Home | Comment & Analysis    Thursday 7 September 2006

Somalia: Cutting through the fog


By Abdinur Ali Farah

September 7, 2006 — If the Somali Peace Talks in Khartoum are serious, Abdullahi Yusuf, the president of TFG should come to the table and answer these legitimate questions:

1. Where are the Al-Qaida terrorists that he said were in Puntland when he rejected the results of the election there and defeated Colonel Jama Ali Jama and General Adde Muse in a bloody war with the help of Ethiopian troops just few years ago and returned to power in Puntland by force?

2. Why was he on the Ethiopian side in the multiple bloody wars fought between Somalia and Ethiopia in 1980-81?

3. Why was the Somali flag removed in the Somali regional towns of Goldogob and Balanbale that were occupied by his SSDF forces with the help of Mengistu Haile Mariam and why was it replaced with the Ethiopian flag?

4. Why does he want the deployment of foreign troops in Somalia under the auspices of Ethiopia at this time when there is peace in the country?

5. Why was he in Ethiopian jail in mid 80’s for 6 years?

6. Why did he oppose all the Somali presidents before him from Abdirashid Ali Shermarke, Siad Barre to Abdikasim Salad Hassan?

7. Why is he tight-lipped about the arrival of heavely armed Ethiopian troops in Galkayo, the largest city in Central Somalia that General Adde Muse, the current president of Puntland in Somalia said were “One Battalion” the he had invited?

Somalis are skeptical about Abdullahi yusuf’s true intentions. Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the chairman of the executive committee of the Shari a Courts which controls most of the southern Somalia including the capital spoke to Abullahi Yusuf in a speech broadcast on BBC London. He pleaded with Abullahi Yusuf to remove the Ethiopian troops from the country. Sharif begged Abdullahi Yusuf to come to Mogadishu and enjoy his position as the president of Somalia that he has been “searching” for 30 years. The president is still silent about this goodwill gesture of the Sharia Courts as well about the Ethiopian invasion.

Transitional Federal Government (TFG) is on life support by Ethiopia. Mr. Dinari, a spokesman for TFG said last week that the TFG needs “aid money and deployment of regional troops” in order to succeed.

The whole world now knows that the so called TFG is composed of warlords, known street thugs, unemployed political imposters looking for aid money to fill their bottomless coffers and Ex-Siad Barre corrupt bureaucrats nostalgic of the bygone era of the Tangentopoli (bribery dividend). The prime Minster Mr. Gheedi is trying very hard to turn Labatan Jiro Prison into “Carcere d’oro” (prison made of gold) with “Lenzuola d’oro” (gold bedsheets) in a bid for get rich quick scheme.

The era of the Tangentopoli of Bettino Craxi and Giuglio Andreoti is over. It has been demolished by the prosecutors of the Mani Puliti(clean hands). Also the “Aid Mafia” in Nairobi and their client co-conspirators in Baidoa are exposed by recent squabbles involving the prime Minster, the president and the speaker. The ministers who resigned cited widespread corruption and aid money that is unaccounted for.

The civil war in Somalia is about who will pocket the aid money. Too many malviventi(crooks) have assembled in Baidoa for that purpose. We need to warn well meaning donors to be wary of these imposters

Mr. Dinari’s comment that the government has 80% support is laughable. He sounds like Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Information Minister Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf.

Did the Tigray Troops in Baidoa leave yet, Mr. Dinari? Do you believe in the “sanctity of facts and evidence”?

The United States has been a full participant of the Somali conflict for a long time. America is financing Ethiopia to continue its proxy war against Somalia. It was funding warlords who were committing heinous crimes against the people. It is believed that Mr. Boutros Ghali lost his job over his row with the US regarding its racist policy towards Somalia. This explains why Mr. Kofi Anan is indifferent about the Somali People’s plight. Ethiopia and America are in a war footing in Somalia. There is constant threat of imminent US attack in Somalia. The moderate Arab States, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the other Golf states should try to convince the US that it is time to abandon its hate and resentment driven policy towards Somalia. A peaceful unified Somalia is in the interest of the United States of America and its allies.

What did Somalia do to warrant American wrath? Somalia did not attack Pearl Harbor. The perpetrators of 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York were not Somali. No single Somali person or agent has ever been accused or charged of carrying out terrorist acts aimed at harming Americans or American interests anywhere in the world before and after 9/11. Somalia never had and does not have now terrorist bases. Nobody in Somalia is engaged in a Chavez-style anti-American rhetoric. Bin Laden’s comments about Somalia are idle after the fact bravadoes. The Shari’a Courts have distanced themselves from Bin Laden in a press release.

Somalis are 100% Moslems. Their brand of Islam is Sufism. A Somali journalist Bashir Goth compares Wahabism and Sufism. “Sufism, however, which was the Somali way of Islam and which Wahhabism condemns as a heresy, reaches out to the heart and good sense of all mankind without distinction. Instead of shunning all other faiths and branding them as bogus religions, Sufism sees all faiths as equally valid, following directly God’s words “whosesoever ye turn, there is the face of God.” Where Wahhabism sows hatred and rancor even among Moslems, Sufism preaches sulh-e kull (universal peace) and Mahabbat e-kull (universal love).”

The British and the Italian colonial administrators and the Vatican dotted the country with churches and church run orphanages and tried to convert as many Somalis as possible into Christianity. The American Mennonite mission built and administered some of the best schools in Somalia. Yet Islam prevailed in perfect harmony with Somali culture for 14 centuries in Somalia

The Somali people have romantic memories of the good America. The first widespread contact with Americans was in1960’s when the Peace Corps came to Somalia. The Americans were a new type of white men and women and blacks of course. Unlike the European colonial administrators the Peace Corps mingled with the local people, rode the public transportation, went to the cinemas, played basketball with local youth and made friends with the townspeople. The Somalis sipped Coca-Cola and danced with the American rhythms of James Brown, Michael Jackson and others. They loved the American movies of the Wild West. Somalis do not hate America or American way of life. On the contrary, they love America and the Americans. Shakira is a big hit in Mogadishu now.

But for the people in Somalia the American Dream is turning into American nightmare. Every time there appear winners and losers in Somalia’s long civil war, United States wants to intervene to prevent peace and stability from returning to the people. In 1992, General Mohamed Farah Aideed and his S.N.A were in control of most of southern Somalia. There were only two faction leaders, Aideed and Ali Mahdi. The civil war was coming to an end. General Aideed was about to form a government when the Americans intervened with 37 000 troops mostly from the US.

The mission failed miserably. The Americans left hastily after bombing hospitals, schools and residential buildings, killing thousands of civilians in Mogadishu and leaving behind havoc, death and destruction. General Aideed survived the American onslaught but was reduced to like a lion that could roar but was without teeth with many enemies in a land where jungle law prevailed. He was subsequently killed by a rival warlord allegedly created and hired by the US.

American hostility towards Somalia did not end there. Somalis believe that US is financing Ethiopia to continue American proxy war against Somalia. A dozen warlords, all of them supported by Ethiopia were left “to fight it out until a victor appeared”. Addis Ababa then sent truckloads of arms and ammunition to the weakened warlord to start the next round of fighting. The warlords recruited their troops from drug-crazed teenagers with a promise of a lucrative venture based on sharing the loots extorted from the rival tribe. They shelled heavily market places and residential areas in Mogadishu displacing women and children with their frequent and violent wars.

Abductions for ransom, senseless killings and bestiality were subjected to the people for more than ten years. Efforts by the Egyptian government and Djibouti to bring together the feuding warlords in order to end the stalemate and form a stable government were undermined by the Mother of all Warlords, the Tigray prime minister of Ethiopia Mr. Melees Zenawi.

Amid the chaos and lawlessness Shari’a courts were emerging gradually in Mogadishu. When Shari’a courts and disenfranchised residents defeated a US-backed alliance of brutal warlords in Mogadishu, United States and Ethiopia want to intervene. America knows each of these warlords killed more people in Somalia than the number of people killed by Milosovic and Charles Taylor combined together in their respective countries. They want to bring back the warlords and start another round of fighting. Somebody has to stop the madness.

Abdinur Ali Farah, is a Somali national based in Toronto, Canada. He can be reached at

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