Posts Tagged With: union of islamic courts

Could it be The One?

Over the weekend, a long overdue cease-fire agreement was signed in Djibouti by representatives of the ‘Transitional Federal Government’, Ethiopia, and some of the opposition groups. I say ‘some’ because Al-Shabab did not participate, the most important group fighting on the ground. So the effect of the cease-fire is hardly comprehensive until all the elements from the Union of Islamic Courts agree to the truce. It is the first time the TFG and its head warlord Abdillahi Yusuf agreed to have Ethiopian troops leave the country before any further cooperation. Despite the breakthrough agreement, the wording of the document is so vague that there is no deadline for Ethiopian troops to leave the country because the agreement only calls for a ‘timeframe’ of 120 days for Ethiopia to pull out its troop, provided that the African Union troops are in place before Ethiopia fully withdraws, but in the meantime Ethiopian troops will only ‘leave’ certain locations around the country, including Mogadisho. 

Of course Al-Shabab does not accept any presence of foreign troops, most of all Ethiopian, whether inside the cities or otherwise. Now the question has to be asked: is this the agreement that leads to peace for Somalis? I doubt it. But could it possibly, maybe, perhaps start the process of reconciliation and unity government as the truce calls for? I would like to think so. However, let us not forget that there are people, very important people, who would do anything to prevent Somalia from getting stability: these people include warlords, war profiteers, regional foes (who need Somalia to stay as it is), and of course qabilists (clan-mongers). 

Another question that needs some pondering is why did the TFG/Ethiopia have agreed to this cease-fire now? Could it be that they’re also watching the elections in the U.S. with Obama favoring to cut support for these gangsters in the Horn if he wins? Or has Meles Zenawi realized he can’t win against an insurgency (how did Eritria work out, by the way) determined to cut his knees in Somalia? Perhaps that might be the case. Or it could just be another shrewd move on the part of Abdillahi Yusuf to buy out some of the “moderates” (i.e. warlords like Hussein Aideed and self-centered clan leaders) with plenty of cold, hard cash because his mandate to rape Somalia and rob the international donor’s money, will run out within 10 months? Unless I see otherwise, I’m inclined to believe it’s the latter because as long as Abdillahi Ahmed Yusuf and his fellow warlords both in the TFG and in the opposition, are the automatic default representatives of Somalia in the international community’s eyes, nothing will change in Somalia. I suggest it’s time all the warlords in Somalia are arrested and prosecuted for starter.

Categories: East Africa, Somalia | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The World’s Most Utterly Failed State, The Economist profiles

I’m not one to be accused of liking the The Economist, but I’m quite pleased to see a level of understanding about the geo-political conflict in Somalia this article manages to achieve, unlike most media outlets. For the very first time, I think, a representative of the ‘international community’ actually mentioned the need to put the warlords on trial for war crimes instead of giving them legitimacy and support to fix the chaos they’ve been perpetuating for the past 18 years. 

What the world seems to have convinced itself is the theory that Warlords are politicians. Look at the mess Somalia has been in for the past 18 years – Abdillahi Ahmed Yusuf, Mohamed Qanyare, Musa Suudi Yalahow, Usman Ali Aato, etc. These are the people who are the main cause of Somalia’s misery. These are the same people that the U.N./U.S. were spending millions of dollars and human lives to capture in the 1991-1994 Operation Hope. Instead of the UN prosecuting these warlords for killing many U.N. soldiers and personnel, they’ve recognized them as the representative of the Somali people. Remember the images of U.S. rangers’ corpses being dragged through the streets of ‘Disho? The same warlords who were behind those killings were getting cold, hard cash from the C.I.A in suite cases in 2006 during the fighting between the Union of Islamic Courts and Mogadisho warlords. Warlords lose, Somalia gets a semblance of law and order, warlords flee to neighboring countries (some are even arrested for war crimes in Kenya – but you know how the story ends), and Somalis start to feel hope for the future. Then it all comes down crashing through internal mismanagement of the Union of Islamic Courts, but mostly from external forces’ willingness to make sure Somalia does not get what it deserves: the U.S., the United Nations, and Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia collude to re-empower the despised warlords once again to give Somalis more hell. 

It’s ironic that the United States is willing to prosecute a 15-year old fighting alongside his Taliban-father for injuring a single Marine, but is more than happy to not only prosecute the killers of 18 U.S. Rangers in 1993 in Mogadisho, but actually reward them handsomely with U.S. taxpayers’ dollars. They call that an ”oversight’ of sorts. 

The Economist is the first international publication to call Abdillahi Yusuf “Warlord President” and also put the Transitional Federal Government in quotation. I think we’re moving in the right direction finally, no? 

via Spreading piracy highlights Somalias failure | The worlds most utterly failed state | The Economist.

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

The Union of Islamic Courts Are Back, But still Extreme

Lately we’ve been hearing the comeback of the UIC in Central Somalia and part of Southern Somalia, particularly in Kismayo. Maxamed Ibrahim Macallimu, a reporter for the Somali section of the BBC finds two undeniable facts: the Union of Islamic Courts bring peace and stability to every place they control, but on the downside, they don’t tolerate behaviors that they disagree with – silly things that have ruined them in the past. In the piece, Macallimu interviews two truckers based in Central Somalia about the security situation. Both truckers speak enthusiastically about the improved road security in which they no longer have to deal with militia checkpoints and frequent robbing that plague the roads.

The UIC are also credited with stopping the chronic clan fights that contribute to the general lack of safety in the areas they now control. For Somalis, law and order is really all they want, which the illegitimate ‘Transitional Federal Government’ of Warlord/Thug Abdillahi Yusuf Ahmed can never provide for Somalis even with the manpower and political backing of the “international community.”    

But the Union of Islamic Court’s notorious Talibanesque rule comes with the package. They’re still harassing people for silly things like hairstyles, watching a football match or a movie. I just wish these guys would focus on the larger picture, like winning the Somali population’s support against the warlords by continuing to provide greater security to the people, add social services to their arsenals, and cease their often indiscriminate attacks on TFG/Ethiopia/AU personell when civilians are present.

It’s quite difficult to choose from two extremes when all people want is the middle road. The Macallimu report can be listened through the link below. 

via BBCSomali.com | Wararka | Waa sidee taliska Islaamiyiinta gobollada dhexe?.

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

Cliff Hanger, Again!

The U.S. strike in Somalia on Thursday killing Aadan Ayro will leave us another cliff hanger for the “peace” process initiated by the U.N. and is supposed to take place ten days from now. Indeed, the TFG and Meles Zenawi are celebrating but does that make them the winner? Al-Shabaab is going to replace Ayro faster than they can clean up the after-party but the question is, why is the U.N. wasting money on these warlords and thugs of the TFG? And for that matter, why is there a “peace” conference when the head of the TFG already declared “The Prime Minister can go and talk to them but none of their demands will be accepted under any circumstances” regarding the Alliance of the Re-liberation of Somalia (the opposition)?

The sad fact is Somalia is doomed and no outside help or interference will fix it. Think about it: there have been over 16 “peace conferences” since 1991 held in various countries but none of them have resulted in anything, except more powerful warlords and thugs. On the other hand, the Union of Islamic Courts got one chance and they blew it on frivolous things like banning television, movies, hairstyles, and threats of war against Ethiopia for Ogaden. So if the “secular” front produces only tribal thugs and warlords and the religious front produces only egomaniacs bent on instituting Taliban-style government on populous that have always been moderate, what is left for Somalia? More cliff hangers, perhaps?

Categories: Africa Related, East Africa, Somalia | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 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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