By North American Somali Diaspora Steering Committee
In light of the brutal and indiscriminate slaughter campaign unleashed last week by the Ethiopian occupational forces backed by militias loyal to the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) that left hundreds of corpses decaying in the streets of Mogadishu- an atrocious carnage described by the ICRC (International Committee for the Red Cross) as “the worst in the past 15 years”;
In light of the horrific first-hand testimonials and reports of gross human rights abuses against civilians who were raped, looted, and cruelly beaten;
In light of the thousands more who were left in a helpless anguish, suffering the pains of their injuries amidst the ruins, in back allays, and in the corridors of hospitals operating over capacity;
In light of the tens of thousands more who were forced onto mass exodus-- fleeing to other Somali regions already declared disaster areas for dire food shortage and rampancy of cholera as a result of recent floods;
In light of the manifest failure of the Ethiopia’s artificial mission of “stabilizing Mogadishu” and “enhancing security” as it caused unfathomable human sufferings, aggravated old wounds, and made matters more volatile than ever;
In light of the lack of political will on the part of the international community (save sporadic symbolic gestures) to stop the unfolding humanitarian disaster in Somalia- a matter that Simon Tisdall of the Guardian newspaper aptly described as “the hidden shame of the world”;
We, the Steering Committee of the North American Somali Diaspora, call upon the international community; namely, the United Nations Security Council, the United States, the European Union, the African Unity, the Arab League, and indeed the International Contact Group to help resolve this matter before it evolves into a deadly sectarian catastrophe that affects the entire Horn of Africa.
We believe that a viable resolution is attainable, especially since the emergence of certain intra-Somali dynamics.
In recent months, upon witnessing the difference that a six months of peace and relative order have made in war-ravaged Mogadishu, Somalis, by and large, became motivated out of their paralyzing sense of cynicism, particularly, the previously detached Somali Diaspora.
The Somali Diaspora is now more organized than ever before- they are awakened from their deep slumber and are now reclaiming their rights as stakeholders who could help shape the political, social, and economic future of their country.
In conclusion, we believe, unless and until the following steps are taken, any proposition for attaining political resolution and lasting peace would be, at best, a costly political mirage…
1) Lasting ceasefire that is monitored by the UN is established.
2) Ethiopia is ordered to pull all its troops out of Somalia as stipulated in UN Security Council Resolutions 1725 and 1744.
3) The Ethiopian forces are promptly replaced by an international, Blue Beret troops that include contingents from Islamic countries.
4) The upcoming “reconciliation conference” being organized by the TFG is suspended, and instead, a genuine Somali-driven reconciliation process with the supervision of the international community is sought.
5) An independent reconciliation commission is assembled to manage the conference.
6) The opposition members of the Transitional Federal Parliament members are brought back and are provided security to carryout their duties as elected members of the legislative branch of the Transitional Federal Institutions.
7) Moderate leaders of the Islamic Courts Union are secured seats in the reconciliation process.
8) The TFG (not the TFI) partakes in the reconciliation as a party in the conflict; not as the host or the mediator.
Striving for peace,
Faduma Awow Mohamed
Chair, North American Somali Diaspora Steering Committee