Ilhan Omar

Ilhan Omar: US must pay compensation for drone attacks

BBC Somali service

Ilhan Omar
Getty Images
Ilhan Omar moved to Minneapolis, where there is a huge Somali community, as a teenager

Somali-American congresswoman Ilhan Omar is working to get the US to pay compensation to people killed by US drone attacks in Somalia.

“Drone attacks in Somalia take place in night time. They don’t kill only terrorists, but civilians as well, and families sleeping together," she told the BBC Somali Service.

"What we are working now is stop this and make sure its been directed accurately, and most importantly to pay compensation on those who lost their lives.

"We are subject to the international law, and therefore compensation should be paid if someone has been illegally killed by another state."

The 37-year-old Democratic lawmaker, who arrived in the US as a child refugee in 1995, has been at loggerheads with the US president since her election to Congress last year.

Donald Trump recently alleged at a campaign rally that she wanted to bring the "anarchy" of Somalia to the US.

But Ms Omar said the president often used such jibes as a distraction when he didn't "have nothing good to say”.

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Ms Omar and her father, Nur Mohamed, went to the US as refugees in 1995 during Somalia's civil war.

She is one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress.

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