus become eligible for benefits and overtime payments.

    Kenya airport workers undertake go-slow action

    Workers in the Aviation and Allied Workers Union (AAWU) working for the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) began go-slow action this week. The action is being taken by KCAA workers at Nairobi and Mombasa airports. KCAA staff are responsible for aircraft movements on the ground and air traffic control.

    Among the workers’ grievances are no pay increases, lack of promotion and overwork.


  2. Dec 31, 5:43 AM EST

    Ethiopia troops enter Somalia, control border town

    Associated Press

    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Hundreds of Ethiopian troops poured into a western Somalia border town on Saturday, opening a new front against the militant group al-Shabab, which now faces hostile militaries on three sides.

    Resident Mohammed Abdi said hundreds of residents fled Beledweyne on Saturday after hundreds of Ethiopian and Somali troops moved in. Capt. Hashi Nor of the Somali military confirmed that Somali and Ethiopian troops had moved in.

    “I saw Ethiopian troops standing at the doors of neighboring homes. Somali soldiers are also searching the homes,” Abdi said. “Al-Shabab retreated back to Bulo Burte and also many of the residents fled, and those who remained are in their homes.”

    The military movement appears to be a third front against al-Shabab, Somalia’s strongest militant group. Kenyan troops moved into Somalia in mid-October in a push against the militants in the country’s south. African Union troops from Uganda, Burundi and most recently from Djibouti have mostly pushed al-Shabab fighters out of the capital, Mogadishu.

    “We are in full control of Beledweyne now and our troops will move forward in the coming hours,” Nor, the Somali military officer, said by phone from Beledweyne.

    Abdi said the sound of gunfire could be heard in Beledweyne but that he did not believe actual battle was taking place. However, al-Shabab on its official Twitter feed said that a battle that began at 6 a.m. was still “raging” in the city as of midday.

    Al-Shabab said that a “majority” of Beledweyne residents joined al-Shabab “to thwart the offensive.” It claimed that dozens of Ethiopian troops had been killed, but that was impossible to verify and was likely an exaggerated claim.

    U.S.-backed Ethiopian troops moved into Somalia in 2006 at the invitation of the weak, U.N.-backed Somali government. But the incursion was seen by many Somalis as an unpopular invasion and actually helped give birth to the al-Shabab movement. Ethiopians pulled out in early 2009, and there are fears that a new push by Somalia could be a propaganda coup for al-Shabab.

    Ethiopia in November said it was considering whether to contribute troops to the African Union force in Somalia. Kenya’s parliament recently voted for its forces to join the AU force. That move is awaiting approval by the United Nations.

    The central Somalia town of Beledweyne lies about 20 miles (30 kilometers) from the border with Ethiopia. A commercial hub, it lies on a key road that links Mogadishu with northern Somalia. Control of the town has changed hands frequently in recent months as different militias push to seize control of it.

    A Somali employee of The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    © 2011 The Associated Press.

    See also here.


  3. EU soldiers could be sent to Somalia

    GERMANY: Foreign Ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke revealed today that the EU is considering expanding the scope of its military mission off the Horn of Africa to allow the destruction of pirates’ equipment on the beaches of Somalia.

    Some 2,000 soldiers from EU member states are deployed off the coast of the war-torn country to protect shipping.

    German Foreign Ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke said that the “limited destruction of piracy logistics on the beach” is under discussion but not “deployment on land.”


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