Mohamed O. Eyow
While international crisis group reporting with knowledge and analysis over the dire consequences if armed African forces sent to Somalia. Americans were engaged to pass a motion lifting and allowing armed forces deployed in Somalia. Ignoring to the hazards and repeated warnings by the think tank, Security Council approved partially to lift Arms embargo to allow Africa’s forces access into the country.
Though the resolution came lately, African forces were already in Somalia. Breaking 14-year-old embargo; neighboring Africans states have conspicuously defiled international arms ban and sent, roughly; eight to ten thousand troops and army logistics into Somalia.
Anyway, following the council’s decision this week, a fresh cycle of war has erupted with prompt human and material loses; traffic movement and general commuting have completely halted. The route linking Mogadishu to the beleaguered southwestern region is cut off. The renewed fighting has aggravated more to the perplexed humanitarian situation in the south; the area has suffered in devastating floods and heavy downpour of torrential rains that turned many parts of the region to a riverbed. Basics; including foods, drugs and other essential amenities got scarce. Contagious diseases as malaria and watery diarrhea were reportedly menacing the life of displaced people.
As I believe, the new flare up will be the precursor of greater all out war, engaged in, not only Somalis, but similarly, rival African states, it will be first regional war on the impoverished sub Saharan Africa which renowned in a record history of famine, droughts and ethnic conflicts. There are also fears to turn the region into a breeding ground for terrorism after Iraq. If Islamists overpowered, they may seek to emulate like that insurmountable insurgency of Iraqi sectarian groups.
The daunting question is, who is the sure loser of this kind of war? Do Africans certain that the road to Mogadishu is wide open with roses laying abundantly on it, what ideological and security impact could it have to their home-countries, where nearly half of societies are Muslims, is this conflict bringing eternal peace and strength to the fledgling government in Baidao? Also, can Islamists militias resist incoming African troops?
Sadly, the divided federal government lost its temper to invite foreign interventions, of course they are not those steering the oath, some of them are firmly connected to the external power for the help to consolidate their dynasty, these members provided their allegiance fully to foreign actors, just to safeguard themselves from the chase of roaring Islamists, more others in the government appear nationalistic liberals but seeing radical Islamism outsourcing their role in the society. Actually the politics of entertaining foreign troops did not just frenzied Islamists but divided the government itself, such politics augmented the support of Islamists across the country and has driven the Government to invite a full-scale war with its people who believe with strong sense that the government is purely hand-picked marionette formed to preserve foreign interests in the account of its people.
With the grip of irresistible wars brewing to the doorsteps, the government is getting weak by the day as Islamists seem to have overcome not only militarily but also gaining momentum in the minds and hearts of ordinary folks, whatever allegations baked on them, now they enjoy loyalty and political representation from mainstream Somalis, because neither the helpless government in Baidao nor ousted warlords had done or ever came closer to what Islamists succeeded.
Dear readers, we all understand how negatively the international community is managing global crisis, since power equilibrium lost and our planet turned into single unipolar with direct influence by right-wing neocons; All imposed political repression by the UN or allied forces, as in Afghanistan today, did not serve or had little effect to the world peace. Interventionism or preemptive wars become futile; the case in Iraq is the most instructive exemplar. Political suppressions, poverty and abuses in the world had only radicalized mainstream populations and dealt a heavy price to the nationalists and religious people, because they see it as an imperial intrusion ruining their values and sovereignty, but as UN outgoing secretary stated in his farewell address at Truman Center. He repeated the widely endorsed “momentous doctrine” which means in essence, ‘that respect for national sovereignty can no longer be used as an excuse for inaction in the face of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity’, referring to Darfur, he criticized world community in their inactiveness in that region. Thus world body has clearly different views in settling conflict crisis, especially with sensitive world, where Muslim societies have no trust with Non-Muslim supremacy, for these insights, it got difficult to bridge that widening gulf between nations.
In Somalia, when president Bush (senior) sent American marines into Mogadishu coasts to reach humanitarian aid to the needy, the outcome was a disastrous collision between US armed rangers and Somali armed militias, that has finally precipitated the speedy departure of multinational forces with out any achievement, though that intervention has really reduced the scale of famine in the country, but failed to address political challenges on the ground.
Therefore, UN resolution will not add any meaningful outcome to Somalia’s crisis, contrarily; it bonds Somali people in their war against African armies. In the past few months, from northern regions to far southern parts, a new bang of Islamism strike local administrations, as the people tired from corruptive and the vicious political rules, they seem embraced to Islamists call.
So UN approach seems irrational and only exasperating current situations. The onset of wars in southwestern region will be a prelude of wider regional unrest, Africans will pay heaviest price, Because, Somalis have been in a state of war during the last fifteen years, they became endemic with casualties and war effects, even youngsters who able to carry rifles believe resistance as a bravery act, when it’s based on religion and land, the case will be spiritually deeper. They have already tired of hanger, pullet wounds and displacement, they know wars more than peace and have ability to endure hardships, in their culture, surrender is shame and profane, this time, martyrdom and holy war is their slogan.
So I would say African states should study meticulously the sticky situation in Somalia, they should learn the collective imagination of Somalis’ mentality and sensibility with foreign forces whose culture and beliefs are alien among them. Peace can be reached only by frank dialogue and fair-mindedness by all concerned. Of course every group, either the government or Islamists accuse each other of entertaining foreign armies, sadly, all these alleged armies are from Africa. Even US advanced resolution is regarded as biased and widely politicized agenda backing by some neighboring Africans.
In conclusion, Africa should resolve its crisis within the interest of its persecuted societies, but not to serve as pawns or untamed animals used to play one another. Somalia needs Africa only to appease among them. If Africa fails to do so, then let and standby Arabs to pacify them, Arabs appear more sincere and sympathetic with their pain. With the brethren bond of Islam that most Somalis of today accept and the geo-proximity of the horn to that Arabian Peninsula, Arabs seem to have less politicized agenda that could stick efforts into a historic pacification for all Somalis.
Mohamed O. Eyow