Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
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Violently opposing the Ethiopians is not a panacea

By Abdisalam M. Garjex “camey”
Friday, April 13, 2007

The recent fighting in Mogadishu is a sign of more suffering and displacement to come if we don’t stop these unnecessary deaths and destruction of the people. For the past years, Somalia remained a killing field & a fragmented society (me against my brother). With the Ethiopian intervention, we lost whatever is left of our freedom & sovereignty and the search of a re-invented state is still as illusive as ever before -- indirectly, our country has been annexed by the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia with the help of great powers. Will different clans in the Horn of Africa ever be in peace and a form of government be restored again – it is a mind boggling puzzle.

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I was saddened to see the pictures of members of one of the dominant sub-clans in Mogadishu, holding the portrait of Meles Zenawi in high esteem and elders of other sub-clans meeting with Ethiopian Generals, giving them the de facto recognition of a foreign occupation. Instead of reconciling one another, we are filled with hate and revenge toward one another.  The struggle to resist occupation should not be localized to a particular clan & city; it must be universal and all communities should take collective responsibility.

Some east African neighboring states have broken the international conventions by physically and emotionally attacking and not protecting the fleeing refugees from the war and in the name of the War on Terror and the fight Against alqaeda, human rights violation have been committed. Women & children were arrested and deported without due course.

Finding amicable solution to the festering issues can only come from within ourselves, not from outside and it is the responsibility of genuine community leaders and intellectuals to bring different groups together and build trust.

Lessons of History

There is an old adage that says “he who doesn’t understand history is condemned to repeat it”. In 1991, different opposition groups with the backing of Ethiopia overthrew the regime. I always have the firm belief that change brought by the barrel of the gun will ultimately lead to anarchy & civil war. The current TFG  leaders invited the Ethiopia (what goes around, comes around) & the peace-keeping forces to subdue the Islamic courts and other clan militias in the capital & its surrounding areas. This time, it is being mandated by the United Nations, AU and particularly the United states of America.

It is unwise & suicidal to violently resist the presence of foreign troops, when your strength is being weakened by these overwhelming forces.  Unlike the Americans in the early nineties, Ethiopians will not cut & run and if you kill or drag their dead bodies in the streets, it will not change anything on the ground -- the Abyssinians recruit landless peasants to the army and by dieing in the thousands like they did in their war with Eretria  will not mean much to their leaders. On the other hand, the U.S is willing to bankroll any operations in Somalia that will safeguard its interest and deny sanctuary to the so called “Islamic terrorists”. Residents of Mogadishu should accept the new Ethiopian occupation as fait accompli.

Leaders of the TFG & the members of the Parliament are a byproduct of our society -- whether we liked or not, every clan has representations in the government and any blame for bad leadership should go to every clan. Perhaps now more than ever, we need to correct our wrong doing and change the course.

The change within

The mandate of the current administration runs out in two years and according to the constitution, a new election is planned to be held at the end of the term. Preparation for selecting legitimate candidates should be our main priority. We should educate the general population and teach them that future governments must be accountable and at service to the people. Tribal affiliation will not serve any good to anyone. Lesson must be learned from the past 16 years. If desired changes don’t materialize, perseverance and steadfastness will take us to the final victory.

Struggle for unity

It is only through unity that we can attain real peace, progress, development & freedom from foreign intervention in our country.  Corrupt leaders take advantage of the divisions between their fellow citizens; they divide and rule.  There are leaders who induce fear to their respective clansmen, so that they can gain their support  and use them against other groups & clans.

People power
In 1986, four days of peaceful action by millions of Filipinos in Metro Manila led to the downfall of the authoritarian regime of President Ferdinand Marcos and the installation of Corazon Aquino as president of the Republic. We can do the same as other nations did in Lebanon, Ukraine & in the Philippines – through peaceful demonstration, we can achieve our common goals.

Abdisalam M. Garjex
Ashburn – Virginia (USA)
E-Mail: [email protected]

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