Saturday, October 13, 2012

Somalia’s Fragile Hope Is Linked to Ethiopia:Commentary: Ethiopian democratization is key to stabilizing Somalia

MINNEAPOLIS -- No sooner had Somalia's clan-appointed legislators elected a president, the first in more than 42 years in this Horn of Africa nation, than Kenyan troops dislodged the Islamist military group Al-Shabab from its last stronghold, the port town of Kismayo. As important a turnaround as this is, it hardly signals that two decades of anarchy have been overcome.
Although African Union troops have diminished Al-Shabab's capabilities, this translates neither into its defeat nor increased legitimacy of the fledgling Somalian government. More importantly, a viable exit strategy is as elusive now as it has always been.
Moreover, the death in August of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, architect of Somalia policy, presents both opportunities and dangers. Although the first official act of his successor, Hailemariam Desalegn, was to attend the swearing-in of Somali’s new president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, he lacks sufficient footing within the Ethiopia's military, security, and political establishments to wield real power. He also faces a host of mounting internal challenges, not least the growing discontent among Ethiopia’s restive Muslim population.
Somalia has long confounded the world. Numerous attempts to reconstruct a legitimate state have failed. Turning the current glimmer of hope into the dawn of a new beginning requires a departure from the well-travelled road of leaving the region’s interlocking web of insecurity unaddressed.
The unstable nature of the region’s security is a fitting metaphor to describe both the redrawing of Africa’s sacrosanct colonial borders and the birth of liberation movements.
Ethiopia is the geographic, demographic, political, and economic center of the Horn. It shares boundaries with each of the countries of the Horn: Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, Djibouti, Eritrea, and South Sudan. All major ethnic groups living elsewhere also live in Ethiopia. Its religious, ethnic, and linguistic diversity is unrivalled. As such, developments in Ethiopia reverberate throughout the region.
The nature of Ethiopia’s regime fuels Somalia’s instability. While making up a mere 5.8 percent of the population, the predominantly Orthodox Christian Tigreans maintain absolute monopoly over all levers of power. Despite its dominance, the Tigrean oligarchy is possessed by a pervasive sense of paranoia.
This plays out in projecting an aggressive stand against both domestic and foreign threats, real and imagined. The new prime minister, Hailemariam, is from an even smaller ethnic group, the Walayta, which comprises 2 percent of Ethiopia’s population of 94 million. His elevation to the premiership has not altered Ethiopia's power equation.
Somalia’s troubles are far from over. How to fully integrate the south with the autonomous region of Puntland and the de facto independent state of Somaliland is not even broached. Reconstituting Somalia would be a staggering endeavor even in the best of circumstances. More so when that task is entrusted to the deeply insecure Tigrean minority elite that harbor a perennial fear of Somalia becoming a launching pad for Ethiopia’s opponents. This remains the weakest link in the Somalia strategy.
The strategy confronts Somali leaders with a perennial dilemma: On the one hand, to appeal to their compatriots and risk arousing the fear of external powers, mainly Ethiopia or, on the other hand, to gain Ethiopian sponsorship and alienate their base. The lot of Mohamoud is no different. The attempt on his life in September during a meeting in Mogadishu highlights the fragility of the situation.
Al Shabab's defeat is necessary but insufficient for Somalia’s regeneration. Solving Ethiopia's internal insecurities through democratization is also essential. Al-Shabab is a byproduct of Ethiopia's 2006 disastrous intervention in Somalia.
What has Ethiopia’s democratization to do with stabilizing Somalia? Everything.
To an extent, today’s Ethiopia is analogous to apartheid South Africa of the 1980s. Growing domestic resistance in South Africa plus brutal cross-border operations by the military wing of ANC in Angola, Mozambique and Namibia was a nightmare scenario for the apartheid regime that led to increased domestic repression. Once democratic elections in 1994 ushered in majority rule under Nelson Mandela, the country ceased to be an exporter of instability.
As was the case with apartheid South Africa, Ethiopia’s stability is a facade bought at a stiff price—repression of domestic dissent and Somalia instability.
Zenawi's death opens a window of opportunity. Unless the nexus between regime insecurity in Ethiopia and Somalia's instability is seized upon, the African Union’s courageous efforts could be easily reversed—Al-Shabab and a plethora of clan militia wait on the wings to fill the vacuum should the effort falter.
Hassen Hussein teaches courses on leadership and decision-making at the Minneapolis campus of Saint Mary's University. He contributes to the website He can be reached at

Some background stories

Somalia loosing identity: will Ethiopia alter the demography?

Troubled Ethiopia-Somalia history haunts Horn of Africa

Framing the Debate: IGAD's Detrimental influence in

Wikileaks: Discussion with Woyanne intelligence chief.: Wikileaks reveal Ethiopia´s fear of ONLF, and much more

ETHIOPIA: It is in the minority regime's interest to perpetuate the bloody crisis in Somalia

U.S. Senate introduces new bill on Ethiopia

Senator Brownback made a powerful statement in the Senate supporting Ethiopia and somalia (U.S.-Horn of Africa policy )

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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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