So­ma­lia calls at­tack “hor­rific”

The Denver Post - - NEWS -

mogadishu, so­ma­lia» So­ma­lia’s gov­ern­ment on Satur­day blamed the Saudi-led coali­tion for Fri­day’s at­tack on a boat that killed at least 42 So­mali refugees off the coast of wartorn Ye­men, call­ing the as­sault by a mil­i­tary ves­sel and a he­li­copter gun­ship “hor­rific.”

So­ma­lia urged the United States-sup­ported coali­tion to in­ves­ti­gate. The boat was packed with dozens of refugees, some of them women and chil­dren.

“What hap­pened there was a hor­rific and ter­ri­ble prob­lem in­flicted on in­no­cent So­mali peo­ple. The Saudi-led coali­tion fight­ing in Ye­men is re­spon­si­ble for it,” So­ma­lia’s for­eign min­is­ter, Ab­dis­alam Omer, said on state-run ra­dio. He said Ye­men’s gov­ern­ment also must give an ex­pla­na­tion for the at­tack and that those re­spon­si­ble must be brought to jus­tice.

So­mali Prime Min­is­ter Has­san Ali Khaire in a sep­a­rate state­ment called the at­tack “atro­cious” and “ap­palling.”

Ye­men’s Shi­ite rebels also have blamed the Saudi-led coali­tion.

The at­tack came just weeks after So­ma­lia’s re­cently elected pres­i­dent, the So­mali-Amer­i­can Mo­hamed Ab­dul­lahi Mo­hamed, chose to make Saudi Ara­bia his first of­fi­cial for­eign visit over­seas.

The at­tack high­lighted the per­ils of a heav­ily used mi­gra­tion route run­ning from the Horn of Africa to the oil-rich Gulf, right through Ye­men’s civil war.

Lau­rent De Boeck, the head of the Ye­meni of­fice for the In­ter­na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Mi­gra­tion, has said the agency be­lieves all those on board the boat were reg­is­tered refugees.

A Ye­meni traf­ficker who sur­vived the at­tack said the refugees had been try­ing to reach Su­dan. So­ma­lia’s for­eign min­is­ter on Satur­day said their ul­ti­mate des­ti­na­tion had been So­ma­lia.

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