Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Somalia, US, and the Oboma Dual-Track Letdown

Somalia in particular and Horn of Africa in general are at such a volatile stage that any misstep -- domestic or foreign -- could only further exacerbate that perilous condition. One such potential misstep gathering cloud is the recently proposed US foreign policy toward Somalia known as the Dual-Track approach.

First, a brief background: In 2006 -- over a decade after the infamous "Black-Hawk Down" incident that caused Somalia and the US to drift apart -- the US has shown renewed interest in Somalia. As a result, in recent years, the US has led donor nations in generosity. Notwithstanding the fact that roughly ninety percent of the over $200 million it donated to Somalia being earmarked to AMISOM -- the African Union troops there to enforce peace.Second, since the historic Cairo Speech, the anticipation was high in Somalia as it was in other parts of the Islamic world that the Obama administration would finally do away with that all too familiar foreign policy based on the global war on terror. And, for almost two years, while the US inter-agencies debated what the new policy toward Somalia would be, there was a growing sense of hope that the new administration would conscientiously craft a policy "based on mutual respect, and mutual interest".

Then, all of a sudden, there appeared the Dual-Track approach!

In a nutshell, this policy is based on engaging diplomatically and economically any and all Somali political actors -- armed or unarmed -- as long as those entities are not supporting the extremist group al-Shabaab. Even if these actors are overtly or covertly opposed to the TFG.
Understandably, the impetus driving this new policy is the impatience caused by the rapid change of Somalia's security landscape in the past two decades. In addition to the growing violent extremism, there is the transnational threat of piracy, arms smuggling, human and drug trafficking. Needless to say that these threats are further complicated by the slow progress of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in building a robust security apparatus, and broadening its territorial control.
But, in an apparent effort to adapt its security and strategic needs to the reality on the ground, the US seems to have inadvertently stepped into a clan minefield that could cause it, and indeed the TFG, significant political setback and long-term threat.
And while providing economic incentive and the prestige of diplomatic engagement might generally lure or charm interest groups, in clan-centric communities that understand federalism only through the prism of the dominant clan's right to control resources and hoard power, it's likely to have an adverse effect.
And while this is a "US policy made in Washington" it is hard to ignore how it closely resembles another failed approach to Somalia.
Neighboring Ethiopia has unsuccessfully been pursuing almost a similar policy for two decades. It did not succeed, because, on one hand, it undermined the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Somali state; and on the other, as a result of the zero-sum competition that exists between clans, it was sowing seeds of division, marginalization, and hate that perpetuated violence and chaos.
While it still retains friendly relations with the TFG, Ethiopia has unilaterally been engaging "Somaliland" and "Puntland" in all diplomatic, military and economic fronts as if these two political entities have the absolute autonomy to frame their respective foreign, defense, and monitory policies that are independent of Somalia.
Make no mistake, Somaliland and Puntland had legitimate grievances that compelled them to explore drastic secessionist and semi-secessionist options. They have taken their matters into their own hands and since became success stories that should make all Somalis proud. Both have established semblance of peace in the North-Western and North-Eastern regions. On the other hand, their actions have lend a façade of authenticity to the so-called "building blocks approach" that some special interest groups were adamantly pushing in the past two decades. The deriving premise of that approach is based on an ill-conceived notion that Somalia could never sustain itself as a nation-state, and that its people can only coexist as clan-based enclaves that are independent of each other. The failure of the state, according to these groups, is irreversibly permanent.So, can these clan-based building blocks ensure sustainable security and stability? Clan demarcations are intertwined both in Somaliland and Puntland where distrust and territorial dispute have kept these two successful communities apart. And even more complex dynamics exist in the recently formed Hiranland; and soon to come -- should this trend continues -- Jubaland, and Banadirland. And, a preview of the new violence that is likely to ignite in each is already playing out in Puntland.
Back to the Dual-Track approach; one of the most detrimental obstacles that would face this approach would come from the regional-based partners' unwillingness to participate in positive engagement on matters of mutual interest or collaborative coexistence with the next door free floating political entity. Any skeptic would only have to review the Somaliland and Puntland's record of collaboration in the many years that each was operating independent of the Somali government.In conclusion: If there is any indication that the best bulwark against the spread of violent extremism in Somalia is found through fragments of clannish polities and regions that function independent of the state, then both the US and Somalia ought to shout 'Eureka!' in unison. But that is hardly the case. Already these regions are expecting pigeonholed security schemes and safe zones under the command of various dominant clans in partnership with contracted private security companies (who are accountable to no one.) And this, needless to say, would only prove to be the best recruitment campaign for al-Shabaab.
If this dual-track approach promises any hope, it is found in the words of Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, when he said in his presentation on this policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies "...we decide what to do, we don't base our decisions on what Ethiopia might think is appropriate and we'll reserve the right to change this policy whenever we want".
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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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