REP LIEU STATEMENT ON NCIS INVESTIGATION INTO CIVILIAN DEATHS IN SOMALIA
WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) issued the following statement after U.S. Africa Command announced that NCIS will be conducting an investigation into an August raid in Somalia that may have led to numerous civilian deaths. In a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing last week, Rep. Lieu called on the Department of Defense to initiate an independent probe into allegations that Special Operations forces shot 10 Somalian civilians, including at least one child.
“I commend AFRICOM’s decision to seek an outside investigation into the August 25 operation in Somalia. Avoiding civilian casualties is not only a moral imperative, but also a national security priority. What is alleged to have happened in Somalia is deeply disturbing. The fact that AFRICOM is sending the Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) to investigate shows that the Command understands the gravity of the allegations. This investigation is a crucial step to determine if crimes or mistakes occurred, and whether disciplinary actions or policy changes are required. Whatever the result, the decision to investigate underscores the need for greater congressional oversight of U.S. counter-terrorism operations.”