SOMALIA: ‘fight the enemy at home before the enemy at occupation’.

Long live Somalia

Somali Situations

Halkaan ka akhri

SOMALIA: ‘fight the enemy at home before the enemy at occupation’

In this article, I make a claim that will seem surprising at the outset. The enemy at home is left in Somalia the responsible for causing the occupation. The enemy at home includes the warlords, sea pirates, Khat dealers, smugglers and spies.

I am saying the enemy at home and its aliens in the country are primary cause of the Ethiopian occupation towards Somali soil. The invasion of Ethiopian troops to Somalia was the product of visceral rage some of it based legitimate concerns, some others is based on wrongful prejudice, but all of it fuelled and encouraged by the enemy at home. Therefore without the enemy at home the Ethiopian occupation would not have happened.

In reality, most of Somalia was stabilized in 2006 by the Islamic Courts movement itself, which reopened Mogadishu’s port and ensured the physical security of Somalis for the first time in more than a decade.

Unfortunately, Washington then flashed a green light to the Ethiopian army to invade Somalia, assisted by U.S. air strikes, triggering the current humanitarian disaster that the United Nations characterizes as the worst in Africa, Darfur included. Therefore I would like to bring up all these issues above in order to exhibit their exertion and their viscerally along with the Somali country and its society.

More than a decade after U.S. troops withdrew from Somalia following a disastrous military intervention, officials of Somalia’s interim government and some U.S. analysts of Africa policy say the United States has returned to the African country, secretly supporting secular warlords who have been waging fierce battles against Islamic groups for control of the capital, Mogadishu and other regions of the country.

U.S. officials have refused to directly address on the record the question of backing Somali warlords, who have styled themselves as a counterterrorism coalition in an open bid for American support. Ethiopia invaded Somalia last December and installed this shaky government (hostages), in Mogadishu the capital. Both the United States and Ethiopia considered the Islamic courts that had seized power and restored the peace, hope and order in Somalia last year to be a regional security threat and the United States gave Ethiopia prized intelligence to overthrow the Islamists.

But since the Ethiopians have arrived, Somalia, which has been without a functioning central government for 17 years, has plunged deeper into chaos, with near-daily battles between the resistence (Maqaawamo) and the Ethiopians. Poor rains, disrupted markets and one of the world’s worst piracy problems have imperilled the country’s food supply and put Somalia on the brink of starvation.

Somali pirates are becoming a well-known problem in the shipping corridors along East Africa and Time reports that they now rival the armed gangs who plague the Malacca Straits and the South China Sea.

Somali pirates are often fighters linked to the clans that have carved the country into armed fiefdoms. They have heavy weapons and satellite navigation equipment, and have seized merchant ships, aid vessels and even a cruise ship. Moreover, the 3,025 km long coastline in Somalia, classified as the most dangerous territory in the world because its lawlessness, widespread civil war and anarchy, specially in and around the capital Mogadishu hosts at least four distinct groups of pirates as I think.

These are organized according to the tribal and clan background and are led by warlords, corrupt businessmen and some local authorities (one of the Puntland ministers claimed at the beginning of this year that Puntland involved by itself). These pirate groups are organized and led from headquarters onto land.

The chewing of the leaves of the plant called khat has become a common problem in many areas of East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In Somalia, khat-chewing became a widespread problem in the mid-1960s.

In addition, the economic problems associated with khat-chewing include the spread of corruption, the theft of public and private property to support the habit, damage to people and to property caused by accidents that occur under the euphoric state induced by the use of the drug, and the loss of many working hours among civil servants and private employees.

In the social sphere, family disruption is a prominent problem, which includes frequent quarrels, breach of family ties, neglect of the education and care of children, waste of family resources, encouragement of prostitution(Fasahaad),as well as encouragement of family members(nuclear family),to become involved in khat-chewing.

Somalis are being raped and killed by the smugglers paid to transport them to other countries. The notorious failed state in the Horn of Africa has been facing increasingly dire political and humanitarian conditions for the past 17 years. During this time, many Somalis have illegally crossed the Gulf of Aden seeking refuge in Yemen.

Since Somalia began experiencing political problems in 1991, approximately 2,500 to 3,000 Somalis leave their homeland every month, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Nearby countries such as Yemen have provided safe haven for refugees fleeing instability and violence in Somalia.

Nearly all Somalis enter the country from Yemen’s coastal areas by paying smugglers to ferry them by boat. During their flight to supposed safety, many refugees are abused, raped or even killed by the human traffickers whom they pay to transport them to Yemen.

Spying agents from Italy, England, the U.S., Russia as well as China crowded the city’s limited hotel accommodations in the 1960s. One could easily see them socializing at places like Croce Del Sud, Lido nightclub, Savoy, Shabelle hotel, etc. But the most conspicuous yet clandestine center for western spies outside their respective embassies was Casa Di Italia, which served as the private club for the larger Italian community, but in actuality served all Spies as a resort center. It was here where most western spies shifted and shared dossiers and confidential files about Somalia and other relevant matters.

A Somali academic told that it was not uncommon in Mogadishu in the 1960s to have four or five Somali individuals sitting together yet each representing a different foreign spy agency. In the book “Naked Needle,” Nuuradin Farah seems to tell the story of what could be a local agent and his spymaster.

Moreover, in an article published in the Horn of Africa Journal, G. Miller, an American medical anthropologist, he detailed the involvement of the Mafia in the smuggling of Somalia’s plants and animal products, particularly the horn of the rhinoceros. Many of Somalia’s plant and animal products were sold to European pharmaceutical companies and were processed into high valued medicine.

Dr. Miller makes the argument that Somalia’s products had earned good return in the international market. The Chinese view grounded rhinoceros horn as an effective medical item against male impotency; the Arab Yemenis use it for decoration and glazing the remnant of higher end traditional daggers.

Wherever the Mafia is active, as it were in Mogadishu in the 1960s, the Italian intelligence community, at minimum, and the inter-pol must be at work. Hence, all these entities were active in Mogadishu in the 1960s and beyond.

In 2005, though, Mogadishu is what Casablanca and Havana were in their times the spy epicentre of this era. Every major power and regional government that counts has its spy’s tunnel. Spies for the U.S., Britain, Italy, and France are all present one way or another to get that one lead about the alleged al-Qaeda cells.

Even countries like Ethiopia, Kenya that once respected Mogadishu now challenge it and planted their spies deep inside the many fiefdom-controlled neglected neighbourhoods, so that they can learn more about who resides where and who can do what?

Mogadishu and other regions’ resilient warlords are major players in the alleged spy business. The warlords hire mercenaries and pass the bill to their spymasters. Warlords kill for anyone with oppose (mostly Ulama, intellectuals and Somali nationalists). Ethiopia also is accused of killing earlier several of its critics through its proxy spies.

In consequence, in order to defeat the occupation abroad, it must defeat and eliminate all these enemies at home. The only way to win, I suggest is to create a new configuration of awareness. We must give up on any one who will never join our side and instead find common cause with traditional Somalis (elders, ulama and intellectuals) who share many of our values and can actually help us defeat radical enemy at home.

By: Sultan Mohamed Sultan Garyare

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

Wada hadal dhex martay Max’ed Dheere iyo Muqaawamada Muqdisho 

M. Dheere




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