Nairobi(Mogadishu24)-Amnesty International has called for an investigation into potential war crimes following airstrikes that resulted in the deaths of 23 civilians, including 14 children, in Somalia. These strikes, conducted during a military operation supported by Turkish drones on March 18, 2024, targeted the Jaffey farm in the Lower Shabelle region, amid clashes between Somali forces and Al-Shabaab militants.

The strikes, which also injured 17 other civilians, were part of a broader operation that the Somali Ministry of Information claims neutralized over 30 militants. However, Amnesty International’s findings suggest that the drone strikes, utilizing MAM-L glide bombs from TB-2 drones, indiscriminately affected civilian areas.

Eyewitness accounts and satellite imagery reviewed by Amnesty suggested that many victims were from the marginalized Gorgaarte clan. The attacks on civilian infrastructure have raised serious legal and ethical concerns, prompting Amnesty to demand accountability and reparations for the families affected.

“The Somali and Turkish governments must investigate these deadly strikes as a war crime, and put an end to reckless attacks on civilians,” stated Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa. This statement highlights the urgent need for transparency and justice for the civilian casualties, often overlooked in the ongoing conflict within Somalia.

Neither the Somali Government, nor Turkey commented on these allegations yet so far.

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