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  2. The Aftermath of Ethiopia’s Invasion: Somalia Reverting to Anarchy & TFG Slipping Further into Irrelevance Buri M. Hamza The Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG), under the current leadership of the Interim President Abdullahi Yusuf and his Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Ghedi, appears to be steadily slipping further into irrelevance. Ethiopia’s meddling has not been limited to military invasion and indiscriminate killing of innocent Somalis; it also includes a well-planned policy methodically crafted to escalate chaos in Mogadishu and in other parts of Somalia. A renewed chaos and mayhem, initially in the capital city of Somalia, and subsequently in other areas of strategic importance to Meles Zenawi, will be tantamount to a return to pre-Islamic Courts’ periods where warlordism, insecurity, and total disarray were rampant. The spiraling violence in Mogadishu is proceeding as planned, and it is in line with Meles Zenawi’s strategy of frustrating Somali people’s desire to restore peace and stability in their country. It is also consistent with Ethiopian government’s plan that is meticulously crafted to revive the previously warlord-controlled anarchy and bring about a gradual demise of the Transitional Federal Institutions incepted at Embagathi, in preparation for the execution of an agenda that is more sinister and ominously dangerous. It is not at all unfair at this juncture to state that the current leadership of the TFG has indeed degraded itself. It has succumbed to the mercy of an unpopular regime in Ethiopia, which has not only turned its back on its own people, but also determined to wreak havoc to the beleaguered people of Somalia. Many identify the President and the Prime Minister of the TFG, as “pawns and puppets” of a foreign government that has: violated human rights in its own country, rigged elections in May 2005 to remain in power, undermined independent press, and violated the territorial integrity of a neighbouring state. For more on repressive Ethiopia under Meles Zenawi’s rule, read the article on The Economist of February 22, 2007 entitled “On a Dilemma in the Horn: Should the West Go on Helping a Repressive Ethiopia?[1]”. The presence of Zenawi’s troops in Mogadishu and in other parts of Somalia has, as expected, only exacerbated the precarious security situation in the country. It has dismantled the relative stability that was brought about by the ousted Islamic Courts and provoked massive population displacement. With the insecurity worsening in many parts of Somalia, the Marshall Law imposed with a blessing from Meles Zenawi has only tarnished TFG’s image and rendered it more irrelevant. Meles Zenawi’s policy of clan manipulation in order to implement his divide-and-rule strategy is not new to anyone anymore. It has been the policy of the current as well as that of the previous regimes of Ethiopia. The recent invitation extended to a group of clan elders in Mogadishu to meet with Meles Zenawi and his aides in Addis Ababa was nothing but an attempt to strengthen clan cleavages, fuel hatred among Somalis, and further embarrass Zenawi’s proxies in the Transitional Federal Institutions and assert their worthlessness The mere fact that this invitation was extended without any prior consultation and coordination with the government of Abdullahi Yusuf and Ali Mohamed Ghedi, is indicative of the fact that TFG leaders can be rendered irrelevant when needed and even eventually altogether dumped when deemed so. This particular political overture by Meles Zenawi to a group of clan leaders, allegedly opposed to TFG, has indeed sent very discouraging signals to Abdullahi Yusuf and Ali Mohamed Ghedi, and provoked consternation and a panic among their fans. In this short paper, I will attempt to assess Meles Zenawi’s motives for invading Somalia. I will place this assessment in the context of: a) Ethiopia’s old dream of annexing Somalia to its territory; b) Ethiopian governments’ determination to weaken Somalia and its governments through clan manipulation and divide-and-rule policy”; c) and Meles Zenawi’s insistence to unravel any national reconciliation endeavours that can lead to the establishment of a government of national unity that is devoid of his pawns, for fear of losing his grip and authority over the destiny of Somalia. Zenawi’s Rationale for Invading Somalia Meles Zenawi and his government describe the US-backed Ethiopian invasion of Somalia as a military operation that was “prompted by the menaces posed by the growing influence of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC)”. On December 24, 2006, Meles Zenawi, in a televised statement, admitted for the first time that his troops were waging a war against “Islamists in Somalia in order to protect his nation’s sovereignty”. Following this televised statement, Meles Zenawi’s military began pounding Somalia to quell militias of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) and kill innocent Somalis. But what are the actual underlying reasons for this invasion? Meles Zenawi’s contention that his army had attacked the UIC because of Ethiopia’s “national interest and the protection of his nation’s sovereignty” has been widely contested. Fekade Shewakena – an Ethiopian scholar in the diaspora – in his article,[2] “Meles Zenawi’s Invasion of Somalia: A Serious Long-Term Foreign Policy Blunder”, reveals: “The invasion of Somalia is the biggest foreign policy blunder by an Ethiopian administration. Strategically speaking, Ethiopia’s interests have been significantly undermined by Meles Zenawi’s invasion of Somalia. Authoritarian regimes by their very nature conflate national interest and their short-term political objectives and calculate their foreign policy based on the maintenance of their political power. Dictators see no national interest outside of their greed of power. The concept of national interest has a more dynamic meaning in an increasingly globalizing world and it is not strictly confined to physical security and boundary issues alone. The biggest threat to national security and national interest in my view is the extreme and obscene poverty in the country. Nearly half of the population lives below the poverty line and the army of the destitute and urban unemployment is increasing by the day. Any pursuit of national interest that does not take into account this very dangerous condition that is destroying us as a nation is simply wrong. If Ethiopia is to be destroyed it will be destroyed by its obscene poverty than by any foreign force”. Drawing upon Mr. Shewakena’s argument, the discourse of “national interest” and “nation’s sovereignty” invoked by Meles Zenawi to justify his occupation of a sovereign country and his killing of innocent Somalis is not the real motive that has led to the US-backed invasion. Meles Zenawi’s occupation of Somalia is literally “an old Abyssinian dream come true”. Meles Zenawi is in Somalia to stay with the purpose of executing the plan that his predecessors had failed to implement. The plan is to initially keep Somalia weak and divided under Ethiopia’s control, and subsequently melt it into “Greater Ethiopia”. Ambassador Mohamed Sharif[3], in his article “The Underlying Reasons for Ethiopia’s Invasion of Somalia”, posted on Aljazeeranet[4], argues: “The Ethiopian invasion represents the latest of the series of events that epitomize Ethiopia’s territorial claim over Somalia. The Abyssinian leaders have always considered Somalia as part and parcel of their Ethiopian Empire that stretches from the Abyssinian plateaus down to the coastal areas in the Indian Ocean. This was the premise that the Ethiopians had put forth at the United Nations in 1947 when the independence of former Italian Somaliland was deliberated. Ethiopia had then vehemently rejected the idea of independent Somalia because it had insisted that it was part of its entity. Ethiopia had participated in 1884 in the colonial partition of Somalia in collusion with France, Britain and Italy, and was adamantly opposed to the unification of British and Italian Somalilands in 1960”. Based on what the Ambassador has cited in terms of the historical perspective of Ethiopia’s involvement in the partition of Somalia in collusion with the colonial powers, and its determination to annex Somalia to its territory and bloc the efforts undertaken to secure independence and unity for Somalia, it will be insane from our part to accept the argument that Meles Zenawi’s troops are in Somalia only to counter the growing threat of the Islamic Courts and salvage the feeble Transitional Federal Government. It will also be a sheer naiveté and ingenuousness from our part, perhaps partly because of our clan prejudices, to shrug off Ethiopia’s sinister and evil motives vis-à-vis Somalia and its people.[5] Meles Zenawi has managed to fool the US Administration and dupe it into another embarrassment. The invasion that the US has financed and blessed is further tearing apart a nation that has seen nothing but chaos and misery all through the 16 years of civil unrest. The US is responsible for pushing the Ethiopian government to use lethal arsenals against innocent people for the sole purpose of pursuing three people accused of being involved in the attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and perhaps hound other Islamists presumed to be members of the radical wing of the UIC that are alleged to have links with Al-Qaeda. But what has this US-backed Ethiopian terrorism achieved? The US has created more enemies for itself, and is blamed for the perpetuation of chaos in Somalia. Professor Ken Menkhaus, in his last testimony before the US Senate Africa Subcommittee, said, “….the mood after the invasion in Mogadishu is weary, sullen, and angry. Anti-American sentiment is high. Rightly or wrongly, the US is held responsible for the collapse of public order in Mogadishu.” Ethiopia, on the other hand, is euphoric because it has succeeded in restoring anarchy in Mogadishu and in other parts of Somalia, and is now striving hard to deepen fragmentation and render the country weaker and more vulnerable. Zenawi’s Policy of Clan Manipulation The policy of clan/warlord manipulation is not Zenawi’s invention. It was religiously practiced by the previous brutal regime of Mengistu Haile-Mariam. The policy of manipulation of clan cleavages and differences in Somalia has provided the Ethiopian regimes with the conditions that are propitious to the dismemberment of the Somali homogenous national identity. The Ethiopian governments have used the “clan card” skillfully to perpetuate the Somali mayhem and impede the reconstitution of the Somali state. It bodes well for any regime in Ethiopia to resort to “clan card” in its destabilization policy of Somalia. Mengistu Haile-Mariam hosted and armed clan-based opposition factions that had later participated in the overthrow of Siyad Barre. For those who are not familiar with the history of armed opposition that was launched from within Ethiopia to destabilize the regime of Siyad Barre, the reason why the former military regime in Ethiopia had manipulated clan rebels was not because of its belief in the importance of the restoration of democracy and freedom in the neighbouring country. In simple laymen’s jargon: the reason was to overthrow Siyad Barre’s government, bloc any effort aimed at the reconstitution of free and democratic Somalia, and eventually melt Somalis into “Greater Ethiopia”. Meles Zenawi’s regime has never been any different from Mengistu’s with regard to Somalia. It has emulated and pursued its arch enemy’s divide-and-rule strategy. It has never made things easier for Somalia despite the support it had received from its people in the struggle against the despotic regime of Mengistu. Meles Zenawi has all along been disingenuous with regard to the plight of the Somali people all through the 16 years of the civil strife. His government is still loath to let Somalis stand on their feet again. It had micro-managed Embagathi Peace Process only to produce a feeble TFG that cannot deliver. The focus on warlords at Embagathi has precluded any possibility of establishing a reasonably acceptable post-conflict peacebuilding and (re) construction programme in Somalia. Prior to Embagathi, Meles Zenawi and his government unleashed a systematic campaign against the Transitional National Government (TNG) formed following the successful conclusion of Arta Peace Process in the year 2000. This process, which was hosted by the neighbouring state of Djibouti, was unquestionably more participatory and representative because it assembled over 3000 delegates from all over Somalia representing a wide array of clan and traditional elders, women and scholars, and representatives of the Somali civil society organizations. This Process shunned the notorious warlords who were responsible for the country’s pandemonium. To abort TNG, the Ethiopian government hosted a meeting in Ethiopia (specifically in Awassa, Ethiopia) for the Somali warlords and other factions who were opposed to Arta Peace Process in order to spearhead a plan for TNG destabilization. This meeting led to the formation of the “Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council” (“SRRC”) whose founding fathers are now the “leaders” of the Transitional Federal Institutions[6]. I must, nonetheless, concur with Prof. Abdi Ismail Samatar’s contention that TNG’s failure was due to a “combination of Ethiopia’s sabotage and the Somali leaders’ incompetence and venality[7]”. In fact, some of Ethiopia’s “friends” within the TNG with strong ties with Meles Zenawi’s government were instrumental in the dismantlement of the Transitional Institutions incepted at Arta. Ethiopia’s Obsession to Abort Reconciliation Efforts To ensure that its agenda of Somalia’s destabilization is not hampered by the international community’s effort to set up a government of national unity, Meles Zenawi’s government will leave no stone unturned to ensure that this endeavour is aborted. Tekie Fessahatzion, an Eritrean scholar based in the US, in his piece entitled “After Somalia, Who is Next?[8]” argues: “Meles wants anything but a unified government in Somalia. Given a choice between anarchic and fragmented Somalia and one that is united, Meles chooses the former. The US wants to see a stable government; Meles prefers an anarchic one. What he really wants is an ungovernable entity with diminished sovereignty, something he wanted to do to Eritrea in 2000 but could not”. If Meles Zenawi finds himself under pressure from the US to cave in and accept international community’s proposed national reconciliation conference, the scenario that I would immediately envisage is: a reconciliation conference micro-managed and coerced by Ethiopia and its “friends” within the TFG. Ethiopia and its “friends” must not be allowed to meddle with the impending reconciliation endeavours. For the impending national reconciliation process to be able to deliver and spearhead a viable post-conflict peacebuilding and recovery programme, the mandate and responsibilities of this process must be bestowed upon an “independent party” that is immune to Ethiopia’s manipulation. The national reconciliation conference must be preceded by a pre-negotiation process – facilitated by the international community – with the view to establishing an independent National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) with its specific responsibilities and detailed terms of reference. The tasks of the pre-negotiation process could also include but not limit to: cessation of hostilities and immediate withdrawal of the Ethiopian troops; rules of the engagement of the peacekeeping forces and their specific mandates; the venue of the conference; and the agenda and the criteria for participation. Conclusion It is indeed distressing that Abdullahi Yusuf and Ali Mohamed Ghedi are deliberately turning a blind eye to the seriousness of Ethiopia’s occupation and its deadly consequences on Somalia. Somalia has literally returned to Pre-Islamic Courts’ period when warlordism and chaos reined. The New York Times[9] has recently given a grim picture of the situation in Somalia following Ethiopia’s invasion. Among some of the depressing facts reported: “Nearly every day, government forces and insurgents shell each other across dilapidated neighborhoods in the capital, Mogadishu, scattering limbs and any remaining traces of hope. Gun prices are soaring, more clans are joining the underground, and an outbreak of cholera sweeps the countryside.” The power bestowed upon the Interim President of the TFG following the declaration of the Marshall Law is simply a travesty. It is indeed pitiful that a government that was established to promote dialogue and reconciliation in its war-torn society cave in to Meles Zenawi’s whims and embark on banning the modicum of free press and free expression that the country has enjoyed all through the turbulent periods of statelessness. This reality enhances TFG’s irrelevance, and makes it ineffectual and unpopular. The US-backed Ethiopian invasion of Somalia might have weakened the forces of the UIC, but the series of guerilla-style assaults on Meles Zenawi’s troops that are being mounted in Mogadishu and in other parts of Somalia on a daily basis, prove otherwise. It appears that the Courts and their supporters are still there and are capable of inflicting heavy losses on their enemies: both Meles Zenawi’s troops as well those of the government of Abdullahi Yusuf and Ali Mohamed Ghedi. The aftermath of Ethiopia’s occupation does not bode well for the TFG. It has re-empowered the warlords, restored chaos that is consistent with Meles Zenawi’s sinister plans, and deepened rifts between the TFG and the Somali people. The agenda of Meles Zenawi and his government has indeed tarnished the reputation of the people of Ethiopia and rendered this old African nation, which hosts the African Union in its capital city, a hostage of the US Administration’s blunders in the Horn of African and in the Middle East. The Somali people harbour no grudges against their brothers and sisters in Ethiopia. They will always remember the generosity and the unwavering support that the people of Ethiopia have extended to them as they were fleeing the ravages of their civil war and the ensuing disarray that was so widespread and devastating.
  3. I'm sure he was surreptitiously aiding and abetting the enemy, so fully deserving of getting plugged. Who else wants to take out Geedi the donkey whisperer's brother-in-law?
  4. Originally posted by Khalaf: A sincere question: when all this was occurring what and where.... were AbdiQasin, Indacade, Aweys the top 3 leadership doing? Abdiqaasim = lived in some Arab country the entire civil war, 1990-2000 Indhacadde = to the best of my knowledge was no body until appointed Governor of Shabelle Hoose by TNG. He's still no body in my books and aside from perhaps political partronage (ala Yey style circa 2007) can't think of what he brings to the table in terms of accomplishments or qualifications. Aweys = was chasing the ever illusive dream and his perennial pet project Al-Itihaad. Now, I'll let you in on a little secret: Aweys and Abdiqaasim had no hand in Somalia's civil war. I can't speak much about Abdiqaasim but I know enough about Aweys to state that this man is the most Aclanist and idealogy driven Somalis you'll find. Al-Itihaad or similar idealogies are all he cares for. At best Aweys and Abdiqaasim were peripheral characters in Somalia's clan wars. Abdiqaasim was outside the country the whole time and Aweys is the least clan minded of any notable somali public figure. I can't think of any time he was involved in clan wars although his clan has been in innumerable clan wars since 1991. This goes to show that neither men are remotely what their detractors accuse them of; namely, that they're major players in Somalia's clan wars of the 90s. For me Aweys and Abdiqasim serve as the proverbial canary in the gold mine. As soon as I hear their names associated with Somalia's clan wars I instantly know I'm dealing with clanish bigots (or in few of the cases, the totally ignorant).
  5. For their efforts, Ina Yey appointed Idamaale's site administror as government spokesperson (check out Does Ina Yey's nepotism know no limits?
  6. Mine is the cover of Pink Floyd's Division Bell. It looks cool, deeply philosophical when it's enlarged but the miniture version I got for avatar now does it little justice.
  7. Just like Iraq is living Saddam's legacy today, Somalia is living S. Barre's legacy. These two men single handedly destroyed their respective nations. Their corrupt ways left NOTHING untouched, not one social institution was spared. When they left their respective countries had nothing to fall back on as everything was destroyed or corrupted beyond redemption. As such neither deserve nothing but utter loathing. Too bad S. Barre wasn't captured to face the firing squad like Saddam. Ina Yey on the other hand is small time crook that never amounted to anything in his entire life. The comparison to S. Barre is misplaced.
  8. Today we Chelsites are soaring high as Kings of the World. Here we come FA Cup, CL, PL... I smell a treble this season, we can easily win 2 of the remaining 3 competitions. It must suk being pitiful Gooner fan today.
  9. Originally posted by Khalaf: u c they insult men behind computer screens because they do not have the balls to do so on the street therefore give them the opportunity to vent hopefully its therapeutic, release the stress nooh. Buddy, you seem upset by the cold reception unle Yey is recieving nowadays. I can understand your frustration but feel you Ina Yey cheerleaders are fully deserving of it. A word of advice: DON'T emotionally or otherwise invest in irremediably corrupt, inept, benighted clanish leaders like Ina Yey. While we're at it, lets further dispel the false charge that Ina Yey is being opposed for clanish reasons. Nothing could be further from the truth. Somalis of all clan stripes unadvisably supported Ina Yey when he became the leader of this sham TFG. Today, he's universally rejected save for his immediate clansmen. The selfsame clans being accused of harbouring ill-will towards him for purely clannish reasons todday were instrumental in his ascension to power. It's totally the fault of Ina Yey that he squandered all the good-will that was initially afforded to him by other than his immediate clansmen. And if his immediate clansmen decide to still side with him, than they should develop thicker skin because surely they'd in for harsh words. Or still better, stop whimpering! You reap what you sow. Ina Yey couldn't have seriously thought he'll still command the support of Somalis after inviting the invasion of their lands. On second thought, he WAS that ******.
  10. Originally posted by Taako Man: So the government leaves just so the same clan courts can get a second chance at there crazy ways? ARE YOU SERIOUS SAXIIB? Buddy, you support this government, right? You'd like it to survive and eventually become the only legitimate power in future Somalia, right? Why not babysit this government in your region until Mogadishu is more receptive to it? They'll be less resistance there, less human suffering. It's not written in stone that Mogadishu be the capital of Somalia. So this insistance that the government must be in Mogadishu is anachronistic thinking at it's best.
  11. Originally posted by General Duke: So you want the government to leave Mogadishu to these groups? How absurd, saxib the government is not a guest in Mogadishu, those who are bombing will be dealt with, trust me in that. The government has caused more harm than good ever since it came to Mogadishu, what defendable reasons are there to support the perpetuation of the current situation. How many people have to die, flee and disfugered before it dawns on this government that they are part of the problem. The TFG should relocate temporarly until Mogadishu is peaceful again. General, there is solid evidence and more than good reasons to show Mogadisho will revert back to it's ICU days when not a single shot was fired in anger if the TFG and Ehtiopians leave. The residents of Mogadishu kicked out the rapacious warlords in popular uprising that brought the ICU to Mogadishu. During ICU reign Mogadishu had law and order the rivaled any region of the former Somali republic.
  12. Originally posted by Taako Man: ^ The welfare of mogadishu residents is being harmed by 'mujahideen of the two migrations' or whatever they call themselves. All the more reasons to move the government. Doing so will take away from these "mujahideens" their excuse. So long as there are Ethiopian/AU troops in Mogadishu, these agitators can cite that as their excuse for waging insurgency. Any government worth it's salt must put the welfare it's people above everything. Since it's arrival in Mogadishu, every objective paramater indicating the well being of the city have markedly declined. If moving the government out of Mogadishu will lessen the suffering the city's inhabitants, we have good reasons and evidence to believe it will, it should be done without hesitation.
  13. Anywhere but Mogadishu is safer Tuesday, February 20, 2007 MOGADISHU, Somalia (AFP) - Fierce clashes between security forces and suspected Islamist insurgents shook the Somali capital overnight, killing at least 12 people and forcing thousands of others to flee, officials said on Tuesday. The fighting, in which more than 36 people were injured, was the heaviest since Ethiopian-backed government forces ousted the powerful Islamist movement from Mogadishu late last year. Deputy Defence Minister Salat Ali Jelle said gunmen had attacked the defence ministry building, the presidential palace and the military hospital - all in volatile southern Mogadishu. "The government forces and those of the friendly Ethiopian troops responded with fire by only targeting terrorists who first waged violence," Jelle told AFP. "Only one soldier was slightly injured," he added. Five people had died as of late Monday and hospital sources said on Tuesday that three more had succumbed to their injuries while another four bodies had been recovered by local residents. Witnesses said that large numbers of people were fleeing the capital to safer areas, with some putting the figure in the thousands. "Most of the people are fleeing to Lower Shabelle (region). Anywhere but Mogadishu is safer," said lorry drive Mukhtar Abbas. The security situation in the capital has become especially dire at night. "Mogadishu is partially run by freelance gunmen and at night it is a battle ground for Somali government forces," said Asha Osman, a mother of seven. Since ousting the Islamist leadership, the weak Somali government and its Ethiopian backers have failed to impose control on the chaotic capital. Remnants of the Islamist movement, which has since disbanded into clan-based militia, have vowed to wage an insurgency. On Sunday, at least seven people were killed in separate attacks, four of them in a car explosion. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the government has repeatedly blamed insurgents allied to the ousted Islamist force. Prime Minister Mohamed Ali Gedi has reiterated the need for an urgent deployment of Africa Union peacekeepers to Somalia to help the war-torn nation steer back to stability. The African Union, hamstrung by disagreements as well as funding and manpower problems, has so far managed to raise half of the required 8 000 peacekeepers with officials saying they have received troop pledges from Nigeria, Burundi, Malawi and Ghana. The insurgents have vowed to attack and kill the peacekeepers. A previous 1993-1995 peace mission ended disastrously after UN and US troops fled the country, paving the way for the rise of clan warlords. The Horn of Africa nation, home to about 10 million people, has suffered 16 years of anarchic bloodletting since it fell into chaos with the 1991 ouster of former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. Source: AFP, Feb 20, 2007
  14. General, For once take off the blinkers and step out of the tunnel vision. This call is for the welfare of the Mogadishu's residents. Not for warlords or any other group with vested interest. If things continue on the same trajectory as they are now we will have major humanitarian disaster on our hands... it's already unfolding as hundreds flee the city to the lower shabelle. Again, the only region where the this government is popularly welcomed is Puntland. Since popular support means less resistance, by extension less violence, the TFG should move to Garowe until Mogadishu calms down again.
  15. SOMALIA: Government bans media reports of displacement, rocket and mortar fire Photo: Mohamed Amin/Shabelle Radio A car exploded in Mogadishu's main football stadium on Sunday killing four people NAIROBI, 20 February 2007 (IRIN) - The Somali government has stopped three media groups in the capital, Mogadishu, from carrying reports on increasing violence and displacement of civilians, saying the media was exaggerating numbers. "We simply want them not to create panic among the population," Gen Nur Muhammad Mahamud, deputy chief of the Somali national security agency, said from Mogadishu. "The country is under martial law, which curtails certain liberties. They are free to report but within the current martial law." Muhammad Amin Sheikh Adow, deputy chairman of the Shabelle Media Network, told IRIN that the order from the transitional government was directed at HornAfrik radio and television, Shabelle Media Network and Radio Banadir. The three media houses are the biggest in Mogadishu. "Yesterday [Monday], we had a meeting [with Gen Muhamud]," Adow said. "He ordered us not to carry any reports about displacement of people, military operations involving Ethiopian and Somali forces and attacks [by unknown gunmen on Ethiopian and government forces]." Ahmed Ali Mahamud, the director of Radio Banadir, who also attended the meeting, said the government had threatened to appoint editors to join the respective stations to monitor their reporting. The stations, he added, would, however, "not allow anyone to sit in our boardrooms to monitor our work [because] it is an attempt to intimidate the media and it will not work". The government order follows the killing on Friday of a reporter in the southwestern town of Baidoa. The death of Ali Muhammad Umar, an employee of Warsan Radio, was condemned by both the Somali National Union of Journalists and International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). Omar Faruk Osman, secretary-general of the union, said: "This shocking attack is absolutely intolerable, and we ask the Transitional Federal Government to make a prompt investigation and find those responsible." ''The country is under martial law, which curtails certain liberties'' IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said: "There is a pattern of attacks on the press and violence against journalists which requires urgent official action." Meanwhile, Mogadishu residents experienced another night of violence and shelling on Monday. "I do not think anyone slept last night. The bombardment went on till four this morning [Tuesday]," said Muhammad Ibrahim Rage, a local resident. "There are still families on the streets fleeing the neighbourhoods that were hit by the exchange of shells." Mortar bombs, he added, struck a base for Ethiopian forces in Digfer hospital and Villa Somalia presidential compound, prompting government and Ethiopian troops to respond with rockets and artillery shells. The worst-hit areas were Bakaara Market, Casa Populare, and Al Baraka areas [all in Hodan district, south Mogadishu], according to residents. Somalia's transitional government, backed by Ethiopian forces, took control of Mogadishu on 28 December after the Union of Islamic Courts abandoned the city a day earlier. Related articles on Somalia source
  16. General, The TFG should move to Puntland since it's the only region it's enthusiastically welcomed... I'm thinking of Garowe. Ethiopians troops should withdraw from Mogadishu as well. To save lifes, to avert a major humanitarian crisis, this is the best thing to do at the moment.
  17. ^Porto is no push-over, it's gonna be poised encounter. By the way, mark my words Kops vs Barca match will be one helluva bore-fest... suicide inducing kinda of bore-fest.
  18. Originally posted by Caamir: I will also advise that mediation process must immediately be launched bringing this fratricidal war to an end. What for? Mediation process never solved these atavistic enmities between rival clans. They only postpone it at best. The magnitude of this tragedy, eclipsing even what's happening in occupied Mogadishu, calls for urgent AU intervention. Only AU peacekeepers can bring lasting peace. If not AU maybe Ethiopian soldiers?
  19. Kheyr, Why is it you always go at pains to be SOL's undisputed sanctimonuous prig?
  20. Originally posted by Hayam: I know they tend to be really respectful to women in Dubai. Every time there was a queue in a bank or office, somebody would pick me out of the queue and let me go first, with none of the other men objecting! I'm continuously surprised at seemingly smart women who fall for these token gestures of "respect" from men. How is it that it escapes their otherwise fine tuned senses for sniffing out phoneys? Men being nice to women is oxymoronic. It's more accurate to say men pretend to respect women, generally because they need something from them.
  21. Mogadishu's fathers turn to the gun -- again By Guled Mohamed Sun Feb 18, 6:08 AM ET MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Abdi Nur already had a hand gun. But to protect his wife and three children in Mogadishu, he has just had to buy an AK-47. And as if that wasn't bad enough, prices have just doubled, because everyone else wants one too. The lightning war that drove out an Islamist movement and installed the internationally recognized government in the capital last December has done nothing for the security of ordinary people. "My neighbors have been attacked several times by thugs with machine guns, that is why I bought the AK-47," said Nur. "There are thugs who terrorize us day and night. And there are others who hide amongst our homes and fire mortars and rockets at the government, which fires back and hits us." When the government swept in with the help of Ethiopian forces, it sought to disarm a city of 1 million people that is notorious for its anarchic streets but had found a measure of security in six months of strict Islamist rule. But few guns were handed in, and now they are back on the streets. Like dozens of residents, Nur has taken matters into his own hands by joining a vigilante street patrol to resist both the armed street criminals and the organized guerrillas. "We patrol the streets day and night, in shifts," he said. "I had a pistol in my house but that's no good. I needed a bigger gun." In a city where gun law has been the rule since the dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991, it isn't hard to find one -- if you have the money. ARMS MARKET "Insecurity has increased the demand," said a gun dealer at Mogadishu's Cirtogte market -- meaning "sky shooters" in Somali -- who declined to be named. "An AK-47 used to cost $200 before the government took control of Mogadishu. It now costs up to $400. A pistol that went for $230 has now gone up to $400." Pistols and AK-47 semi-automatic rifles -- the legendary Kalashnikovs -- are the most sought-after. The mortars and rocket-propelled grenades that are being fired at Ethiopian and government troops almost daily are also in demand. "There are three categories of people buying arms," the dealer said. "Ordinary people, gangsters and some who are preparing to fight the foreign troops. They are buying small and heavy arms including mortar bombs in bulk." He said most of the weapons at the market were left over from a huge arsenal belonging to the Islamists, who had controlled Mogadishu and much of southern Somalia since June. Although the government had blocked a main arms smuggling entry point, business was still good. "I decided to deal in guns because of the huge profits. You can easily make over 100 percent," he said, smiling. "I'm a businessman, I just want to make money, not to kill people. Whoever buys the weapons is responsible for their use." The government is pinning its hopes on an African Union peacekeeping mission that is due to take over from the Ethiopian forces to try to restore stability and disarm the city. It will face not only threats of resistance from Islamist fighters but a gun culture that reaches into almost every street and family. As the dealer says: "There are enough weapons in the country to fuel war for another decade."
  22. Originally posted by Kamalu Diin: Was this organization (usc) made of universal 1)(Somalia) thus librate its members from from sujugation of single tryant Siyad Bare, I don't get what you mean by "universal". Like I said, the impetus for the USC formation was the percieved persecuation of one group by another passing itself off as "government", ie S. Barre regime. The USC wasn't the first armed rebel group in Somalia nor was it the last. History vindicates them, they gained their objective. What's there to gripe about? or 2) was made of particlar (one group) who wanted to to eliminate other groups found in Somalia. Some of them undoubtedly wanted to do just that since similar was done to them. Unfortunately for some, to the victor goes the spoils of war. 1)I have experienced Magool singing eryaay eryaay .......... what does she meant? I really don't know, you gonna have to ask her... I think she's interred in Beledweyne. Dad masaakiin ah guryahoodii laga saaray.......... all of these atrocities against poor people ...... meant fight against subjugation. all of this has happened before they came into Mogadishu and you clasified as fighting against subjugation. intii ka danbeysana xisaab ma laha. Spare me the slanted commentary of Somalia's civil war. Everyone knows most well off Somalis who owned properties were the first to leave when the civil war got too hot. Only small percentage of Somalis were forcefully expelled from their homes. It's astonishing we actually have to state this readily discernable reality of wars. In just about everywhere there's heavy war, especially internecine one, civilian populations are the first to flee. Why was Somalia any different? I agree with you on one thing though, in the postbellum revelry there were plenty of excesses by USC forces that were and still are utterly unpardonable.
  23. Not a hard choice here. He's Somali, his accusers are cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys... by default he's innocent and beyond reproach. How many extra judicial killings have the French meted out to Djiboutis with very little in the way of justice to the victims?