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Another day, another attack in a far-flung, volatile land. Westerners are likely to react with a shrug and a sigh to the October 14 truck bombing in Somalia, the world’s deadliest attack on civilians in over a decade—if they heard about it at all.…
Civilians walk at the scene of an explosion in KM4 street in the Hodan district of Mogadishu, Somalia October 14, 2017
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They came in the night, truckloads of armed gunmen, spraying gunfire and burning buildings in the tiny Kenya coastal town of Mpeketoni. At two hotels where guests were watching the World Cup, attackers wearing black bandanas questioned residents about…
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HRC 24th Session: Statement Delivered Under Item 10

The human rights situation in Somalia, particularly in the south-central part of the country, remains dire. The Islamist armed group al-Shabaab continues to commit serious abuses including targeted killings, executions and punishments amounting to torture…
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Demonstrate ‘Targeted Killings’ Adhere to International Law

(Washington, DC) – The US government should transfer Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) command of aerial drone strikes to the armed forces and clarify its legal rationale for targeted killings, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to President Barack…
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Following the attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush began a campaign of “targeted killings” against suspected members of al Qaeda and other armed groups. It has continued under the administration of President…
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Three Kenyans now sit in Ugandan custody, charged with terrorism for their alleged role in the twin bomb blasts that killed scores of World Cup soccer fans in Kampala a few weeks ago. It is unclear what relationship - if any - these three might have had…
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In Pursuing Kampala Bombers, Government Should Respect Rights

(New York) -The bomb blasts that killed at least 76 people in Kampala on July 11, 2010, were a heinous attack on civilians and an assault on the basic tenet of the right to life, Human Rights Watch said today. Uganda and other regional governments should…
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Your Excellency, In advance of the 15th African Union Summit, scheduled for July 19-27, 2010 in Kampala, we are writing to draw your attention to a few of Africa's most pressing human rights concerns and to provide input into some of the discussions…
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By Leslie Lefkow before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health

Thank you, Chairman Payne, and members of the subcommittee, for inviting me to participate in this hearing. My name is Leslie Lefkow. I am a senior researcher with the Africa division of Human Rights Watch and I lead our work on the Horn of Africa. Mr…
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The US and the UN are doing everything but keeping the peace in Mogadishu

As with most mortar attacks in Somalia, the shelling that turned 14-year-old Abdi into a war orphan struck without warning. Returning from school one day in the shattered capital of Mogadishu, the boy found his house blasted to bits and his parents dead…
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Cairo Meeting Offers Opportunity to Reform Failed Intervention Policies

(New York) - Participants to this week's international meeting on Somalia should press for an immediate end to abuses against civilians by Somalia's transitional government, African Union forces, and armed opposition groups, Human Rights Watch said in an…
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Civilians are caught between al-Shabaab and US-backed forces in a ravaged state

The Somali war widow shuddered as she recounted how al-Shabaab insurgents jailed her for a week and whipped her 185 times, doling out lashes during prayer calls. She received this punishment for selling cups of tea. Al-Shabaab routinely gives women…
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  Map of Somalia Summary Somalia remains mired in a brutal conflict between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), which holds only a sliver of the capital, Mogadishu, and armed opposition groups that…
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Indiscriminate Attacks by Opposition, Government, and African Union Forces Devastate Mogadishu

(New York) - The Islamist armed group al-Shabaab is subjecting inhabitants of southern Somalia to killings, cruel punishments, and repressive social control, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Al-Shabaab, the Transitional Federal…
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(Hagadera Refugee Camp, Kenya) - For months, 18-year-old Ahmed Abdullahi had dodged the mortar shells that whizz daily through Mogadishu, the war-ravaged capital of Somalia. The one that finally drove him from Somalia tore though his family's house and…
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Pirates have put Somalia back on the international agenda, but Somalia's people have yet to receive as much protection as the international tankers off-shore. The brutal, widely ignored conflict in Somalia has crept back into the headlines only after…