15/01/07 (B378) BBC : Djibouti condamne les raids américains sur la Somalie (En anglais – Info lectrice)

condemns US Somali raids

which hosts a large United States anti-terror base, has condemned this week’s
US air strikes in neighbouring Somalia.

Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf told the BBC that the raid was counterproductive
to achieving peace.

He said
his government had not received prior warning about the strikes, which are
reported to have been launched from the US base in Djibouti on Monday.

The US
says it was targeting al-Qaeda suspects but says they were not killed.
Somali’s interim government has backed the air strikes, in which a US official
says that Somalis linked to al-Qaeda were killed.

The government
backed by Ethiopian forces has recently ousted Islamists, accused of sheltering
foreign al-Qaeda operatives, from much of the country.

Islamists deny any links to al-Qaeda.


Mr Mahmoud
also said his government was very worried about reports of Somali civilian
casualties and that past foreign military intervention in Somalia had not
brought about the expected result.

This is
presumably a reference to the last US intervention in Somalia, from 1992-94,
which ended in a humiliating withdrawal following the killing of 18 US troops.

The US
1,500-strong Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa was set up in Djibouti
following the 9/11 attacks on the US.

The US
has long said that the 1998 attacks on its East African embassies and the
2002 attacks on Israeli targets in Kenya had strong links to Somalia.

But it
says the top three suspects in those attacks – Comoros national Fazul Abdullah
Mohammed, Kenyan Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan and Abu Taha al-Sudani of Sudan –
all survived this week’s air strikes.

officials had earlier reported that Mr Mohammed had been killed.

US government is offering a $5m reward for his capture.

US ambassador
for Kenya and Somalia Michael Ranneberger has denied reports that a number
of civilians had died in the attack.

Somali Prime Minister Hussein Aideed, however, told the BBC that the loss
of civilian lives during the attacks was justified to stop "an alliance
of the ousted Islamic Courts Union and al-Qaeda" from taking over Somalia
and then going to Kenya and Ethiopia.

of Afmadow town and Ras Kamboni reported further attacks on Tuesday and Wednesday
but Mr Ranneberger said these had not been carried out by US forces.

suggest Ethiopian MiG fighters and helicopter gunships seen in the city of
Kismayo may be involved.

Aid workers
report that more 1,000 people have been wounded since fighting erupted in

there is no reliable information on casualties in the current fighting in
the remote south.

say the situation on the ground in southern Somalia remains unclear, with
communications in the area poor.

from BBC NEWS: