Don’t Allow the Military to Kill Innocent Civilians

Target: U.S. President Donald Trump

Goal: Don’t allow U.S. forces in Somalia to kill civilians in air strikes.

U.S. President Donald Trump has reportedly scrapped an Obama era policy aimed at protecting civilians from airstrikes in Somalia. According to the New York Times, a source within the administration has admitted Trump has signed a directive declaring chunks of Somalia as an “area of active hostilities.” If true, experts warn this would be a major step backward for human rights in troubled African nation. Under the Obama administration, U.S. forces were authorized to conduct airstrikes in Somalia, but only when the military believed there was a near certainty no civilians would be injured. Trump’s secret directive would lift this protection on civilians, according to the New York Times. It would also lift a restriction that limited airstrikes to targets that posed a credible threat to the U.S.

In other words, the military might now be free to strike Somalis even when they pose no threat to U.S. interests, and kill civilians in the process.

U.S. airstrikes in Somalia are already deeply controversial. While the Pentagon says it only targets militants from the al-Qaida backed al-Shabab insurgency, human rights groups have warned U.S. involvement could be doing more harm than good. In late 2016, officials from Somalia’s semi-autonomous Galmudug region accused the U.S. military of massacring its security forces.

Somalia has been in a state of civil war for over two decades. Around half a million people have been killed in the fighting, while nearly one in 10 Somalis have been displaced. Don’t let the U.S. contribute to the killing of innocent people, and demand Trump safeguard Obama’s restrictions on airstrikes.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear U.S. President Donald Trump,

The New York Times has reported allegations that your administration has lifted Obama era restrictions on Somali airstrikes. These restrictions included limiting airstrikes to targets that pose a known threat to U.S. interests, and barring strikes unless there’s a near certainty no civilian causalities will be incurred.

Lifting these restrictions could potentially open the floodgates of human rights abuses at the hands of U.S. forces. Somalia is already a deeply troubled nation with a dire human rights situation. As many as 500,000 civilians have already died in the country’s two decade old civil war, while over 1.1 million Somalis have been forced to flee their homes to escape violence.

Relaxing common sense restrictions on U.S. airstrikes won’t make America safer, but it will endanger innocent Somalis. Moreover, the U.S. presence in Somalia is already deeply unpopular, with many human rights advocates arguing airstrikes should be halted entirely.

More civilian deaths can only tarnish the U.S. reputation in the region, and funnel public support toward our enemies. Therefore, we call on your administration to commit to safeguarding restrictions on U.S. airstrikes in Somalia.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Paul Ridgeway

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4 Comments

  1. This is outrageous. Trump seems to be making up his own rules as he goes along. He must not get away with this. He has to abide by International Law regarding the killing of civilians and reasons for bombing a country.
    He is a warmonger who must be restrained before he completely destroys Somalia.

  2. END THE BOMBINGS OF THE INNOCENT NOW.

  3. Rosslyn Osborne says:

    Every country should abide by Human Rights……
    ‘Let them purify their sight and behold all humankind as leaves and blossoms and fruits of the tree of being. Let them at all times concern themselves with doing a kindly thing for one of their fellows, offering to someone love, consideration, and thoughtful help.
    Let them see no one as their enemy, or as wishing them ill, but think of all humankind as their friends; regarding the alien as an intimate, the stranger as a companion, staying free of prejudice, drawing no lines’. Baha’i Faith Writings

  4. Killing is what Damn-Merica is best doing at.

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