Letter of Appeal to the President of United Nations Security Council
By Ali E. H. Naleeye
His Excellency Mr. Adamantios Th. Vassilakis
President of the United Nations Security Council
CC: The Member States of the United Nations
The General Secretary of the United Nations
The African Union
Dear Mr. President and other Member State Representatives:
At the outset, I wish to convey to you my cordial gratitude in affording me this rare opportunity to communicate fully with the members of this world body as a Somali diplomat at large, to brief you of the agony, the trauma, and the suffering of the Somali people. In the past fifteen years, Somalia has been the only nation among United Nations member states without a government. However, with a resilient culture, the Somali people are hoping and looking forward to see the day they can take their rightful seat in the community of nations to live with peace and security.
Given its strategic location, during the Colonial era, the Somali Peninsula was divided into five Colonial territories: Italy occupied the Indian Ocean coastal region, United Kingdom took the Gulf of Aden British Somaliland, France occupied the former French Somaliland, present-day Djibouti Republic. Ethiopia occupied the large Ogaden Somali region, and Kenya took what later became the Northern Frontier District (NFD). France and the U.S. are now using a dual military base in Djibouti. The Somalia Republic had been formed in 1960, when the newly independent Italian Somaliland under the U.N. Trusteeship, and the British Protectorate Somaliland merged.
The Somali people had suffered European Colonial partition, twenty one years of under brutal military dictator, Siad Barre, and fifteen years of civil war and without a government. For too long, the members of this body had symbolically delegated their moral duty in ending the crisis in Somalia to its over-lap of interest-ridden Somalia neighboring countries.
For fifteen years, fifteen failed Somali peace conferences were held and hosted in Somalia’s neighboring states. All of them ended in creating split-Somali-government, causing untold sorrow, and re-ignited the Somali civil war.
It is time for this honorable world body to draft an impartial new “road peace map” for Somalia as it did for other world hotspots such Haiti, in February 29, 2004, when then President of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide flew into exile, barely hours before his plane landed in the Central African Republic, France and the U.S. governments had already their military in Haiti, putting in place a Haitian government to prevent the country from falling into lawlessness. The immediate U.N. Secretary-General special representative for Somalia, Mr. Winston Tubman, advised the international community at the stalled Somali peace conference in Nairobi, Kenya, “The only way Somalia can achieve a lasting peace and a central government, is if only one of the Permanent Security Council states, with sphere of influence in the Horn of Africa, the U.S., U.K. and France show an interest in Somalia, and so far none of them has shown doing just that.” He added that it was the only way the crises in Liberia, and Sierra Leone had been solved.
On December 4, 1992 President Bush had unexpectedly announced to the world that he gave his orders to the defense secretary, Dick Cheney, to send 18,000 U.S. Marines to Somalia, a mission named “Restore Hope” to stop international food aid theft that was causing a high daily Somali death-rate, especially children in the southern Baidoa city. “Our forces shall do the job with courage and mercy, the Somali people, and particularly the children are in need of such help and of alleviating their suffering, we are capable to be and offer hope”, the president stated. Later, the U.S. forces were joined by U.N. forces and workers which numbered a total of 35, 000 men. This was the first time in U.N. history that a military deployment in another nation was authorized without consulting the local authority.
In 1992, I read an article written in a North American local Hispanic news paper, El Mundo Hispanico, which in its international section wrote that today the Mexican foreign minister, went to Washington to deliver a protest letter to the American government. The magazine added that the Mexican government had requested the American government not to send troops to Somalia because Mexico was worried that Somalia, a nation suffering a long civil war and draught may collapse under the pressure of the world’s most advanced military power. It added that Mexico was concerned that if the U.S. military intervenes in Somalia, more factions will begin vying for power struggle in order to get the attention of the U.S., and Somalia may further disintegrate into the civil war.
Few months later, the U.S. special representative in Somalia, Robert Oakley, in an interview to Le Jeune Afrique magazine said that the few months of the U.S.-Somali fire-fight, the American troops had killed 10,000 Somalis, well depicted in the” Black Hawk Down movie” In 1993, on New Year’s Eve, President Bush made the long flight from Washington to Mogadishu to Moscow.
As former U.S. president Bill Clinton withdrew the ill-fated U.S. military intervention from Somalia in 1993, the president concerned that the U.S.-Somalia problem might become an election-year issue, decided to delegate the Somalia reprisal job to Ethiopia, which traditionally has a strained relationship with Somalia. President Clinton had sponsored a Somali peace conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In a national televised speech, Clinton briefed the American public about the state of U.S. involvement in Somalia, “Today the U.S. government has decided to give Somali leaders one last chance, to make peace for the sake of their people and their country.”
At that time, President Nelson Mandela of South Africa was trying to send planes to Somalia to carry Somali leaders to the Islands of the Seychelles, just two hours flight from south of Mogadishu for an exclusive Somali peace conference. However, the U.S. insisting that there were some logistic problems in the Seychelles flew the Somali leaders instead to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for a national Somalia peace conference. More than a decade later that Ethiopian held Somali conference as the fourteen before ended in Kenya with split-Somali government. In the 1999 last U.S. Presidential Election Debate Governor Bush attacked Vice-President Al Gore on U.S. duplicity in Somalia, “In Somalia, we changed our mission from peace-keeping to peace-making … and our country had paid a terrible price.”
In the 2000 U.S. State of the Union Address speech, President Bush addressed the American Congress, “Today I sent the United States Marines to the coasts of the Horn of African nation of Somalia to intercept the fleeing al-Qaida members from Afghanistan, and to block illegal weapons shipments to Somalia.”
In a simultaneous move with America’s Somalia territorial waters troop deployment, Ethiopia gathered a large number of troops on the demarcated Somali-Ethiopian border, occupied several Somali cities, and vowed to wipe out terrorists from Somalia. Equally, Kenya closed the Somali-Kenyan border, and had temporarily banned the use of the Somali passport. At that time a Somali conference in Arte, Djibouti ended electing three year transitional president Abdiqasim Salad Hassan, who was supported mainly by an al-Itihad al-Islam, a Somali religious group which sympathizes with al-Qaida. Mr. Hassan, who was unable to control more than a few blocks in Mogadishu flew to the U.N. in New York and received state meeting with British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and French President Jacques Chirac. The Somalia territorial water U.S. blockade, Ethiopian and Kenyan land blockade, and the asymmetric Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac meeting with Hassan, despite allegations that he was connected with al-Qaeda had dramatically shifted the balance of power in the Horn of Africa region:
1) The blockade immediately caused Somali armed factions to surrender to Ethiopia, a shifting the little power left in the hands of Somalis to the hands of Ethiopia.
2) Cut by the blockade from the possibility that a neutral nation might offer Somalia to host an impartial Somalia peace conference all Somali national groups, civic, religious, and militia, for the first time in fourteen years, were forced to come together and attend the Somalia peace and reconciliation conference in Kenya, to legitimize the outcome of the conference.
3) The isolation had enabled the ministerial level East African Intergovernmental Authority & Development (IGAD), which under their auspices hosted the Somali conference in Kenya, to conduct the Somalia conference as an armistice conference, setting the agenda for the Somali conference.
During the recent U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on U.S. Secretary of State Nominee Condoleezza Rice, one of the first questions the Senate asked her before confirming her nomination was, “what about Somalia? What are our plans there? …Are we going keep holding off everything else, until we solve the Iraqi problem?” Since 1992 Somalia is the only nation that the U.S. had deployed troops twice, while the country was in a long civil war and had no functioning government. The U.S. gives a generous aid to other nations where it’s conducting the anti-terror war, in Somalia though, the U.S. is even refusing to nominate special envoy to Somalia, insisting that instead it gets its Somalia information from Ethiopia and Kenya.
The Security Council did not support Iraqi’s front state neighbors Kuwait, Iran and Israel to under their auspices host a peace conference for Iraq; the Council didn’t endorse nor financed the Republic of Congo’s front states, Uganda and Rwanda, to under their auspice host a peace conference for civil war-torn Congo; the Council didn’t support Indonesia to host under its auspices a peace conference for East Timor; and the Council didn’t support Serbia under its auspices host a peace conference for Bosnia. In contrast, the Security Council supported Somalia front line states Ethiopia and Kenya, despite Somalia having recent border dispute wars with them, to under their auspices host a Somalia peace conference, which elected a six-year term exile Somali parliament. As widely expected, when Somalis rejected such unfair conflict-ridden conferences, the U.N. uses the Somali rejection as a pretext to send and finance an African Union Somalia peace-keeping force. Ironically, likewise, the U.N. Security Council is sending or has U.N. Peace-keeping troops in IGAD states that are mediating the Somalia peace conference:
Eritrea ended 30-year Eritrea-Ethiopian war. Eritrea has been in the Sudan conflict since 1994, invaded Yemeni Islands in 1995. To settle a border dispute, Eritrea went war with Ethiopia in 1998 that cost 100,000 lives. Answering a U.N. Security Council investigation of who started a recent Ethiopian-Eritrean border clash, Gail Bindley Taylor Sainte, spokesperson for the U.N. peace-keeping troops stationed in the Ethiopian-Eritrean border, “Any incident on the border [that] threatens the security of the temporary security zone is one that is of concern to us.” Sainte warned, “The situation right now is such that a little incident could turn into a much bigger incident.” Can Eritrea bring peace to Somalia?
The International Rescue Committee issued “A Mortality Report” which shocked the international community that in the two-years during 1998-99 Uganda and Rwandan military invasion in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 1.7 million Congolese died in combat or war, hunger and diseases. It added that none of the deaths would have occurred if Ugandan and Rwandan troops had not invaded Congo. After killing 1.7 million Congolese people, the Council endorses Uganda to send peace-keeping troops to Somalia.
The 1977-78 Somali-Ethiopian war of control on the disputed Ogaden region was the World’s deadliest conventional irredentism border-war since the end of the Second World War. The Soviet Union’s best conventional war generals led the Cuban and the Ethiopian troops to push back Somali troops who had captured the Ogaden region from Ethiopia. Now, the Council had endorsed Ethiopia to lead a peace conference for Somalia.
After facing U.N. sanction resolution in the Darfur conflict, twenty years of civil war in the south, and the planned deployment of 10,000 U.N. peace-keepers, makes the Sudan’s presence in IGAD as a ploy to disguise that the U.N. Security Council and some western partners had endorsed and financed 10 million USD to four Christian Countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea, and Uganda, given the stature-less tiny Djibouti had a France aligned foreign policy, to host a peace conference under their auspices to the fifteen-year stateless civil war- torn Muslim Somalia.
The immediate president of Kenya, Daniel Arap Moi, who hosted the Somali Reconciliation Conference in Kenya, mediated by Somalia neighboring front states: Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti, said in his speech at the American Defense University in Washington D.C., last year, “One of the drawbacks in the Somalia peace process was the regional suspicion that a united Somalia might pursue its “expansionist dreams”. He recalled that at independence, the Somalia Republic was claiming parts of Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti and consequently initiated armed conflicts to try and realize this idea.
If the retired Kenyan president Arap Moi (please see Moi’s speech enclosed) after inviting and hosting the fifteenth Somali peace conference in Kenya warned the world that Kenya sees a stable Somali government as a national threat, wouldn’t Your Excellency, for moral, humanitarian, and as the U.N. Charter Principals states: all members shall settle disputes by peaceful means in such manner justice not be endangered, ask the U.N. and the international community, bring a neutral workable peace plan to help end the agony of Somalia?
Ali E. H. Naleeye
E-mail: [email protected]