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UN Trusteeship System: the only solution to Italian Somalia

Abdulazez Al-Motairi
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Transitional Government of Somalia (TGS) failed to restored law and order in southern Somalia, including the vicious Mogadishu that paralyzed the country for about two decades. IGAD and Arab League also failed to install government in Somalia after 14 Peace Conferences in Arab and IGAD territories. It is likely that UN Trusteeship System that worked in the Italian Somalia for about ten years in 1950´s will again restore order in Mogadishu.

Effective from January 27th 1950, General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending that Italian Somalia be placed under an international trusteeship system, and requested the Italian government to be administrator of Italian Somalia until further recommendations to lift the resolution.

The decree worked fine between 1950 to 1960 and established local administration for the Italian Somalia until the failed unity betweeen Italian Somalia and British Somaliland on 1st July 1960. UN has necessary legitimacy, to impose trusteeship system on vicious areas around the world including Italian Somalia; this will help the civilians to live in peace.

We can say, during trusteeship, Italian Somalia passed best of its history and the people in Mogadishu today named as "Golden era of Italian Somalia". A lot of development and basic social services like education were founded.

Whereas, the General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending, with respect to the territory formerly known as Italian Somalia, that the territory shall be an independent and sovereign state; that its independence shall become effective at the end of the ten years from the date of approval of the Trusteeship Agreement by the General Assembly with Italy as Administrating Authority, aided and advised by an Advisory Council composed of representatives of Colombia, Egypt and the Philippines. Italian Somalia remained under the trusteeship for ten years of prosperity and peace.

However, it is recommended that UN must act upon its duties to maintain international peace and security more aggressively then it has in the past. UN should support the government that failed to restore domestic peace and human rights respect in their areas like that of TGS, as well as to promote the political, economic, social, and educational advancement of all the peoples in the world.

UN maintains minimal role in the failed state of Somalia particularly the Italian Somalia compare to IGAD role.

In other hand, Arabs preserve their policy of using oil for money as Arabs especially rich gulf countries distribute money to warlords like current Abdullah Yousif of TGS and his henchman, who later turned foe Former Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Geddi. Such Arabian policy in Somalia will not stabilize Italian Somalia, instead it will build muscles of new warlords in Somalia politics.

One of the analysis, U.S. Ambassador Edward Marks suggests the need for the international community to search for a structure of governance that would assist and strengthen a country experiencing internal and civil turmoil, guide it through an unstable transition period, and allow it finally to reach a mature condition of governance in the world community. He is aware that some authorities do not consider the past League of Nations mandates system and the United Nations international trusteeship system as successes or the type of structures needed in today´s environment.

Ambassador Marks described in his article how the international community, as an alternative to the trusteeship system, has attempted peacekeeping missions where the United Nations interfered in the internal affairs of member states such as in Cambodia, Somalia, Haiti, the successor state of the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Georgia, and Iraq — all with varying success.

In his conclusion, Ambassador Marks asserts that the world community must assume responsibility in international and internal conflicts, and that the United Nations is the most effective institution to accept this responsibility because of its consensual base. He suggests that the principle of a trusteeship system should be revisited with variations, even perhaps to supplement peacekeeping activities. UN should enforce again the UN Trusteeship System in Italian Somalia (South Somalia), as the system worked successfully in 1950´s. The system will create local authority for Italian Somalis who suffered for two decades from civil wars.

In an address to the UN Security Council on 17th Dec 2007, UN Special Representative for Somalia A. Ould-Abdullah called for Saudi Arabia and NATO joint forces for Somalia, and described the situation in Somalia as dangerous and a threat to the peace and security. Ould-Abdallah, reaffirmed that a withdrawal of the International would result in a fighting that could create a humanitarian catastrophe. Mr. Ould-Abdullah is thinking that Saudi Arabia as the Custodian of Holy Mosques will win trust of Somalis, but reality shows the opposite. In Somali politics, the religion is no more important factor.

Ould-Abdullah is missing that Saudi Arabia, who is part of the conflict in Somalia failed several times to reinstate the stability in Somalia, and main reason is that Saudi Arabia build muscles of particular warlords that serve its interest in Somalia. Currently, Saudi Arabia supplied $32 million to Abdullah Yousuf and Geddi in cash.

My question, Can Saudi Arabia guarantee that the cash will not be used against innocent people in Mogadishu? The situation in south Somalia is deteriorating and UN should enforce UN Trusteeship in Somalia, as it´s the only way out from clan based conflict.

On 9th Oct 1992, UN Secretary General Boutros-Ghali (1992-1996) proposed UN Forces in Somalia to transfer the administration of the country to UN Trusteeship Council and appoint administrator, in order to build the local administration. This proposal did not win the support of the UN Security Council who failed to stabilize the vicious Somalia.

Many analyzers highlighted the situation of Somali could have been different today, if the UN Security Council could have accept the suggestion of Mr. Ghali.

Republic of Somaliland: The Modern State in the Horn of Africa

In other hand, 18 years old independent, democratic and stable Republic of Somaliland remains neglected as international community preferred to remain uncommitted, although the peace loving people of Somaliland established complete infrastructure of statehood in their part of the world. And, even, IGAD countries that enjoy strong diplomatic and economic relations like Ethiopia and Djibouti remained silent to cause of Somaliland.

On the other hand, Somaliland leadership made clear to international community that Somaliland will remain independent with or without international community. Somaliland has peaceful border with all its neighbors unlike Somalia.

Somaliland voiced up many times to international community and officially requested African Union membership in 2005, after fact-finding team led by His Excellency Patrick Mazimhaka, Deputy Chairman of African Union suggested to the African leaders to consider Somaliland case different, and even highlighted to the leaders that recognizing Somaliland will solve the chronicle problems of Somalia.

The Africans should help the active and hardworking members of their community in the black continent like Somaliland that have security and democracy better then many AU members. Somaliland has entire necessary tools to build nation including modern government, defined border and populations, which are necessary conditions for modern state.

Somaliland managed stability and continuous growth through its democratic policy, but its foreign policy has been paralyzed by diplomatic embargo against Somaliland, where the international community realizes process, democracy and statehood in Somaliland but still remains blind and even refuses to hear the Somaliland voice of freedom.

In 2007, Somaliland diplomacy started shinning after Rwanda Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Charles MURIGANDE highlighted Somaliland development followed by a lecture delivered by Somaliland Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Mohammed Duaale in the last AU Foreign Minister´s meeting. Besides, the recent statements of U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in a support to Somaliland during his visit to U.S. Forces in Djibouti

Clearly, we can say Somaliland is victim of other regional policies. As I.G.A.D. is committed to Somalia's unity fearing that a successful secession of Somaliland could be misinterpreted as a precedent of other secessionist movements in East Africa. Arab countries are trying to balance Ethiopia's influence in the Horn, to ensure their interest in the region like Egypt with Nile Water Policy and Gulf Arab countries securing the path of oil exports to the west that crosses the Somali-Yemen coastal areas.


UN should consider imposing similar trusteeship resolution to save Somalia, and support the independence of Somaliland in order to reduce the size of the problem in failed Somalia. This shows that keeping Somaliland away from current chaos in Somalia may accelerate restoring hope in the region. UN should know Somaliland can be helpful in restoring peace and stability in horn of Africa. UN Trusteeship System is must for Italian Somalia today, as Italian Somalia failed to solve their internal problems.

Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi, MA in Journalism and Mass Communication, Columnist, Freelance Journalist and Weekly article writer about Middle East and African politics and human rights. He is member of International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).Email: [email protected]


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