The minority regime´s growing paranoia was in full display at the United Nations where world leaders were gathered. There were two issues that dominated the discourse- Sudan and the upcoming referendum was one of them and the other was the ongoing crisis in Somalia. Ethiopia´s representatives threw tantrums when they found out that Eritrea was invited to participate in the international forum on Somalia. They created such a ruckus that UN officials were dumbfounded by the childish and immature actions, so unbecoming of diplomats. The minority regime´s diplomats continue to embarrass Ethiopians at every forum and they did again at the UN. In addition to diverting attention from the issues in Somalia and misrepresenting the facts about Somalia, the regime was hell bent on keeping Eritrea out of any international discussions on Somalia.
If any state is to be barred from discussions on finding solutions for the crisis in Somalis, it should be those countries that are responsible for the chaos and mayhem that defines Somalia today and topping that list would be Ethiopia, a country that has gone to war with Somalia three times. Ethiopia has scuttled every opportunity for peace in Somalia by arming opposing factions for the last 16 years. It was the December 2006 US-backed Ethiopian invasion and occupation of Somalia that has created the greatest humanitarian disaster in the history of Somalia. Somalia's infrastructures (schools, hospitals, markets) are in ruins and thousands of Somalis (mostly women and children) have been forced to flee away from their homes and villages and over 25000 innocent Somalis have been killed. Including Ethiopia in consultations about Somalia is akin to inviting Osama Bin Laden to a meeting on counter terrorism.
An IGAD meeting was held on 22 September 2010 in New York . It was chaired by Seyoum Mesfin, the Ethiopian Foreign Minister. IGAD issued a communiqué after its meeting in which it said:
"…The Council also expressed its concern over the multiplicity of conferences and the proliferation of initiatives which threatened to undermine the Djibouti Process and the regional efforts…"
Why is Ethiopia paranoid about other initiatives that could possibly bring sustainable solutions to the crisis in Somalia? Obviously the Djibouti Process has failed to produce the outcomes that were envisioned by those who signed onto it. The conflict in Somalia has been exacerbated and the killings have not stopped. The illegitimate Transitional Government of Somalia led by Sheikh Sharif Ahmed has not been able to bring peace and security to Somalia and his coalition is falling apart at the seams. So why not have other more inclusive forums for the Somalis in which they can address their own problems and come up with solutions that can work for Somalia? The answer is simple; Ethiopia is not interested in seeing a peaceful Somalia with a strong government.
It should be recalled that Ethiopia has undermined each and every single TNG that has been established in the last 16 years and has managed to disrupt every single reconciliation attempt made by Somalis by pitting one faction or group against another. The minority regime in Ethiopia is happy to perpetuate the crisis in Somalia using one pre-text or another-because war and conflict is lucrative business for all mercenaries and this one is no exception.
It feels threatened by Eritrea´s position, which has the best chance of bringing peace, stability and security to Somalia. Eritrea´s position on Somalia is crystal clear and offers the best chance for peace in Somalia.
There can be no military solution to the problem in Somalia
A Somali-owned and Somali-driven, inclusive political process may not be easy, but is possible and practicable
Somalis have more than once, demonstrated that given the right environment, they are capable of finding home-grown solutions to their problems
Eritrea´s principled position on Somalia is now widely shared in the international community and Ethiopia is feeling threatened. It is therefore seeking to sideline Eritrea and prevent a viable and sustainable solution for Somalia from ever becoming a reality. That of course did not prevent US and other officials from meeting with and discussing issues related to Somalia with members of the Eritrean delegation which included H.E. Osman Saleh, Eritrea´s Foreign Minister and Mr. Yemane Gebreab, Head of Political Affairs at the Peoples Front for Justice and Democracy and Advisor to the President of Eritrea.
So why is the regime in Ethiopia paranoid about peace in Somalia today and why is it trying to prevent the international community from listening to Eritrea? Because it is in the interest of the minority regime in Ethiopia to perpetuate the crisis in Somalia, without the crisis in Somalia:
1. The regime looses its relevancy
As with all mercenary regimes, their relevance erodes when there is peace and stability. In conflicts and wars they advance the interests of their handlers, in this case, Ethiopia advances US strategic and hegemonic interests in the region.
2. Military support will dry up
Mercenary regimes, such as the minority regime in Ethiopia, receive massive military support in order to carry out their assignments. Ethiopia received military funding and equipment from the US government to carry out its December 2006 invasion and occupation of Somalia. USA today reported the following on 8 January 2007:
"…The United States has quietly poured weapons and military advisers into Ethiopia, whose recent invasion of Somalia opened a new front in the Bush administration's war on terrorism…A Christian-led nation in sub-Saharan Africa, surrounded almost entirely by Muslim states, Ethiopia has received nearly $20 million in U.S. military aid since late 2002. That's more than any country in the region except Djibouti…There are about 100 U.S. military personnel currently working in Ethiopia…"
The recent IGAD communiqué stated the following:
"… the Council also expressed its appreciation to AMISOM and to the troop-contributing countries. It appealed to those members´ states which have pledged troops, equipment and other support to redeem their pledges so AMISOM could attain the necessary 20,000 troop level to fulfill its mandate. In this regard, the IGAD Council requested the UN Security Council to agree formally to approve the 20,000 troop level as well as make funds available to sustain this larger force. It appealed to the UN to mobilize necessary resources to sustain AMISOM pending its transformation into a UN peacekeeping operation…"It is not more funding for troops or increase in troops that will bring peace and security to Somalia. The bloodshed in Somalia has escalated with the introduction of foreign troops in the country. First it was the Ethiopian troops and then it was the AMISOM troops that came in to provide Ethiopia with an exit strategy. According to Jendayi E. Frazier, the incompetent former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs they are in Somalia to "prop up" the illegitimate TNG. So why is Ethiopia, through IGAD, requesting for more troops and more funds? Because more troops and more funding, makes for a very lucrative venture for the Ethiopians.Today it continues to get funding and equipment for training the Somali government´s (TNG) police and military forces.
3. Support for being Washington´s ally in the "war on terror" will come to a halt
With peace in Somalia, there will be no need for "anti-terror" activities. The minority regime in Ethiopia, through its lobbyists and the incompetent Bureau of African Affairs has misrepresented the issues in Somalia and the grievances of the various warring factions. If these issues are addressed and the in-fighting stops, there will be no need for funds to fight the "extremists", "fundamentalists", and "terrorists" that are said to be in Somalia.
Under the rubric of "counter-terrorism" the US has supported the training of Ethiopia´s special forces and provided the humvees that were used to massacre over 200 innocent Ethiopians in the aftermath of the 2005 elections. According to the US State Department:
"…Training in peacekeeping operations, professional military education, military training management, counterterrorism operations, and military medicine are among the major programs sponsored by the United States…"
Peace and security in Somalia would mean an end to the military support it gets to "fight terrorism" in the region. As long as it can point to "fundamentalists", "extremists" and "terrorists" in Somalia, the military funding will continue. No crisis in Somalia means no funding for "counter-terrorism" activities.
4. Foreign currency will be further depleted
Money for African Union peacekeepers is released in a lump-sum from the AU Peace Fund to defense ministries of the respective governments, who in turn should deposit it on the soldiers´ accounts. The AU Peace Fund is located in Ethiopia and its funds are deposited in Ethiopian banks. Even though AMISOM is headquartered in Kenya, and only Uganda and Burundi troops make up the peacekeeping operation in Somalia, its funds come from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. The bigger the force, the bigger the funding, the more foreign currency deposits for the Ethiopian regime…
5. Refugee camps will dry up-and funding for them will also dry up
The minority regime has perfected the art of creating refugees with its aggressive wars of invasion and occupation of neighboring states. The invasion and occupation of Somalia forced thousands of Somalis to seek refuge in neighboring countries. Kenya and Ethiopia are home to the largest Somali refugee camps in the region. There are some 60,000 Somali refugees in four camps in Eastern Ethiopia and these camps according to Oxfam are, "overcrowded and badly managed" and are "barely fit for humans". Despite the massive funding it receives from the various UN agencies for its refugee camps, the funds are diverted into the coffers of its local self created NGOs.
The Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), an outfit established by the Ethiopian minority regime is the main implementing partner of UN agencies such as UNHCR and World Food Organization (WHO). ARRA gets funding for food distribution, security issues in the camps, and for programs such as health and education in the camps
6. Kids glove treatment for being Washington´s s.o.b (mercenary regime) will be lost
Many of the world's most repressive dictators have been friends of America. Tyrants, torturers, killers, and sundry dictators and corrupt puppet-presidents have been aided, supported, and rewarded handsomely for their loyalty to US interests. The minority regime in Ethiopia led by the genocidal leader Meles Zenawi has received unprecedented diplomatic, financial, political and military support from the US and UK and their allies.
Meles Zenawi is not the first, and will not be the last dictator that Washington has cuddled only to turn around and dump them once they have lost their usefulness. Mobutu Sese Seko of the Congo, Idi Amin of Uganda, P.W. Botha of South Africa, Samuel Doe of Liberia, Francois and Jean Claude Duvalier of Haiti, Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines are amongst the over 40 leaders that enjoyed Washington´s support as they committed untold crimes against their own people…and were discarded by Washington.
The end of US diplomatic, financial, political and military support would mean an end to the political shield and cover that the minority regime in Ethiopia now enjoys. Meles Zenawi is not interested in bringing peace, stability and security to Somalia as that would mean it would have to account for its actions in Somalia and more.
Meles Zenawi´s minority regime would be held accountable for the thousands of deaths in Somalia, for the devastation of Somalia´s infrastructures including schools, mosques and markets, for the torture of thousands of innocent civilians and displacement of over 2.5 Somalis from their homes and villages and the international crimes committed by its marauding forces during the invasion and occupation of Somalia.
The regime will loose the US-led international community´s political and diplomatic support for its numerous intransigencies and violations of international law. It is in violation of the United Nations and African Union Charters, over two-dozen Security Council resolutions, and international law, that the minority regime continues to occupy sovereign Eritrean territories, including Badme.
US´ shield and cover for the genocides committed in the Gambela, Ogaden and Oromo regions of Ethiopia, and for the numerous human rights violations that are being committed against the people of Ethiopia will also come to an end.
The rule of law must prevail over the law of the jungle!