Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pirates, clerics, warlords and the chaos in Somalia

For fifteen years, chaos has plagued the Horn of Africa. Equipped with speedboats and rocket launchers, pirates roam the Indian Ocean in search of fortune. On land, radicals set off improvised explosive devices. Aid workers are assassinated and dragged through the center of the city. At a rally in a soccer stadium, children and parents alike bear Soviet-era rifles and yell “Allahu Akbar”: God is great. Welcome to Somalia.
Somalia is the most pressing humanitarian and security crisis in the world. Somalia is plagued by the human suffering of Darfur and the terrorism of Afghanistan. The global community, led by the United States, must act with vigor to help repair Somalia.Somalia is no longer a state. It has no national army. It has no permanent governmental authority. The warlords govern localities, corruptly and violently improvising to make ends meet and nearly all foreign workers have fled the country after being targeted for assassination. The Somalis who remain are left with few options. Some have resorted to violence; others have tried theft; still others have embraced religion and joined the Union of Islamic Courts. Today’s Somalia is a conglomeration of pirates, warlords, Islamists (members of the Islamic Courts) and a few technocrats — a toxic mixture.
Somali pirates number in the thousands. They have attacked over fifty vessels in the past year, raking in millions in ransom money. They are an organized network with a unified mission and an official spokesperson. Think of us like a coast guard, he has said.
Most recently, the pirates spotted, attacked, and occupied a Ukrainian ship carrying $30 million worth of military equipment. The Somali pirates now possess a reservoir of tanks, grenade launchers and ammunition. However, it is hard to imagine how they will keep the 80,000 lb. tanks, for the pirates normally unload their booty with dinghy boats. Either way, the pirates aren’t stuck on details. They don’t want the weapons on the ship; they only want money. In fact, the pirates admit that the sea of weapons saturating Somalia is chiefly responsible for Somalis’ suffering over the past decade-and-a-half.
In a way, Somalia is in the throes of a never-ending civil war. Until a few years ago, Somalia was divided among warlords who led gangs that operated ad hoc local governments fueled by corruption and patronage. As the warlords struggled for power, an Islamist movement, the Union of Islamic Courts, grew to challenge the corrupt establishment in a new civil war.
The Islamists were quickly framed as a terrorist threat. The United States backed the warlords and allegedly sent them support through the CIA. In an encouraging testament to the power of our CIA, the warlords lost and the Islamists took over Mogadishu, the former capital. For several months, as the Islamists imposed a form of Shari’a law, Somalia was reasonably stable.
But that was not enough for the United States or Ethiopia. The United States was prepared to prosecute its War on Terror and Ethiopia was unprepared to deal with an Islamist neighbor. The United States supported an Ethiopian invasion of Somalia. The Ethiopians displaced the Islamists from power and occupied the country.
The Ethiopians continue to occupy Somalia and support the transitional government comprised largely of “former” warlords. In response, the Islamists have mounted an insurgent and assassination campaign to unseat the current government. They have assassinated foreign aid workers and officials from the Transitional Federal Government.
The United States has failed multiple times to stabilize Somalia. What merits another intervention, particularly when the country is more chaotic than ever?
Geographically, Somalia would be a perfect node for terrorism. Somali pirates, funded by terrorist networks, could seize oil tankers traveling through the Strait of Hormuz. With the proper support, Somali pirates could escalate an insurgent sea war that sends world oil prices skyrocketing. Somalia, like Afghanistan, could fast become a breeding ground of, and harbor for, international terrorism.
This is not to advocate a third leg of the war against terrorism. We cannot afford the financial cost and should not stomach the human cost of a third international war. However, we must do something about Somalia to promote stability and alleviate suffering.
First, the United States should convince the Ethiopian President, Meles Zenawi, to withdraw Ethiopian forces to the border between Ethiopia and Somalia. To ensure his compliance, we can offer Zenawi increased humanitarian aid as a carrot and reduced military aid as a stick.
An Ethiopian withdrawal would leave the Islamist forces to fight the warlords. Though both are bad guys, the Islamists are more likely to bring stability. Their last stint in power was the only period of stability in Mogadishu since the first Bush Presidency. Without Ethiopian opposition, the Islamists would likely win the ensuing war and again control Mogadishu, the former capital.
Before the Islamists can try to unseat the transitional government, the African Union should organize a joint summit with the Arab League (Somalia is a member of both) to orchestrate a power-sharing agreement between the technocrats in the transitional government and the Islamists. The few Somali technocrats are the only hope for a real Somali government. Warlords in the transitional government should opt into a reconciliation process or face exile.
If the power-sharing agreement succeeds, the United States should supply, with matching funds from the international community, $100 million for infrastructure reconstruction and secular education. The UN Security Council should continue to closely monitor the flow of money and arms to the new government, containing it from international terrorist influence.
Warlords amenable to reconciliation should be integrated into the new governmental system at the community level. Clan leaders should be allowed to continue overseeing local police forces, but report to a technocratic Interior Minister.
Yes, I am ultimately proposing another civil war, another political settlement and an Islamist government supported by American dollars that we currently do not have. It sounds crazy. It sounds tedious. It is both. The alternative is to do nothing and hope that the chaotic gridlock will somehow subside.
What do we lose by lobbying to have Zenawi withdraw Ethiopian troops? What do we lose by paying for infrastructure programs that cost less than .1% of our annual budget deficit? Somalia is subsumed by utter catastrophe and is headed for worse. The potential benefits include one less terrorist haven and millions more Somali children at peace for the first time.
As long as it is calibrated and limited, intervention will not burden Americans. Inshallah, it will help repair Somalia.
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Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic
Somalia

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The threat is from violent extremists who are a small minority of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, the threat is real. They distort Islam. They kill man, woman and child; Christian and Hindu, Jew and Muslim. They seek to create a repressive caliphate. To defeat this enemy, we must understand who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for.

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