Somalia Peace Process Pushed to Death
PRESS RELEASE - free for immediate publication -
IGAD, UN, AU, EU and US prepare war for Somalia
Nairobi / Mogadishu 22. Aug. 2004 - correspondents
While the taxpayers of the European Union States and other well-meaning donors are continuously milked to pay for the ongoing process to find peace for Somalia, the frontline actors, like the IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) member states (Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Uganda and Sudan), engage in a clandestine preparatory process to turn Somalia again into a battlefield. This time it is done under the proxy-auspices of the IGAD Facilitation and Technical Committees, but involving IGAD itself as well as the United Nations (UN) and entangling the African Union (AU) too.
Historians already did provide enough evidence concerning the real games behind the scenes in Somalia, which turned the country into turmoil at the beginning of the 90s, and even the most uninformed don't believe any more that there was any truth in the CNN reports describing the US-led Operation Restore Hope (9th December 1992 - 04th May 1993), Operation Continue Hope (5th May 1993 - 31st March 1994), the intervention of the United Nations Operation on Somalia (UNOSOM) or the rationale of the blockbuster cinema movie "Black Hawk Down", which all tried to blur the vision of the world on Somalia and painted it a savage country.
While it is a known fact that the Somali people suffered significantly from atrocities committed by Somali warlords and their criminal helpers from the outside during the last 13 years after the overturn of the last generally recognized government, it must be realized that true peace for Somalia can and only will come from the Somali people themselves and not from countries like Kenya or Ethiopia, which still occupy territories claimed by Somalis.
UN and IGAD press releases will hit the mainstream media today and tomorrow, promising a new government for war-torn Somalia, while in reality a proxy governance will be put in place to please especially Somalia's Frontline states Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti as well as the former colonial powers of greater Somalia - Italy, the UK and France - and to open a new playing ground for AU soldiers and US masterminds, "securing" the Horn of Africa against becoming a potential terrorism threat.
What happens concerning Somalia right now is just to swear in selected Somali Nationals during an off-country exercise led by those IGAD countries in order to have these parliamentarians later "voting" to call foreign troops into the country. That today’s swearing-in ceremony for these selected parliamentarians had to be hosted in the high-security complex of Mr. Toepfer, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi, speaks for itself.
And all, including a congratulation note by UN Secretary General Kofi Anan concerning this doubtful achievement, is done to prepare the taxpayers of the international community to now pay, dress and equip African soldiers, which shall be deployed under an African Union (AU) Force to Somalia. After Dafur in Sudan this will be the second assignment for these African soldiers of misfortune since the US and other states are no longer willing to engage their own sons and daughters to "secure peace" or their own interests, if it is not directly providing cash- or loot-returns.
While even certain accredited international media were prevented to gain access into the UN ghetto near Nairobi and thereby hindered to witness and document the event, 194 Somalis, selected by the IGAD technical committee in an exercise, which is anything but transparent, were sworn in as new Members of Parliament for the new governance, termed the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.
*The fact that members of a parliament for an apparently sovereign state are sworn in on foreign soil by foreign powers hiding in a heavily secured UN complex "for security reasons" is a historic, neo-colonial and global governance novum. *
While the Charter for the Transitional National Government of Somalia determines that the new Parliament shall comprise of 275 members, IGAD and other masters of the process only enlisted 231, who they believed would follow their call and later their wishes. But actually even of those only 194 did finally appear on this Sunday afternoon at the UN complex in Gigiri to be sworn in and to receive their benefit package. This in itself already demonstrates the failure of the process, though the IGAD facilitation and the UN tried in a last minute exercise to round up as many Somalis as possible to raise this figure and in order to remain credible in the eyes of the international observers. And while the sworn in new MPs clapped each others shoulders those Somalis outside the UN fence, around the city of Nairobi and in Somalia were rather mum and frustrated.
In an official statement by the present Transitional National Government (TNG) of Somalia, which had been implanted by a UN brokered process in Arta (Djibouti) four years ago, its still acting President stated yesterday, that "on more than three occasions, July 2003, September 2003 and January 2004, some faction leaders with the tacit support of some members of the Facilitation Committee have consistently and deliberately tried to sabotage and derail the peace process to their selfish and personal gains in full disregard to wishes of the majority of the Somali people and in full violation of the agreed signed rules of procedures and the principles laid down in the reconciliation process" and asked to postpone the event. But like everywhere in today’s politics the ball of PR-guided and staged political and diplomatic decision making continued to roll.
The doubtful outcome of this very badly prepared and hurriedly organized venue was foreseen by many and that was also one of the reasons why Somali women and men demonstrated yesterday (Saturday) at the preparatory meeting where the IGAD ministers sat to launch the final term of this latest of so far twelve former, unsuccessful peace processes.
Shouting "IGAD - corruption!" and "We need fair and equal arbitration!" hundreds of Somalis from the minority peoples of Somalia as well as from powerful clans, which were sidelined or outright excluded by the powerbrokers of this exercise, protested against the whole process. (see one of the statements below). The people of Madhibaan, Saransoor, Gari Kombe, Jerer, Hawrarsame and of other ethnic origin bitterly complained that their genuine representatives have been neglected, sidelined or replaced by IGAD-pleasing imposters.
Many true minority peoples of the Somali population were again brushed aside or replaced by humble "representatives", which have no mandate of the people they claim to represent, whereby IGAD and the UN itself is violating the UN Charter on Human Rights and all the phony international conventions, which the international community likes to call upon, when it serves their own interests. But the biggest shame is the fact that this IGAD led selection process did fail to even ensure the 12% of seats earmarked for women MPs in the new Somali parliament as determined by the charter.
Do the brokers of all the former trials as well as of the present peace process for Somalia not realize that they all tried and try to push and shape the re-building of the Somali Nation in their own interest, allowing various foreign agendas and influences from the outside and that such exercises thereby were, are and will be bound to fail?
What has been achieved today by this latest event in the peace process for Somalia, which already has been termed the bleakest of all, is actually only another split among the Somalis. Is that the real task of the outside brokers? Already the President of the autonomous region of Puntland, which was celebrated mainly by the UN agencies and other players just a short while ago as a role model for a federal Somalia, refused not only to participate in today's venue but also vowed to leave the process, to go back to his country and to never return. While the Somali people usually welcome any move towards peace after such a long time of turmoil, they know which dangers the forced or self induced
exclusion of Somali leaders bear and therefore are rather cautious now to celebrate the new parliament. They also do not believe that the present roadmap designed by the intermediaries, which plans - after the assembly would have been fully established - for a supervised election of a president and prime minister as well as for a 20 months period to set up a new administration in Mogadishu under African and international mediators.
In any case, a foreign paid AU force surely will fail to bring peace to Somalia. But nobody seems to care in the western capitals, whose diplomatic representatives are already eager to secure the best deals with a new governance of Somalia not only to gain lucrative contracts in the reconstruction phase of the country, but to send back many Somalis from those countries, where they had found temporary refuge.
Still the future is bleak for all Somalis, those in the refugee camps, those in exile or asylum and especially those innocent and trapped inside Somalia.
GOLAHA SARE EE MADHIBAAN
MADHIBAAN SUPREME COUNCIL
P.O BOX 337, Degmada Bondheere , Muqdisho, Somaliya
LIASON OFFICE OF NAIROBI
P.O BOX 5384
Republic of Kenya
NAIROBI, KENYA - 22.08.2004
TO: The Ministers of IGAD States
The International Community
We, the Madhibaan Supreme Council (MSC), hereby inform you that, while we are still waiting for your pending response and statement concerning the unacceptable exclusion of the Madhibaan / Midgan people from the Somali Peace Conference, we have realised that the Somali majority tribe and its clans are trying to enlist with the conference some fake Madhibaan representative in order to manipulate our representation, which seems to be accepted by IGAD.
We note this as another move and conspiracy,which is implemented and tolerated to hinder our legitimate struggle and to stop the truth from becoming public knowledge as well as to further oppress our people with the full consent of the representatives of the official bodies.
It is expected that the IGAD (FC/TC) and the ongoing swearing in ceremony for Somalia takes this fact into consideration and does not sideline the legitimate right of the Madhibaan People to be represented and heard equally and like other people and clans from Somalia. Please do not neglect the rights of our people and facilitate the unhindered participation of our leader and elders in the ongoing peace process.
Thank you for your concern.
Yassin Hersi Jama
Madhibaan Supreme Council
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