“Somalia is not ready for a negotiated agreement because there are "too many actors on that stage" Meles Zenawi, 2002.
By Ali Osman
August 25, 2006 — Senator Arlen Specter, a well regarded United States Senator from Pennsylvania have paid a visit to Ethiopia and other African countries in 2002 to discuss issues ranging from Security, HIV aids, stopping wars and providing economic developments to Africa. The senator discusses his diplomatic mission in an article available at his website: http://specter.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Articles.Detail&Article_id=33
The senator wrote in his own words that he was told by the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi as he was discussing with him regarding Somalia“…….He referred to the war on terrorism as "something of a godsend" for Ethiopia, because it has focused the world on the practices of radical Islam. Ethiopia, according to the Prime Minister, is at the "epicenter of terrorism" and "a secular island in the sea of Islam."
First let me point out Ethiopia has a border with Djibouti a Secular nation, Kenya a Christian and secular democratically elected government, Eritrea another secular government led by a Christian president, Somalia where there were no government and Sudan which is an Islamic government. Out of the five countries that border with Ethiopia four are secular and only one is Islamic. If you add Ethiopia; there are three Christian led nations (Ethiopia, Eritrea and Kenya) while three are Muslim led; Somalia, Sudan and Djibouti.
It is interesting to note out of the five bordering countries only one is Islamic. I want you to remember the hallmark of this Prime minister has always been to tell blatant lies to foreign media and dignitaries in order to deceive and mislead them so to get undue favors from them and unjustly accuse innocent law abiding Somali citizens of unsubstantiated and disguised terrorist labels. He appeals to the Western world and their religious affinity with Christianity and Judaism to commit gross atrocities against innocent Muslim Somalia. After all they have been told in a whispering voice after long flight and probably very disorienting environment that “Ethiopia” the sons of King Solomon are in danger of being swallowed by a sea of “Islam” as he put it. Unfortunately, many in the United States administration without critical thinking have fallen victim in subscribing to these false notion and assertions.
If you look the MAP of Africa carefully you would realize if you leave from Ethiopia and towards Uganda and go south there are over twenty nations all which are Christians. One wonders what sea of Islam he is talking about. And why the world is being duped by these baseless allegations? Secondly, if he is in a sea of Islam what has changed? Was Ethiopia founded by Meles Zenawi? The truth is, he is a fraud, Ethiopia is one of oldest civilization known to man and the only time its existence was threatened was not from an Islamic government but from Italian Christian nation led by the fascist Benito Mussolini.
Secondly, it is well known the problems in Ethiopia are not religion or a Muslim fundamentalism but are geopolitical, economic and social. It has become trendy and rather convenient to ride the bandwagon of terrorism when his administration has nothing to offer to remedy the grievances of the people in the disputed territories of Ogaden and Oromia under his leadership. The people of that region are brutalized, cut off from economic aide as most are of non TPFL breed. Their wells are buried by his brutal TPFL regime and their livestock rounded daily because they have not voted for his minority dictatorship. Who would take such a brutal beating? And would not respond in kind? It does not matter what faith you are or what community of Ethiopia you belong to, anyone with a grain of respect for himself and his people would rise up against such a repressive regime.
A Somali boy is dying of hunger and malnutrition -
The senators asked the prime minister of Ethiopia what can be done to help Somalia. In Senator Arlen Specter’s own words “….With regard to Somalia, Prime Minister Meles compared Somalia to Afghanistan and Yemen as a potential haven for terrorists. When I asked what the U.S. should do to address the situation, Meles noted that the United States must devote non-military resources rather than attempting to broker a Machakos-type agreement. Somalia is not ready for a negotiated agreement because there are "too many actors on that stage."
For those people who do not remember or are unaware the situation in Somalia back in 2002, there were the following warlords in Somalia all got moral and material support from the current Ethiopian administration led by Meles Zenawi:
Abdullah Yusuf Mohamed Dheere Muse Sudi Yalahow Abdi Qeybdid
Shaatiguduud Qanyare Aidid Hassan A. Qalad
Abdullah Yusuf Ahmed- controlled Puntland region of Somalia with the direct military intervention of Ethiopia: He is now the current sitting transitional president that Ethiopia installed after it campaigned on his behalf and bribed most of the parliamentarians to vote for him
Mohamed Omar Habeeb (Mohamed Dheere) - controlled Jowhar region with the help of Ethiopia -now regrouping his militia inside Ethiopia
Muuse Suudi Yalahow: - until recently controlled Medina District in Mogadishu, he is now in exile and in prison in Kampala, Uganda. Hussein Farah Aidid the son of late Gen. Aidid and former US marine who controlled villa Somalia and was in the patronage of Ethiopia
Abdi Hassan Awale Qeybdid “Qeyb diid” –until recently controlled the No. 4 district of Mogadishu. Qeybdiid was also the Mogadishu bureau chief of the Ethiopian Secret Service known as Central Revolutionary Investigation Department (CRID). He was also accused of genocide against civilians during the civil war. Qeybdiid now is organizing under the Ethiopian supervisition and military help to recapture part of Mudug from the Islamic courts. In fact yesterday he captured small city called Dagaari near Gaalkai with the help of 13 armored Ethiopian vehicles and 300 Ethiopian infantry men.
Colonel Hassan Mohamed Nuur Shaatigaduud: controlled Baydhabo and came to power after his militia with the help of Ethiopian paramilitary forces kicked Aidid militia from Baidao, now the seat of the transitional government under the protection of Ethiopian military
Mohamed Qanyare Afrah controlled the Dayniile district of Mogadishu with the help and assistance of Ethiopia and US. He defected to Ethiopia after his militia was over run by the Somali People’s uprising led by the Islamic Courts Union.
Barre Aadan Shire aka “Hiiraale” and Alliances of smaller warlords: controlled and still control Kismayo and Marka region.
Hussein Mohamed Farah Aidid: Is the son of the late Gen. Mohamed Farrah Aidid. He was a former US Marine Corps and a friend of Ethiopia. He is also a ruthless warlord that commited attrocities against civilian population of the Bay region
Hassan Abdullah Qalaad: An Ethiopian trained warlord thug that killed innocent civilians and have handed refugees of political conscience to Ethiopia
All these “many actors” were under the direct supervision of the Ethiopian Prime Minister and if he desired could have made them unite under one warlord. Rather he told the visiting American senators that “Somalia is not ready for a negotiated agreement because there are "too many actors on that stage.". The “many actors” he is talking about are the ones Ethiopia created and continues to arm and maintain repressive proxy control inside Somalia to stifle any creation of Somalis government or settlements.
The twisted mind of this Prime Minister is really a one without a parallel. When the Senator asked if he agrees the United States to depose Sadam Hussein from Iraq he said he agrees with it, even though there was no terrorism that linked Iraq to September 11 and knowing Meles Zenawi is himself an unelected dictator who came to power by coup d’état and refuses to allow democratic elections to take place in his “Island of Secular” Ethiopia. What is even more troubling is his logic of supporting the war as the senator points out “We questioned Prime Minister Meles about the U.S. policy of regime change in Iraq. He responded that Saddam should be removed in order to force countries like Saudi Arabia with large Islamic populations to choose whether to allow radical Islam to take hold or to fight against that very radicalism” according to Meles Zenawi it is absolutely perfect and okay to destroy Iraq and its people for the sole reason to teach Saudi Arabia a lesson. Mind you Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest countries that gives Ethiopia financial aid and Saudi business invest Ethiopia heavily when most of the western worlds frown upon doing such a major investments in Ethiopia. Thanks to the tacit agreement of Meles Zenawi and likes, over 150,000 Iraqis have perished and double that number have been injured or maimed.
The Ethiopian prime minister is either so inept that he is getting wrong facts from Somalia or he is ignoring the facts on the ground. An envoy to Mogadishu would achieve more than an armored vehicle. If he thinks he can squash the People’s revolution in Mogadishu and central Somalia, he should know it would probably take major powers a century to do that let alone a minority led TPFL and brutal regime. We must also remind him that the people of Puntland and other regions of Somalia will join the revolution as the warlords he arms have nothing to offer but murder and mayhem.
We encourage the people of faith in Ethiopia should speak up against this tyranny; the Ethiopian patriarch should appeal directly to the prime minister and council against the terrorism the Ethiopian administration has unleashed in Somalia. They should remind Meles Zenawi to not smear the reputation of the ancient civilization of Ethiopia for dollars from countries that have not existed when this part of the land was the source of justice. Somalia is not interested the harm of Ethiopia or its people and culture. Somalia provided a safe haven and passage for those who escaped the brutality of the Mengistu Haile Mariam regime including the ungrateful Meles Zenawi. What Somalia people want is peace and freedom to choose their form of government and leadership.
We are appalled by the hatred and poison Prime Minister Meles is inciting and spreading. Somalis love their country and because of that Somalis chose to rise up against the warlords that have raped their land and people for the last fifteen years. Somalis know the Ethiopian prime minister and his spokesman are spreading unfounded lies about their revolution. We shall tell anyone who cares to listen, that Somalis have a right to choose their form of government and they have a right to make their government an Islamic one, if they so desire. The will of the Somali people is resolute to defeat the forces of darkness and take our country and people to that of light, progress and peace.
We believe the Ethiopians in Diaspora should speak up against this brutal regime and his agenda whether they are in Churches, Mosques or Coffee places. We are “under dictatorship and we can’t do much” is not enough, your future and that of your country is at stake and ours too.
* Ali Osman is a Somali citizen currently living in United States. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org