Posts posted by Taleexi
Mr. Red Sea, thanks, that was superbly written and to the point. To all other Nomads here let us pass the threshold of regionalism, clannish, or whatever for a moment and give the guy a big applause.
Mr. Soo Maal, Mudane Red Sea deserved not less than thank U and "agreed"
As far as the content of the article is concerned, I don't have a problem its eligibilty but what I couldn't digest is to whom the message was intended as Ducaqabe indicated.
In the case of the source, I saw on wardheernews.com in the Talk of the town section, based on the author's name, he seems to be a Somali but I've no clue who the hell he is!
an advice, which could be a newsworthy, let us not jump top of the roof if we see what we dislike, in that case I liked Muhammed's approach of seeking more info about the considered matter.
The Birth and Rise of Al-Ittihad Al-Islami in the Somali Inhabited Regions in the Horn of Africa
A. Duale Sii'arag
November 13, 2005
Fourteen peace conferences were held for Somali factions since 1993 to foster clan reconciliation and restore central government in that beleaguered country. None has been successful. The wounds of the bitter clan conflict that ravaged Somalia in the past decade are yet to heal. The last peace conference held in Kenya was concluded in October 2004, producing a new Transitional Federal Government (TFG) after two years long negotiations. The TFG has split into two rival factions soon after its birth and remains largely a titular government with no jurisdictional powers. It is neither in exile nor in control of state territory. Hence, genuine reconciliation and sustainable peace among the rival Somali factions and the restoration of functioning broad-based central government seems elusive as ever.
As a â€œfailed stateâ€ Somalia is today a country without a central government, laws and judiciary system. It is a country where uncertainty abounds; where the rule of the gun is the only recognized rule. It is a country where clan-ties are stronger than religious convictions, where clan is in reality a bone of contention and the main, if not the only, source of conflict.
In present-day Somalia, criminal offence and human rights abuse are ordinary occurrences and perpetrators are largely not liable to punishment. Trade in small weapons is booming and light automatic assault guns are easily available for sale throughout the country. The unregulated arms proliferation and traffic is threatening the stability of the entire Horn of Africa region. The country has become a breeding ground for fundamentalist religious groups promoting extremism and intolerance. A number of extremist groups, allegedly having links with international terrorist groups, have taken shelter in southern Somalia, taking advantage of the prevailing anarchy and vacuum in governance. Southern Somalia is increasingly becoming a conduit for drugs, guns, crime, Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism that can undermine the stability of an already volatile Horn of Africa region and beyond.
Islamic extremists have succeeded in filling the vacuum left by the demise of the government. Today, radical Islamic groups provide education, health, welfare, justice, employment and other services to a large number of the disadvantaged Somalis. religious extremists established Islamic schools ranging from Koranic study centers to Islamic universities.
Taking advantage of the prevailing lawlessness and state breakdown, a shadow force is in operation in Somalia today; stealthily working, from behind the scenes, to frustrate international efforts geared towards the restoration of central government in Somalia. This shadow force has played a pivotal role in the failures of successive Somali peace conferences. The Somali people, including prominent warlords in Mogadishu, are indeed hostages to this potent shadow force. Nonetheless, both Somalis and the well-wishing international community have failed to take serious note of the potential menace posed by the ghostly spectre haunting the unsuspected populace and its formidable bearings on social, economic and political life of war-weary Somalis. In the following pages we will try to unveil that sinister and mysteriously shrouded dark force.
II. The Genesis of Al-Ittihad in Somalia (1967 â€“ 1991)
The Somali people are predominantly adherents of the Shafiâ€™ya school of thought of Islam, one of the four main branches followed by Sunni Muslims. Muslims are generally divided into followers of two main sects: Sunni and Shia. The majority of the Muslims, all over the world, follow the Sunni sect. The majority of the Shia followers reside in Iran. The Sunni Sect early on separated into four main schools of thought, i.e., Hanafi, Maliki, Shafiâ€™ya and Hanbali.
Wahabbiya (Wahabbism), a derivative of the Hanbali branch that form the basis of the political and spiritual ideology of the Saudi Monarchy, had been endeavouring to make inroads into many parts of the Muslim world, including the Horn of Africa, for many years. Wahabbism was founded by Abdul Wahab (1703 â€“ 1792) as a religious movement with the aim of cleansing the Arab Bedouin from the influence of Sufism, the mystical trend of Islam. The Saudi government officially sponsors the spread of Wahabbism, also called Salafi, into the Muslim communities around the world. Over the past several decades, Wahabbis have been active in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosavo, Philippines and the Horn of Africa.
Wahabbism (Wahabbiya, as is well known locally) was formally brought to Somalia in 1947 by Sheikh Nur Ali Olow (*****tain, Ali Saleebaan). He introduced it to the northeastern and central regions of Somalia and later to Mogadishu. Wahabbiyaâ€™s teachings were soon detected to be in contradiction with the widely-held Shafiâ€™ya teachings and tradition. Rejecting the tenets of the Wahabbiya, the traditional clerics issued rulings banning its propagation. It was eventually reduced to a certain belief held by few individuals perceived as heretics.
Subsequent to the independence of Somalia in 1960, the government turned, initially, to the West, and later to the Soviet Union, for economic support and technical assistance. External aid was indeed crucial for the newly-born republic to attain modernization of education and develop human resources potentialities required for the management of public institutions and the infrastructure. However, the initial Westernisation drive of the Somali government infuriated, at once, some of the traditional religious leaders and the more enlightened Islamic scholars trained in Egypt. This has coincided with the early proliferation of Islamic fundamentalism, at the height of popularity of Muslim brotherhood, an Islamic movement that swayed immense influence among the Muslim populations of Asia and Africa.
In southern Somalia, the anti-Western reaction crystallized into the formation of a little known Islamic organization called Al-Ahal in 1967, founded by a certain Abdulqadir Sheikh Mohamed. Al-Ahal broke up into two organizations, subsequently: Attakfir and Assalafiya. In northern-western Somalia, the anti-Western reaction culminated in the creation of Muslim Youth Union (Wahdada) by a group of religious leaders in Hargeisa, in late 1960s. Assalafiya and the Muslim Youth Union merged subsequently in a meeting held in Burao in 1984, and jointly gave birth to a new organization to be known as the Al-Ittihad Al-Islami (Islamic Union/Islamic Unity). Sheikh Ali Warsame (***** , Habarjeclo) assumed the leadership of the newly founded Al-Ittihad Al-Islami.
From the inception, Al-Ittihad has been created as a compound of a number of entities whose constituent units operate with relative operational freedom although still inter-dependent, financially and organizationally. The units have sufficient contacts between them and, at times, impact on each otherâ€™s decisions and actions, though each still acts self-sufficiently as a part of a whole. While an extraordinary umbrella framework has been instituted in the form of Al-Ittihad, a unified command structure has neither been visible nor identified from the start. Empirical observations suggest Al-Ittihad as a highly decentralized movement with no known or identified command and control centre. However, its broader objective of establishing an Islamic state in the Horn of Africa has been, unmistakably, clear from the onset. What has never been clear, though, is the content and substance of its political programme.
Several other groups remained outside the newly-born Al-Ittihad organization. Groups within the Wahdada and Assalafiya declined to join due to misgivings on the likely future ideological direction of the new organization and owing to negative accounts on Assalafiya propagated by the Muslim Brotherhood. Al Islah , another Islamic group that branched off from the Muslim Brotherhood, with large followers in Somalia, opted to exist and operate independently even though it generally espoused similar religious ideology and pursued common objectives with Al-Ittihad. Al-Takfiir, a militant extremist group that virtually detached itself from the society, operated within the Al-Ittihad establishment in complete seclusion. Due to its subtle and discreet activities and physical detachment from the general public, it is sometimes mistakenly regarded as a separate and independent outfit or a sort of a splinter group that branched off from Al-Ittihad. The group was responsible for providing care and livelihoods for the orphans of the deceased Al-Ittihad members. Al-Takfiir is considered to be the closest to al-Qaeda in terms of ideological dispositions and modus operandi, and is widely believed to have sustained operational links and collaborative relationships with Osama Bin Laden.
During the period between 1984 and 1991, Al-Ittihad registered significant organizational growth; its membership swelled through grassroots enrolment alluring the disadvantaged, particularly the downtrodden and less fortunate segments of the society. It managed to penetrate into the civil service, the military and academic institutions, as its peaceful and sophisticated methodology of getting across its Islamic awakening message won popular acceptance, and due to the fact that it, relatively, refrained from meddling into the affairs of the government. In what amounted to a major departure from the religious tradition, it started to lay the foundations for a solid economic base launching a network of interdependent small businesses in major cities and towns, introducing slowly but steadily, bits of Wahabbiya culture and philosophy on the way. All of these programs were consciously executed with subtlety and sophistication, ringing no alarm bells. The intelligence agencies of the then Somali government failed to detect any danger signals.
Due to the magnetism of the oil boom in the 1970s and perhaps lured by the petrodollar, tens of thousands of Somalis flocked to Saudi Arabia for employment opportunities in the 1970s and 1980s. Thousands more were offered scholarships by the government of Saudi Arabia. The majority of the Somali students who turned up in the kingdom found their way into the Islamic University of Medina. Others studied at Um-Alqura University in Mecca and the Imam Saud University in Riyad. The Somali students in these universities were provided with lavish benefits and financial assistances, such as free accommodation and food, generous pocket money or monthly stipends, marriage allowances and yearly round-trip tickets. The large outflow of thousands of manual labourers and young educated males to the Gulf States in the 1970s gave the Arab radical religious groups an opportunity to interact with, cultivate and eventually indoctrinate the fertile minds of essentially non-radical Muslim Somalis. Hence, for the first time, a large number of Somali youth came in contact with political/radical Islam, activist Islamic groups and transnational Islamic issues. Upon their return to Somalia, newly converted Somali Islamists became instrumental in the activation of circles of Islamic study groups linked with Muslim Brotherhood in major urban centres. Closely-knit cells of Muslim Brotherhood composed of educated and professionals became active, especially in Mogadishu, Hargeisa and Burao cities, afterwards.
Throughout this period, it was the policy of the Saudi government to prevent Somalia in pursuing oil explorations in its territory. The Saudi government has also been tacitly supporting Somaliaâ€™s relentless efforts aimed at obstructing extraction of oil in the Somali region of Ethiopia. In return, Saudi government provided free oil and substantial financial support to Somalia. With this financial incentive, Saudi government relatively influenced the internal policy of Somalia, especially in the promotion of Arabic language and Islamic culture. Competing with Saudis and certainly interested to stem the growing influence of the Saudi government in Somalia, the Al-Azhar University of Egypt offered scholarships to thousands of Somali students, in the 1970s. These were students who have completed Egyptian secondary schools in Mogadishu, namely, Jamal Abdinasir and Sheikh Suufi. Egypt also constructed and financed primary and intermediate schools in Hargeisa, Burao, Galkayo, Belet Weyne, Mogadishu and Kismayo. Students who have completed these schools were enrolled in the two Egyptian secondary schools in Mogadishu. Hence, thousands of trained professionals who have graduated from Egyptian educational institutions eventually got their way into the rank and file of the civil service and the military.
On 21 October 1969, the Somali army commander, General Mohamed Siad Barre, took power in a bloodless coup. Siad Barre declared Somalia a socialist state and initiated a range of socialist economic programmes. The National Assembly was dissolved and political parties were declared illegal. The military government proclaimed â€œScientific Socialismâ€ as the political ideology of the state and set out to build a socialist-oriented system with the help of the Soviet Union. It adopted Latin script as the official script of the Somali language. The proclamation of â€œScientific Socialismâ€ and the choice of the Latin script for Somali language, instead of Arabic script, dealt a big blow to the Islamists and enraged the Arab ruling classes.
Underground radical religious movements and organizations supported by the Arab Islamic fundamentalists started ill-timed grassroots campaigns intended to provoke public resentment against the government. In response, the state machinery launched massive campaigns against religious leaders, especially those branded as anti-Socialism. In 1975, Siad Barre executed ten religious leaders for publicly opposing the governmentâ€™s new Family Law.
Many of the radical religious figures were subsequently sent to detention centres. Those who were not arrested either left the country or went underground. Those who left the country eventually settled in the Gulf Arab states. As a consequence, Islamic fundamentalism failed to regenerate itself throughout Siad Barreâ€™s regime.
III. Proliferation of Al-Ittehad in the aftermath of the demise of Somali government
In the closing days of Barreâ€™s regime, radical religious groups began to unveil their camouflage cover. Taking advantage of the emerging chaos and the breakdown of law and order, radical religious groups got the courage to preach openly and call for the imposition of the Sharia Law and for the establishment of an Islamic State in Somalia. Al-Ittihad, the most militant of the Islamic groups mushrooming in Somalia, capitalized on the power vacuum.
The ground was ripe for Al-Ittihadâ€™s takeover of Somalia in 1991. With high degree of organization and ample financial resources, it has effectively replaced the demised governmental institutions. It quickly took over the business sector, setting up booming and lucrative entrepreneurial trade network in all over Somalia. It established many profitable businesses such as banks, import-export trading companies, bakeries, shopping centers, small industries, telecommunications, credit schemes, transport networks, relief organizations and well-financed religious schools (not traditional Koranic schools), similar to the religious Madrassas in Pakistan. Al-Ittihad supplanting some of the collapsed state functions began to administer Islamic Courts and to enlist its own militia force, buying huge quantities of the weaponry left behind by the disintegrated Somali military. In the absence of a central government in Somalia, Al-Ittihad became the major employment opportunity provider to the largely impoverished ordinary Somalis. Furthermore, taking advantage of the presence of UNISOM in Somalia in early 1990s, Al-Ittihad became a major contractor and supplier for the UN. It has also provided security escort services for the UN, receiving huge revenues, in return.
At the same time, Al-Ittihad has been linked to a number of kidnappings and murder of aid workers that took place in southern Somalia and in Somaliland in 2003 and 2004. The military wing of Al-Ittihad has admitted responsibility for a series of bomb attacks that rocked Addis Ababa in 1996 and 1997. The US government has accused Al-Ittihad of having ties with Al-Qaida .
According to the Centre for Defence Information (CDI), Al-Ittihad â€œhas known ties with other Islamic terrorist organizations, notably al-Qaida, and advocates the spread of Islamic fundamentalism as well as a vehement hatred of the West and secular governmentâ€. The report further states that Al-Ittihad â€œreceived financial support from terrorist financiers in the Middle East and Diaspora remittances from abroad as well as weapons, funding, recruitment and logistical training from al-Qaidaâ€ . Al-Ittihad members have received training in Afghanistan . During the height of the Afghan War, more than 1,000 Somalis fought alongside the Afghan mujahidin fighters. Many of the Somali Afghan war veterans and some of the Somali students who have studied at the International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan, are believed to have joined the rank and file of Al-Ittihad in early 1990s. â€œA new jihadist network based in Mogadishu â€“ which also has al-Qaida ties â€“ emerged in 2003â€ , writes Nate Leskovic. â€œThis new groupâ€, Leskovic continues, â€œled by Afghanistan-trained former al-Ittihad commander Aden Hashi Ayro â€“has been implicated in the assassination of four foreign aid workers and at least 10 Somali military and police officersâ€.
Like the Taliban of Afghanistan, Al-Ittihad is a mysterious organization engaged in clandestine operations. Its activities are largely undercover and beyond the legal bounds. Its operations are painstakingly deliberated with maximum care, preparation and in complete secrecy. Like the Taliban, it receives huge financial support from radical Islamic institutions, religiously radical Arab elites in the Gulf States and through complex fund-raising schemes.
Like the Taliban, Al-Ittihad has regional and international links with transnational radical religious movements and is in pursuit of expansionist strategies that could have adverse security implications for the countries of the Horn of Africa and beyond. Like the Taliban, it is hostile to fellow Muslim compatriots who do not espouse similar Islamic ideals and to non-Muslims whom it regards as infidels.
But unlike the Taliban, Al-Ittihad is run by a highly educated, sophisticated and professionally trained leaders and is likely to avoid premature takeover of power in Somalia that could expose its very nature and actual identity. Unlike the Taliban, it is actively engrossed in money making businesses, generating its own funds. Its financial network and resources are expanding, increasing further its capacity to finance terrorist, and insurgency operations. Unlike the Taliban, it has been unable or unwilling to hold territory and retain exclusively control over it. And unlike the Taliban, Al-Ittihad is engaged in trans-state terrorism and keeps professionally trained terrorist cells.
IV. Al-Ittihadâ€™s Areas of Influence in Somalia
Somaliland has been the birthplace and the stronghold of Muslim Youth Union (Wahdada [1968 â€“ 1984]), one of the founding groups of the extremist Islamic organization of Al-Ittihad. The Muslim Youth Union (MYU) was founded by Islamic scholars who have studied in Egypt and some of the traditional religious leaders who were in opposition to the influence of Western culture in Somali society. The architects of the Muslim Youth Union intended to register their rejection to the spread of Western â€œpop cultureâ€ and love, sex and violence-dominated movies. The MYU was founded by:
1. Omer Abdirahman (***** ) commonly known as Eesh, a teacher trained in Egypt in the 1950s.
2. Sheikh Abdirahman Hashi (***** ), a well-known traditional religious leader who later received higher education in Saudi Arabia
3. Abdiqadir Haji Jama (***** ), a teacher who learned Islam through self-effort
Omer Hadraawi (***** ), an erstwhile socialist-oriented politician who turned religious, afterwards.
4. Sheikh Ali Warsame (***** ) - the brain-child of both the MYU and the Al-Ittehad Al-Islami â€“ is a mysterious, reclusive ideologue of Islamic fundamentalism who resides in Burao, the capital of Togdheer region.
In early 1970s the Muslim Youth Union, locally known as the Wahdada, widely influenced and appealed to the mainstream of youth in the secondary schools in the cities of Hargeisa and Burao. It was during this period that women in veils and beard-growing men were seen in the streets of these cities, for the first time. The number of religious centers (madaressas) increased exponentially, transforming into â€œcenters of propagationsâ€ of the ideals of the Wahdada. The only existing library at the Egyptian cultural center in Hargeisa served the movement as a venue for covert meetings, indoctrination and a propaganda base. As a result, the Somali government closed down the Egyptian cultural center in 1976. Egypt was accused of encouraging and supporting the anti-government activities of the Wahdada movement.
Subsequent to stern government crackdown and public disapproval of their outlandish values and ethics, the movement went underground. Some of their leaders were arrested, some fled to Saudi Arabia, and many others joined the Somali National Movement (SNM), an armed opposition movement dominated by ***** clansmen launched in Ethiopia in early 1980s, against Siad Barreâ€™s regime.
Under the charismatic leadership of Sheikh Ali Warsame (***** , Habarje'lo), Al-Ittihad established full-fledged presence in Hargeisa, Burao and Borama cities of Somaliland, soon after the demise of the Somali government. Sheikh Ali Warsame has been successful in enrolling almost all the urban dwelling community of the Habarje'lo clan into the mainstream of the Al-Ittihad organization. Although Sheikh Ali Warsame has been the leader of the Al-Ittihad forces that seized the port city of Bosaaso in 1992, he opposed war, while the military wing under Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aways prevailed and executed the 1992 conflict in Bosaso. Incidentally enough, the Al-Ittihad wing in Somaliland provides solid support base for the KULMIYE opposition political party lead by Ahmed Silanyo (***** , Habarje'lo). Mr. Silanyo himself is not a religious figure in any sense. But the fact the Al-ittihad followers bring into the party clan loyalty, energy and money serves simply to demonstrate how radicals, regardless of their trans-national agenda, are unable to unfetter themselves from the cancerously binding of clan kinship.
History indeed repeats itself. The town of Burao, the original birthplace of the Al-Ittihad became the true bastion of the organization, after the demise of the Somali government. Burao has another strategic advantage for Al-Ittihad. It is the biggest livestock market in the Horn of Africa. Through peaceful and non-violent ventures, Al-Ittihad took command of the entire business sector in Somaliland. To avoid regional authorityâ€™s supervision and regulations, a new marketplace has been set up by Al-Ittihad in a place called Yarowe, southeast of Burao, in early 1990s. Yarowe soon became the most important business hub in the territory of Somaliland.
From Burao and Yarowe, Al-Ittihad quickly expanded its coverage into Hargeisa and Borama. It eventually established a military training center in Amoud in the outskirts of Borama in early 1990s. It established direct flight links with the Arab Gulf States through a number of unmanned airstrips in Somaliland, such as the one at Kalabaydh, close to the Ethiopian border. Most of these airfields have no custom authorities or officials representing the Somaliland administration. In mid 1990s, evading, yet again, the observations of the local administrations, Al-Ittihad declined using the Berbera and Bosaso ports. It started to launch and harness its own rudimentary port facilities on various undisclosed locations in northwestern coastline of Somalia. The strategy was to avoid detection of the nature of their imported goods, movement of their leaders in and out of Somalia and to cover up the identity of the members of the international Islamic radicals entering Somalia to facilitate trainings and logistics operations.
Al-Ittihad has been attributed to a number of mysterious, targeted killings that took place in Somaliland between 2003 and 2004. A Swiss businessman was killed in Hargeisa in January 2003, after unknown assailant shot him at the head from a close range in front of a busy supermarket. On October 5, 2003, an Italian veteran aid worker was shot dead in Borama where she has established a local hospital that provides treatment to TB and HIV/AIDS patients. On October 19, 2003, a British couple, a teacher and his wife, were killed in the town of Sheikh, where they were teaching at an SOS school. In another unpleasant incident, on April 19, 2004, unknown assailants ambushed a vehicle belonging to a German NGO, GTZ, on the highway linking Hargeisa to Berbera, killing a Kenyan expatriate woman and wounding a German staff member of the organization.
The motives behind these targeted assassinations are not known and no one claimed responsibility for these cruel and horrifying assassinations. In light of the above historical background to the strength of Al-Ittihad, the Somaliland authorityâ€™s claim to shift the blame on Al-Ittihadâ€™s Mogadishu branch is not plausible. It is entirely possible that the perpetrators of the above mentioned crimes are home-grown terrorists. Political pundits observing developments in Somaliland are of the opinion that these attacks are highly organized, interconnected and premeditated.
These targeted assassinations against international expatriates are believed to be the work of professional killers. All of these slain expatriates were hit right on the forehead. According to local sources, the guns used by the assailants were fitted with silencers. Hence, those close to the site of the crime have not heard the blast of the gunshots. The degree of proficiency displayed in the execution of this mysterious assassinations and the lip-sealing silence that ensued bear testimony to the involvement of an externally motivated terrorist organization.
Currently, although not engaged in violence, Al-Ittihad fully dominates the booming business sector in Somaliland. It manages a network of social organizations that provide employment and livelihoods to tens of thousands of ordinary Somalis. In a nutshell, it symbolizes a government in waiting, and seems to comfortably co-exist with the authority in Hargaisa.
Though stable and at peace, a serious power vacuum evolved in Puntland soon after the downfall of Siad Barreâ€™s government in 1991. A perilous gap in administration that has been in the making in the closing days of Barreâ€™s rule began to widen, as local community leaders and politicians were caught off guard by the sudden collapse of the government. The Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF), a *****tain dominated armed opposition movement that has been fighting against Barreâ€™s government for nearly a decade was virtually in disarray at the time. Its leader has been in prison in Addis Ababa since early 1980s, after he fell out with his erstwhile benefactor, Mengistu Haile Mariam, Ethiopiaâ€™s military dictator. Disoriented, many members of its military wing have joined Siad Barreâ€™s regime, subsequently. Most of the ex-SSDF forces were later inducted into the military and deployed in the northwestern region to fight the SNM, in late 1980s.
The downfall of the government and the end of the rule of a central authority has given tremendous opportunities to Al-Ittihad. Geographically perched on a conveniently accessible region, Puntland has a long coastline with both the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean and is situated in a close proximity to the Arabian Peninsula. It provided strategic advantage to Al-Ittihadâ€™s militaristic trust. Wasting no time, with the consent and the blessings of the unsuspecting public, it quickly seized the overall control of the northeastern regions of Somalia, formerly knows as *****tainia. Al-Ittihad ruled the region during the period between March 1991 and June 1992.
To counter-balance the influence of the ****** -dominated USC, which has taken control of Galkayo city in central Somalia, former SSDF leaders initiated the revival of the now defunct SSDF. Gen. Mohamed Abshir Muse, a former police commander, has been appointed to lead the reformed movement. Upon his release and return to the area, Col. Abdillahi Yusuf reclaimed his chairmanship of the SSDF, in 1991. In order to avoid internal conflict that could potentially distract their forces from challenging the USC, the clan leaders wisely formulated a power-sharing formula acceptable to both of the contenders. Gen. Muse has been appointed to remain the political chairman of the SSDF, while Col. Yusuf has been assigned to lead the military wing of the movement.
At that juncture, Col. Yusufâ€™s first priority was to dislodge the USC from Galkayo and to stem its territorial conquest. He started to mobilize the youth, former fighters of the SSDF and ex-military personnel to form operational force capable of confronting the USC and to ensure the security of the regions under the nominal jurisdiction of the SSDF (Al-Ittihad kept sway of the real authority). However, his mission has been quickly constrained by Al-Ittihad, which prompted an economic embargo on Col. Yusuf, bringing to halt commercial goods and other supplies coming out of the port city of Bosaso, which remained under the sway of the militant Islamic group.
Since the bulk of the Al-Ittihad forces operating in Puntland were of ****** origin, the predominantly *****tain population of the region reacted with anger against the measures taken by the radical Islamic organization. The measures were also interpreted as a concerted anti-****** effort aimed at imposing a ****** -dominated rule on Somalia. Hence, the *****tain public rallied behind Col. Yusuf, rejecting the conciliatory tone adopted by the political chairman of the SSDF, Gen. Muse, who was strongly disinclined to support any move that could result in bloody confrontation between Al-Ittihad and the SSDF.
The public entirely behind him, Abdillahi Yusuf fought against Al-Ittihad in almost all the main towns of the region, including Garowe, Bosaso, Laskoray, and Las Anod, in June 1992. Facing their baptism of fire, Al-Ittihad organized reinforcements from their strongholds in Somaliland and southern Somalia and as far as the Somali region of Ethiopia. This was the bloodiest of all the battles fought by Al-Ittihad in its entire history. According to eyewitness accounts, thousands of combatants have perished from both sides, as the fighting degenerated into an all-out public uprising. Although at a very high cost, Al-Ittihad eventually received a shattering blow. It was militarily defeated; its forces disarmed and routed out of the region. It was forced to retreat from the towns and other strategic locations occupied and its influence contained, if not fully curtailed.
IV.3 Gedo Region
The Gedo region in southwestern Somalia has been the first area in Somalia in which an Islamic administration has been set up by Al-Ittihad. In the early years of 1990s, the region has been notoriously identified as a formidable bastion of International Islamic extremists, as militants hailing from many Muslim countries congregated there. Religious extremists from Sudan, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Pakistan convened and coalesced in Gedo to train Al-Ittihad fighters, establish forward logistic bases for terrorist activities particularly directed at Ethiopia and to provide professional security protection to top Al-Ittihad leaders.
For many years, Gedo served as a rear logistics base for Al-Ittihadâ€™s forces fighting against Ethiopia, within the Somali region of Ethiopia. As a stronghold of Al-Ittihad, it prompted brief but recurrent incursions of Ethiopian defense forces into the region, since 1996. Ethiopian troops raided Gedo on several occasions to disable Al-Ittihad, which claimed responsibility for a number of terrorist attacks in Ethiopia.
Al-Ittihad took over the control of Gedo region soon after the downfall of the Somali government in 1991, under the command of Mohamed Haji Yusuf (Mareehan), a former Judge of the Higher Court of Somalia. The town of Luuq became the seat of Al-Ittihadâ€™s administration in Gedo. In a stretch of several years, it established a police force, Islamic courts, Islamic education centers, and health centers, all intricately linked to the principles of Islamic Sharia laws. It outlawed the chewing of Qat (khat), reduced the stature and importance of traditional Islamic leaders, and built special mosques that served, exclusively, as communal centers for Islamists.
The grand strategy of Al-Ittihad in its seizure of Gedo region was to forge inland linkages between Al-Ittihad in Somalia and those in Northeastern Frontier District (NFD) of Kenya. Al-Ittihad maintained strong presence in NFD even prior to the collapse of the Somali government. It dominated the transportation business in both Kenya and Uganda and established and operated a number of Islamic schools.
After the defeat of Al-Ittihad in Gedo region by Ethiopian defense forces, Mohamed Haji Yusuf fled to Mandera town in Kenya to join his wife who was residing there already. The rest of the Al-Ittihad leaders, including Hasan Daahir Aways (********** , Ayr), retreated to Mogadishu. Hassan Daahir Aways, one of the top leaders of Al-Ittihad, settled in Merca after his flight from Gedo, where he established the first Islamic court in Lower Shabelle region. (Hassan Dahir Aways, a former colonel in the Somali army, was the head of the military-wing of Al-Ittehad Al-Islami in Somalia. He is based in Mogadishu)). In 1999, he became in-charge of the southern Mogadishu Islamic court, while his associate Sheikh Ali Dheere (******) presided over the northern Mogadishu Islamic court.
Although Al-Ittihad has been defeated militarily in Gedo, their socio-economic infrastructure is still in tact. The remnants of Al-Ittihad fighters have finally regrouped around the towns of Elwaq and Buulo Hawo, near the Kenyan border.
IV. 4 ****** -dominated Southern Somalia
(Hiran, Mogadishu, Middle & Lower Shabelle)
Al-Ittihad never fought a war in ****** -dominated areas. Its war forays were purposely confined to ***** -dominated areas, i.e., Puntland, Somali Region of Ethiopia and Gedo. They have been exceptionally successful in quickly winning the hearts and minds of the local people and in forging alliances with the ****** faction leaders. They have never opposed any of the ****** faction leaders, so far. Al-Ittihad never took administrative control of any of the ****** -dominated regions of Somalia. It flourished and proliferated under the umbrella of the USC-Aidedâ€™s wing and under the auspices of Abdiqassim Salad Hassan and his Transitional National Government (TNG) formed in Arta, Djibouti, in 2000. In collaboration with the USC, it established a base in Merca, the capital of the Lower Shabelle region in 1992, taking over the control of the port and setting up an Islamic court.
Mogadishu, the Capital city of Somalia, which is now divided into a number of fragmented portions run by rival militias, is the nerve center of Al-Ittihad. It is the only place in the Somali inhabited regions where demonstrations in support of Osama Bin Laden have been held, after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US.
Al-Ittihad maintains Islamic courts and its own militia force in Mogadishu. They also run various madarassa schools, relief organizations and almost all the business activities in the city, including export-import trading, transportation, telecommunication, storage facilities and banking systems. Al-Ittihad regulates daily currency exchange rates for southern Somalia, including Puntland. It maintains strong commercial ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where Al-Ittihad retains commercial centers, offices and residential premises, and hideouts for its top leaders who mostly are in possession of UAE resident permits and bank accounts.
The higher-ranking Al-Ittihad leaders based in Mogadishu include, Mohamud Esse (Abgal), Sheikh Omer Faaruuq (Reer Aw Hassan), Hassan Daahir Aways (********** , Ayr), Sheikh Ibrahim Suulay (****** ), Aden Hashi Ayro (****** , Ayr) and Haji Addani (perhaps the most influential of Al-Ittihad leaders in southern Somalia).
Sheikh Ali Dheere (Abgal), who follows a different version of religious radicalism in Mogadishu, was instrumental in the establishment of the first Islamic court in North Mogadishu. Officials of another extremist Islamic organization, the Altakfiir Wal Hijra, headed by Abdiqadir Haji Mohamud (*****tain), which is believed to be the most intimate and closest to Al-Qaeda, in terms of ideological outlook, are residing in the ****** -dominated southern Somalia.
Doing things governments do, Al-Ittihad provides employment opportunities, maintains order, establishes justice, collects taxes, forges alliances, fights wars and influences the socioeconomic and political life of an entire population, who have not seen a semblance of government for more than a decade.
Al-Ittihad has always maintained significant presence in the Lower Juba region, although it declined to take control of the entire region or to dominate the political life of the conflict-ridden Kismayo City. It, however, maintained strong presence in the coastal areas, particularly in Ras Kambooni. It has never taken sides or participated in the numerous factional fighting that took place between forces loyal to Gen. Mohamed Farah Aidid and Gen. Mohamed Saeed Morgan or the USC and the SPM factions. The majority of the Al-Ittihad forces based in the Jubaland region were from the ****** clans. These groups were led by Sheikh Hassan Turki (******, Reer Abdille).
The port city of Kismayo in the southern Somalia is currently run by a group known as the Juba Alliance, a group allied to Abdiqassim Salad Hassan, President of the former Transitional National Government of Somalia who has links to Al-Ittihad. The Juba Alliance comprises elements from the Mareehan clan as well as from ********** (Ayr), the clan of Abdulqassim Salad Hassan and Hassan Dahir Aways.
IV.5 Somali Region of Ethiopia
Al-Ittihad made swift inroads into the Somali region of Ethiopia after it had embraced a devastating defeat in the hands of Col. Abdillahi Yusufâ€™s forces in Puntland. Al-Ittihadâ€™s appearance in the Somali region of Ethiopia coincided at a time when massive influx of Somali refugees fleeing from the civil war in their country has turned up in the region. It also coincided at a time when the new Ethiopian government (that came to power in 1991) has not fully taken control of the region. For that reason, Al-Ittihad managed to establish full-fledged presence in the region, occupying large areas in Fiiq, Qorahey and Godey zones.
At the end of 1992, Al-Ittihad, launched surprise attacks in the Somali region of Ethiopia. It also took credit for a number of terrorist attacks and explosions that rocked Addis Ababa between 1993 and 1996. Subsequent to a number of bloody combats with Ethiopian defence forces, Al-Ittihad has been routed out of the Somali region of Ethiopia. Most of their leaders including, Sheikh Abdillahi Yare (******, Reer Abdille), Sheikh Dhaweed (Abskul), Sheikh Bade (Abskul) and Abdillahi Muhumad Irad (******, Reer Saâ€™ad) were killed in action. The remaining leading figures of the organization retreated to Mogadishu, subsequently. Those still at large include: Sheikh Abdillahi Omer (******, Tolomoge), Abdisalan (******, Makaahiil), Abdiqadir Haji Mahamed (******, Auliyahan), Ahmed Asoowe (******, Reer Abdille), and Ali Dhuux Dheere (Abskul).
At present, Al-Ittihad is certainly not a force to be reckoned with in the Somali region of Ethiopia. Its fighting force in the region has been successfully smashed and dispersed. Its top leaders are either killed or forced to flee from Ethiopia. Some of its former fighters have laid down their arms and returned to their villages of origin to resume normal, peaceful living. Others have submitted themselves to the government of Ethiopia, providing inside information on Al-Ittihadâ€™s operations. Although Al-Ittihad is not presently a force to reckon with in the Somali region of Ethiopia, it is neither a spent force. In actual fact, Al-Ittihad is akin to a volcano that stopped spewing its blistering lava but is likely to resume eruption any time.
IV.6 The North-eastern Frontier District of Kenya
The North-eastern Frontier District of Kenya (NFD) has been one of strongholds of Al-Ittihad, even prior to the collapse of the Somali government. Highly organized Al-Ittihad units have been actively operational in both Kenya and Uganda for many years running lucrative transportation businesses and trans-state Khat (Chat) export activities. Al-Ittihad business tycoons have over the years acquired their own small aircrafts that could simply land in any unpaved airstrip. These aircrafts have been used mainly for transporting Khat and wealthy individuals who could afford to charter such planes. During the height of the refugee exodus that ensued the downfall of Somali government in 1991, these aircrafts efficiently served the wealthy and higher-ranking officials of Siad Barreâ€™s government who were trying to enter Kenya without documentations and valid visas. These aircrafts are also used for many unlawful activities, such as money laundering, human and drug trafficking and smuggling of goods. The possibility of these aircrafts being used by those Islamic terrorists who carried out the bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania cannot be ruled out.
Surprisingly, Al-Ittihad has largely restrained itself from launching military strikes against targets and assets within Kenya. Likewise, the government of Kenya has largely glimpsed on blind eye (perhaps squinting on blurred images) to Al-Ittihadâ€™s extensive network of businesses and unscrupulous and secretive operations in Kenya. Ultimately, the uncharacteristic tendency of closing eyes to Al-Ittihadâ€™s dangerous maneuvers and subversive activities could have far-reaching consequences for the region.
V. Concluding Remarks
In the aftermath of the demise of the Somali government and the ensuing disintegration, Somalia has degenerated into a state of lawlessness. The country has fragmented into a disparate fiefdoms run by a bunch of rival and unruly warlords that selfishly capitalize on the suffering of the beleaguered Somali people.
From the white sandy coast of Ras Kamboni to the grazing savanna land of Togdher, from the dangerous alleys of Mogadishu to the forbidding aridity of Qabridahareâ€™s Qorahay, from the bustling bazaars of Hargeisa and Bosaso to the war-torn shorelines of Kismayo and Barbera, Al-Ittihadâ€™s presence is felt one way or another. It maintains a highly secretive network of business and political organizations that dominate the economic and political affairs of Somalis in the Horn of Africa region.
The disintegration of the former Somali Democratic Republic and the absence of a unified and centralized power in Somalia is a major factor in the resilience and growing muscle of this radical religious movement. Massive unemployment and soul-devouring abject poverty and pervasive sense of hopelessness are also the underlying factors that increasingly contribute to the growing influence of radical politico religious movements. Having supplanted the collapsed state institutions, radical religious organizations enjoy popular grassroots support of the large impoverished Somali people.
In the 1990s, the Barre government was successful in uprooting major cells of Al-Ittihad in their shaping, formative stage. Today, unless a functioning government is reestablished in Somalia, Al-Ittihad forces could mushroom in all parts of Somalia and possibly spread to Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti and countries within the Greater Horn of Africa. And that could in the long run destabilize the entire northeast African region. The low profile, or state of near-absence of western powers in the affairs of Somalia has further encouraged radical religious leaders to seek the demise of any effort of reconciliation in the country. It is therefore plausible to conclude that without major effort both by local secular leaders and the international community, Al-Ittihad radicals may dictate the architecture of future form of governments in Somalia.
A. Duale Sii'arag
Muslim Brotherhood (commonly known by its Arabic name, Ikhwan ul Muslimeen) was founded in Egypt by Hassan al-Banna in 1928 to serve as a political instrument for the foundersâ€™ quest for the creation of an Islamic State in Egypt. It later inspired likeminded Islamic radicals in many Muslim countries. Muslim Brotherhood is politically active in Somalia under several names, in addition to its original name, among which are: Haraket Al-Islah (reformed movement) and Al Haraka Al-Islam (Islamic Movement).
2 On December 5, 2001, the State Department released statement on the designation of 39 organizations on the USA PATRIOT Actâ€™s â€œTerrorist Exclusion Listâ€. Al-Ittihad Al-Islami featured top in the list. The US government has also frozen Al-Ittihad Al-Islami funds with the intention â€œto deter donations to the organization and alert other governments to U.S. concerns about the groupâ€™s involvement in terrorist activitiesâ€.
3 In the Spotlight: al-Ittihad al-Islami (AIAI), a report on terrorism prepared by the Center for Defense Information. www.cdi.org
6 Somalia: A haven for Terrorists by Nate Leskovic, The Observer, July 31, 2005
â€œAl-Ittihad al-Islamiâ€, Patterns of Global Terrorism 2003, U.S. State Department, April 2004. http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/3197.pdf
â€œIn the Spotlight: al-Ittihad al-Islami (AIAI), Center For Defense Information, May 26, 2005. http://www.cdi.org
â€œSomaliaâ€ The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, April 21, 2005. http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/so.html
John Pike, â€œAl-Ittihad al-Islamiâ€, FAS Intelligence Resource Program, Federation of American Scientists, May 21, 2004. http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/ogadin.htm
â€œStatement on the Designation of 39 Organizations on the USA PATRIOT Actâ€™s Terrorist Exclusion Listâ€, International Association for Counterterrorism and Security Professionals (IACSP), April 2005. http://www.iacsp.com/terrorist_ec.html
David Dickson, â€œPolitical Islam in sub-Saharan Africaâ€, The Need for New research and Diplomatic Agenda, May 2005. http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr140.html
â€œTerrorism in the Horn of Africaâ€, Special Reports: Publications: U.S. Institute of Peace, January 2004. http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr113.html
Somali: A Haven for Terrorism by Nate Leskovic, July 31, 2005
Deadly Connections, States that Sponsor Terrorism by David Byman, George Town University, Washington DC
Somalia: Another Foreign Policy Challenge for the United States, by David Shinn, May 21, 2002
Terrorism Research Center, Country profile: Somalia, July 22, 2005. http://www.terrorism.ws
Are we all aware of in which religious setting we are operating on?, if not then it is about the time to explore
We have enough rules set fort in the SOL privacy stmt but I see lack of reciprocation on them. However, we can always do improvements since time changes and so do we
Mr. Soo Maal as you put it Transgressor should be rejected in any form they come
I guess those who attacked him while he was in Mogadishu want to have him dead. Who are they?. I don't have to contemplate since it is complex issue to figure out who really is after him.
Regardless whether your forefathers were collaborators or freedom fighters, the bombardment of Taleh is part of our history and should be commemorated annually
This is what is called pure lack of leadership, Premier Geedi proved himself to be incompetent for the post because he couldn't at least provide satisfactory responses to both the unionists and secessionist alike.
He would have made my day, had he said, "we do promote freedom of expression and self-governance but it is also our responsibility to safegaurd the integrity and unity of our nation" in that case He would neither have alienated unionist nor secessionist.
It is self-evident that something is changing as we are interchanging ideas right now,and if you don't see it, it is just a matter of time till almost everyone of us notices the evolution of the case of Somaliland.
THE BANANA REPULIC AND THE BIAS MEDIA
ABDILLAHI MOHAMED SAAD ( CABDILLAHI CUNAYE)
November 12, 2005
No matter how much we try to ignore it, human communications always takes place in a context through a medium. In addition, among individuals and groups who are situated historically, politically and economically. This state of affairs is neither good nor bad. As Somalis or neo Somalilanders, we are not that different, we are human too. We are also bias. Bias is a small word that identifies the collective influence of the entire media, politicians, and the intellectuals of the small Banana Republic of Somaliland. politicians are certainly biased and overtly so. They belong to parties and clans. They espouse tribal based policies, and practice pastoral democracy.
The media, too speak from political positions. A professssional journalist attempts to be objective by two Methods 1) fairness to those concerned with the news and 2) a professional process of information gathering that seeks fairness, completeness, and accuracy. The journalistic ethics of objectivity and fairness are lost in the internet sites of Somaliland. Some of the newspapers and most of the pro-government sites are now the modern day Xiddigta October of The banana republic. But then it is not always the peopleâ€™s interest to satisfy the politicians and blood thirsty individuals, therefore, what happened to them?
Where are the civilized people? Where are the educated? Can any one answer these questionsâ€¦?
In the early days of the year 2000, we had a meeting in Gatineau, Quebec. The agenda was to discuss the political environment of the state Of Awdal at that time. The late President of Somaliland, M. Igal was still in power, and most of my fellow Awdalites in that meeting were strong anti-Somaliland federalists. I was one of very few die-hard somalilnders who bothered to come to Gatineau.The organizers claimed to be the intellectuals, the educators, and experts. All of a sudden when Daahir Rayaale came to power in 2002, they changed their uniforms and became The Reagan democrats for the cause of the banana republic. I would call them the Rayaale convertees, the cross dressers, and the custodians of the immoral cause. In addition, some might even have changed their identities as Awdalites to Habar ******** .
Somaliland has become a de facto one-clan state with unworthy leadership from a puppet man in its white house. There are traffic lights in Hargeisa but no traffic rules. It is a place where the long-oppressed Gabooye clan faces prosecution and brutality. It has become a State where the U.N agencies, NGOs, and other developmental organizations are not allowed to operate outside the Sunni triangle (the area between Hargeisa, Berbera, and Wajaale}. No one has an answer to why 140,000 awdalite voters got 13 seats in the parliament, while less than 40,000 in Saaxil were awarded with 10 seats. In general, the people of Somaliland live in peace and some sort of stability. They casted their ballots peacefully, but still the bullets carried by the army and the police belong to their clans. In other words, it is a prerequisite to join the armed forces of Somaliland; you must bring your own gun. Therefore, those at the borders of Somaliland are not Military men; they are the Somaliland Rifle association.
Banana republic is a pejorative term for describing a country with a non-democratic or unstable Government specially where there is widespread political corruption and strong influence by interest groups. It is a term that describes a backword and unrecognized regimes, specially where elections are always fraudulent and corruption is rife. It is a term that fits Somaliland; I would argue that Somaliland is even worse than a banana republic.
The men like the late General Yousuf Tallan, Professor Housein Ahmed Warsame (my maternal uncle), Dr. Hamud Ali Masheeye, Dr Omar Osman Raabbi, Mr. Nuur Bahal, Dr Abdi Ismail Samatar, And my lovely and beautiful cousin or Cousine Ibado Hussein, will hold the fort authentic rights of Awadal doctrine against any enticement to abandon it.
They will, if god shall will; and in my big way, I intend to hold with them.
Bye Bye Banana republic!
Abdillahi Mohamed Saad ( Cabdillaahi Cunaaye)
Are the minds and hearts of some die-hard Somalilanders changing?, what kind of implication will it have for the secession?. Is the political discourse of Somaliland taking a dynamic phase of its history making?. All these quesitions and others remained unanswered.
The curfew and the protest of the army in Las Anod are two separate, distinct issues. Mr. Red Sea it is not newsworthy to many if you waste your energy and time propagating well organized propoganda coming from the triangle (Buroa-Hargeisa-Berbera) websites..
Mr. Red sea, Your next posts should have less contamination of lies for the sake of modesty and civility.
It can be derived and perceived that elected president of the TFG Mr. Abdullahi is somewhat interfering PLs internal affairs here and there in a proxy way. With that said Puntland is in restructuring mode and am hoping that she will come up the deliverables in which her citizens deserve.
JB is entitled to his opinion so I don't see why on earth Mr. Yonis' blood is touching top of the roof if PLs position or performance is critiqued.
Attecion!, Neither IPs nor MAC address alone can prove the usage of cardinality However,when someone is playing around with SOLs rules setforth, utilizing IP addresses can be helpful but it has its shortcomings to ban someone based solely on them.
International Military Intervention: A Viable Option for the Stabilization of Somalia
Omar A. Osman
November 8 , 2005
It has now been over a decade since Somalia has been engulfed in a bloody civil war leaving behind a large-scale catastrophe. The tragic consequence of this senseless war has contributed to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilian lives, widespread famine, hunger, destruction of infrastructure and property, displacement of a major segment of the population and a refugee crisis of enormous proportions.
The lack of central authority has further marred the image of the once proud Somali nation and rendered it to a failed state. In view of the magnitude and gravity of the conflict situation in Somalia and its serious implications for regional and international peace and security, many believe that international military intervention is the most appropriate option to reestablish peace, law and order in the country. I strongly support this viewpoint.
Warlords, Militias and the Collapse of the Somali State
Since the collapse of the Siad Barre dictatorship in 1991, Somalia has been unable to establish an effective central government. The country has been fragmented into fiefdoms controlled by blood thirsty and ruthless warlords who continue to benefit from the prevailing anarchic situation. Powerful warlords exercise full authority on the capital city Mogadishu and they charge taxes on goods and services, ports and airports as well as other public facilities.
The consequence of this has been tribal and factional warfare of which lines are drawn based on tribal claims on various important zones of the Capital City. Ethnically speaking Somalia is the only homogeneous nation in the African continent where people share the same characteristic features, religion, culture and language. Tribalism and clanism are the root causes of the conflict. The war that is being fought today and has lasted for all these years can be attributed to historic inter-clan animosity and rivalry, which has been fueled by the factional warlords.
The main question that arises from this is what can be done to restore a functioning legitimate government that can stabilize the nation and restore the peace and security, which Somalis have longed for all these years? In order to address this we must examine and analyze in some detail the challenges facing Somalia today.
Internal and External Challenges
First and foremost, the presence of factional militias particularly in the south of the country has created an environment of lawlessness and chaos. The sole purpose of the warlords is to stay in power and maintain the current status quo, which has undoubtedly tilted in their favor.
Secondly, the self-proclaimed renegade state of Somaliland in the north of the country has been vehemently opposed to joining the South thereby dividing the Somali nation. Thus if Somaliland secedes from Somalia then ultimately according to the domino theory other Regions will follow and there will be no Somali nation. This is unacceptable.
Thirdly, several neighboring countries such as Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya have aligned themselves with warlords and various clans in pursuit of their political, economic and strategic interests in the region. This is yet another significant factor, which continues to pose a serious threat to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of the Somali nation. In the absence of a military peacekeeping force, the signings of peace agreements alone cannot solve the challenges and problems facing the Somali people.
Weak Ineffective Transitional Federal Government
As we are aware, Somalia has been in a state of civil war and anarchy years and has no effective central government for over 14 years. Although, in 2004 a government was established by the Transitional Federal Parliament after the conclusion of the Nairobi Peace Conference, it cannot function in the nation's capital Mogadishu due to security concerns.
Many warlords have threatened to use violent attacks against the government should it come to Mogadishu to proclaim its constitutional authority. Some concerned neighboring countries like Ethiopia and Uganda have offered to send troops to reestablish peace and security to disarm the militias and protect transitional national institutions. However, certain armed groups and militias under the authority of the warlords have threatened to attack peacekeeping troops in case they intervene.
The warlords argue that any intervention force would cause problems and is in violation of the national sovereignty of Somalia which they have vowed to defend and protect. The TFG is ineffective and too weak to deal with the warlords who are fully armed and equipped. The only course of action to salvage the Somali nation is for the international community to launch a campaign to send a coalition force to the devastated country in order to rid the nation of the warlords and protect the established constitutional government so that it can function effectively in the country and without the threat of an all out assault from the warlords.
Missed Opportunities by the International Community
Following the humanitarian crisis that unfolded in Somalia in1993, American and UN troops were deployed to help feed the starving population as the result of the civil war. The warlords should have been held fully accountable for the human tragedy that followed and the chaos and mayhem that ensued after the debacle with US troops. However, regrettably there was no underlying effort to stabilize the country and restore law and order, and most of all, restore central authority through the establishment of a government.
The plan was simply to make sure that channels of supplies were open to ensure the safe delivery of food supplies to the people. Nevertheless what Somalia needed most at the time was international assistance to help it get back on its feet. By this I mean that the international community should have helped Somali statehood by providing military support to stabilize the country and restore peace and order and economic and developmental assistance so that the country reestablish central governance which it urgently needed.
International Military Intervention and Peace Enforcement
I believe that it is time for the international community to take a bold decisive action and send a coalition force to Somalia in order to stabilize the country, and most important, allow the elected government (now operating in Jowhar within Somali territory) to perform its functions without the threat of violent attacks and reprisal from warlords and their militias.
In an age where terror has become a crucial issue of global concern particularly after the attacks of 9-11, it is imperative that the international community pay special attention to the so-called â€œfailed statesâ€ which if not assisted could be a fertile ground for terrorists to promote their agenda.
Indifference or lack of action by the international community will not only aggravate the situation in Somalia but contribute to the destabilization of neighboring states with serious implications for regional and international peace and security. In this regard, the international community particularly the western nations have a vital interest and a special role to play.
Disarmament of Clan Based Militias: A Prerequisite to Achieving Peace
The major problem to be addressed is the question of total disarmament of clan based militias. It would be recalled that in 1992, the US Government had taken the initiative to take the lead in dispatching a sizeable military force to Somalia to assist in the delivery of humanitarian relief supplies to the affected Somali population, Operation Restore Hope was subsequently launched.
The mandate as clearly defined was limited to the UN Security Resolution 794, which authorized the U.S. led intervention â€œto use all necessary means to establish a secure environment for humanitarian relief operations in Somalia as soon as possible.â€ It was however unfortunate that the critical issue of disarmament of the militia factions was not given priority attention. Without disarming the factions, the establishment of a secure environment in the context of the UN Security Council Resolution (794) would not be possible; this was strongly opposed by the US Government.
The US strategy was to cooperate with the faction leaders and avoid a confrontation with them so as to ensure the safety of their forces. According to Ambassador John Hirsch of the United States Institute for Peace and former US Ambassador to Somalia, â€œmany observers, however, believed that failure to disarm the factions of their heavy weapons which could have been accomplished with limited resistance at the time was one of the major blunders of UNITAF as shown by subsequent developments of the conflict situation in Somalia.â€ This is an important lesson, which the international community should take into account.
Protection of the Transitional Federal Government and Safeguarding of Transitional Federal Institutions to Reestablish Peace and Security
Since a new government under the leadership of President Abdullahi Yusuf has been established, it is incumbent on the international community to fully recognize the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and assist in the fulfillment of its national and international obligations to reestablish peace and security and effectively address the challenging problems facing the Somali nation today.
I propose that a military coalition intervention force much like the initiative taken in Afghanistan which ousted the Taliban regime be deployed under the auspices of the UN Security Council. Military solution comprising of troops representing the international community is in my view the only conceivable option for the restoration of peace to provide an environment for political stability and socioeconomic development.
Need for International Peacekeeping Force
The Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan submitted a Report on the situation in Somalia in October 8, 2004 in response to the peace initiatives taken in Nairobi. This report was released prior to the election of the President, the Prime Minister and other cabinet officials. In the report the Secretary General points out that â€œat this crucial stage in the peace process, I can only reiterate the crucial importance of progress in the political arena being accompanied by serious efforts on the part of Somali leaders to bring about a tangible improvement in the security situation on the ground. Such efforts would do much to ensure that the political agreement and the government formed on its basis receive the full support of the people of Somalia and the international community.â€
According to the Secretary General, the Somali leaders must come together to form a consensus in order to achieve peace and security. However, he failed to underscore the numerous peace initiatives in the past which all ended in total failure as they could not be implemented on the ground. Repeating similar appeals time and again is a waste of time and an exercise in futility. If however, an international military force is mobilized to keep the peace process and protect the elected government the Secretary General's proposal will work and peace can be enforced on the lines proposed by him.
No doubt, the plight of the Somali people rest at the hands of its leaders and the effective support of the international community. It is quite evident that in the absence of international support the African and regional countries would not have the means and capabilities to provide military force in order to put an end to the chaos and restore law and order. Launching a robust international force, in my view, will effectively lead to the removal of the warlords and thereby create a peaceful political climate of stability conducive to nation building and reconstruction in Somalia. It is about time something is done!
Omar A. Osman
PS--Do you think it is about time something should be done?
Am I missing something here?, has Censorship taken its toll on this thread?.
Attencion amigos!, I guess none of us needs that I give here a background info of what we've gone through as a nation for the last 15 years or so. Thus, it is self-evident that the 4.5 formula is utterly wrong. it doesn't represent evenly among somali communities. Having said that we are a failed nation and we've to start from somewhere. then don't you guys think something may emerge from this endeavor since life is all about trails and errors?.
Think about this, if we didn't even have this 4.5 formula today, I assure you the topic of the discussion would have being lots of more bad news coming from here and there. So guys hold your horses back and let us make this formula best out of it. Remember time will come when power will be shared equally and the wealthy will be distributed evenly and in proportion.
Before I forget.. Thanks Maakhir
Toohe Jr. .
Mr. Qudhac..I am sitting beside myself on your post and can't decipher what you are trying to propagate here. what is wrong with it, if you are a step ahead and someone emulates or learn from you?
This thread is reaching its summit, and before I delve into about what I am tempting to add to the discussion. I prefer posing a question to all of us from the outset since some of us left the kettle over the flame little too long.
Are we all free from being a hostage of some sort of syndrome?. I am saying that because after reading some posts I realized how eminent that some of us ought to visit one of the local urgent care centers. Some of us need clarity because of confusion; others need natural treatment from brain chemical imbalances.
In any event, much has been said about Somaliland, as evident there are supporters and opponents(in which I am one of them), since this is a big divide of opinion we should decompose the problem pertaining Somaliland status into components, and address them accordingly. for instance, secessionists' component, unionists' component, SNMist component and zetra.
I am anticipating, after analyzing these components separately on each in my subsequent posts, to develop methodologies so then we can have a say on each.
It is apparent the secession idea is not sexy anymore, but some zealots still stick to it,
does that blind support have any implicit detrimental effect on the cause?. one question per post.
PUNTLAND FORCES LEAVE LAS ANOD FOR LACK OF PAY
Mr. Nabadshe, allow me to start with some derogatory terms, first of all your name and remarks are in conflict, on one hand you are advocating implicitly the supremacy of your clan over others, on the other hand you are denying the self determination and destiny of the others. Life would have been meaningless without its ironies.
Your 1st Q. SSC is a derivation of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn(Its capital being Buuhoodle)apart of educational part, Have you seen thus far anyone from SSC who is arguing with your newly coined region Saaxil in which Berbera happened to be its capital, doesn't that send a click on what is wrong with your logic?.
Your 2nd Q. Remember we are a nation of clans and we know pretty well how senseless is having someone from Hargeisa or Boorame to die in the suburbs of Las Anod on the basis of sealing off the imaginary border at Garowe.
Your 3rd Q. Cayn is a newly found region and its inhabitants are Dhulos 100%, Sool above 85% are Dhulsos, the rest being Isaks and in the case of Sanaag the majority roughly 75% is Warsanka the remainder is in split to Isaks and Dhulbahantaha.
Hope that helps, and if it doesn't, time will help you.