Monday, July 19, 2010

Somalia: Conflict Will Spread Unless International Community Acts - U.S. Policymaker..U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson interview this week

Somalia, which has not had a functioning central government in more than two decades, is experiencing an upsurge in violence and increased civilian casualties. Clashes have intensified between al-Shabaab insurgents and the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) led by Sheikh Sharif Ahmed , which enjoys international recognition but controls limited territory in and around the capital, Mogadishu. Troops from Uganda and Burundi comprise the 6,300-strong peacekeeping mission from the African Union supporting the TFG – the justification provided when Shabaab claimed responsibility for the bombings in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, on July 11 that left more than 76 people dead.

U.S. assistance for the AU mission, known as Amisom, could be enhanced if the African participants ask for increased logistical support and training, Gen. William Ward, who heads the U.S. Africa Command, said in Washington this week. Current U.S. aid for the TFG includes a range of non-lethal equipment, plus a significant amount of ammunition, according to U.S. officials. Urgent action is needed to address instability in Somalia, according to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson, the Obama administration's senior Africa policymaker. In the second part of an AllAfrica interview this week, he said continued insecurity poses a danger not only to the 10 million people living there, but also to the region and, as piracy directed at ships from around the world continues unabated, to the international community. Excerpts:
In the aftermath of the two bombings in Kampala on July 11, what is the United States doing to assist Uganda?
Let me start by saying that we in the United States were deeply saddened by the double bomb blasts that occurred on the last night of World Cup in Kampala, and this event in Uganda shattered what should have been an Africa-wide sense of achievement related to South Africa's successful holding of the Cup.
We believe that Uganda was probably targeted in large measure for its participation in Amisom and its support for the Djibouti [peace] process and the TFG, the current Somali government. While the information is still coming in, it would appear that elements linked to Shabaab were responsible. This event in Kampala focuses not only African, but international attention on the problem that exists in Somalia.Somalia is a problem which is three-dimensional in nature. Somalia, for the last twenty years, has been a state without a strong, effective central government; it is a state which [has] virtually imploded; a state that has been racked by enormous civil strife, famine and recurring humanitarian problems. It is a state that has been fragmented into three large units: Puntland, Somaliland and south-central Somalia – Somalia as we know it, based out of Mogadishu. And certainly in southern Somalia we have seen episodic levels of extreme violence with warlords preying on citizens and relief groups, and now, violent extremists doing the same thing. Somalia has collapsed in on itself.The second dimension is regional. Somalia's problems have overflowed into the region. Today, Kenya plays host to 170,000-plus Somalis in the Dadaab refugee camp in the northeastern part of the country. International aid agencies say that between 5,000 and 6,000 Somalis every month cross from the deteriorating situation in south-central Somalia into Kenya. Those who don't make it into Dadaab become a burden on the Kenyan state. Many migrate to Eastleigh, a major suburb inside Nairobi which is largely a Somali community.You have Somali refugees in Ethiopia, Djibouti, and even further afield in places like Uganda and Tanzania. This is an enormous burden on all of the refugee-receiving countries, but it's not just the refugees who are causing this burden. We see enormous illegal arms flows out of Somalia into the region. We see illegal commercial items moving out of Somalia into the region. People talk, in many parts of eastern and southeastern Ethiopia, about illegal smuggled goods coming through the ports of Mogadishu and Kismayu ending up in Harar, Dire Dawa and Kulubi, undercutting the legitimate commerce of the region. This is true in Ethiopia, and it's true in Kenya. You have illegal goods coming in, illegal arms coming in, flows of people – all creating disturbances and having a negative impact.We also have seen the problem bleed into international piracy in the Red Sea. Somali piracy is a direct result of the lack of centralized, effective governance in the country, the absence of a police force, the absence of a judiciary and the rise of impunity; also the absence of an alternative source of income; the absence of a formal and informal economy capable of providing jobs. If there were economies providing jobs, if there were a judiciary and a police force, security services to manage and jail people for piracy, we wouldn't see piracy going on. But as long as there is a breakdown of such enormous proportions across Somalia and Puntland, we will continue to see piracy.

Beyond piracy, we see a multiplicity of problems flowing throughout the region. Violent extremism is an issue of international concern. The bombings in Kampala are a result of violent extremism. We know some of the leaders of the al-Qaeda east African cell were responsible for the tragic bombings of the American embassies in Dar-es-Salaam and Nairobi on August 7th, 1998, and were responsible for the Paradise Hotel bomb blast in November 2002 and the attempt to shoot down an Israeli commercial plane on the same day. It is no longer possible for the international community to ignore the danger from a continued absence of security and governance in south-central Somalia.
What does it mean that the threat from Shabaab does not seem to be lessening? Do you believe that backing the TFG militarily and diplomatically can be effective?
think it is the correct policy. The policy that we pursue towards Somalia is supported by IGAD [the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an organization of six eastern African nations]. It is a policy that was designed and orchestrated by the people of Somalia and supported by the region to bring together a transitional government that would bring in as many clans and sub-clan groups as possible.We think that we need to do as much as we possibly can to keep the Djibouti [peace] process – and the TFG which flows from it – moving forward. There is no question that the TFG has to do more than it's done in the past. It has to not simply be a government in name only, but it has to be a government that provides services to the people; a government that is working towards stability; a government that is trying to be inclusive and bringing in more groups opposed to al-Shabaab and committed to stability.It has to provide a clear alternative to al-Shabaab. The people of Somalia are largely moderate followers of Islam – people who desire a stable and peaceful country; people who are desirous of the right to have economic opportunity and prosperity. Shabaab does not offer that. I think Shabaab provides an extremist, radical, draconian alternative. I don't think Somalis want it. I don't think Somalis deserve it.
Why hasn't the TFG been effective?
The TFG needs to improve its game. It needs to be more active and energetic – more inclusive, governing better, being seen by the people as a positive force for stability and the delivery of services, and security. Shabaab has only delivered an authoritarian and draconian alternative –ruthless, brutal, and bloody.

There are those who argue for "constructive disengagement", like Bronwyn Bruton in a Council on Foreign Relations report, saying "doing less is better than doing harm". Is it possible that the current U.S. approach is doing more harm than good?
Also there are reports of child soldiers being used by the Transitional Federal Government, of civilians being targeted. What does that say about the policy?
I think that's a false dichotomy. I think you can do more without doing harm, and I think that it is up to diplomats and to development workers and to security officials to calibrate U.S. policies in a fashion designed to advance stability, security, and service delivery as well as more inclusiveness and better governance – without doing harm.I've seen the news reports about allegations of the TFG using child soldiers, and I believe those stories are an exaggeration. Not that there aren't child soldiers around, but that they represent a small fraction of what is happening. When we have talked to and worked with the TFG on training, we have made sure that none of the individuals associated with any training that we have assisted in funding have had child soldiers. It's against our laws. We vet to make sure that we are not in any way supporting child soldiers, and that we are not supporting in any way individuals who have been in violation of someone else's human rights or civil liberties. We take those legal requirements very seriously. Clearly, there are things in Somalia that we can't control, but we certainly try to make sure that anything we're associated with is done legally.
We've also seen in the Washington Post allegations of indiscriminate fire by Amisom troops on civilians. We don't deny that some of this has probably happened, but I do not believe that there is a policy of deliberate shelling by Amisom forces. That some of it may occur, yes, and it's wrong whether it's a lot or a little. But I don't think it represents a policy. Somalia is probably one of the three or four most dangerous and unpredictable war zones in the world, and these kinds of things happen in those environments.

Does the United States provide support directly to the TFG and to the African Union as well?
We work with the TFG directly, and we also work with Amisom countries. We have supported the acquisition of non-lethal equipment by Burundi and Uganda. We have provided them with military equipment – everything from communications gear to uniforms. We have supported the training of TFG forces outside Somalia, mostly in Uganda and in Djibouti. We have supported specialized training in dealing with improvised explosive devices and training for the protection of ports and airports. But this training has been provided by Ugandans, not by any U.S. military officials.

We work with the AU, and we work with the IGAD countries. And that is precisely what we need to do. We encourage others in the international community to do as we are doing. We have not done enough on Somalia, which, for far too long, has been the subject of benign neglect by the United States, and by the international community.

Given the magnitude of the problems on three levels – domestic, regional, international – now is the time for the international community to recognize that this problem will only get worse for all of us if we do not come together to find a solution.

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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

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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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