“Somalia fell in the hands of the black colony of Abyssinia”


Horn of Africa

Halkaan ka akhri

“Somalia fell in the hands of the black colony of Abyssinia”

Somalia is located on the Horn of Africa, with an estimated population of between 9 and 10.5 millions. After 17 years and many attempts to restore governance since the overthrow of Siad Barre’s regime in 1991, Somalia has had puppet government backed by Ethiopian troops for over three years but it is a weak government that cannot control the country, because it is incompetence and illegitimate. Over the past 17 years, Somalia has become divided into clan-based regional entities, leading to political segregation and the localisation of power and authority. Violent conflict between factions has been widespread in many regions. Islamic “Sharia” law has been introduced in certain areas to promote law and order alongside traditional systems of jurisdiction. The economic and social situations in Somalia have been negatively affected by the political crisis and the high incidence of violent conflict. The 2004 World Bank Report confirmed that Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a per capita income of US$226 and with 43.2% of the population living on less than US$1 a day.

Unfortunately, this is the case for Somalia, where anarchy, violence and chaos have taken place for 17 years. Somalia is one of the nation state building exercises which appears to have established as a permanent characteristic on the international scenery. In order to understand the main circle of violence in which Somalia is today, it is necessary to briefly examine some key incidents in modern Somali history:As a result of the division of Somalia between Britain, France, Italy and Ethiopia during the late 19th century, there are substantial Somali populations living in Djibouti, Kenya and Ethiopia which has caused domestic and regional problems. Colonial powers came to appreciate the strategic location of Somalia after the Berlin Conference, which initiated the “Scramble for Africa”.The arrival of Britain, France and Italy into Somali lands began in the late 19th century and quickly the area disintegrated into British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland. Both countries sought expand their control, enlisting locals to fight the every wars aimed at their own subjugation.

When the newly independent states of British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland united to form the Republic of Somalia in 1960, the union impacted heavily on the political status of clans and lineages (Cornwell, 2004). With dependence on Soviet support in the late 1960s, Somalia’s declared Socialist block. When the US withdrew aid to Ethiopia, the USSR, with Cuban support, quickly shifted from Somalia and went back to Ethiopia, in the result of hostility and aggression that increased into the new Cold War in the areas (Cornwell, R. 2004). In that context, led to Somalia political disaster because both Western and Eastern blocks have been playing role in order to achieve their geo-political interest without giving Somalia to real political, military and financial aid. With that result, Somalia become politically disintegrated and collapsed at the late 1990s. Since 1991, Somalia, where the warlords are the worst of the group, they are the primary responsibility for the problem of the Somali people. Looting, banditry, greedy warlords and well armed groups have dominated media images of conflict in Somalia. As Ikwunze (2000) described, ‘The gang alleged led by an influential chiefs in the community, brazenly and openly carry out its nefarious activities behaviour resembling economic predation in collapsed state like Somalia’. These warlords will never reconcile or put arms down unless forced to. The United Nations intervened to restore hope in Somalia in 1993. That operation failed because the warlords fought the UN troops and UN peace keeping troops withdrew from Somalia a year later. First, the clan system was used cleverly by the dictatorial regime in pitting clan against clan that has resulted in hate and distrust which is widespread in the clans. Secondly, the lack of financial and technical assistance resulted in the failure of the state. Thirdly, a central form of government encouraged corruption and conspiracy (Global policy org. 2006). Social formations were characteristic in Somali society. Political mean and cultural values linked up with economic composition by the way of the ideology of kinship thus creating an interlinked net of social economic and political institutions. As a result, an individual Somalis location in any of these structures the society automatically included its kinship therefore the Somali society did not accept the way of nation state but they did accept a character of kinship (Lyons & Samatar 1995).

The hostility of the Ethiopians to the Somalis is based on: religion, greed, annexation of regions; desire to control Somali tribes, ambition to occupy the coastal areas of Somalia. and plans to crush the dream of Greater Somalia. There is no difference among Ethiopian rulers from Menelik to Zenawi when it comes to tackling with the Somalis. Ethiopian rulers believe that brutality and humiliation is key weapon to vanquish the Somalis. Divide and rule is the second weapon in their choice particularly in the current era of warlords in Somalia. Somali people had always engaged in stiff liberation struggle pioneered by the national heroes such as Imam Ahmed Gurey, Mohamed Abdullah Hassan, the SYL, SNL leaders and other liberation movements in defence of their country and religion. The tyrannical Tigray Regime in Addis-Ababa has always sabotaged and disrupted all these previous conferences. It was regrettable that the Tigray regime has had a plenty opportunity to manipulate the selection and creation of puppet administrations inside Somalia with hidden agenda to serve Tigray’s interest. Eventually, the Tigray regime has realised its dream of conquering and occupying Somalia in the pretext of defending the interim authority formed in Mbagati Conference (Kenya). The enemy (Tigray) has invaded the country when it realised that Somali people are quite capable of pacifying Somalia. For instance, during the brief control of the Union of the Islamic Courts of Somalia, leaders managed to restore law and order in most parts of Somalia in a short period of time. For six months, the Somali people had enjoyed living in harmony, peace, calmness and renovation. The U.S. worked hand in hand with the Ethiopian invaders at every level of the Ethiopian military, while U.S. jets persistently caused terror from the air. Once the Ethiopians had placed themselves and their puppet Somali “government” in the capital, Mogadishu, the Americans sent their other African proxies, the Ugandan and Burundi military, to make up most of the weak African “peacekeeping” force in Somalia. The Somali resistance to the Ethiopian invasion consider the African peacekeepers in Mogadishu to be agents of the U.S. and, concerning the Ugandans and Burundians they are right to attack. If there were ever a formula for bloody and protracted war in Somalia, it is Ethiopian occupation, which is already unifying diverse elements of the Somali population in fighting (Thanks of Allah).

There is also great cause for concern about the situation in southern and central Somalia, and in particular Mogadishu. The situation for civilians in Mogadishu has grown intolerable.In December 2006, Ethiopian forces with US support ousted the coalition of Islamic Courts from Mogadishu and other areas of south-central Somalia in a lightning offensive.

Ethiopia’s intervention in Somalia is closely linked to regional security domination, including a proxy war with Eritrea and the support given to the ONLF and other Ethiopian rebel movements by groups in Somalia. The armed conflict in Mogadishu has steadily escalated since the Ethiopian-backed puppet Government (TFG) established itself in Mogadishu in January 2007. Since January 2007, the resistence(maqaawamo) has waged almost daily attacks on Ethiopian and puppet government forces, including several suicide attacks. In response, Ethiopian forces launched two major offensives on large areas of Mogadishu in March and April in 2007. Ethiopian troops indiscriminately bombarded resistence(maqaawamo) strongholds with barrages of “Katyusha” rockets, mortars and artillery, making no apparent effort to distinguish between civilians targets. While the precise number of civilian casualties is not yet known, estimates range more than 6,000 deaths resulting since fighting began According to United Nations officials, the humanitarian crisis in Somalia is more than a million Somalis fled their homes.

The war will also weaken Ethiopia, which is more than a third Muslim and home to many peoples that oppose the dictatorial regime in Addis Ababa. If the leaders of the United States were searching for a plan that would kill hundreds of thousands of Africans, they have found it. According to Human Rights Watch “Tigray troops are destroying villages and property, confiscating livestock and forcing civilians to relocate to urban centers, in an apparent attempt to separate the civilian population from the ONLF rebels operating in remote rural areas. Villagers are threatened if they refuse to relocate”

The Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) was formed last year (2007) in the Eritrean capital Asmara, declaring to force Ethiopia out of Somalia.

As ARS considered, the Tigray troops which occupied the country illegally should be forced to withdraw the country as soon as possible. It is the right of the Somali people to have the independence to decide its own destiny without outside intervention. The International community must support the Somali people in their looking for a genuine political reconciliation which cannot take place until the Tigray forces leave the country which will crate a safe, suitable and neutral environment. The alliance believes that the Somali solution to be in negotiation and political discussion. The solution of the Somali people is in the application of the Islamic Sharia and it is good custom. The International community must bear in its responsibility in implementing resolutions passed by the Security Council particularly resolutions regarding Somali affairs and to advocate Charter of the United Nations in relation to the independence, unity and sovereignty of Somalia. The alliance strongly believes that the Somali people have the right to liberate their country from the Tigrayn occupation as set in the United Nations Charter.

In conclusion, the United States-backed Ethiopia renewed occupation in Somalia is not unavoidable, and can only be explained on the basis of external interest engaged in zero sum politics. it was created by series of policy choices, carefully skilled and controlled by Meles Zenawi, with financial and diplomatic cover of the United States, and United Nations Security Council and to a less significant level European Union; and carried out and legitimized by the puppet government to achieve multiple objectives of those who invested in it: For Zenawi it is the survival of his regime and access to the see Somali ports(use as necessary for him); for the United States it is the war on terrorism. Thus, Somali people have no chance in this military occupation, which tries to fit former warlords through Ethiopian military, which means Ethiopian military will stay as long as warlords are in power, because the warlords are politically broke, and will not be able to endure without Zenawi’s protection for them and the Ethiopian occupation of Somali soil.

By: Sultan Mohamed Sultan Garyare

The Head of Social affairs’ office of the Alliance for Re-Liberation of Somalia


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