Johannesburg – CAGE Africa demands an immediate investigation into the deaths of five civilians after a raid by US troops and the Somali National Army, purported to target al-Shabaab.

Photos of the deceased civilians emerged on social media immediately following the raid and local media reported that the joint operation, which took place on a banana farm on the outskirts of Afgoye, a small town 25 kilometres west of Mogadishu, killed five civilians.

According to local bloggers, three civilians were also abducted by US special forces on “suspicion” of being al- Shabaab militants.

However, no mention was made of these deaths or disappearances in mainstream media or by CENTCOM the African command centre for US ‘War on Terror’ operations in Africa. The US website Intelligence Briefs reported that the raid had taken place, but neglected to mention any deaths or “arrests”.

Feroze Boda, spokesperson for CAGE Africa, said:

“These latest civilian killings and disappearances may well be hard evidence that the US is not only supporting but may even be leading operations in Somalia which endanger civilians and tear at the fabric of local society. These events continually go unreported by news outlets, as if civilian lives here have no currency when the US is the likely perpetrator. This must not be allowed to continue. Key questions must be asked as to why these events continue in Somalia without anyone being held accountable.”

“We will continue to highlight these atrocities and call for a negotiated settlement and immediate withdrawal of US troops from Somalia. This is the only way to stop the seemingly endless cycles of violence in the region and to allow the Somali people the stability they so want and deserve.”


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