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International | Anti-War

EU warned over 'Somalia war crimes'
by Al Jazeera (reposted)
Saturday Apr 7th, 2007 9:32 AM
Ethiopian and Somali forces may have committed war crimes in Somalia and the European Union could be judged to have been complicit, a senior EU security official has warned.
Donor states may be considered to have aided any possible crimes if they do nothing to stop them, the official told the head of the EU delegation for Somalia and Kenya.

The warning was made in an urgent memo to Eric van der Linden, the EU ambassador based in Nairobi, Kenya.

The author, whose name was blanked out on the copy obtained by The Associated Press, went on to detail the exact statutes that they believed may have been violated.

Potential complicity

The official's email said: "I need to advise you that there are strong grounds to believe that the Ethiopian government and the transitional federal government of Somalia and the African Union [peacekeeping] Force Commander, possibly also including the African Union Head of Mission and other African Union officials, have through commission or omission, violated the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

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http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/3DE3F7D6-7C4A-45F5-A1C3-B2CE3D97CF0B.htm
by BBC (reposted)
Saturday Apr 7th, 2007 9:34 AM
The top US diplomat for Africa is in Somalia to urge the interim government to create a lasting truce, as violence threatens to derail reconciliation.

Jendayi Frazer is to meet the president and PM in the southern city of Baidoa, seat of the interim government.

Ms Frazer is the highest ranking US official to visit Somalia since 1994.

Her visit comes amid a fragile truce in the capital, Mogadishu, after a fierce assault by Somali and Ethiopian forces against Islamists and clan militias.

"The idea is to try to talk to all sides to turn this seemingly temporary ceasefire into something more permanent, and press for the reconciliation," an official told the Reuters news agency.

Casualties

The announced visit of the US assistant secretary of state for African affairs comes on the sixth day of the ceasefire.

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6535211.stm
by UK Guardian (reposted)
Saturday Apr 7th, 2007 9:51 AM
European lawyers are examining whether alleged war crimes committed by Ethiopian and Somali troops in Mogadishu last week could expose the EU to accusations of complicity because of its formidable financial assistance to the two countries.

A massive Ethiopian-led offensive to pacify an insurgency in the Somali capital left nearly 400 people dead between March 29 and April 1. Human rights groups say many of the victims were civilians and accuse the Ethiopians of using tanks and attack helicopters to fire indiscriminately into densely populated areas. Some analysts in Somalia have backed the war crimes allegations, saying that specific clans in Mogadishu have been targeted for "cleansing" by pro-government forces.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/eu/story/0,,2052060,00.html
by UK Independent (reposted)
Saturday Apr 7th, 2007 9:54 AM
A senior European Union security official has warned the head of the EU delegation for Somalia that Ethiopian and Somali military forces there may have committed war crimes and that donor countries could be considered complicit if they do nothing to stop them.

The warning was made in an urgent e-mail to Eric van der Linden, the chief EU official for Kenya and Somalia.

"I need to advise you that there are strong grounds to believe that the Ethiopian government and the transitional federal government of Somalia and the African Union (peacekeeping) Force Commander, possibly also including the African Union Head of Mission and other African Union officials have through commission or omission violated the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court," the e-mail said.

EU officials, speaking on condition they not be named because a legal matter was involved, confirmed the e-mail's authenticity and said the author's reputation and position meant it was being taken very seriously.

In the Somali capital, Mogadishu, residents were still burying bodies from last week's fighting, which aid organizations said was the worst in 15 years, killing hundreds of people killed. A fragile five day cease-fire was still holding but residents were still fleeing, fearing new clashes between Somali government forces, their Ethiopian backers and Islamic insurgents.

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http://news.independent.co.uk/world/africa/article2430108.ece