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War Crimes Investigation in Somalia: America's hypocrisy a catalyst for human rights violation in Somalia

Abdirizak Mohamed
Wednesday, November 21, 2007

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On November 13, 2007 a United Nations envoy said Somali war crimes suspects should be prosecuted at the international Criminal Court in order to end impunity in the lawless African nation as published on hiiraan on Line and many other international media and On November 16, 2007 the European Parliament called for war crimes probe in Somalia, though, it is too little too late for many victims and their families Somalis around the globe welcome both calls and see this as the first acknowledgement by the International Community that war crimes were committed by Ethiopians and the TFG militias. In fact the European parliament firmly stated for the first time that Ethiopia is the major impediment to peace in Somalia and called for the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops. 
 
Nevertheless, unless the USA alters its foreign policy on Somalia and unless Jendayi Frazer, the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs acknowledges and admits she is wrong in her defense for the presence of Ethiopian troops in somalia in general and her firm support for the Ethiopian dictator Meles zenawi in particular, thousands more will suffer unabated at the hands of Ethiopians and the misinformed American policy of indiference, policies based on the myth of global war on terror. How many more human life is this American foreign policy based on myth worth?
 
It is well known fact that American foreign policy has historically been guided by economic and strategic factors rather than by humanitarian considerations, therefore the underlying principle that shapes in any of its foreign policy is first to take into consideration the net positive impact such policy would have on America's economic and national security interest, irrespective of its net negative impact on other countries. Particularly, this mantra became more common and widespread in post 911, as more of their policies subsequently violated other nation's sovereignty, Territorial integrity and peoples human rights as unequivocally evidenced in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq. In the context of protecting its economic interest, the Bush administration has unilaterally invaded Iraq in a false pretence that Sadam possessed WMD. In his new book The Age of Turbulence former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan argues that "as long as the United States is beholden to potentially unfriendly sources of oil and gas, we are vulnerable to economic crises over which we have little control." This is the product, he states of an overriding fact of today's global economy: "[W]orld growth over the next quarter century at rates commensurate with the past quarter century will require between one-fourth and two-fifths more oil than we use today".
 
While Greenspan's new revelation and his articulations of linking America's long-term energy squeeze with past assassination and invasions of other countries may have triggered a political firestorm in the Bush administration, Somalia is another country that has become a victim of America's economic and national security policy such as the war on terror. However, the mediocre displayed by the International Community of being either indifferent or opting to take an spectator's seat that kept them dormant for the past 16 years has also failed the Somali people, because the International Community failed  to react promptly and respond to the atrocities committed against innocent civilians by the Ethiopians, the TFG and the USA.
In the case of Somalia, before the civil war broke out in 1991, the military regime of Siad Barre gave exploration rights in the North eastern region (Puntland) to giant American companies such as Conoco and Chevron; nevertheless, these oil companies left the country due to security reasons during the civil war. Somalia remained chaos for the next 16 years as the country was run by powerful tribal warlords who controlled and benefited from the spoils of the war economy. These warlords who later became members of the transitional Federal Government that was established in Kenya in 2004, even challenged and prevented the TFG to relocate to the capital city of Mogadishu
 
In June 2006, the Union of Islamic Courts defeated the warlords and created peace and security in almost more than 70% of the country and gained the popular support of majority of Somalis, they succeeded in opening up the Mogadishu airport and seaport for the first time in more than 15 years, schools reopened and children started going to schools, the Union of Islamic courts have finally gained the unconditional support of all Somalis and to illustrate few of their success story they have started formulating policies with respect to land and property disputes and only six gun related deaths were reported for the six months they governed south and central Somalia, where as the number of people killed each day in Mogadishu alone is estimated 10-15 before the union of Islamic courts came to power .
 
While the US government has followed an ambiguous course in Somalia since the outbreak of the civil war and remained passive on the many peace conferences to reconcile the conflicting parties, this ambiguity of "do nothing" policy the US pursued during the civil war was consistent with its national interest policy on Somalia. However, as always the pattern is the US changes its foreign policies when it fits its national interest to the extent the current administration calls dictators and rogues states its staunchest allies and bad guys become the good guys as Justine Raimondo points out in an op-ed titled why the US supports warlords, in this he states that "in the new millennium, we have tossed aside humanitarian concerns in favor of the ruthless pursuit of "terrorists," real or imagined. The former "warlords" hunted by U.S. troops and blamed for Somalia's shocking degeneration into pure chaos are now aided and abetted by the Americans and their Ethiopian cohorts".
 
In analyzing the USA's ever-changing policies the Washington post in a very metaphorical yet convincing explains how the US portrays the bad guys as the good guys when it fits its own policy as illustrated by its support for the warlords and demonizing the Union of Islamic Courts, in this excerpt the Post demonstrates how American policy makers deviated from the truth and what was morally right and sided with criminals like bashir raghe and  I quote " Abukar Omar Adan was a devoutly Islamic and heavily armed clan elder with ties to the strict neighborhood religious courts that had brought a semblance of order to a city without a government. His rival, Bashir Raghe, was a brash, younger man who had been a waste contractor with the U.S. military forces in Mogadishu before the United States pulled out."
Guess, who is the U.S. proxy No, it's not the bourgeois businessman and city father whose stature in the community as a force for order advertises him as the natural and only logical choice – it's Raghe, the street punk and gang leader, who, together with his fellow killers, has reduced Somalia to a kind of living hell.


It is regrettable Ms. Jendayi Frazer continues supporting warlords and Ethiopians and holds this imaginary reasoning in her mind that ignores logic and contradicts to what experts on conflict resolution are saying, as well as published literature at her disposal- that Ethiopia is major stumbling block to peace in Somalia, and that the Somali Re-liberation alliance is the only true and people's choice that can bring about durable peace in Somalia and not the current TFG that is made up of criminal warlords.

In an interview she gave the voice of America Somali service on November 6, 2007 she presented a view that contradicts to an opinion presented earlier in the same week by the U.S. Special Envoy for Somalia Mr. John Yates who was quoted as saying that the United States underestimated the magnitude of hatred the Somali people have for the Ethiopian troops. While many concur with Mr. yate's view due to the fact of historical enmity and border disputes between the two countries. Ms.Jendayi Frazer thinks otherwise and firmly believes as stated in that interview that "the Ethiopians are playing a critical role in trying to stabilize the country". Ethiopians are de-establising force stupid!!! And Mr. Yates is right in his view that we behold in our inner soul that Ethiopia is our enemy as long as they keep oppressing our brothers and sisters in the Ogaden region.
                                           DIIDNAYE OGOW DALKAYAGA 
                          NINKII DOONAHAYAYOW 
                         INUU DUUDSIYA RABOW  
                         ANNAGU DIIDNAYE OGOW
It is the view of Somalis every where that it is in the best interest of the International community as well as the USA to take a different approach to the Somali conflict than the current rigid approach that is consistent and only reflects on the interest of America's foreign policy. It is high time that America embraces a paradigm shift in its policy on Somalia for the interest of both countries and force Ethiopia to immediately withdraw it troops from Somalia and start engaging with the Somali Re-liberation Alliance in Asmar as it is the only viable alternative that can end the current crises in Somalia.   

The question is will the European parliament press their call for war crimes investigation or will they be pressured to keep quite? As was the case when the Europeans Union called for war crimes investigation in April 2007 when Ethiopians and the TFG militias killed thousands of innocent Somalis and displaced half a million of Mogadishu population.

Abdirizak O. Mohamed
is an independent researcher and a member of Somali Canadian Diaspora Alliance. He holds a master's Degree in Environmental Studies focusing on post-conflict development from York University, Toronto Canada. and can be reached at E-mail [email protected]              



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