Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A new war-on-terror chapter

Fighting continues unabated, government squabbling ensures no peace progress, Ethiopia bemoans the Somali burden, and outsiders hope to boost moderates in both camps, Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf on Monday marked the fourth anniversary of his inauguration as the country's head of state, but any optimism he may have had of ushering in stability is tainted by a persistent insurgency and government in-fighting that continue to sideline progress on a fledgling peace process.Instead of the usual fanfare of festivities on such occasions, the anniversary was celebrated in a low-key manner as authorities reflect on the current situation and the changing realities on the ground.Both the government and the opposition remain strongly divided, with dispute centered on which approach - that of President Yusuf or that of Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein - the government should take to end the conflict. The opposition diverges over tactics of war and on whether talks with the government should be on the agenda.After the escalation of their disputes in August, Somali leaders were summoned to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for talks with the opposition to resolve the internal power struggle threatening to derail the peace process. However, the deal reached there soon faltered and collapsed, with the Somali Parliament refusing to endorse part of the provisions of the agreement between President Yusuf and Prime Minister Hussein.The differences between the two top leaders led to a series of resignations and sackings from the government, splitting the government literally down the middle into two factions.
The hawkish group surrounding President Yusuf believes there is no way to compromise with the opposition, while the dovish faction led by Hussein maintains that dialogue with every opposition group is the only way out of two decades of lawlessness, chaos and conflict for the war-torn Horn of Africa country.
The two men have been at loggerheads ever since the Somali premier embarked his quest for reconciliation with both moderate and more radical elements in the Somali opposition. Several rounds of talks were held in the Djiboutian capital since early this year and a number of tentative agreements and communiqués were signed between the government and opposition - but with little effect on the ground.Fighting between insurgents and Somali government forces backed by Ethiopian African Union peacekeeping troops are as deadly as ever, with hundreds killed or wounded and thousands displaced since the signing of the Djibouti agreements.Bolstering the moderates
While the government's Ethiopian allies have been working in vain to hold the ranks of the government together, the opposition has been drifting into increasingly radical and militant quarters. The opposition appears to have been courting a militant camp led by the feared Al-shabaab (Youth) Islamist Movement. The opposition also has joined forces to some extent with moderate groups led by the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) - a movement that had swept to power in Somalia's south and central regions in the latter half of 2006.
The ICU leaders, as part of the grand Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia (ARS), have been participating in the Djibouti peace talks with the Somali government - a move strongly opposed by the Al-shabaab group, which refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the current transitional government and views Ethiopian troops and African Union peacekeepers in Somalia as occupying forces, according to prominent Somali commentator Ibrahim Yasir.
"The two factions within both sides complement each other and the moderates in both sides have difficulty convincing their hardliners that the way forward is only dialogue," Yasir told ISN Security Watch in Mogadishu. "The hardliners on both sides point their fingers at each other and the real struggle is for both [groups of] moderates to overcome that hurdle."In September, differences between the two insurgent camps escalated further when the Al-shabaab group threatened to shoot down aircraft, including civilian planes, using the Mogadishu airport. They said the facility, guarded by African Union troops, was being used for military purposes.That threat was vehemently opposed by the ICU and revered local Hawiye clan elders in the Somali capital. They both urged Al-shabaab to rescind its threat to close down the airport, which they said was being used by civilians more than by AU peacekeepers or Ethiopian forces. Al-shabaab caved in and rescinded the threat after two weeks of shelling the airport and counter shelling from AU forces in a battle that led to the death of nearly 200 civilians and the wounding of some 350 more.
The rift between the two Islamist camps over tactics and general vision for the country is likely to lead to new clashes between former comrades who are now, more than ever, "on the verge of war."
However, the international community's role at this stage, say observers, is to encourage and actively assist moderates in both camps to win over the hardliners so that alliances can be forged across government and opposition lines. That, they say, is the real challenge for everyone interested in peace and reconciliation in Somalia.
In the latest round of peace talks in late September in Djibouti between a government delegation led by Prime Minister Hussein and opposition representatives headed by Sheikh Sharif Sheik Ahmed, the two parties held a joint press conference at the conclusion of the talks without any formal ceasefire - a move hailed as the beginning of the end of the hardliners in both camps.
Furthermore, the reality on the ground also dispelled a number of myths created either by default or by design that a "security vacuum" would result in the event that Ethiopian troops withdrew from Somalia without a UN stabilization force to replace them, maintains Ahmed Yarow, a political scientist in Mogadishu.
"Look at the situation in the central Somalia regions from southern Galkayo, the provincial capital of Mudug, to Galgadud, Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions - that is four main provinces in central Somalia where fighters of the Islamic Courts Union have been in full control for the past months and they have been more peaceful and people were happy about it," Yarow told ISN Security Watch.
With that, says Yarow, the world could learn to appreciate the realities on the ground that have dispelled the myth created by the Ethiopian and US governments that a "so-called security vacuum" would be created by the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Somalia.
To the south of Mogadishu, Al-shabaab has taken over two major provinces including the main port city of Kismayu and adjacent districts where its members have formed their own Islamic administrations. According to Yarow, the group has managed to restore at least a semblance of law and order. Though some observers ask at what cost this temporary peace, others say living under Islamic rule is preferable to living under chaos, lawlessness and continual violence.
Closing another war on terror chapter
Ethiopian troops and their Somali allies have been withdrawing or being driven out of the whole of central Somalia up to a few kilometers to the north of the Somali capital and most of the southern provinces. There are persistent reports that the entire Somali government has been invited to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi for "a conference" this month at the request of the regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), of which Somalia is a member.
In effect, it appears that the government is relocating to Nairobi, its original birthplace, four years on. It also appears that the Ethiopian government is fed up with internal squabbling in the Somali government and the lack of progress toward seeing a UN stabilization force relieve Ethiopian of the Somalia burden."The silent withdrawal" of Somali and Ethiopian troops from most of the territories that they captured from the Islamist fighters in late 2006 and the reported "relocation" of the whole structures of government from their confines in Mogadishu and Baidoa to Nairobi suggest that the Somalia chapter of the US-led war on terror has failed and that a new approach is in the offing, argues Mohamed Fanah, of Mogadishu-based Centre for Peace and Democracy (CPD).
In an August interview with the Financial Times, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi lashed out at the international community for its lack of support in Somalia, saying that his government would withdraw its forceseven if the current government was still weak."We didn't anticipate that the international community would be happy riding the Ethiopian horse and flogging it at the same time for so long," Zenawi told the Financial Times.Asked if Ethiopia would withdraw its forces if such a move would endanger the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, Zenawi said that the two countries were "not joined at the hip.""We will try everything in our capacity to create an environment where our withdrawal would not seriously disrupt this process in Somalia but that is not necessarily precondition for our withdrawal."So for now all the indications are that, considering the shifting alliances and changing tactics in the Somali political and military situation, a whole new phase, albeit unclear and unpredictable, is emerging.

No comments:

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

About Us

The Foundation is dedicated to networking like-minded Somalis opposed to the terrorist insurgency that is plaguing our beloved homeland and informing the international public at large about what is really happening throughout the Horn of Africa region.

Blog Archive

We Are Winning the War on Terrorism in Horn of Africa

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.

Terror Free Somalia Foundation