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by Arte Moalin III



The Addis Ababa government must be asking itself: What in the world just happened in Mogadishu, what does what just happened mean for Ethiopia and the Addis Ababa government as well as the region of East Africa, and how best can or should the Addis Ababa government respond to what just happened in Mogadishu?


I can’t help but ask myself: Will the Addis government use the same principals who dictated the wrong policy on Somalia through their former allies (warlords), or will it bring in new talent and approach that is better equipped to realize the regional distributions any violence in Somalia will generate, even perhaps leading to disturbing the minimal peace in its own territories.


It is no secret that you give a man a gun, and since he will hardly ever use it on himself unless of course one is ill, it is just a matter of time, sooner or later, before he uses it on you for whatever reason, or sells it to another in the neighborhood who will use it on all around his surroundings, last being himself, if ever.


So, while the Addis Ababa government has had no fear of arming their former allies in Mogadishu and its neighborhoods – because it never considered the former allies in Mogadishu a threat to it or its people – it is clear now that those guns fell into the hands of men who are committed to defending their territories, and who never had any lost love for the Addis Ababa government, especially when they faced off each other in various places inside Somalia. Given this fact, the Addis Ababa government is obliged to reconsider its failed policies on the religious parties in Somalia who, (if they are sought after by the Addis Ababa government in any fashion, whether directly or through the TFG, rather than letting the Somalia TFG find a means of easing the tension between the Addis Ababa government and the new powers in Mogadishu), will help them win more public support, thus leading to a regional wave of violence that may set the Addis Ababa government against a combined force of Eritrea and the new powers of Somalia, while of course the immediate victim, in addition the peoples of the three countries, will be the infant Transitional Federal Government of Somalia – a product of the East African countries’ first full-blooded effort stabilize a regional state.


Therefore, based on the current direction of winds coming from Mogadishu, caution is warranted on the government of Addis Ababa to re-evaluate its approach to Somalia while, and in all honesty, yielding the right of way to resolving Somalia’s long drawn out lack of stability to its people, Transitional Federal Government, and perhaps the United States so that Somalia’s new powers in Mogadishu are dealt with in respect of their rights while safeguarding the interest of the East African region.


It is very clear that the Somali people of Mogadishu are far too fed up with wars over their children or livelihoods, and based on their undivided support to the now new powers in Mogadishu, who have given the Somali people of Mogadishu the least bit of comfort in 16years, the public will support anyone who practically convinces them to be serving their interest so long as there is no return to the past, with the warlords at the forefront of such an effort. In essence, what the citizens of Mogadishu, along with their new leaders in the Islamic courts, just told the world is: Enough of the warlords, regardless of under what banner!.


Thus, while the TFG hasn’t yet proved its value to the Somali people of Mogadishu, any undue influence from the Addis Ababa government to influence or use the TFG to serve a blow here and there to the new powers of Mogadishu will only set the infant TFG against its public while not serving the long-term interest of either of the governments and, thus, countries. Rather, the Addis Ababa government must realize: It has only limited powers to influence its own public, let alone the citizens of its neighbors.


Practically, the Addis Ababa government’s failure was in its approach to arm and impose on the Somali people and nation, through its now defeated allies in Mogadishu, who were, or, are neither immortal in power nor abundant in character. They were a few and very limited in capacity to contain and impose on their people, but enough to stir the Somalia waters of tribal war that lead to the people finally taking comfort in the preaching of the bearded men of Mogadishu. The Addis Ababa government either has no knowledge of the history of the peoples of Somalia and Ethiopia, who have, for centuries now, been butchering each other to death while having never realized a lasting solution that served the interest of both countries. Rather, it had gotten in the way of various Somalia Transitional Governments simply because of a fear of the past that any non-Addis Ababa blessed government in Somalia would be an automatic threat to the Addis Ababa government and the people of Ethiopia.


Had the Addis Ababa government paid due attention to the history of the two countries in an effort to find a lasting solution to the past mistakes of its most recent predecessors, of both Ethiopia and Somalia, who also continued with the past conduct of their predecessors who set the peoples of both countries against each other, the Addis Ababa government would have realized the arms and ammunitions that were bestowed upon a faction in either country, regardless of the bases of existence for such a faction , would, eventually, as did the arms and ammunitions Somalia used to bestow upon the T.P.L.F., pay an unpleasant visit to itself but in the hands of foes.


For instance, neither the late leader of Somalia, Mr. Mohamed Siad Barre (may he rest in peace) nor its Eritrean colleagues had any idea the supply of arms, ammunition, and training that both were extending to the T.P.L.F. would have contributed to the continuation of conflict in the region, nor has the Addis Ababa government – now a master that has graduated enough enemies of its own to copy and paste its early approach to gaining power, and which has served long enough to have forgotten its own approaches back in the days, is aware of its mistakes of the moment. In fact, it is becoming a victim of its own judgment since it is too far detached to remember the daily hardships of the average East African, whose daylight breaks not knowing where to eat, or where to hide from an imposing authority as the case was with the Addis Ababa government’s former allies in Mogadishu.


A wise man once said: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Sadly, the Addis Ababa government’s fear of a Somalia, lead it to support a few heartless men in Mogadishu, who had abused the Somali people for 16years while they had gotten in the way of a number of previous non-Addis Ababa blessed Somalia Transitional Governments.


Unless the Addis Ababa government realizes that it can neither break the will of the Somali people of Mogadishu, and Somalis in general, nor take ownership of the State of Somalia, and, in doing so, yield to the natural forces eager to deliver the regional equilibrium driven by the common goodwill of the peoples of Ethiopia and Somalia to co-exist in free societies, where people are not imposed upon by un-elected governments, a warlord or even a religious group, but rather permitted to write their own future, with any color of ink they so choose, whether such ink be in the interest of an elected religious or a secular government, any Addis Ababa government, whether this one or future ones will, without a doubt, be affected accordingly by the status of the people of Somalia, whose neighborly assistance for peaceful co-existence is the missing link for the Addis Ababa government as it struggles to set its own house in order, with large sectors of its citizens being bitter about its day-to-day handling of the affairs of its own state.


Of course, if the Addis Ababa government does continue what is seen as its constant act of violating regional peace by injecting its own philosophy into the State affairs of the Somalia people, it won’t it be long before Kenya’s patience will be worn-out, in large part by the continuous influx of Somalia refugees seeking comfort zones in its limited land space, thus, adding to Ethiopia’s lack of neighborly relations with its immediate East African States, all whom see its growing power and arrogance as a threat to their own existence and the welfare of their citizens.


It is worth noting, global powers who are aware of the ways of the human heart, as in the Western World, need to take a more active role in the State Affairs of Somalia from the Addis Ababa government, before the entire nation of Somalia, and not just the people of Mogadishu, are comforted by the religiously motivated members of the Somalia society, whose commitment to worldly material is negligible, if it at all in existence. Otherwise, while the Addis Ababa government shrugs off any instability in Somalia as a non-inductive force for Ethiopia and its public, large portions of whom are forcefully contained by the armed forces of the government of Ethiopia, who is ONLY half way through the ABC’s of democratic governance, any more battles where the people of Somalia wage war against Addis Ababa supported violators of human rights in Mogadishu will ONLY add to the psychological echoes of self-empowerment in the hearts of the oppressed citizens of Ethiopia, (regardless of ethnicity or religious affiliations), who will be encouraged by the loud voices of freedom in Mogadishu, carried by the tide waves of the Indian Ocean into Ethiopia’s airways..


In fact, while the battles were heating up in Mogadishu, the media coverage of the Addis Ababa government’s open support to the warlords of Somalia was, perhaps, the single biggest factor of the new levels of anger among the people of Mogadishu that lead them to support the Somalia religious courts’ campaign to behead the powers of the warlords.


Based on the new levels of anger by the people of Mogadishu, whose desire to live in peace is a human desire, what the world – especially the human conscious western governments – need to reconsider is: How much longer are they willing to let Ethiopia be the child playing with its toy, named “Somalia”? Will they, as they had already done in the case of the warlords, who committed some of the most heinous crimes for 16-straight years, stand a side and let the Addis Ababa government play with the affairs of the Somalia Republic and the region?


If that continuous to be the choice of the western world, then, they ought to respect the wishes of the Somali people of Mogadishu when, and if, they elect or support any group, (regardless of political doctrine), who rise to serve the interest of their citizens, while of course not committing crimes against humanity, as did the FORMER warlords, with the Addis Ababa government’s help, for 16 straight years. (The western media has mistakenly massively published the word-of-mouth that the “alleged” U.S. support was the tipping point against the warlords while gravely failing to ever mention the public appearances of Somalia’s FORMER warlords having constantly visited Addis Ababa, all in an effort to collect more arms and ammunitions for the purpose of engaging in the now ended war over Mogadishu’s control.)


 Had the world paid more attention to the ruins of Mogadishu, and brought to justice the warlords who were committing crimes against humanity, while having comfortably lived in Mogadishu, and independent of the International Criminal court, under the banner of serving the interest of the Addis Ababa government, the western media wouldn’t be tearing about the new powers in Mogadishu today, most of them men who were so disgusted with the inhumane conducts of the warlords upon the people of Mogadishu for sixteen straight years while the western world just ignored the cries and pleas of the Somali people of Mogadishu, as if they were neither humans nor worthy of the Christian compassion well known to the west, most evidently enjoyed by Somalis in the west. But, just days ago, the people of Mogadishu spoke with a clear voice, which stated: ‘Enough of warlords; we are Somalis and we will deal with our problems.’ And so they did, as is custom for Somalis throughout their history. Today, Mogadishu is free of fear of warlords and their affiliates – robbers, killers, roadblocks, and almost every act of indecency, as a result of immediate response of fear to the new powers in Mogadishu, whose record against indecency is clearly known by all the unlawful elements of Mogadishu.


Unfortunately, while the Addis Ababa government was so fearful of a strong, Addis Ababa independent Somalia government and, in response, kept publicly arming the (former) warlords of Mogadishu for the simple purpose of preventing such a government in Somalia, the Somalia people of Mogadishu decided to aid anyone who would get rid of the warlords since neither the world came to act on the warlords nor Addis Ababa showed any mercy of letting up its arming campaign of the warlords.


Had the world acted on the warlords, or had the Addis Ababa government respected the rights of the citizens of Mogadishu, (whose will to never submit or bow to the Addis Ababa government as did by the State governments of both Puntland and Somaliland over fear of the Addis Ababa government), doesn’t seem to show any signs of letting up, decided to conduct the daunting and costly task of cleaning the capital city of Mogadishu, of warlords and their affiliates.


What is interesting to me is that: In the world of professions, one would think, a politician of all people would spend every ounce of available energy to master Human Psychology since governing is directly relational to the public acceptance of leaders. Thus, had the Addis Ababa government been so rational, rather than arrogant and irrational in its approach to dealing with the people of Mogadishu for long 16years through the former warlords, and, in doing so, studied the fact that Human Will can never be conquered or subjugated, (for instance, Hitler’s hand and obsession to conquer the Human Will and Spirit lead to the loss of 6million Jews, 20million Russians, and many more, while at the end, it was and is, the Human Will of every nation and people whom he violated that is ever more free and respective of the powers of the Human Will) the Addis Ababa government would have applied more meaningful approaches to its involvement in the Somalia affairs rather than having dealt with the former warlords.


The most worthy example of the power of the Human Will is that of the Jewish people, who, after nearly two-thousand years, with almost every crime against humanity committed against them, are a living and prospering testimony of the power of the Human Will. So, why was it, or is it so hard for the Addis Ababa government to realize, no matter how long, or regardless of what it does, neither it nor anyone else can conquer the Human Will of the Somali people of Mogadishu, and Somalis in general. In fact, long before this Addis Ababa government came to power, there were leaders before it, most notably Mr. Mingestu and Emperor Haile Selasse, and many Kings and Queens before them, and even leaders in Somalia, the last being the warlords, all who, at the end, became victims of the power of the Human Will to exist free and without violations of any sorts. 


Just like any people who are forced to endure much hardship learn from, as did the Jewish people after nearly two-thousand years or the early settlers of the United States under the Tax Collecting British Empire upon the colonies of the day, and then revolt to rise above the ashes of terror, so did the Somali public of Mogadishu today. It took them 16 long years, but they have, finally, overcome their hardship and are, rightfully, ready for a fresh breath of air.


While I seriously doubt the U.S. had a role in the arming of the warlords, (the same men who had heavily contributed to the defeat of the U.S. lead humanitarian effort back in the early 90’s), at least to the extent it is publicly claimed by few individuals in Somalia, or even around the west, still, the U.S. government has a better role to play in the affairs of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, while clearly separating its interest of Somalia from that of its neighbor, Ethiopia, a State that has yet to understand the power of the Human Will and forces of democratic governing.


In addition, what I don’t understand is: If the purpose of the Addis Ababa government’s involvement with the IGAD States in the realization of the TFG was to improve its relations with the Somali people, for instance of Mogadishu, why did it support, and publicly so, the now defeated and disgraced members of the Somalia people of Mogadishu (the former warlords)? Won’t this fresh memory of anger lead the citizens of Somalia, and in particular Mogadishu which has had shouldered most of the brunt from the warlords for the last 16years, dictate a more difficult and anti Addis Ababa policy on its new government – the infant TFG – while the same public will surely demand the TFG and future Somalia governments to develop better neighborly relations with their neighbor Kenya, which has shouldered most of the burden from Somalia’s fleeing public for the last 16years?


It is no secret, Addis Ababa supported various warlords against the governments of former presidents Ali Mahdi and Abdiqasim and, now, it thinks it has mastered enough knowledge and control about and over the Somali people of Mogadishu, only to be shocked out of its own seat. The questions for it and the world, especially those who baby-sit the Addis Ababa government are: Will they right their role in the last 16years on the people of Somalia, especially of Mogadishu, or will they let the people, through various means, hold their heads above water, but this time, perhaps, with the religious leaders of Mogadishu at the driving seat? Will they hold Ethiopia at bay while listening to the various competing forces of the Somali public, all of them possessors of the powers of the Human Will, to live freely and without oppression by anyone, regardless of whether such is a local authority or a foreign entity, starring at them from across their national borders?


Arte Moalin III

E-mail: [email protected]



The opinions contained in this article are solely those of the writer, and in no way, form or shape represent the editorial opinions of "Hiiraan Online"

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