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Somalia-WarCrimes 04-06

9. Somalia

War crimes suspected

Ethiopian and Somali forces may have committed war crimes in battles against insurgents and European Union countries could be considered complicit if they do nothing to stop them, according to an EU e-mail obtained by the Associated Press on Friday.

The warning, by a senior security official, came in an urgent e-mail to Eric van der Linden, the EU ambassador based in Nairobi.

"I need to advise you that there are strong grounds to believe that the Ethiopian government and the transitional federal government of Somalia and the African Union (peacekeeping) Force Commander, possibly also including the African Union Head of Mission and other African Union officials have through commission or omission violated the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court," the e-mail said.

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EU officials, speaking on condition they not be named because a legal matter was involved, confirmed the e-mail’s authenticity. The author, whose name was blanked out on the copy obtained by the AP but whose senior position was apparent from the text, went on to detail the exact statutes that were violated. They included intentionally directing attacks against civilians and ordering the displacement of civilians for reasons related to the conflict.

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