Friday, December 30, 2011

Troubled Ethiopia-Somalia history haunts Horn of Africa

By Barry Malone
NAIROBI | Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:42am EST
NAIROBI (Reuters) – Five hundred years ago, an Imam who ruled much of what is now Somalia, led a daring invasion of Christian Ethiopia, looting monasteries, burning down churches and slaying all who resisted.
Centuries on, memories of Imam Ahmad Gragn still haunt both countries, and echoes of that long and bloody history still ripple across the Horn of Africa region which considers Somalia the greatest threat to its stability.
Back then, the Ethiopians were beleaguered as the invaders occupied some two-thirds of the country. Help eventually came in the form of 400 Portuguese musketeers, who sailed into Massawa port and embarked on a six-day march to the front.
Gragn had his backers too. Reinforcements from Arabia soon rolled in alongside a gift from the Ottoman Empire: 900 of its famously hardened musket experts. The war lasted over a decade.
Fast forward to the present day, and with Ethiopian troops deploying over the border again last month to fight Islamist rebels linked to al Qaeda, the latest chapter of a book with few uplifting passages was written.
Though present-day incursions and clashes are driven by strategic motivations and regional politicking against the backdrop of the global war on terror, those centuries-old grudges, raids and musket-battles still shape events.
“In Ethiopia, the damage which Gragn did has never been forgotten,” Ethiopia expert, Paul Henze, wrote in a book on the country’s history, Layers of Time.
“Every Christian highlander still hears tales of Gragn in his childhood. I have often had villagers in northern Ethiopia point out sites of towns, forts, churches and monasteries destroyed by Gragn as if these catastrophes had occurred only yesterday.”
Though Gragn’s ethnicity is disputed by historians, Ethiopians know his army was overwhelmingly manned by ethnic Somalis, and that stings.
Somalis, too, are haunted by past Ethiopian invasions.
Ethiopia and Somalia still hand-pick powerful allies keen to win clout in the Horn of Africa.
Its location on the Gulf of Aden and its potential as a base for militant Islam make it an ideal arena for proxy wars, influence-peddling and diplomatic skullduggery.
The two countries – Ethiopia then supported by the Soviet Union and Cuba and Somalia supported by the United States – fought one of their many wars over Ethiopia’s mainly ethnic-Somali Ogaden region in 1977-1978.
Ethiopia’s victory was helped by some crack Cuban troops, a modern day echo of the foreigners who helped in the sixteenth century. Since then, Western and Eastern powers have switched allegiances, depending on the politics of those in power.
These days, Ethiopia, seen as a critical bulwark against the rise of Islamist militancy in the strategic region next to the world’s busiest shipping lanes, is Washington’s main ally.
“An unstable Horn of Africa could have a destabilizing effect on the world,” a Western diplomat in the region told Reuters. “The U.S., Britain, China – and increasingly Turkey -are all trying to get a foothold here for both security reasons and economic reasons. Ethiopia makes the best ally right now.”
But despite the leadership changes, and the temporary alliances in a region that is no stranger to pragmatic politics, that old animosity is playing out again.
At the centre of the latest episode between the two nations is the Islamist rebel group, al Shabaab, which has declared holy war on the still mostly-Christian Ethiopia, and threatened to launch suicide attacks in its capital, Addis Ababa.
Neighboring Kenya sent troops across the border in October, unsettled by a spate of security attacks it blamed on the militants, with the aim of dismantling the rebels’ networks.
Ethiopia watched closely, analysts say, unsure of whether the Kenyan intervention would work. Finally, a month ago, with the Kenyans stalled, its troops moved into Somalia to arm and train the pro-government militia Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca (ASWJ).
Such is the delicacy, that Ethiopia has not admitted publicly to its latest incursion despite scores of testimony from local witnesses, elders and reporters.
“The knowledge of history as well as the unwillingness to hand al Shabaab the propaganda coup, just when the terrorist group is weakened, probably has a great deal to do with Ethiopia’s reluctance to do more than build up the capacity of local Somali allies like ASWJ and to try to politically unite them in a common effort,” J. Peter Pham, Africa director with the Atlantic Council, told Reuters.
Until now, Ethiopia had seemed reluctant to get involved in Somalia again after a 2006-2009 incursion to overthrow another Islamist group that had taken over Mogadishu sparked such ire among some Somalis that al Shabaab rose from its ashes.
This time, the Ethiopians say, their hand was forced.
“Somebody needed to go in and help. Somalia is the world’s biggest security problem and that threatens everybody,” an Ethiopian official told Reuters.
“We’re aware that, for some Somalis, we are not the best choice and that is why we are being careful. But, yet again, who else?”
(Editing by David Clarke and Maria Golovnina)
The views expressed in this article are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect terror free somalia editorial policy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The mess that is Somalia

Dan Simpson
Last week an issue that is important to me — the future of Somalia and the Horn of Africa — was addressed at a local conference organized by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.Among the briefings provided the student participants were three by representatives of the U.S. government. Unfortunately, they were distressingly disingenuous in presenting the U.S. role over the past 20 years that helped produce the tragedy that is Somalia today. They seemed to reflect the astonishing point of view that Americans don’t need to know what is being done in their name with their money.The International Student Summit on Crisis and Famine in the Horn of Africa took place at Baldwin High School, with video feeds from the World Affairs Council in Philadelphia and schools in Pakistan, Slovenia and Tanzania. It was a delight. For four hours, the students considered the whole range of issues affecting the Horn of Africa and Somalia after clearly having done a good deal of background preparation to hold such informed, intelligent discussions.Given the interdependence of the countries of the world, it is essential that Americans have a firm, informed grasp of international affairs. It also is critical to start while people are young and their minds are open and supple. From that derives the importance of such events as the World Affairs Council summit, which involved more than 500 students.Sessions dealt with various aspects of the situation in the Horn of Africa, including food and logistics; water, sanitation and hygiene; health; shelter; education; protection of vulnerable populations; communications and awareness; long-term food security; governance; regional security; and piracy — a plague off the Somali coast in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. Students from seven Pittsburgh-area high schools took part.
Four briefers — from the University of Pennsylvania, the U.S. Army War College and the State Department — provided background. Although the humanitarian problems of drought, food insecurity and severe underdevelopment are common across the Horn of Africa, most attention since 1991 has been paid to Somalia. (Other countries considered part of the Horn include Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and, to a degree, Sudan.)Somalia has not had a government since January 1991. Since then, its problems may have cost the world as much as $55 billion to try to solve — largely without success. What has happened for the past 20 years to make the place such a mess is still not generally understood — in the United States, in the rest of Africa and in Somalia itself.One American briefer inaccurately described the group that likely would be ruling Somalia if it weren’t for U.S. military interference as “radical Islamists.” Another said U.S. policy amounted to “African solutions for African problems.” This, too, does not correspond to reality, as it ignores U.S. backing of foreign invasions and occupying forces, air and drone strikes, and other U.S. operations in Somalia.Yet another U.S. briefer — clearly a dreamer — said current U.S. policy offers a “road map” to elections in Somalia in August of next year and the end of a “transition.” In the meantime, the United States is providing substantial military assistance to African Union troops in Somalia from Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, which are propping up what is euphemistically called a Transitional Federal Government. The TFG’s shelf life in the face of its al-Shabab opponents without the protection of AU forces is generally estimated at about 15 minutes, in spite of considerable U.S. and other training and equipping of Somali government forces.There was a moment of relative tranquillity and stability in Somalia in the middle of 2006. At that point there was in power a body called the Islamic Courts government. It was a patchwork of locally based councils of moderate Islamists, adapted to the clan and subclan structure of the Somali people.The United States concluded, on what basis may never be known, that the Islamic Courts government was too Islamic for its tastes so it backed a military assault on Somalia by the Ethiopians — whom the Somalis hate — supported by U.S. intelligence and air assets. Down the Islamic Courts government went, only to be replaced by al-Shabab, a much more militant Islamic group, when the Ethiopians found Somali hostility more than they could bear. Al-Shabab would be ruling the place now if the Somalis were left to their own devices.
The U.S. military role in Somalia was strengthened by the creation in 2008 of a new U.S. Africa Command, based in Stuttgart, Germany. This body needed a war to fight in Africa to justify its size and budget.If there were a coherent government in Somalia, there would be little or no piracy, since that phenomenon depends for its existence on chaos. Also partly a creature of chaos is the dire humanitarian situation, which includes some 4 million Somalis in need of food and other support, of whom 250,000 are in danger of starvation.On the day of the student conference, fighting heated up in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, with government and AU forces facing off against al-Shabab, causing multiple casualties. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon paid a surprise visit there Friday and announced that the United Nations would move its Somalia office from Nairobi, Kenya, to Mogadishu in January.Dan Simpson, a former U.S. ambassador, is a Post-Gazette associate editor (, 412 263-1976). More articles by this authoRead more:

Mahiga is a Liability for Somalis

update on Mahiga Having Good time With SNM Women in MN
. Mahiga: another UN operative who may have fallen in love with One-Clan secessionist Enclave aka Somaliland  and
UNPOS and Ethiopia killed the hope for sovereign Governance in Somalia
Augustine Mahiga’s initial appointment as the UN Secretary’s General special envoy to Somalia was a bad omen for the troubled country. Because as an undistinguished diplomat, who in all probability came to his office through tribal considerations, he lacked the qualifications and temperament to decode, much less untangle Somalia’s knotty political situation; a muddle that confounded better mortals during the past two decades.

Now he has become dangerous. His recent call for the recognition of the one clan enclave calling itself Somaliland is a diplomatic blunder of unimaginable proportion. And for that he needs to be stopped before he inflicts further incalculable damage to Somalia’s fledgling state

Consider the statement of one of his few Somali admirers, Mr. Mohamud Ciilmooge, who for reasons only known to him and perhaps Mahiga, thinks that the wily envoy is performing magically. In an energetic, if vacuous defense of the UN agent, he stated that Mahiga is working hard to revive Somalis’ sense of nationhood, apparently by double-dealing; telling each faction and political hack what they want to hear. This is a clear admission by the supporter that the Tanzanian envoy’s mission, rather than helping resolve Somalia’s political issues of contention, is actively undermining the very essence of her nationhood.Does that make Mahiga a political soldier of fortune or a Trojan horse in the service of high-level geopolitical schemes above and beyond his pay grade, the gravity of which he probably does not fully grasp? That May very well be the case. But it really does not matter. He is a clear and present danger on his own accord. He has after all made a colossal mischaracterization of the political situation as it relates to northern Somalia. It concerns his announcement to the world that in his opinion the secession project based in Hargeisa merits international support; to make such a statement that is grossly inimical to the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the country he supposed help restore to peace and unity is simply a criminal act against Somalia.
Mr. Mohamud Ciilmooge kept repeating how good Mahiga was for Somalia, but he could not produce a anything that can be vaguely construed as real achievement. Instead, he revealed the man’s treachery, where Mahiga is trying his level best to stymie Somalis’ sense of nationhood. Yet the supporter had the temerity to put that forward as a successful feat.Not only that, he mentioned two other equally bizarre claims to buttress his oft repeated, gratuitous praise of the failed UN envoy. They are:The fact that Mahiga was an influential interloper of the “Kampala Conspiracy”. In that episode, the Ugandan head of state, Mr. Yoweri Museveni, hatched a scheme in which a sitting Somali Prime Minister was forced to resign in order to reconcile the two mendacious leaders of the TGI: Sheikh Shariif Ahmed, TFG President and Shariif Hassan, the Speaker of the parliament. The claim that the deal had merit because it temporarily stopped the conniving, toxic power struggle between the faux Shariifs does not hold water. For the resultant truce that extended the political shelf-life of those two incompetent and by all accounts dishonest politicians did not in any way advance Somali national interest. Rather, the whole scheme was a face-saving measure for IGAD, the AU and others that are continually fine tune their manipulation of the hapless Somalis into an art form; be it to their strategic and advantage, financial windfall or both!

The supporter also mentioned the so-called “road map” as another feather in Mahiga’s cap. But it is apparent to many Somalis and Somalia watchers that that lame duck will not fly, anytime soon. Moreover, the road map will fold due to its narrowly defined scope and the absence of any discernible vision that could possibly guide the project towards its desired end. So at best we have a case of the blind leading the vision-impaired or worse, a malicious misdirection on Mahiga’s part.

Finally, if the TFG was up to doing a halfway decent job, the fumbling Mahiga, with his countless misfeasance and ineffectual tenure, would have been removed many months ago. But that would have been asking for a minor miracle from a do-nothing crowd of self-aggrandizing politicos.So the situation concerning Mahiga has reached a critical point of no return. The leaders of the TGI can no longer feign ignorance or keep looking the other way as the country is humiliated by the likes of Mahiga—a third rate diplomatic hand. The time for them to face reality is therefore now! They should at once ask the UN Secretary General, Mr. Moon to remove the failed envoy away from Somalia before he inflicts further damage. They will have no problem making the case regarding how, A) Mahiga has overstepped the scope of his mandate, and B) Has been double-dealing by saying something to Somalis for peace and national unity and supporting secessionists to appease fellow travelers. Whether he took bribes and other inducement from the one clan enclave headquartered in Hargeisa or he is a hired diplomatic mercenary is immaterial at this point in time. He has crossed a line and for that he needs to leave the scene forthwith.

Ali A. Fatah
The views expressed in this article are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect terror free somalia editorial policy.

Awdalstate Condemns SNM’s Barbaric Attack of Awdalstate innocent civilians

Awdalstate Condemns SNM’s Barbaric Attack of Awdalstate innocent civilians

In the early morning hours of December 5, 2011 about 30 members of SNM ( Somali National Movement a.k.a Somaliland ) militia clad in army fatigues and armed with guns and axes, attacked civilian residents of SEMAAL village of Awdalstate. The perpetrators shot, butchered and mutilated a father by the name of Dayib Maal , his teenage son and another man with the nickname Af-madhan-diid. some residents of Semaal were also hurt, while others were taken hostage at gunpoint. All the victims of this heinuous attack were law-abiding, harmless and unarmed citizens of Awdalstate at their dwellings.

First and foremost, the Awdalstate Leadership is extending its heartfelt condolence to the families of the victims. Their loss is a loss for Awdalstate and all peace-loving Somalis.

Secondly, Awdalstate condemns the SNM administration at Hargeisa of this cowardly and barbaric attack of civilians and its continuous terrorism and subjugation of Awdalstate peoples.

For twenty years this immoral and dysfunctional SNM administration at Hargeisa has been playing and testing every little trick in the game to entice and convince the International Community to win a recognition of Isaaqland ( the narrow triangulalar barren land between the towns of Berbera, Burao and Hargeisa ). The other communities of the former Somaliland British Protectorate like Awdalstate to the West, and Sool, Sanag and Cayn to the East could not be bought into this hollow and mindless scheme. They opted for Somali unity.

Awdalstate of Somalia wants the whole peace-loving countries of the World ( Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, African Union, Arab League, Organization of Islamic Countries and the United Nations ) to take note of the terrorism , subjugation and harsh treatment the SNM administration is contantly meting out at the defenceless peoples of Awdalstate, and hence we are requesting that the head of the SNM administration Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud “Siranyo” and the head of the Kulmiye Party Muse Bihi be brought before the International Criminal Court for masterminding the abovementioned barbaric attack and a similar one in which their militia beheaded four Awdalstate men with no redress upto now.

Hassan H. Rirash
Awdalstate Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister

The views expressed in this article are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect terror free somalia editorial policy.

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

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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.

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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.

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