HRW Blames Everyone For Crisis In Somalia

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug. 15 (UPI) — Atrocities committed both by al-Shabaab and pro-government forces are making life even worse for the people of Somalia, Human Rights Watch said.

A drought expected to last much of the year prompted humanitarian aid agencies to warn of a disaster unfolding in the Horn of Africa.

Human Rights Watch in a 58-page report accuses both al-Shabaab and fighters loyal to the Transitional Federal Government of contributing to the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Somalia.

“Abuses by al-Shabaab and pro-government forces have vastly multiplied the suffering from Somalia’s famine,” Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

Human Rights Watch said militias backed by neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia played a role in the conflict exacerbating the situation for people in Somalia.

The TFG last week said it extended an amnesty offer to al-Shabaab fighters in Mogadishu if they surrender and renounce violence. Al-Shabaab has been losing ground in Mogadishu against a TFG offensive, launched in May, and reportedly withdrew from parts of the Somali capital.

Somalia has lacked a formal central government since the 1990s and transitional leaders control only a small fraction of the capital.

Human Rights Watch said TFG loyalists, al-Shabaab fighters and even African Union peacekeepers are using indiscriminate force in Somalia.

“All sides need to take urgent steps to stop these unlawful attacks, let in aid and end this humanitarian nightmare,” added Bekele.

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