Home | Press Releases    Wednesday 2 August 2006

Somali NGO deplores murder, says concerned by Ethiopian presence

Pan-Somali Council for Peace and Democracy (ISRAACA)

Press Release

Israaca Statement on the current crises in Somalia

Aug 1, 2006 — The Pan-Somali Council for Peace and Democracy (aka Israaca) expresses its indignation over, and strong condemnation of the murder of Honorable Abdalla Derow Isak, the Minister of Constitution and Federal Affairs of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia. We are saddened by this criminal act and wish to convey our condolences to the bereaved family of the deceased and to Somali people everywhere. We are deeply troubled by the growing incidence of political assassinations and targeting of Somali parliamentarians in Baidoa and urge the Federal Government of Somalia to restore law and order in Baidoa and bring the perpetrators of these heinous crimes to justice.

Furthermore, Israaca is deeply concerned about the presence of Ethiopian troops in Somalia that adds fuel to the fire already burning in Somalia and strongly condemns this unilateral hegemonic move by the dictatorial regime of Meles Zenawi; a move that flies in the face of IGAD regional troop deployment agreement and the International community’s arms embargo in Somalia. Prime Minister Zenawi’s defiant unilateral move to destabilize Somalia and flex his regional military muscle reignited a proxy war with rival Eritrea. The irony is that Prime Minster Meles Zenawi’s recent unilateral military intervention is not intended to fight extremism; but to simply conceal his own hegemonic interests in the Horn under the name of the global war on terror. The presence of Ethiopian or any other foreign troops on Somali soil is a great obstacle to peace and security in the region and is detrimental to Somalia’s own reconciliation efforts and statehood. Israaca urgently calls upon Prime Minister
Meles Zenawi to immediately and unconditionally withdraw Ethiopian troops from Somalia and respect the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Somalia. Israaca urges the United States and the international community to exert their influence on Ethiopia so that she may contribute to the Somali peace process rather than instigate activities that endanger the stability of the Horn of Africa.

Israaca welcomes and commends the Islamic Courts Union (ICU)’s restoration of peace and security in and around Mogadishu. The removal of the more than eighty roadblocks that were hampering free movement for over sixteen years from Mogadishu streets, and the restoration of law and order in all the territories under their control, created a peaceful environment that encourages free movement, trade and travel throughout the city. The reopening of the Mogadishu Port and the International Airport for public and commercial use goes a long way in bringing back Mogadishu’s capital city status.

Israaca calls on both the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFI) and the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) to work out their differences peacefully through dialogue and negotiations and to avoid any irresponsible and inflammatory statements and/or actions against one another that may undermine efforts to reach peaceful resolution on the Somalia crisis. Using loaded labels such as “terrorists” or “Ethiopian stooges” and the like that feed mistrust and suspicion are counter-productive and must be avoided. Both parties must demonstrate willingness to work toward bringing the prolonged Somalia conflict to a peaceful end rather than escalating it into a regional proxy war between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Israaca supports the continuation of the Khartoum talks and appreciates the efforts of the Arab League in that regard. We call upon the TFI and the ICU to expand the dialogue to include other sectors of the Somali society such as civil society, business and women’s groups and to secure the participation of the international stakeholders such as the European Union and the United States. The TFI and the ICU must take ownership of the agenda of these talks and prevent third party interests to upstage the interest of the Somali people in these talks. We call upon the international community to create an observer group of Somali intellectuals and professionals to participate in these talks whose aims is to protect the interest of the Somali people and to hold both groups accountable.

Israaca calls upon the Security Council to maintain the arms embargo on Somalia. Realizing lasting peace and security in Somalia can only be reached by supporting and encouraging the Khartoum agreement and not arming one group against the other. Lifting the arms embargo at this stage negatively impacts the reconciliation process and will worsen the current volatile situation in Somalia. Israaca calls upon the Security Council to review the constant violation of arms embargo that fuels the Somali civil war. The arms embargo we believe can and should be lifted when a Somali government representing all Somalis emerges from the dialogue between the TFI and the ICU.

Lastly, Israaca calls upon the ICU to prevent Somalia from becoming a safe haven for any terrorist groups or individuals. It is in the best interest of the Somali people who have suffered far too long to not become a battleground for the global war on terror. In the meantime, leaders of the TFI must act responsibly and avoid hurling unsubstantiated accusations against some sections of the Somali society by referring to them as terrorists. The terror filled rhetoric of the TFI must cease. On the other hand, if the presence of any foreign terrorists in Somalia is proven, the ICU should act responsibly and work with international community for the apprehension and prosecution of these individuals.

Abukar Osman, Chairman of the Board

Pan-Somali Council for Peace and Democracy (ISRAACA)

Email: contact@israaca.org

www.israaca.org