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Where Were the Troops When We Needed Them?

Abdi-Noor Haji Mohamed Writer and film-Maker Mogadishu, Somalia

by Abdi-Noor Haji Mohamed

Today the UN Security Council has unanimously approved sending African Peace keeping forces to Somalia to prop up the weak transitional government seated in Baidoa, 240 kms South West of the capital Mogadishu. African troops whom we know to be bankrupt and far less equipped than UNOSOM soldiers who were sent to Somalia in 1992, will only bring more war than peace to our country and the entire region of Horn of Africa.

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It is a bit weird to hear that the UN has sided with one group while sidelining the other when the world body was expected to play an impartial role in the world’s turbulent political games.  The aim of the UN in the arms embargo business is to strengthen the weak transitional government, which has been moved from Jowhar to Baidoa and still stumbling with the predicament of where to move next. When arming such a government in the pretext of softening arms embargo, what does it mean? Does that not mean "war" intentionally muted to misguide the world opinion? 

The question is what an African peace keeping force can accomplish in Somalia when the UN-US Led Multinational Forces could not achieve anything to restore peace and stability in Somalia? Will this not only invite many other countries in the Horn to carry out their proxy war in the Somali soil? Unfortunately the same UN has reported that no less than 8,000 Ethiopian troops have already crossed the border into Somalia to support the TFG while around 2000 Eritrean soldiers propping up the Islamic courts are inside the Somalia. Without taking up an issue with these governments over their military presence in Somalia why do you approve deploying more troops in Somalia?

It is beyond doubt that this initiative will throw Somalia into the abysmal depths of misery and despondency if these countries bring their war into our territory. I think Somalis is becoming the Iraq of the Horn with Mogadishu, Beletweyn, Baidoa etc as its Baqdad, Feluja, Basra etc. If this war starts it will take no less than 20 years to stop and Somalia shall return to the Somali’s when its entire people are killed and its resources milked in the most horrific way. When there is no government and the people are in war nobody would protect its forests and seas and that is the sole reason behind setting us ablaze in the guise of peacekeeping forces.

When we had 500 warlords in Somalia the world was watching, not acting. When the warlords were chased out the issue of the peacekeepers came into the highest political discussions in the UN and US administration. Why? Is our stability their instability? Is our pleasure their pain? Or they just cry when they see us laughing. If these forces had come when we needed them we would have supported them and there would have been no Islamic courts problem today. But since the courts have saved us from atrocities Somali warlords had been inflicting upon us such as killings, daylight robbery, rape and extortion we are obliged to rally behind them. Where were these troops when roadblocks were mounted everywhere in the streets of Mogadishu forcing buses to pay "Legge" making transport quite difficult and excessively risky? Where were they when people walked barefooted on the thorns of insecurity?

The international community has ignored us after the 1993 firefight between Somali militia and the US Ranger forces. They intentionally left a vacuum to let Somalia destroy itself. Donors have stopped providing financial assistance to Somalis and many local organizations have switched to Moslem Charities to embark on building schools and Hospitals. Whether the world knows them as terrorists or not, the vacuum has been filled by staunch religious cadres who spread religious teachings all around the country. Whether one ignores them or not is up to him or her. But what Somalis know is that they are capable of many things. Good luck.

Abdi-Noor Mohamed
, Somalia

[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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