Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, on graphic used for Press TV worldwide satellite news broadcast. Azikiwe is an African affairs analyst, a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:37AM GMT
To listen to this statement by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, over Press TV's US Desk, just click on the website below:
Drone attacks carried out by the United States are immoral and illegal, says Abayomi Azikiwe, editor at Pan-African News Wire.
On Monday, at least two people were killed in a US drone attack in southern Somalia. Reports said the victims were al-Shabab fighters.
“In Somalia, they announced recently that they had killed two members of the al-Shabab organization but we do not know if these reports are indeed true,” said Azikiwe in a phone interview with Press TV on Wednesday.
“These attacks are carried out in an effort to destabilize the various countries which are targeted through these drone attacks,” he pointed out.
“We can see very clearly that this is part and parcel of a broader United States military program towards Africa,” Azikiwe added.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said in a joint report earlier this month that US officials could be found guilty of war crimes for the secret CIA drone attacks which have killed hundreds of civilians in Yemen and Pakistan.
However, the administration of US President Barack Obama said Washington “would strongly disagree” with the report, claiming the US actions are legal.
Moreover, two UN human rights investigators, Ben Emmerson and Christof Heyns, criticized last week the secrecy around Washington’s drone attacks in countries like Pakistan and Yemen and called for more transparency from the US.
According to Emmerson, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism, data from the Pakistani government show at least 2,200 people have been killed in Pakistan by US drone attacks since 2004, of whom at least 400 were innocent civilians.
However, Emmerson says, the involvement of the CIA in US drone attacks in Pakistan and Yemen makes independent verification almost impossible because it creates an “insurmountable obstacle to transparency.”