Somalia is the latest country subjected to illegal US drone attacks, joining Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and Iraq. Add in the ‘war on terror’ and that makes seven wars totted up by the US peace prize-winning president.
Djibouti airport is CIA airfield and launch-pad for strikes in Yemen and Somalia, in other words Djibouti airport is the south-western tip of the Middle-East while Shamsi Airfield, Balochistan, Pakistan was North Eastern tip of the Middle East
Shamsi air-strip was built by Arab sheikhs for falcon hunting trips, but has been occupied by the CIA since at least 2004, when Google Earth images showed Predator drones parked on the runway.
Pakistani defence ministry officials said they were closing the base in retaliation to slowed payments from the coalition support fund – a multibillion-dollar US subsidy for Pakistani military operations.
There exists no legal justification for Barack Obama’s use of drones in Pakistan and other states where there is no declared war. Yet his Administration, in an effort to justify its behaviour, has argued that because the US is at war with al-Qa’ida, the Taliban and associated forces it may “use … lethal force, to defend itself” and it is “not required to provide targets with legal process before the state may use lethal force.
The widening drone campaign has elicited concerns from human rights activists about civilian casualties, and from legal experts about the consequences of an unaccountable form of warfare. Last year a senior UN official warned of the risks of a “PlayStation warfare” mentality.
Philip Alston, as UN Special Reporter on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, has condemned the “continuing refusal … to provide the international community with the information that would satisfy its obligations in relation to transparency and accountability” and cautioned that the US role as “the most enthusiastic and prolific proponent of targeted killings” would result in “grave damage … to the legal framework that the international community has so painstakingly constructed to protect the right to life.”
The US government has a history of defaulting its obligation as the above mentioned scenario (Shamsi air-strip), perhaps the government of Djibouti is hiding a similar circumstance, according to Wiki Leaks Djibouti foreign minister admitted that Djiboutian has yet to see something in return their infinite hospitalities.
Obama Administration cannot keep the law at bay for much longer. Reprieve has partnered with Pakistani lawyer Shahzad Akbar to bring civil and criminal litigation for families of drone victims. If the illegality fails to prick President Obama’s conscience, the emergence of evidence in various courts just might.
An unprecedented case involving the collaboration of CIA and Djibouti was filed confidentially in 2009 and made public on February 28, 2011, Djibouti State has been charged to violate human rights of the neighbouring countries’ citizen by The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Not only the international communities are expected Djibouti to apologize it role of illegal US extra-ordinary rendition, but it’s also expected that tehe regime in Djibouti to financially compensate its victims.
We will be looking forward the outcome of these cases, however it may take years or decade, but eventually these victims may have their day in court of law.