Somalians blame Netherlands in fatal drone strike; MPs seek clarity

Opposition parties D66 and SP are demanding clarity about the role the Netherlands plays in United States drone attacks after two Somali victims of such an attack filed a lawsuit against the Dutch State. The two Somalis are holding the Netherlands partly responsible for damages suffered because Dutch intelligence plays a key role in the American anti-terror operations in Somalia.

The two Somalian nomads are represented by two Dutch lawyers – Goran Sluiter and Liesbeth Zegveld, the Volkskrant reports. They were hit by a US missile in January 2014. The intended target was Al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Godane. He survived the attack. One of the Somalis lost two daughters and a leg in the attack. Both their herds were largely destroyed.

SP Parliamentarian Harry van Bommel wants the government to sharply monitor the use of Dutch intelligence when it comes to drone attacks. “So many innocent civilians are killed in these drone attacks.

IF weapons can not distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, they are illegal. As long as this is unresolved, there should be a moratorium on drones”, he said according to the newspaper. According to him, drone attacks are called “death penalty without legal ruling”. “It is a form of execution. In a strict sense, these are even extrajudicial executions, as it involves alleged terrorists, people who have not been convicted.”

D66 Parliamentarian Wassila Hachchi is also calling on the government to clearly state that the “Netherlands does not share information if it is used for targeted killings, with which the maximum is not done to prevent civilian casualties”.

The topic of Dutch intelligence being used for assassinations with drones has been a sensitive topic in politics for some time. In November 2013 there was also a motion for clarity. Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert of Defense repeatedly stated that there is no evidence that the Americans use Dutch intelligence to perform illegal assassinations with drones.


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