Posts Tagged With: Abdullahi Yusuf

Review of Horn Politics

Following Somali politics is like baby-sitting a five-year old toddler with hyperactivity. Just in the past two weeks, Somalia has managed to get another first, one-of-a-kind accomplishment: two ‘prime ministers’ for about a week despite the fact that this so-called government is under Ethiopian military occupation and controlls nothing more than couple of neighborhoods in Mogadisho and Baydhabo (Baidoa). As it happened, warlord ‘president’ Abdullahi Yusuf ‘appointed’ a new prime minister in defiance of ‘parlament’ because the current one, Nur Hussein,  has been doing too much peace negotiations with the various clan, nationalist, and religious oriented opposition groups who have been waging Iraqi-style insurgency against his Western/AU/UN backed fantasy-government.

In fact, two years ago this week, the Ethiopian military invaded Somalia with the backing of Washington and the European Union in order to get rid of Somalia its little, six-month old return to peace under the Union of Islamic Courts. Just has been the case everywhere else, the term “Islam” in the Union of the Islamic Courts’ name  brought up end-of-the-world vision for Washington and immediately dispatched CIA, not-so covert operation aimed at removing the Union of Islamic Courts, who were widely acknowledged for bringing peace and stability to the country. Instead of dealing with the Courts directly, the brilliant minds behind US foreign policy makers decided to fund warlords, who have been committing egregious atrocities against the Somali people since 1991. The strategy, like all evil-intentioned ones, backfired spectacularly. The Union of Islamic Courts, with the help of the business community and the civilian population, defeated the warlord alliances backed by the CIA in June, 2006. Six months of peace and order returned to the country. Of course this was overlooked and the UIC’s heavy sharia enforcement was focused on in the preparation of foreign invasion. The international press had a significant contribution in demonizing the Union of Islamic Courts (not that the UIC were angels), and lionizing warlords, thugs, US-backed Ethiopian invasions, and propping up bunch of murderous warlords as politicians.

Fast-forward two years later, the fantasy-government invented by the West for Somalia has essentially collapsed (not that it existed in reality in the first place). The tolerable Union of Islamic Courts has turned into a hardcore movement, Al-Shabab. The already catastrophic humanitarian mess has turned into a shitty humanitarian catastrophe. Millions of Somalis are being fed by U.N. food aid, while hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable people are internally displaced into refugee camps. And piracy of the coast is thriving more than ever. With all of this mess, could there be any good news? Perhaps.

‘Prime Minister’ Nur Hussein, the one the ‘Somali Parliament’ approved, and his warlord ‘president’ Abdullahi Yusuf have been fighting over how to deal with the insurgency, the Ethiopian occupation, and the various other problems facing the country. To his credit, Nur Hussein, who is not a warlord, has been proactive in trying to negotiate an inclusive peace deal that includes the removal of foreign forces, particularly Ethiopian, from Somali soil. Warlord Abdullahi Yusuf, who has benefited from the blood and treasure of Ethiopia and the West, inexorably refuses to deal with anyone who’s interested in peace and reconciliation. Two weeks ago, Warlord Yusuf tried his last trick by first announcing his intentions to get rid of Nur Hussein, which he did not have the power to do so because it’s the parliament that can remove the PM. The parliament unanimously approved the continuation of Nur’s leadership, a blow against Yusuf’s thuggish rule. Despite pledging he would stick by the parliament’s decision, Yusuf, like all tyranical warlords, announced one of his henchman as prime minister. Everyone laughed at him, including his staunchest allies – Ethiopia, the US, and the African Union.

The AU and Kenya followed with a la carte sanction against Yusuf and his thug friends personally. Perhaps this was the silver lining. Or Warlord Yusuf simply knew it was time to go, saving his octogenarian head from certain beheading. He announced his resignation today, Dec. 29 2998, from the presidency ‘he was entrusted’ with, as he said in his announcement to the parliament in Baydhabo. He immediately flew to pirate den in Puntland, where now it will be more easy to cash in for the piracy ransom he has cultivated during his tenure. I, for one, think this is a good news. It sure won’t fix Somalia’s mess, but perhaps it will start a trend – a hopeful one where warlords are left in the pages of history rather than propped up as politicians. Ethiopia “announced” more than a month ago that it will withdraw all of its troops from Somalia by the end of 2008. Two days before the year is up, they’re still there. In the past few days, they’ve magically extended the deadline to leave Somali soil to, gasp, Jan. 5, 2009. Make up your mind, Zenawi. 

With Warlord Abdullahi Yusuf and Ethiopian occupation out of the picture, Somalia’s future, contrary to the ill-informed Western press’s favorite soundbite, is more bright today than it was yesterday. That doesn’t say a lot, but it sure won’t be worse than it was during the past two years under Warlord Yusuf and Ethiopian military occupation, as so-called ‘security/terrorism experts’ and ‘foreign correspondents’ love to invoke how Al-Shabab will take over, and obliterate everyone. No one knows what will happen in Somalia, but the departure of Abdullahi Yusuf and the Ethiopian military is a good thing all around. May 2009 be the year peace and stability returns to the Horn. 

Happy New Year, nomads.

Categories: Africa Related, East Africa, Somalia | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Here We Go Again

Just read a press release that announced the TFG and the opposition reached a “deal” in Djibouti. Ethiopia will withdraw its troops under two conditions: The fighting stops and a U.N. peacekeepers are deployed to Somalia, then, only then will Ethiopia draw its troops from Somalia AFTER the U.N. peacekeepers have already been on the ground for 4 months. 

All I have to say is “In Your Dream!”. 

The cool part is that none of the people who are ACTUALLY fighting Ethiopia and its puppet warlords have any clue what is going on in Djibouti, much less than sign a peace deal. So the international donors are duped into believing that the group who signed the “peace deal” are the representative of the Somali people’s struggle against Ethiopia/TFG and those who continue to fight after the “peace deal” are just a bunch of terrorists that will have to be eliminated at any cost – which of course you guys in the U.N. and U.S./European Union have to fund us to do so. Brilliant! But the thing is, I’ve seen this movie before – I wonder if the U.S./European Union and U.N. donors have? I’m sure a lot of us Somalis can read out loud the dialogues of this movie line by line by heart.

And the sad thing is those group from the opposition who signed this sham photo-op deal are going to get paid handsomely but it leads to a very weakened opposition and the only legitimate opposition against Ethiopia and its warlord thugs. I hate Abdullahi Yusuf, but as a student of political science, I have to admit he’s a brilliant son of a bitch. If only he used his gift for the good of his people.

Realizing Somalia will not get close to peace as long as Abdullahi Yusuf is alive, I’ve put my hopes on peace and stability only after Abdullahi Yusuf is dead and most of his fellow thugs are dead or in jail. I reckon that will take a long time, but I’m hopeful I’d live to see it. 

Categories: Africa Related, East Africa, Somalia | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Worst of the Worst

“In many ways, Somalia is not a state at all, but more a lawless space between its neighbors and the sea. Sometimes it seems that if anything binds this country together, it is scar tissue.”

The quote above comes from a report by Jeffrey Gettleman of the New York Times, entitled, “Somalia’s Government Teeters on Collapse,” perhaps the first in-depth look at what is going on in Somalia since the Bush Administration funded invasion of Somalia by Meles Zenawi in late December of 2006. From June of that year until December, southern Somalia enjoyed the most peaceful period since 1990, thanks to the Union of Islamic Courts. However, that was the last time calm and security existed in souther Somalia, thanks to President Bush, Meles Zenawi, and Abdullahi Yusuf of the “Transitional Federal Government,” which the international community “recognized” it as the lawful government of Somalia, despite its murdering, raping, and robbing of the people of souther Somalia.

Like before the Union of Islamic Courts took control of souther Somalia in mid 2006, the “government” is hated by every Somali in unison for its ineffective and barbaric treatment of the people. And like in 2006, the UIC are being funded and supported by the people to defeat the TFG, as it is evident in the Times report. It is only a matter of time before the TFG is annihilated by the UIC because their support comes from the people and most importantly, the business community.

In my previous post about Somalia, I called out the international media for its neglectful duty to report the plight of the people of Somalia and I’m glad the New York Times has reciprocated the call. It is a shame that the Times is the only news outlet to do its duty. So sad.

Categories: Africa Related, East Africa, Somalia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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