Shut down the so-called Djibouti Peace Initiative for Somalia and put in place a neutrally assisted, committed reconciliation

Minority Somali Communities in Kenya press release , 2 April 2000

The so-called Djibouti Peace Initiative for Somalia is a disguise to perpetuate the crisis in our country. We demand to stop this proxy-peace initiative, misguided by the UN and other outside forces.

The Somali crisis has its roots and embodiment also in the decades of enslavement of the Somali and non-Somali minority communities by the larger Somali clans. For those, who may not be aware, it is the continued enslavement and oppression of the minority communities by the large Somali clans that also the Djibouti initiative seeks to perpetuate. As patriotic people of the Somali territory, we cannot allow this to happen.

We thus wish to draw the attention of the International Community, the United Nations and all interested parties to the important fact, that in Somalia most people already see the Djibouti initiative as an exercise in futility, a waste of resources and an international travesty at best.

We warn that this travesty will lead to further ethnocide and insecurity.

We demand that the initiative be immediately wound up. At the same time, the international community should immediately put in place a more credible and workable initiative to assist Somalia in a process of the Somali People themselves to bring peace to all people of Somalia and the whole territory.

The United Nations should abstain to initiate ill-designed initiatives using proxies, which are unacceptable to lead such a process.

A major key in solving the Somali crisis is the acknowledgement of the rights of the minority Somali communities, the correction of centuries of ethnocide and injustices committed against these communities by the larger clans and a reparation accord (compensation) as a condition for peace.

The crux of the Somali problem is that the larger communities have not only denied any basic rights for the Somali minority communities, but have - since centuries and until today - enslaved thousands of people from the Somali minorities. For the Somali problem to be solved, the wrongs exacted on the minorities by the large communities must first be spelt out, rectified and appropriate compensations agreed upon.

Djibouti, as part of the Greater Somalia, is part and parcel of the Somali problem and can not, therefore, be relied upon to solve the same.

It can and is, indeed, aggravating the problem.

The Djibouti Initiative is not acceptable for a number of reasons. For one, Djibouti is seeking to use the opportunity to dominate Somalia for its own political, social and economic gains. As part of the Greater Somalia, the Djibouti Somalis are part of the major majority clans that have enslaved and denied the people of all minority groups their basic rights. There can be no doubt that Djibouti feeds and thrives on the continued exploitation also of the minority Somali communities.

Given the foregoing, we the minority communities of Midgan, Tumaal, Yibir, Yahar, Muse and Dhiriyo, who are residents or refugees in Kenya, totally reject the Djibouti Initiative and call on all progressive forces and peace-loving Somalis, living both inside and outside our motherland, to do likewise.

As Somali citizens, we members of the minority communities, whether living inside or outside Somalia, are not prepared to live under the continued domination and oppression of the larger communities and appeal to both the international community and to the United Nations to understand our plight and come to our assistance.

Though Somali citizens, but born and brought up in servitude, we were already displaced people in our own motherland. Now, driven out and forced to live as refugees or expatriates in different countries of the world, the worst that can happen is for us to return to servitude and oppression under anybody in our motherland.

In the Somali crisis, we had to suffer worse atrocities than the people in the Kosovo or in East Timor. These massacres in Somalia are well documented, but yet go widely unrecognised. We seriously warn that right now further ethnocide is in the making. We thus call on the international community, including the UN, to give the Somali crisis the seriousness it deserves and come up with a holistic initiative to really assist in solving the ongoing confusion once and for all, even if that means that certain, usually strongly involved stakeholders from the outside have to withdraw from any Somali peace initiative, because their motives are not honest.

We reject the Djibouti Peace Initiative for Somalia and call on the international community, the UN, all other parties involved, and all people concerned or interested to seriously address the Somali crisis and come up with a lasting solution together with all the people of Somalia and for the people of Somalia.

Issued at Nairobi, Kenya, this 2nd Day of April, in the year 2000

Hirsi Jama Jangoaaon Yasin
Spokesman for the Minority Somali Communities in Kenya
Nairobi Kenya - Tel.

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