By Omar Salad
I. COMMISION OF GENOCIDE AND WAR
CRIMES BY ETHIOPIAN TROOPS
Since the US-backed Ethiopian invasion and occupation of Somalia in December last year, Ethiopian troops and their client militia of the so-called Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) committed (and still commit) acts of crimes against peace, crimes of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in Somalia especially in Mogadishu in violation of international law. The constant attacks during that period and particularly the recent (29/3 - 1/4 2007) intense and extensive carpet bombarding on the civilian residential areas of Mogadishu by the Ethiopian troops assisted by the militias of the ‘TFG’ not only caused the above serious crimes but displaced 125-150,000 people most of women, children and other vulnerable from Mogadishu to other regions and mostly strewn on open ground and under trees in the outskirts of the city without any help. Other displaced tens of thousands fled to relatively quieter areas of the city. As a result a humanitarian disaster of grave and great proportions unfolded and continues to unfold in Mogadishu and almost in all regions where the displaced people flee to. Meantime, unfortunately, the Western media is either largely silent or distort the facts about such catastrophic situation in Somalia while the international community including the UN hardly acknowledges these crimes and humanitarian disaster let alone to respond. Even worse is the direct unconditional political and material that the international community extends to the brutal and destructive Ethiopian occupying force and dependent militia of the feeble ‘TFG’ which are co-responsible for these crimes. It is time to rethink and reappraise such biased and blind support to the perpetrators of these crimes and urgently respond to such gross human rights violations and humanitarian catastrophe.
According to local and international as well as reliable knowledgeable inside sources 266 and 991 civilians were killed and wounded respectively in Mogadishu and outside of it from 23/12/2006 to 28/3/2007 by the Ethiopian troops and allied clannish militia of the ‘TFG president’. In addition, during the four days from 29 March to 1 April 2007 1,086 and 4,500 civilians were killed and wounded respectively by the Ethiopian army’s indiscriminate carpet bombardments (of all sorts of ground artillery plus air to ground missiles) and hail of bullets and of those allied clannish militia of the ‘TFG president’ in Mogadishu (according to report issued by the Body-counting and Burial Committee in Mogadishu). According to the report many families were killed in cold blood (eg. 26 members of extended family were dead in a house). After that in the first two weeks of April to-date 18 civilians were killed and 62 wounded in Mogadishu. The grand total of the genocide is 1,370 killed and 5,553 wounded so far. Many other innocent civilians were abducted by the Ethiopians and many others are missing presumably taken away the same occupying forces of Ethiopia. UN agencies estimated the displaced civilian population of Mogadishu mostly women and children at 200,000 from February to March 2007 and that still continues. But knowledgeable local people think that the figure of displaced people is significantly higher than that. One another crime committed and still being committed by the Ethiopian troops is gang raping Somali women. On 13/1/2007 at Dagaari village (kms. west of Galkayo) two Somali women were gang raped by Ethiopian soldiers and they were treated at hospital in the southern of city Galkayo. On 13/3/2007 a Somali woman named Suuban Mallin Ali with eight small children was gang raped by Ethiopian soldiers at El-Irfid near Mogadishu and she was treated at Keysaney Hospital in northern Mogadishu. On 15/4/2007 in Mogadishu 18-year old Somali girl were gang raped by 12 Ethiopian soldiers until she was unconscious. There may be more hidden and unreported rapes as Somali women prefer death than to reveal such shameful incident. These crimes against humanity must also be seriously taken and dealt by the international human rights organisations.
Part of the displaced vulnerable population fled to both adjacent and distant regions and part of them moved to the outskirts of Mogadishu especially the countryside between the city and Afgooye town (30 kms.) squatting on open ground and those fortunately enough took shelter under trees by the dozen. 90% of them are women, children and frail people all being made destitute after terrorised and their basic livelihoods and properties have been deliberately destroyed. They have no food, water, medicines, doctors and nurses, and shelter!? Marauding armed thieves and thugs assault on these helpless internally displaced people (IDP) robbing them of the scanty belongings (money, food, etc), raping women and girls, or killing or harming many. These IDPs who travel to other regions are ambushed on the way by armed bandits who rob these hopeless refugees or even kill some of them. Daily you hear these sad stories against the displaced. Because of such catastrophic disruption of livelihood and outbreak of epidemic killer diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, etc. the IDPs in and outskirts of Mogadishu and are paying high human toll while there is no humanitarian or relief aid. Heavy spring monsoon rains with cold winds batter the helpless IDPs strewn miles and miles of open air grounds without shelter and basic necessities. The desperate and heartbreaking cries, screams, groans and pleas for help are relayed by local radio and TV reporters fall on the deaf ears of the Ethiopian occupation force, the ‘TFG’ and the international community. Is that not deliberate collective punishment or genocide of an entire population?
The epidemic diseases have been carried to and affected other regions which also lack healthcare. Many hundreds died or die on regular basis for these diseases and famine especially children, pregnant women and other vulnerable people. Apart from Mogadishu and nearby open air camps, the worst hit regions are Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle, Hiiraan, and Galgaduud and places like Galhareeri and Adado (in Galdauud) and Adale, Bargaan and Warsheik (in Middle Shabelle). While such humanitarian disaster has been in the making and (still is) the occupying Ethiopian forces and the feeble client TFG have not even shown the least concern or mention about such calamity let alone to organise some relief aid or appeal to the international humanitarian agencies and the governments to come to the rescue of these perishing mass of people and other one million people around the country who were already suffering from Acute Food and Livelihood Crisis according to UN OCHA report of 2/2/2007. Instead, the Ethiopian occupying forces and the client ‘TFG leadership’ have intentionally and systematically destroyed the basic livelihood means and properties of hundreds of thousands of people, disrupted the local welfare and relief networks and closed off international humanitarian and relief aid by barring the international NGOs and governments to come in Somalia to help the helpless and perishing population.
This collective punishment of carpet bombing on civilian residential areas causing mass genocide and destruction of means of livelihood and properties of hundreds of thousands of people, clan cleansing, kidnapping and deporting innocent Somali civilians to Ethiopia and taking away many others whose whereabouts are not known, disruption of local welfare and relief networks which used to assist the poor and people afflicted by calamity, and denial of international humanitarian and relief aid from the outside world by barring international NGOs and governments from coming in Somalia to help the perishing displaced population and other needy population remaining in Mogadishu and the country as a whole, clearly and undoubtedly constitute grave crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity which must be recorded and referred to the international law and institutions for investigation and action while Ethiopia’s aggression and illegal invasion and occupation of Somalia is itself, in the first place, be seen and dealt with by international community and legal bodies as punishable act of crime against peace in international law.
International Community Quilt by Complicity
Kenya which has decades old political and military pact against Somalia with Ethiopia, apart from its unconditional strong support to the TFG, is also committing crimes against the Somalis by complicity and conspiracy with Ethiopia. From its country it deported and handed over many Somalis fleeing from the war to Ethiopian occupation troops who in turn re-deported these deportees to torture and ill-treatment jails in their country where they are not allowed to be visited by their families and to have access to independent legal aid. In the wake of the Ethiopian invasion, Kenyan police detained and terrorised over 20 Somali MPs in its country after they had criticised such invasion. Kenya attempted to deport these MPs to Somalia to be killed or jailed by the occupying forces but thanks to the EU Commission office in Nairobi which intervened and provided a plane for the transportation of these MPs to Djibouti. Kenya also closed its border from Somali refugees feeling from the conflict while it refuses international humanitarian agencies to cross the border to the Somali side to help these desperate refugees. On 4/4/2007 Amnesty International reported that 2,000 Somalis mostly women and children were suffering near the Kenya border without help as a result of this cruel closure. All the international humanitarian agencies and embassies for Somalia have been based in Kenya since 1991 and most of the international aid for Somalia is directly or indirectly is spent in that country. That is perhaps why, among other factors, Kenya was recently promoted from the list of the Least Developed 50 countries upwards.
Unfortunately, the wider international community especially the US, UN, EU, AU, IGAD, Arab League, etc. are equally or even quilt by complicity as they unconditionally and unqualifiedly provide political, military and material support to the ‘TFG’ that commits such crimes alongside with Ethiopians while ignoring or failing to acknowledge such horrendous crimes either for reasons of conspiracy against Somalia (weaved by Ethiopia and Kenya and backed by US) or neglect of responsibility by the international bodies and states of which some so vociferously talk about protection of human rights elsewhere in the world. The ‘TFG president’, on /7/1/2007 went on record to say ‘The US has right to bombard terrorist suspects who attacked its embassies in Nairobi and Tanzania’ when the US AC130 strategic bomber planes were bombing on positions in the hinterland of Lower Jubba Region of Somalia while there was absolutely no Somali who ever harmed any American interest let alone those victimised villagers and pastoralists. On 21/3/2007 the ‘TFG president’ Abdullahi Yusuf also went on record to say in a reply to an interviewer ‘Any place from which a bullet is fired (at us) will be bombarded regardless of whoever is there.’ Once more in the first week of March 2007 the ‘president’ burst out with a tribal battle cry in which he said ‘the Hawiye clan prepared and unified all their forces against us (his clan) and what is happening is like the 1991 (referring to when the civil war was in full swing) and Mogadishu will belong to the clan which is the strongest.’
The UN which should have been neutral, unlike other interested parties, is taking its share of these crimes by complicity of either unconditionally supporting the Ethiopian-controlled TFG or condoning the illegal Ethiopian invasion and occupation of Somalia which means utter failure of its international obligations of defending world peace, security and protecting human rights to seriously consider and take steps about this illegal and aggressive invasion in contravention of the international law and specifically the UN Security Council Resolution 1725 (2006) and order Ethiopia to get out of Somalia. In contrast, in Sudan, the killing and displacement of civilians and destruction of settlements and properties by pro-government militia and allegedly by the government are defined as genocide and crimes against humanity by the same UN and some of the major powers. Are Somalis not humans? While they are being intentionally meted out to such collective punishment of mass genocide, destruction, displacement, deportation, and starvation by an illegal occupation by a traditional foreign country which regards Somalia a vanquished enemy country? Even the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator, Eric Laroche was quoted to have put the support of the ‘TFG’ and Ethiopian occupation before the urgency of the humanitarian aid badly needed in Somalia by advocating ‘to day there is no other alternative to chaos than to support the institutions’ adding ‘If I want to have to have more victims today, I just drop the (transitional federal) institutions and we go back to choas’1. Is the chaos he was referring the ‘peace and order brought about the Islamic Courts before that peace and order was changed into total chaos, destruction and bloodshed by the Ethiopian and occupation under the name of ‘TFG forces? I wonder whether Mr. Laroche changed such misconception or where he stands now after the carpet bombardments, mass genocide and mass displaced created and still creates disastrous humanitarian crisis of the gravest and greatest proportions perpetrated by the Ethiopian occupation troops and feeble client ‘TFG’ clannish militia especially from 29 March to 1 April 2007 again resumed today in Mogadishu as I write this article.
Only the EU Office in Kenya has shown some concern about the genocide has happened in Somalia. A report sent by the European Commission’s senior security adviser based in Kenya to the head of the EU mission in that country cogently said in part ’there are strong grounds to believe that Ethiopian government and the transitional federal government of Somalia and the African Union (peacekeeping) force commander, possibly also including the of African Union head of Mission and other African officials have through commission or omission violated the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.’ Somalis hope that the EU which unlike other international parties takes a rational and objective stand towards Somalia by reviewing its political and material support to the criminal ‘TFG’ and the Ethiopian occupation and will continue to look into these crimes and get to their bottom.
II. WHAT THE INTERNATIONAL LAW
SAYS ABOUT THESE CRIMES
Although I am not a lawyer I like to invoke here some provisions of the international law which relate to crimes such as genocide, war crimes, crimes against peace, and crimes against humanity committed by the Ethiopian forces occupying Somalia and their client ‘TFG leadership’, primarily ‘president’ Abdullahi Yusuf and ‘prime minister’ Ali Mohamed Gedi who invited the Ethiopian invasion and occupation and who on daily basis take part in these crimes against the Somali people.
The articles II and III of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide lay down legal provision of the crime of genocide and other crimes.
Article II defines two elements of the crime of genocide:
1) the mental, element, meaning the ‘intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such’, and
2) the physical element which includes five acts described in sections a, b, c, d, and e . A crime must include both elements to be called ‘genocide’ and in relation to these two elements by committing:
a) killing members of the group, b) causing serious bodily and mental harm to members of the group, c)deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part, d)imposing measures intended to prevent birth within the group, and e)forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Article III describes five punishable forms of the crime of genocide such as: a) genocide, b) conspiracy to commit genocide, c) direct and public incitement to commit genocide; d) attempt to commit genocide; and e) complicity in genocide.’
B) Crimes Against Peace, War Crimes
and Crimes Against Humanity
The International Criminal Court defines crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity as follows:-
1) Crimes Against Peace
Crimes against peace include: ‘planning, preparation, invitation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing’
2) War Crimes
War crimes are: ‘violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.’
3) Crimes Against Humanity
The crimes against humanity are: ‘murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war, or persecution on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether, or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.’
If one scrutinises the criminal acts the Ethiopian occupation forces and their client ‘TFG president’ Abdullahi Yusuf and ‘prime minister’ Ali Mohamed Gedi and their aides committed (and still commit) in Somalia especially in Mogadishu and compare these with the above-listed sets of crimes, one cannot fail to realise that they are guilt of these crimes and must be brought before an international tribunal for justice to be done for the thousands of Somali civilians intentionally exterminated, inflicted crippling injuries and maiming; displacement and starvation of hundreds of thousands and mass destruction of their means of livelihood and properties, or those other innocent civilians murdered or kidnapped and deported from their country. Even the 2-3,000 killed and 3-4,000 wounded from the fighters of the Somali Islamic Courts Union (UIC) by the invading Ethiopian army, as boastfully declared by the Ethiopian prime in early January 2006 after the UIC forces retreated, can be counted under the category of war crimes or genocide because they were exterminated in their land by a foreign country which illegally and aggressively invaded their country. They are also killed for their own religious belief which is also an element of genocide. This unprovoked illegal invasion is itself a crime against peace.
III. REAPPRAISAL OF THE OCCUPATION FORCES AND ‘TFG’
Unless the international community rethinks of and changes its heavily impartial counterproductive position of the unconditional support to ‘TFG’, which is nothing more than a rubberstamp and spokesmen for Ethiopia, and support or tacit consent of the brutal Ethiopian occupation of Somalia, and addresses the early end of this occupation, these crimes will continue to rise. Because the majority of the Somalis especially those in the southern and central regions and in Mogadishu will not surrender to the blatantly partial and revenge-driven policy of the ‘TFG leadership’ and Ethiopians who demand of unilateral disarmament and humiliating surrender from the people of Mogadishu and adjacent regions. Therefore, before it is too late to avoid more crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, the international community primarily the US, UN, AU, and Arab League must reappraise their unconditional total support of the hated and impotent ‘TFG’ and support or condoning the revenge seeking and anti-Somali sovereignty Ethiopian occupation which is the main source of the ongoing tension and conflict. The misconceived and insincere idea that early withdrawal of Ethiopian troops will bring about vacuum of security and chaos as if the current indiscriminate destructive and genocidal acts mentioned above by Ethiopia is security and order. That is far removed from human rationale, sincerity and reality. Ethiopia is traditional enemy country which is interested only revenge and vassaling Somalia and/or annexing some parts of it. Apart the intentional mass genocide and destruction, the imperialistic and vengeful policy of Ethiopia is beyond doubt symbolised by what its troops did and do in Somalia to cheer their leader and Ethiopian people. For example, after occupation Ethiopian troops hoisted the Ethiopian flag over Mogadishu and Kismayo airports and ports and Somali the former Ministry of defence building and residence of the former Somali defence minister. They made video clips from these facilities and buildings with the Ethiopian flag flying over them with a narration that these places were where the Somalis planned and carried out the 1977-8 war with Ethiopia and that these are now in Ethiopian hands and under Ethiopian flag. They also made video clips of Ethiopia soldiers swimming in Mogadishu and Kismayo beaches. All these videos have been sent and shown on Ethiopian government TV with millions of Ethiopians viewing them with joyful approval. That has been reported by reliable sources in Addis Ababa who watched these videos on Ethiopian state TV. Imagine the devastating impact that these acts have had and still have on the psyche and morale of the Somali people. How then, can you expect from Somalis to disarmed and ruled by Ethiopia or through its lackeys?
Therefore, only early complete withdrawal of the Ethiopian troops could usher in peace and security in Mogadishu and elsewhere in Somalia. Their continued occupation will generate more tension and violence, suffering and resistance that can engulf the entire country soon. Because, apart from being troops of a traditionally enemy country, which cannot be accepted, these forces are too biased to the ‘TFG president’ who on his part is seeking revenge on the people of Mogadishu.
The ‘TFG president’ is an stooge of Ethiopia and he is blatantly partial and bent on revenge and what he calls ‘TFG forces’ and their commanders are 90 percent militia from Puntland. With such clannish militia the ‘president’, with support of the Ethiopian troops, pushes for unilateral disarmament of Mogadishu population and of other regions of which the population adamantly refuse and will continue to do so unless a comprehensive mechanism of disarmament of which the plan and implementation will be participated in and agreed upon by all concerned sides is introduced. As noted earlier, the international community’s assertion that ‘if Ethiopia withdraws there will be a vacuum of security and chaos in Somalia’ is absurd and questionable reasoning. Where are the security and order to be kept by Ethiopia? Is it security and order for the whole population of Mogadishu to be collectively punished by carpet bombarding, besieging, starving in order to protect two-Ethiopian-handpicked and controlled ‘TFG leaders’ - the president and prime minister hated and rejected by the people? While at the same intentionally ignoring the suffering and perishing of innocent millions? The international community must review and draw lessons what Ethiopia and the ‘TFG’ so far and change its policy towards Somalia before it is too late to regret.
‘TFG’- an Instruct Designed to
Invade and Occupation Somalia
The TFG has neither been an independent or functioning government. It is instruct designed to invade and occupy Somalia by Ethiopia and Kenya with the support of the international community knowingly or unknowingly – a deceptive theory underwritten by Ethiopian handpicked traitors and naïve delegates who attended the Imbagathi (a place in Kenya) Conference where such conspiracy was hatched. However, during its three-year existence the ‘TFG’ has been emptied of its original form, content and assumed purpose: clan balance, power-sharing and continuation, completion and development of the national reconciliation process that started with its formation in Nairobi in 2004. That was the deceptive theory. That has been systematically changed and diverted by its ‘president’ and ‘prime minister’ acting on orders from Addis Ababa. The notorious 4.5 (four point five) tribal composition and powering-sharing formula have totally been changed and disrupted. The about hundred ministers and deputy ministers based on such power sharing formula were replaced with 31 pro-Ethiopian ministers specifically and openly recommended by the Ethiopian Foreign minister, Seyoum Mesfin in August 2006, in the run-up to the invasion, when he visited Baidoa, predominantly drawn from the former members of the ‘Somali National Reconciliation Reconstruction Council’ (SNRRC) formed in 2001 in Godey by Ethiopia to oppose the Arta TNG while the Nakuro Group Eight guided by the former Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi and pro-Somali independent groups were eliminated from this reduced cabinet. Appointments of senior armed forces and civil servants have also been exclusively drawn from the president’s side and to some extent from the prime minister’s. The composition and balance of the ‘parliament’ which, apart from clan balance, consisted of three nineties (three 90s) - pro-Ethiopian 90, ready for hire 90, and pro-Somali 90 is also disrupted. The pro-Somali 90, who opposed Ethiopian flagrant interventionist policy, invasion and occupation, have been put out of action – first the speaker, who was one of them, was dismissed, about 50 MPs fled and scattered abroad (Europe, North America, Djibouti, Eritrea, Arab countries,) while the rest lie low in Baidoa or in Mogadishu or resigned. I write today (17/4/2007) a fresh announcement came out of Baidoa where the ‘parliament’ dominated by the he pro-Ethiopian 90 and for-hire 90 members dismissed 31 members who opposed the occupation and fled abroad to participate the anti-occupation struggle. A small minority of the pro-Somali members are kept in Baidoa under humiliating conditions alongside the pro-Ethiopia and for-hire members under Ethiopian guard and intimidation to insolate them from outside influence, defection and to do rubberstamp business to ‘discuss’ and approve motions, actions and legislation tabled by the top ‘TFG leadership’ under Ethiopian sway. Therefore, the TFG is no longer the compromise one set up in Kenya in form, content and purpose. It is imbalanced one, emptied of independent thinking, integrity, and sense of Somali patriotism and tailor-made and adjusted for the sole purpose of accepting and serving the Ethiopian occupation. The current name of ‘TFG’ is nothing more than that.
IV. THE TALK ABOUT NATIONAL RECONCILIATION
Given the 15 years of misuse and distortion by warlords and their Ethiopian and Kenyan handlers, the phrase of national reconciliation has been discredited and its mention immediately reminds the Somali people something empty, bogus and deception. So, the talk about national reconciliation congress by the ‘TFG president and prime minister’ under the tutelage of the Ethiopian occupying authority is seen by most Somalis especially the people in the battled and besieged Mogadishu as another shame exercise intended to short-change and quell boiling internal public opposition and for external consumption. Every Somali knows well the national reconciliation congress announced by the ‘president’ will be a shame one in which mainly his supporters and bribed non-political elements will be gathered to get a sort of ‘mandate and legitimacy’ for the above described ‘TFG’ emptied of its form, and content and mission with funds from the international community.
In addition to that, it is impossible to hold such congress while the heavily biased and brutal Ethiopian occupation continues and seeks to disarm and defeat large sections of the Somali people in favour of other sections and for its own political motives. One evidence is that the proposed ‘national reconciliation congress’ has been postponed to the middle of May 2007 without any certainty that it will take place in that time.
The alternative to that illusionary ‘national reconciliation congress’ is early and complete withdrawal of the Ethiopian troops and to start fresh consultation between the ‘TFG’ and the various opposition groups and stakeholders under the auspices of international neutral body like the UN with changed attitude and role or a commission from neutral countries (as facilitators not managers) acceptable to all the sides. Given that, a genuine national reconciliation conference can be organised with an agenda, safe venue and known radical outcome discussed and agreed upon by all the sides concerned, and participated in by:-
a) the opposition MPs who disagreed with the ‘TFG’ and Ethiopian invasion and occupation;
b) elected delegates from clans which belief that their representatives in the ‘TFG’ were either dismissed, demoted, or denied of role, or betrayed their clans,
c) moderate leaders of the Islamic Courts,
d) civil society leaders inside the country,
e) recognised and titled traditional leaders,
f) representatives from the Somali Diaspora, and
A brief conclusion drawn from the above explored and explained issues can logically be the following:-
3. The international community especially the international humanitarian agencies and rich countries must urgently recognise, acknowledge and respond to the current humanitarian disaster that has unfolded and still unfolding in Mogadishu and outside it regarding the displaced more than 200,000 IDPs, the entire besieged population of Mogadishu, and the over one million people in all the regions already reported by the UN OCHA and UNCHR who suffer from Acute Food and livelihood crisis especially at this time of season when the spring rains began and over mass IDPs are strewn on open ground camps without protection from the weather elements and without food, water, medicines and doctors and nurses while epidemic disease like cholera, diarrhoea, etc, are taking high toll. In this respect the international community especially the US, UN and EU must bear pressure on the Ethiopian occupation authority and the ‘TFG’ to lift the ban and closure from the international humanitarian agencies to attend the need of the perishing population.
2. The already mentioned and below listed horrendous crimes undoubtedly committed by the Ethiopian Occupation troops and the ‘TFG leadership’ primarily the ‘president and the prime minister’ in Mogadishu must be acknowledged, investigated and punished by the international criminal system:
a) crimes against peace (peace and order created by the Islamic courts was attacked and destroyed)
b) crimes of genocide,
b) war crimes, and
c) crimes against humanity.
3. The international community must rethink and reappraise its partial and unconditional support to the ‘TFG’ which is no longer the one established in Nairobi in 2004 – it has been deliberately and systematically emptied of its form, content and purpose and that is why the majority of the people vehemently oppose it.
4. The Ethiopian troops occupation are not only committing crimes but they are completely biased to the ‘TFG’ and are the major source of tension, conflict and mistrust in Somalia today. Ethiopia also deliberately undermines and obstructs any genuine, independent and feasible political settlement in Somalia. Over the years it manipulated and continues to manipulate the ‘TFG’ and Somali politics in general only for its own advantage.
5. Somalia needs a genuine and independent national reconciliation process organised and implemented by the real and various Somali stake-holders (listed above) of the society without dictation and manipulation from outside but goodwill support and facilitation from the international community in a concerted manner to avoid external mutual cancelling interventions from diverse directions. The ‘TFG’, although changed from its original form, content and mission, can be a start point to work on.
By Omar Salad – Bsc
E-mail: [email protected]