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Security Situation in Somalia

Jama  Mohamed Ghalib
Friday, August 03, 2007

The security situation of Somalia in general and Mogadishu in particular has been deteriorating by the hour ever since the Ethiopian invasion and occupation that was sanctioned and supported by the United States of America. Despite the massacre and war crimes committed by these forces that were acknowledged world-wide, they have also been intensifying other abuses. They have been conducting widespread searches of peoples’ homes for alleged security reasons, but much more motivated by plunders. As previously mentioned several times, they have been snatching any moveable valuable items they can lay their hands on, especially targeting cash of money in any currency, mobile phones and personal computers (laptops). The last two items are seized upon pretext of checking them for terrorist connections, but they are never restored to their rightful owners. Instead, they end up in black markets in Addis Ababa. Both prominent and ordinary people are constantly arrested to extort ransom. All these abuses are quite in conformity with traditional Abyssinian culture since the Menelik II era, whereby their forces have always lived upon the spoils of conquests or on the resources of the populace at large in occupied territories as is the present case of Somalia. The forces of the Somali puppet entity, the so-called TFG, have also imitated their Ethiopian masters and equally commit the same abuses. On Saturday, July 28, 2007, BBC News released interviews with people who had been detained and later ransomed at $500 USD per head and were freed thereafter. An interviewee described their ordeal as that of a human market. He added that out of such seventy detainees arrested from inside a Mosque, twenty-three people who could not be ransomed because of lack of resources were transferred to the main prison and still remained in custody. Presumably they will be accused of trumped up charges. That is the system of governance by the so-called TFG that western led donors want to impose on the Somali people.

The economy is destroyed with the poverty line 150% worse than things were before the invasion. This is further compounded by the nearly half a million displaced people. The Bakaara market, the epicenter of the commercial hub of the city and the only repository of the modicum national wealth was besieged for nearly three weeks, ransacked and looted. Warlord Mohamed Dheere, the newly appointed TFG mayor of Mogadishu, conceded to the existence of the abuses and after making an apology, he promised their investigation. The promise is an empty rhetoric since the TFG is incapable of reining Ethiopian forces. On the contrary, the latter are the highest authorities in Mogadishu today.

Lately Ethiopian forces have been taking away wounded patients from hospitals and their whereabouts are unknown, in gross violations of the sanctity of humanitarian sanctuaries such as hospitals. Even if there were grounds for the arrest of those patients, real or imagined, they should have been guarded there until they recuperated and were discharged by the hospital authorities.

All the above abuses and the overall aggression inevitably always invite reactions from national resistance groups and violence ensues. The Ethiopians also further respond to the actions of the national resistance by discharging lethal heavy fire-power including chemical weapons at random to all directions in the neighbourhoods to deliberately and indiscriminately inflict collective punishments in order to subdue the local population. The indiscriminate use of the lethal fire-power into residential areas naturally accounts for the overwhelming majority of the numerous casualties and displacement in Mogadishu. The use of the chemical weapons of a type described as ‘white phosphorus bombs’ was confirmed by the Report of the UN appointed Monitoring Group of the Arms Embargo on Somalia, which was submitted to the UN Security Council on 18 July 2007 (Para. 30, p.12) with photographic evidence of the deployment impact of that chemical weapon in which at least 35 non-combatant civilians inter alia were confirmed killed. And also the use of the excessive lethal fire-power by the same report (Para. 117, p. 29) and quote: “… antagonizing against Ethiopians is at crescendo – clearly not being helped by the Ethiopian Army’s heavy-handed response to insurgent attacks involving the use of disproportionate force.”

In addition to the United States sanctioning and supporting the aforementioned invasion of Somalia, further signs of Washington’s sinister designs inimical to Somali nationhood are surfacing. At Washington’s behest the EU led donor community is reluctant to fund either the remaining AMISOM forces from African countries, withholding their previous commitment, or the once talked about UN forces to take over from AMISOM, in order to justify de facto perpetuity of Ethiopian forces remaining in Somalia indefinitely. According to credible information Washington is training, through a third country, five thousand strong naval forces for a landlocked Ethiopia! Since the latter lacks access to sea, its new navy must be earmarked to permanently remain and operate in Somali coast line territorial waters and its ports of call, which can also threaten Eritrea and other Red Sea littoral states. A so-called Ethiopian own merchant navy vessel (sic) has recently made its first test call at Berbera port in north Somalia, which has already come under de facto Ethiopian hegemony.

Although the EU initially paid a lip service rhetoric in condemning the United States sanctioned Ethiopian invasion of Somalia they, nonetheless, continue supporting the illegal occupation by the same invaders and, therefore, very much share responsibility for the crimes being meted out to the Somali people. Ironically, the foreign minister of France, a key EU member state and a country with long experience and presence in the Horn of Africa and quite knowledgeable about Ethiopian-Somali perennial hostilities of five centuries old, on a BBC interview released on Friday, July 27, 2007, naively condoned the Ethiopian occupation of Somalia. And adding insult to injury, that absurd interview was made while the French foreign minister was in Addis Ababa and was in the embrace of Ethiopian officials. He made no mention of either the war crimes, which the EU previously undertook to investigate or other continuous barbaric abuses committed by the Ethiopian occupiers. The episode is obviously an indication of EU’s endorsement of Washington’s plans for an Ethiopian permanent hegemony over Somalia. It also seems that Sarkosy may want to do Washington’s bidding in world affairs, replacing Britain’s Tony Blair who has been exited by his own Labour Party.
It is worth mentioning just for the record and posterity that the western led international community is knowingly backing an Ethiopian agenda for Somalia. They support and finance an ongoing so-called reconciliation conference for Somali clans, which is an Ethiopian brainchild while there are no differences between clans as such whatsoever. Clanism is divisive and antithesis of nationhood that simplifies Ethiopian destabilization of Somalia , thus by passing the real problems, which are primarily political issues. The stratagem of the Ethiopian invaders/occupiers and their Trojan horse, the TFG, for that conference is to legitimatize that aggression, past and present and its continuation. The international community very well knows the futile exercise of the conference they are funding that is only taking place under Ethiopian protection and is being guarded from its own people. They also know that the participants’ attendance at that conference is only made possible and lured by the generous per diem allowances at the expenses of the donor community’s tax payers, and with no prospects of benefiting the Somali people either.
Jama  Mohamed Ghalib
E-mail: [email protected]

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