Somalia: Military Intervention

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 30th July 2019.

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Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson Deputy Leader, Liberal Democrats, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs), Leader of the Liberal Democrats

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his US counterparts on (a) the accuracy of its reporting of civilian casualties due to US drone strikes and (b) the lasting effect of US drone strikes on civilian populations in Somalia.

Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The Secretary of State will build on the work of his predecessor and continue to have regular engagement with his US counterpart on counter-terrorism activities. We have not sought to make an independent assessment of the accuracy or impact of US strikes in Somalia; this would be challenging, given the difficult security environment. The main cause of civilian casualties in Somalia is the insurgency and indiscriminate terrorist activity of Al-Shabaab. Support from the US and others to the Federal Government of Somalia's efforts to counter terrorism is critical to limiting Al-Shabaab's capability to inflict harm.

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