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War crimes investigation after Ethiopia shells civilians in Somali capital
The European Union (EU) has begun a war crimes investigation after Ethiopian and Ugandan forces backing the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) attacked civilian areas in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.Ethiopia invaded Somalia at the end of last year to install the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), which is backed by the US and the EU.
Ugandan troops arrived as part of an African Union peace keeping force—Amisom—that was supposed to replace the Ethiopians. But rather than withdrawing, the Ethiopian force has launched a full scale assault on the civilian population of Mogadishu.
More than 1,000 people are thought to have been killed as residential areas came under heavy shelling from artillery, tanks and helicopter gun ships. Homes, shops, schools, hospitals and warehouses have been destroyed, according to local witnesses. Entire neighbourhoods have been demolished.
The United Nations estimates that 124,000 of the city’s residents have fled and are living in makeshift camps. Doctors report that disease is now widespread because of lack of shelter, clean water and sanitation. Hospitals in the capital are overstretched by caring for more than 4,000 wounded. The Red Cross said the fighting was the worst in the capital in 15 years.
Unless it investigates the allegations the European Commission (EC) itself will be liable to war crimes charges because it is the largest donor to the Somali and Ethiopian governments. It backed the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia at the end of last year and is providing financial support for the deployment of Amisom.