Senseless Military Attack Kills Somalian Refugees

Staff Writer: Heather Abler

     There has been a lot of coverage about refugees and immigrants lately in the news, whether it is their journey to the USA or how it has affected their day to day lives. With more and more coverage, we see our country becoming more and more divided about the valuableness of these people, and how much they impact us. No matter what your political stance is, nothing can justify the killing of truly innocent people. The heartbreaking attack killed 42 Somalian refugees, who were reportedly majority women and children. They were traveling by boat to Sudan to get away from Yemen, which is currently flooded with war and conflict.

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Man Carrying Wounded Child. Photo Credit: Emily Boswell

The attack was carried out by a helicopter and a military vessel. Apparently, this attack was a “mistake.”  The attackers, a Saudi-led coalition, thought the people in the boat were Houthi rebels, smuggling weapons into the boat. No matter who the attackers thought the people were in the boat, you would think they could at least confirm this before firing without absolute certainty on the identity of the people. The only reason why the firing stopped is because the terrified refugees held up flashlights, to indicate that they meant of no harm.

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Photo Credit: Emily Boswell

It is truly horrifying to put yourself into the shoes of these Somalian refugees. They’re already in a scared and probably depressed mind state, especially since they were in the process of fleeing their home country. To then have gunfire shot out of nowhere, killing their friends and family, most defiantly scarred them for life. Mohammed Abdiker, survivor of the attack, stated the attack was, “totally unacceptable” and that, “Responsible combatants should have checked who was aboard the boat before firing on it.”

To get the local opinion and thoughts on refugees, we asked two students from Woodstock High School, Megan Ludwig, sophomore, and Hannah Riddick, freshman. Megan said, “They’re okay, as long as they don’t stay places illegally.” Hannah said, “I think they put people at risk, especially with all of the terror threats now in the world.”

Our hearts go out to all of the lives that were taken at 3 am last Friday. No one deserves to have their loved ones ripped away from them. We can only hope that refugees in the future get better treatment, and more than anything, a sense of belonging.

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