The Ethiopian dictator made u-turn and decided to prolong it stay in Somalia mongering war since the northern front with Eritrea seems is now no menace though a continues fire exchange is live near Badme town from our reporter in the area . And Somalia has been chaos since warlord’s toppled Dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. And since 1998 has been a continuation of the war between Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Big pretext given by the Melees Zenawie to keep its troops in Somalia – “until the Horn of Africa country ratifies a constitution and its military is able to fend off militant threats on its own. ” Ethiopian forces captured the rebel stronghold of Baidoa in southern Somalia in February having seized Baladwayne from the militants and started evacuating when the conflict with Eritrea rekindled two weeks ago.
Melees Zenawie the irredentist dictator join the scramble for Somalia by rolling hundreds of troops across its border in November by opening up a third front against Shabab, the two main underline reasons are
– competition with Kenya for controlling the big portion of oil rich southern Somalia,
– and the fight with Eritrea since its ill-fated 2006-2009 incursion.– Ethiopia is to this day training and arming the different faction of Somali clans, while Eritrea is armed and trained Alshabab.
Once again Ethiopian dictator declared that his troops would only be deployed for a brief period to fight Alshabab militants. Later is also affronting 11,000 strong African Union (AMISOM) forces and Kenyans fighting to controlled the Azania corner oil rich Juba land as a “buffer zone”. .
This new 180 degree turn of the Ethiopian dictator stopping his sudden evacuation was justified in the following propaganda :-
“It (Ethiopia) will remain (in Somalia) until the Transitional Government (of Somalia) has adequately organized itself to fend off any attack from hostile forces,” “There is no current plan to evacuate from Somalia until such time that a proper Somali constitution is ratified by all parties to the conflict, and until the constituent assembly will ratify the constitution,”
The new million dollars of US aid recently granted may be forced him to stay since he got a new indirectly mandate.
Last June Somalia’s feuding leaders agreed to extend the mandate of a transitional government for a year rather than hold elections, a move sought by Uganda which has peacekeepers stationed in the anarchic state.
The mandate for Somalia’s latest administration was meant to expire in August 2011 but President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, a former Islamist rebel leader, and speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, who covets the top job, had been at loggerheads over what should happen then, and agreed to defer elections.
Alshabab seems strategically have surrendered territory in Mogadishu and across central and southern Somalia in the past few months weekend by AMISON forces where the Eritrean support is no more reaching crippled with sanction of 2008 and December 2011
AU and Somali government troops seem to secure little aid corridor between Mogadishu and a former rebel stronghold close to the capital. By the end of the month, Somali and Kenyan forces had captured the rebel stronghold and strategic town of Afmadow; but never able to capture the capital of Alshabab Kismayu.
Seizing Afmadow was considered a crucial step in the Kenyan drive towards the southern port city of Kismayu, the hub of al Shabab operations, about 120 km (75 miles) away.
Alshabab in areas they have vacated they are launching grenade attacks and using suicide bombers. The rebel group has waged a bloody five-year campaign to topple Somalia’s Western-backed government and impose its harsh interpretation of Islamic law with the support of Eritrea.
It continues to hold swathes of central and southern Somalia with help of Eritrea only against 11’000 AMISON Forces with Kenya and Ethiopia included.
The recent armed clash between Ethiopian, Kenyan and Somali resistance fighters in the regional strategically city of Mandera has rekindled the long waited regional war of the horn Africa. It is a Somali city located at the cross road between the three countries: Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. Mandera was a central meeting point for all Ogadeans before the Scramble for Africa in 1880’s that divide them with artificial boarders. This the time bomb set by colonial powers that divided people of the region by artificial imaginary lines, thus separating families of the same clan.
When we talk about the Ogaden region of Ethiopia we have tenancy to forget the name Ogaden given to the region is a tribal name inside Somali populated region of Ethiopia. Today the whole region is named Somali region by the Ethiopian dictator Melese Zenawie since 1991. This is conspiracy against the Somalis by creating a condition similar to Balkans, where there is a country Macedonia and a region with the same name inside Greek. While there is already country called Somalia there is need to create another Somalia. The main purpose to name such ethnical region is to accelerate the dismemberment of Somalia itself. Another point to be raised it is not only in Ethiopia that Ogaden exists, but also in Kenya- the western Somali populated region of Kenya is also inhabited with same tribes of Ogadeni.
On the 24th of February the Ethiopian mechanized forces supporting the newly trained Somali mercenaries are fighting the Somali insurgents not far from the border town of Mandera supported with heavy weapons. Melese Zenawie government has been involvement in Somali internal affairs since his accession to power in Ethiopia. He had officially started in its invasion of Somali in 2006 which he left after shameful defeat replacing himself with Burundi and Ugandan troops with the umbrella of the African Unity peace keepers. Both countries running UN resolved eternal ethnic rivalry and armed insurgency in their own land. The Melese Zenawie mercenary troops have just been caught in Tripoli and Bengasi supporting the falling killer of Libya and Cyrenaica, Mohammed Gaddafi.
The Ethiopian troops are firing Somali mercenary troops to destabilize the already fragile country in the name of fighting “Islam extremism.” It is just a pretext to keep himself in power like Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Ben Ali of Tunisia. Melese Zenawie is trying to divert the world attention to the newly open conflict on the cross road city of Mandera.
The Ethiopian dictatorial regime of Melese Zenawie has been training 2,000 mercenaries since to accomplish the unfinished job of Balkanizing Somalia to different factions. Melese has agreed to let Juba land to pass in the hands of Kenya, while unsuccessfully attempted to control Mogadishu. Since the fall of the central state of Somalia in 1989, Somaliland and Putland have already defacto declared their independence.
The border fighting for the reparation of Somalia between Kenya and Ethiopia has spilled over to the Kenyan town of Mender last Thursday. The t
The fist bomb exploded at the Mandera District hospital on Thursday as heavy fighting continued between the different faction to control the border key town between Somalia rebels fighting against Ethiopian troops and their mercenaries with the support of Kenya fighting to control her Ogadeni region of Western territories. Local reporters have seen wounded Kenyans are rushed to be treated for bullet wounds while the authorities are denying their involvement in the conflict to control Somalia.
Kenya has increased its contingentby moving an army.
The conflict has reached the Kenyan border towns stretching to Somalia Juba land crossing These are theal crossing to between borderline countries
Beside the regular army Kenya just deployed .
Two severely and four other Kenyan soldiers were also wounded. While Kenya like Ethiopia has trained its Somalis mercenaries, it won’t be long before the conflict spillKenyan Somali region like Ogaden of Ethiopia.
According to the Kenyan minimizing news media:-
“One woman has been reported dead at Border Point One and 10 casualties are being treated at Mandera District Hospital,” Kenya Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet said in a statement.
He said the fighting that started at about 10am on Friday did not spare the Red Cross offices where several gun shots were fired, but no casualty was reported.
“Several gunshots flying in the air across the border have hit the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) offices in Mandera, where six members of staff are holed up, like many other residents of Mandera town,” Mr Gullet said.
“The gunshots have rocked the town, keeping residents and refugees indoors,” he said.
The Society’s Spokesman Titus Mung’ou said the situation had put the lives of humanitarian workers and other residents of Mandera town in grave danger.
“We have reported this latest incident to the Government and hope the KRCS offices, which have a Red Cross emblem flag hoisted on the rooftop, will be protected,” he said.
The Red Cross emblem is a protected symbol, under the Geneva Conventions, and all warring parties are required to respect it, he added.
“Hundreds of refugees are now scattered on the Kenyan side of the border, as it is risky to gather in camps until fighting ceases,” he said.
Hundreds of families began fleeing Mandera town Friday following the intense fighting that has been going on at the Kenya-Somalia border since Wednesday.
Reports from Mandera indicate that schools, government offices and hospitals had been shut for stray ammunition that has been hammering the border town.
A councilor who spoke to Capital News from Mandera said although no physical attacks had occurred in the town, residents were worried of the bullets that “are being fired from various directions whenever the troops are fighting the militiamen.”
On Thursday morning, eight people were struck by bullets fired by militia men who have been fighting AU troops on the Somalia side.
“It is scaring, you cannot know when a bullet will land near you and that is why people are running for safety,” the councilor who only identified himself as Ahmed said.
“Some houses have gone up in flames since morning and we don’t know who are burning them but we highly suspect it has something to do with what is going on at the border,” Ahmed added.
He said Mandera town remained deserted for the better part of Friday and only military and police trucks were seen parked strategically with heavily armed officers.
“People are running towards remote areas far away from Mandera, we don’t want to become victims,” he added “This place now is inhabitable, there are heavy gunfire renting the air every after a couple of hours.
The situation was made worse when a bomb was hurled at the Mandera district hospital but no one was hurt because it landed on an open field.
North Eastern Provincial Commissioner Joseph ole Serian told Capital News that the bomb could have caused a major disaster “were it not that it landed on an open field.”
“The hospital covers a large area, we are lucky it landed on an open ground, it could have been disastrous,” ole Serian said on telephone from where he was coordinating security.
Some 14 African Union soldiers flown from Mogadishu were still admitted to hospitals in Mombasa where they have been receiving treatment for bullet wounds since Thursday.
Military Spokesman Bogita Ongeri told Capital News they had enhanced security at the border towns to stop Al-Shabaab fighters from liberating from controlling western Kenya.
The Kenyan soldiers fought the Somali resistance fighters who had tried to stop them from controlling the Somali region of Kenya seven were injured.
The best and the lasting solution for the region is non ignorance in the internal affair of Somalis by the different neighboring counties like Ethiopia and Kenya in order not further radicalize the situation.
The strategic city of Mandera would be the Waterloo of Melese Zenawie and the Kenyan election killers who are trying to divert the internal situation to this undue conflict by calling for intervention the embattled western forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The illusive so call peace with ONLF (Ogaden National Front), and the government of the genocidal regime of Melese Zenawie of Ethiopia claimed has liberated all the prisoners of ONLF proved farce. In reality the true ONLF is still fighting the regime. The so called “ONLF” that strike a peace deal with Melese Zenawie is the proxy movement made and prepared by dictator for local and international consumption to prove that the war and the genocide in Ogaden region is finished. This game is to assure the international oil drillers the safety of the regions. The resent declaration of the True ONLF from Landon and the continual imprisonment of its member the Canadian Ethiopian Bashir Makhtal who was betrayed by the corrupted Kenyan police and given to Melese Zenawie proved and divulgated the reality.
Whenever any dictatorial regime declares peace with anybody that means the war continues. It is proved in Somalia and with his Brother in Arm Eritrean Shabia.
The true lasting peace will come when the genocidal regime of Melese Zenawie is swept away by Human social Tsunami that blow the Tunisian dictator Ben Ali.
The recent Bashir Makhtal’s letter smuggled out from the most notorious African prison describes his anger on the Canadian government letting him languish since he is black and African. The Canadian in prison proved that the federal government in Ottawa plays double standard at home and with Ethiopian regime.
The letter, which was smuggled out of an Ethiopian jail, will be released at a news conference in Ottawa 22 January, 2011, a Memorial Day Makhtal’s rendition by the Kenyan corrupted official to Ethiopia dictator repeating the same crime they committed with that of the Kurdish PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan PKK to Turkey.
“I am writing to tell my fellow Canadian citizens that I am a hostage for an African country which receives millions of dollars of the taxes you paid from our government as humanitarian aid.” (Mikhtal’s Prison Letter)
This will not solve the “Somali Question» neither in Kenya nor in Ethiopia like that of the “Kurd national Question “. In both cases the war and the killing continue.
The Kenyan ICC Killers are known for putting oil on the fire so long as they are paid. Their time has come to face The Hague to International Justice for the Crime against humanity for the mass killings they committed against the innocent Kenyan in 2007 election.
Makhtal was condemned a life sentence in a prison in Addis Ababa refusing the deal he was offered by Melese Zenawie regime to denounce ONLF. He was charged with multiple counts of terrorism for allegedly being a ringleader with the Ogaden National Liberation Front.
The Ethiopian dictator punishes families to three generation for the role of his father Makhtal’s grandfather, Makhtal Dahir, was one of the co-founders of the organization.
In his letter Maihtal understood that being born in the Horn of Africa makes you any way guilty for generation at home and in Diaspora:-
“I am an innocent civilian on the death row … I am guilt(y) by birth,” he writes.
Makhtal had returned to Africa and started a successful second hand clothing business in 2002, where he got caught while running from the invading Meles Zenawie regime on Somalia Kenya border in 2006 fleeing with all the refugees.
The Kenyan corrupted police, the day before his court appearance, sold him to the Ethiopian regime. The day the tribunal he found himself on the way to Addis Ababa. The Ottawa government did not act at all while other nationals are being freed son after.
Makhtal explains his ordeal in the notorious prison in the following wise: _
“I share a room with real criminals, rapists and murderers with whom I share the same fate — death. I lost my optimism that one day I will walk free, and my dream to join my beautiful wife, a heartbroken, innocent lady is not there anymore. I am in mourning for my previous free days and my stolen future.”
O.N.L.F Position Statement On So-Called “Peace Deal” With UWSLF
Friday, 30 July 2010 15:53 Ogaden Online
The Ethiopian regimes so-called “peace deal” with the Ogaden branch of the now defunct Al-Itihaad Al-Islaami (AIAI) organization known as the United Western Somali Liberation Front (UWSLF) has no impact on facts on the ground in Ogaden and represents an attempt by the regime to promote the idea that a non-existent peace process is underway in Ogaden.
The so-called UWSLF was created to act as the Ogaden chapter of the AIAI organization. Its ideology and methods were counter to the interests of the people of Ogaden and were therefore rejected by the people. USWLF assisted by external elements sought to establish a functioning presence in Ogaden during the last few years but failed to do so. When UWSLF sponsors ceased to provide financial and material support for the AIAI affiliate, the leadership of the UWSLF was left with no option but to surrender to the Ethiopian regime. The regime saw this as an opportunity to forward the impression that it was pursuing a legitimate peace process and making significant security gains in Ogaden in order to alleviate the fears of potential investors in the oil sector and also out of increasing concern over persistent accusations that the regime is engaged in collective punishment, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ogaden.
Promoting a fictitious peace process with actors having no impact on facts of the ground in Ogaden, and potentially other conflict areas in the future, is also part of the regimes strategy to deviate attention from the most recent stolen election in Ethiopia in which the regimes ruling party and its allies illegitimately secured 545 out of 547 seats in the national assembly.
The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) wishes to make clear to all interested parties that the UWSLF has no constituency in Ogaden nor does this so-called “peace agreement” with the Ethiopian regime impact in any way facts on the ground in Ogaden. The ONLF wishes to further affirm that any legitimate peace process aimed at reaching a just, comprehensive and lasting political settlement to the conflict between the people of Ogaden and successive Ethiopian regimes can only be achieved through an internationally mediated process, taking place in a neutral venue.
The Ethiopian regime continues to refuse international mediation of the conflict and has therefore pursued bogus so called “peace agreements” with entities that are either non-existent or have no constituency in order to create the impression that there is a peace process underway in Ogaden.
The ONLF wishes to affirm once again that there is no peace process underway in Ogaden and that
statements to the contrary by the Ethiopian regime are a diversionary tactic by the ruling Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) party.
The month of September is a special month in the history of the Horn of Africa. It is the month of Ethiopian & Eritrean Orthodox New Year falling the same day as that of 9/11 terrorist attack 9 years ago in New York. The 1st of September is a memorial day in Eritrea, the day the struggle of liberation started. This day is commemorated every years in Asmara the capital of the ex Italian colony once federated later province of Ethiopia, which seceded in 1991 and became Independence in 1993, with the full support of the present regime of Ethiopia. Eritrea is a pure creation of the scramble for Africa. The Eritrean legacy of colonization has continued to this day starting a full flagged war with Ethiopia 7 years after its independence. The leaders of Eritrea and Ethiopia were once comrades in struggle against the Marxist regime of Addis Ababa, today they are at least publically sworn enemy. The war exploded in 1998 between the two frères-enemies up until 2002, when Cessez-le-feu was established by the intervention of the UN , costing over 200000 lives. Further more, the two dictatorial regimes continue their proxy war and war of words by organizing proxy armed movements in each other soil. They even further destabilized the region by employing their proxies in Somalia. Thus, Somalia became the center of international terrorism and piracy sponsored by Al Qaida. The Ethiopian dictator dragged in over 5000 African forces to Somalia after unsuccessful occupation of the country for two years starting 2006. In 2009 Ethiopian regime pressured the AU at its siege in Ethiopia to impose sanction against Eritrea by the UN. Eritrea in return continues supporting the opposition groups in Somali and Ethiopia in spite of the UN sanction to this day.
The UN sanction N° Resolution 1907 (2009) Stipulates Arms Embargo, Travel Restrictions, Asset Freezes
“Cease arming, training and equipping armed groups and their members including al-Shabab”
Eritrea called the sanction as”ludicrous punitive measures” and warned that their imposition risked “engulfing the region in to another cycle of conflict as it may encourage Ethiopia to contemplate reckless military adventures”.
Both the representative of Eritrea and Ethiopia used the opportunity of the United Nations General Debate to settle some scores trying to influence some member states to join their proxy wars in Somalia in the pretext of border wars. It is ridiculous after agreeing in major principle as great as the Independence of Eritrea to engage to a whole out war for a piece of barn land. As we all know the truth of the mater lies not on that piece of land. Let us here it from the Eritrean Foreign Minster:-
“While the United Nations grapples with Sudan and Somalia, it continues to ignore the grave consequences of Ethiopia’s continued occupation of sovereign Eritrean territory, eight years after the ruling of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC), and three years after the Commission ended its work by depositing in the United Nations the demarcated boundary between the two countries. Ethiopia’s illegal occupation and the United Nations’ silence, which mean the continuation of the conflict, is exacting a heavy price on the peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia and complicating the regional situation. I wish to remind the United Nations that Eritrea awaits responsible and urgent action to end Ethiopia’s violation of international law and its threat to regional peace and security.”
Eritrean Foreign Minster
The story as told by the Ethiopian Foreign Minster goes the following wise
When we talk about security in the Horn of Africa Region…we cannot avoid raising our concern once again about the destructive role the Government of Eritrea has continued to play since independence. It is an open secret that the Eritrean Government has for some time now been actively playing the role of the spoiler in the whole tragic situation in Somalia…the Eritrean regime is the principal destabilizer in our sub-region with utter contempt for international law and the norms of international behavior.
Their accusation and counter accusation has been a daily phenomenon since 1998. The truth would be both to stop preparing proxy warriors and comply with the UN resolutions.
Eritrean response to Ethiopian foreign minster
Ethiopian Delegate On Somalia
Somali Embattled President today the Proxy of Ethiopia in power in Mogadishu Villa once a Proxy of Eritrea against Ethiopia
In the same month of the September the Ethiopian Dictator Melese Zenawie was busy convincing the US academician in Colombia university lying out rightly to the Students of the university:-
Somalia the Kurdistan of Africa was known as Puntland prehistorically by the ancient Egypt. Since the Scramble of Africa the Somalis have gone through war and unprecedented conflict. The Somalis are found today in Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Puntland, Somaliland and Somalia.
In the post colonial period the Somalis have been victim of extremism and continue foreign intervention: – the US in 94/95, Ethiopia 2006, and recently they become the center of conflict piracy and instability in the horn of Africa. Most importantly they have been the battle ground for Eritrean and Ethiopian Proxy wars which engulfed the countries of the Great Lakes Uganda and Burundi under sponsored by AU. A transitional Government has been established under the auspices of the AU and the UN.
The recent rift between the two top leader of the embattled Somalia is about to collapse mostly from the weakness and the ambivalent engagement of the AU troops.
The Transitional government of Somali is highly weakened by three principal factures namely:-
Firstly the clan politics installed in the colonial past inside Somalia, and the recent TGS which by the rift between the two rivals in power- Sharif Ahmed, President and the Premier Sharmarke;
Secondly by a Strong Al Shabab & the Militias advancement supported by the countries of the Red Se cost;
Thirdly by non commitment of the AU member countries to give unconditional support to TGS, and those engaged are half heartedly employed as means to boom the position of the supporting countries strong men’s international stand rather than resolving the Somalian Question Definitively.
All these factors are working indirectly for Al Shabab’s advancement. The continuous polemic between the two will collapse the AU supported TGS if not resolved internally. TGS could not be able to control outside the President’s office residence and the Air port which was targeted by the suicide bombers of Al Shabab few days earlier. The Resent Al Shabab’s bomb blast at Muna Hotel killed some member of TGS parliament sending shock waves to the AMSOM troops lamenting in Mogadishu. The recent Al-Shabab attack forced the Ugandan president to send additional troops to help the government in its last battle against Al-Shabab.
The 6000 strong AU peace keeping force did not succeed to subdue the supposedly Al Qaida supported Somalian street fighters. They are indirectly supported by the government of the Red Sea costs who opposes the Ethiopian and AU supported TGS forces on the ground. Red Sea governments like Yemen, Eritrea and Egypt opposes the definitive secession Somaliland. The newly elected Islamic Unity party is highly advised to take over Mogadishu by these governments which see their interest compromised. The newly independent Somaliland on the Cost of the Red sea serving as an Ethiopian out let than that of the Traditional Djibouti and Eritrea will weaken their economic and geostrategic interest in long term if the port of Barbara becomes the principal port in the Indian Ocean for the Ethiopian and the newly independent Southern Sudan outlet.
The continues division between the two top leaders will precipitate the end of the TGS as we know it, and will be bring a new change breaking the status quo. The TGS Premier seemingly has assured the support of the Parliament and some countries around the region against President Sharif.
UN wants transitional government to end squabbling as it warns about insurgents becoming a serious security threat.
The UN says the al-Shabab group is increasingly posing a serious international security threat [Reuters] 14 Sep 2010
The United Nations has warned that Somalia insurgents are posing a serious international security threat and made a renewed appeal to the transitional government to end the civil conflict.
The rise of the al-Shabaab movement has raised concerns among western governments, in addition to the pirates operating out of Somalia ports.
Somalia will be in the spotlight during a debate at the Security Council on Thursday and a top level ministerial meeting on the conflict at the UN General Assembly summit next week.
Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, said “horrific” suicide bomb attacks by al-Shabaab followers in Uganda in July had shown the growing threat from the al-Qaeda inspired group.
Some 76 people were killed in that attack.
“The attacks demonstrated that al-Shabaab remains a serious security threat for Somalia, the sub-region and the wider international community,” Ban said in a report to the Security Council on Monday.
The UN report said the Somali capital’s “already weak health services are struggling to cope with casualties”, citing thousands of reported deaths in Mogadishu this year.
A special envoy for Ban, Augustine Mahiga, an African Union envoy, Boubacar Diarra, and an East African peace envoy, Kipruto Arap Kirwa, were at Mogadishu airport on Thursday to meet Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the head of the transitional government, when a suicide bomber killed five people there.
The three envoys said on Monday the government is in disarray and warned that the divisions were “potentially very damaging” to efforts to end the chaos.
The transitional government is scheduled to end in August 2011, and analysts say it has achieved little so far.
Repeated political battles in recent months have seen the president dissolve the cabinet and the parliament speaker resign.
“Somali forces and [AMISOM troops] risk their lives each day to protect the transitional federation institutions and defend the integrity of the peace process,” the three envoys said in a statement released in Nairobi.
“The leaders and politicians need to demonstrate their unity of purpose to show they are working together to restore peace to Somalia.”
Ban sent a similar message highlighting international efforts to promote peace in spite of the “internal disputes” and “political complications”.
The UN chief said the international financial crisis has hit efforts to boost the African peacekeeping force.
“I remind all parties to the conflict that those found responsible for war crimes will face justice,” Ban said.
“In that regard I support the proposal to document the most serious violations committed, as an essential step in the fight against impunity.”
Somaliland ‘s Unity party victory a cause belli for conflict ? by Prof. Muse Tegegne
National electoral Commission of Somaliland
The June election in Somaliland is victory to democracy in the horn of Africa compared to the recent election in Ethiopia, Sudan & Burundi.
The National Electoral Commission (NEC) declared Kulmiye (Unity) party the winner. Kulmiye party received 49.6% of the vote, while the party of president Dahir Rayale Kahin (UDUB party), managed just 33.1 per cent Second opposition party, UCID (Justice and Welfare party) finished third scoring 17.2 per cent of the vote. The international community want to see change that might bring more respect and democracy in the region. The Final result announced Kulimye: 266906 | 49.6% ,UDUB: 178881 | 33.1% UCID: 92439 | 17.2% .
Kulmiye leaders known for their Pansomlaian ideology will show more and more unification tendacies and their cross board relation with the Islamists. The June 26, 2010, Presidential elections results was hold to the July 1 2010 by creating collusion to the Somalian independent and unification date in July 1st, 1960. This will compromise the the long waited international recognition of Somaliland as an independent state.
“The election is a sham and a dictation of anti-Islamic forces.” declared Al Shebab
Somaliland a former British colony tacked on to Somalia when the latter gained independence from Italy in 1960,and jioned Somlia Itlaian till It broke away from Somalia in 1991, after the overthrow of Siad Barre.
Egypt and Eritrea has been suspected as being a sponsors of the Kulmiye victory in Hagessa and Iran not far away. They are will push for Somaliland to tighten controls on international trade, through Berbera, to sustain landlocked Ethiopia. It seems in very near future the Kulmiye and al-Shabaab leadership will push to take over control of the Government of Somalia which will put Somaliland to the confusion of of Somalian Syndrome.
President-elect Ahmed Mohamed Silaanyo paid a surprise visit to the outgoing President Dahir Riyale Kahin in his office on Sunday morning.
A source close to the new president said the purpose of his visit was to warmly greet and congratulate the outgoing President. It added, the new President was amazed how well Mr Riyale reacted and conceded defeat. Silaanyo was quoted saying: “It’s the sign of a true leader who comes forward and concedes defeat.”
The two also forgave each others for what each said to the other over the years.
Mr Riyale who took office in May 2002, after the death of Mohammed Haji Ibrahim Egal, will be remembered for bringing stability to Somaliland and strengthening democracy in the country despite the many election delays.
Horn, Red Sea Braces for Instability as Somaliland Moves Toward Islamist Reunification With Somalia
– By Gregory R. Copley
The Election Commission of the Republic of Somaliland on July 1, 2010 — as noted, the highly-iconic 50th anniversary date of the original union of the Republic of Somaliland with the former Italian Somaliland to create the Union of Somalia — announced that the pan-Somalist, radical Islamist Kulmiye party candidate, Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, had won the June 26, 2010, Presidential elections.
Kulmiye — with major support from a broadly-based network of Islamists throughout the region, a range of pan-Somalists and southern Somalian clans, several regional governments, and at least one major Western front organization — prepared a broad campaign for which the UDUP Government under Pres. Dahir Riyale Kahin, although fully warned, were totally unprepared. Kulmiye had stage-managed significant elements of the Election Commission, and the media, and had prepared a round of post-election back-up plans which included adding prepared, loaded ballot boxes, and a campaign of street protests in the event that it looked as though all other steps failed and in the event that the Government had, in fact, taken strong pre-emptive steps to curtail Kulmiye’s creative electioneering.
Kulmiye leaders and other pan-Somalists and Islamists with who they were working had been noting that July 1, 2010, would be the symbolic date of the beginning of the reunification of the two Somalilands. That the Election Commission, which had been strongly influenced by payments from foreign sources (as GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs had noted earlier), withheld announcement of the results of the June 26, 2010, Presidential elections until the iconic date of July 1, as if confirming the reports of collusion with the pan-Somalists.
The ramifications of the event will gradually become apparent, quite apart from short-term impact on Somaliland’s hitherto stable society. Domestically, shari’a law will become dominant, and cooperation with jihadist groups, such as al-Shabaab, will become routine. Somaliland, for even as long as it continues to exist as an entity, will cease meaningful cooperation with the West on counter-terrorism and counter-piracy issues.
The key sponsors of the Kulmiye take-over, particularly Egypt and Eritrea, and possibly Iran, will push for Somaliland to tighten controls on international trade, through Berbera, to sustain landlocked Ethiopia. Clearly, the Kulmiye and al-Shabaab leadership will also push to take over control of the Government of Somalia, such as it is, within any new de facto or de jure reunion of the two Somalilands.
One very direct result will be to add pressure on the Meles Zenawi Government in Ethiopia, forcing it to rely more, once again, on Djibouti as the entrepot for Ethiopian trade. This will add significantly to Ethiopia’s costs, given Djibouti’s history of exploiting its position in this trade in the past. This accords with Egypt’s wishes to weaken Ethiopia, which controls the headwaters of the Blue Nile, the major source of water for Egypt. Egypt’s position of hostility to upstream riparian states on the Blue and White Niles, and Egypt’s refusal, this year, to come to an agreement on Nile water usage with other riparian states.
Egypt’s challenge to Ethiopia, as the principal water source for the Nile, may, however trigger a backlash, and actually cause Ethiopia to attempt to dam or divert Nile waters for energy and agricultural purposes, literally leading to a reduction in flow to Sudan and Egypt. The Egyptian Government has noted in the past that any attempts to deny Egypt the water to which it feels it has a legal right — in contradistinction to inter-state legal precedent on the topic — would represent casus belli: cause for war. The Egyptian Government has put interference with Nile waters ahead of any other possible cause for war.
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Eritrea, meanwhile, still harbors hopes that Ethiopia would be forced to an accommodation with Eritrea to use the ports which Eritrea assumed from Ethiopia when Eritrean independence was willingly given by Addis Ababa — at the express command of Prime Minister Meles — in 1993. This is, perhaps, still the major point of contention which Ethiopians have against Prime Minister Meles: not just that he gave Eritrea, historically always a part of the Ethiopian Empire, its independence, but that he included in that “give away” before he even became an elected head-of-government coastal areas and ports of Ethiopia which had never been part of the Eritrean province. That move left Ethiopia land-locked and dependent on Eritrea for port access, a move which Eritrea exploited so ruthlessly — demanding that Ethiopia receive untradeable Eritrean currency for all of its exports — that a break in relations came, precipitating the Ethiopian-Eritrean wars.
Ethiopia subsequently developed port access through Djibouti, and then Berbera. Thus the collapse of the alliance with Somaliland, as a result of the July 1, 2010, announcement of a new President there, is of profound concern for Addis Ababa. The Pan-Somalists and al-Shabaab and others involved in the change in Somaliland are themselves openly and strenuously hostile to Ethiopia, which had militarily supported the Somaliland Government and had also put troops into Somalia — including into the Somalian capital (and former capital of Italian Somaliland), Mogadishu, to fight the Islamists, including al-Shabaab.
It is highly significant that the Italian Government had supported the pan-Somalists based on historical feelings of identity with the onetime Italian Somaliland, despite the reality that this has contributed significantly to the continued instability in the Horn. Similarly, the Italian Government has sustained its profound support for Eritrea against Ethiopia, once again because of “historical solidarity” with Eritrea, which it had briefly colonized, before being defeated on two occasions in Ethiopia (1893, at the Battle of Adwa, the most significant defeat of a Western power in Africa; and in 1941). What is significant is that the Italian Government has gained nothing of strategic value for this emotional attachment, but has contributed significantly to the instability of the Horn of Africa.
It is now possible that the Eritrea-Ethiopia relations will undergo a further increase in tensions. Eritrea put in substantial guerilla forces, and support for dissidents in Ethiopia, in the run-up to the June parliamentary elections which returned Prime Minister Meles’ coalition to power.
It would be unsurprising if direct hostilities broke out again between Ethiopia and Eritrea within a year. Indeed, this may be the key to Eritrean Pres. Isayas Afewerke retaining power in his state, despite the continuing decline in the state’s economic fortunes and the increasing repression in his state.
Significantly, the transforming situation marked by the July 1, 2010, collapse of Somaliland’s moderate, pro-Western Government will be to ensure greater access by international jihadist and terrorist groups to the Horn of Africa; greater difficulty for external states to influence and reduce the incidence of piracy in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean regions around the Horn; a greater ability for groups supported by Iran to support cross Bab el-Mandeb operations against the Yemeni Government (and supporting anti-Sana’a forces based in the former South Yemen regions); as well as stimulating the prospect for Eritrean-Ethiopian conflict and possibly initiating Ethiopian-Egyptian military tensions.
Overall, the move to topple the moderate Government in Hargeisa, the Somaliland capital, provides a safe-haven for a wide range of activities by Islamists, jihadists, and other non-governmental actors from bases in the Horn. These will play into hostilities within the Arabian Peninsula as a whole, and will interact, almost certainly, with anti-state players in Pakistan. In all of this, Iran has historically played a key rôle in Somalia, and this will expand.
The Iran-Sudan-Egypt Connection
By Spring 2010, Tehran and its allies were increasingly worried about their strategic posture at the Red Sea as a result of the growing militant-separatist sentiments in southern Sudan. The likely outbreak of a civil war in Sudan would deprive Iran and jihadists the use of Sudan’s Red Sea ports as the base from which to block the Red Sea in case of a major confrontation with the US. The series of Israeli clandestine, air, and naval strikes against convoys and ships in northern Sudan carrying weaponry to the HAMAS in Gaza (to be delivered via Egypt and the Sinai) only added to the Iranian sense of vulnerability.
In mid-April 2010, Sudan held the first ostensibly free elections in 24 years. According to the official results, President Omar al-Bashir and his ruling National Congress Party (NCP) won 68.24 percent of the votes. Far more significant, however, was the election of Salva Kiir Mayardit with an overwhelming majority of 92.99 percent to the post of both the First Vice President of the Republic of Sudan and the post of president of Sudan’s southern region. Kiir was the candidate of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) which advocates the secession of the south in order to establish an independent state in the upcoming referendum now scheduled for January 2011. The referendum is the final step in the implementation of the January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the SPLM and Khartoum.
However, Khartoum has already vowed to prevent the dismemberment of Sudan — particularly given the vast oil reserves in the south (particularly the disputed Abyei region) — and already manipulated the 2008 census results to reduce the number of eligible black voters in the south and bloat the number of Arab voters in the north. This created growing tension and fear of the resumption of the vicious civil war.
Indeed, starting 2008, the SPLM began using oil revenues in order to purchase heavy weapons — including tanks, artillery and rockets — in the former Soviet Union and ship them, via Kenyan ports, to Sudan in preparation for the anticipated resumption of fighting. The extent of the procurement efforts of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) was revealed in September when Somali pirates working for Sudanese intelligence hijacked a Ukrainian cargo ship carrying 33 T-72 tanks and crates of small arms. The ship later released after Kiev showed proper end-user documents identifying Kenya as the owner of the weapons and the pirates received a $3.2-million ransom. The flow of weapons has markedly intensified since Spring 2009. Some of these weapons were already used in the pre-election clashes in March 2010.
In early Summer 2010, the SPLA drafted plans to train pilots and acquire combat aircraft and helicopters. “We want to transform SPLA from a guerilla force into a veritable military,” SPLA spokesman Maj.-Gen. Dame Koala said. Khartoum immediately warned that the establishment of an air force or navy in the south would violate the CPA. But SPLM leaders reiterated their commitment to establishing a proper military using oil revenues.
In May 2010, SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum warned in an interview with the Saudi-owned Al-Sharq al-Awsat that the establishment of an Islamic Republic in Sudan, as advocated by Bashir in the aftermath of the April elections, would lead to the break-up of the country. “If the National Congress Party insists on implementing a program for building the Islamic Republic then southerners will have no choice but to vote for secession. If the National Congress Party insists on imposing its policies of oppression and racial discrimination then southerners must secede, and if the National Congress Party continues to plunder the wealth of the south and unjustly divide oil revenues in the absence of transparency, then southerners will have to break free from those tyrants,” Amum warned.
In early June 2010, Amum raised the ante in another interview with Al-Sharq al-Awsat in which he asserted that unification was unlikely under current conditions. “In the shadow of the National Economic Salvation regime, and its Islamic project, there is no solution, or even a drop of hope or Sudanese unity. … There is no possibility or even the slightest chance to achieve Sudanese unity unless the NCP reoccupied the South and takes control of it through military force. This would be a bloody step, and this would not represent unification but occupation.” Amum confirmed that Kiir is actively preparing to form a government of the South in their capital Juba. All the best SPLM cadres were transferred to Juba and only expandable SPLM officials were sent to fill CPA-mandated positions in the Khartoum Government.
Amum warned that the suggested postponement of the referendum would restart the civil war. “Any side that calls for postponement would, in other words, be calling for the Sudanese people to return to fighting. This would be a dangerous and irresponsible action to take.” Although the South prefers to secede peacefully, Juba is cognizant that war is all but inevitable. Amum stated that “if there is no other choice but war, we will enter it [war]. The Sudanese People’s Liberation Army is capable of solving these problems and restoring security,” Amum stressed, “it is one of the largest armies in the region, and it has fought long wars, has excellent combat experience and is currently being transformed into a regular army.”
As is the case of Somaliland, Egypt and Eritrea lead calls for the southern Sudanese referendum on self-determination to be postponed.
In summary, coupled with the linked developments in Sudan, and as a result of the pivotal change in Hargeisa on July 1, 2010, the following developments should be expected, at the very least:
1. Increased Iranian support and capability for African, Arabian Peninsula, and Pakistani jihadist and terrorist activities, including support for the “Islamic Republic of Eastern Arabia”, and direct actions aimed at overthrowing the present Yemen Government. This will all ultimately impact on trade costs and energy costs;
2. Increased piracy activities out of Somalian Puntland, with less ability for external powers to intervene or influence;
3. Significant revival of Eritrean-Ethiopian tensions, leading to the increased prospect for renewed conventional war;
4. Significant increase in Ethiopia-Egypt tensions, with a number of possible outcomes;
5. Spread of Somalia-style warlordism into Somaliland, and a new set of competitions for power over the entire Somalian entity, with unforeseeable results, other than that the competition will be protracted and indecisive. The likelihood will be that the African Union and United Nations will be called on, again, to provide peacekeeping forces for Somalia, with significant cost in capital and lives for the international community;
6. Potential for increased insurgency aimed at overthrowing the Djibouti Government of Pres. Ismail Omar Guelleh (bearing in mind that “French Somaliland”, now Djibouti, is one of the stars in the pan-Somalists pantheon) (and bearing in mind that Djibouti remains a thorn in the side of Eritrean Pres. Isayas, who sees now only Djibouti providing an escape valve for Ethiopia);
7. Increased activities by Eritrean-backed terrorist and guerilla activities inside Ethiopia, possibly with the revived support of Libyan Pres. Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi and Egypt.
The interactive result of all of this, including the Sudanese developments, will be to increase the dangers to shipping in the Red Sea/Suez SLOC, and compound threats to Yemen and Saudi Arabia, at the very least. This contributes significantly to Iran’s strategy to weaken Saudi Arabia’s influence. Ironically, many of the jihadist/Islamist activities in the Horn have been ostensibly Wahabbist/neo-salafist in nature, deriving from the State-sponsored Saudi sect of Sunni Islam, which have — as with Osama bin Laden’s proselytization — been used against the Saudi State and interests.
Ironically, early recognition of the sovereignty of the Republic of Somaliland when it broke away — as it had every legal right to do — from the ill-fated union with Somalia in 1990 would have prevented this situation, and would have helped stabilize the Horn of Africa long before this time. Egypt, the Arab League, and Saudi Arabia worked hard to prevent this recognition, but the African Union (AU), and the major trading powers with a vital interest in the Red Sea, could have unilaterally recognized Somaliland.
The absolutely spurious claim that Somaliland could not be recognized because it was a “breakaway” state from Somalia should have been recognized for what it was: legally nonsensical. Somaliland was fully independent and sovereign from the United Kingdom — its earlier colonial overlord — before it joined into the union with Italian Somaliland.
To say that Somaliland could not withdraw, and be recognized, from that union in 1990 would be tantamount to saying that Egypt could no longer be recognized as independent when it withdrew from its “United Arab Republic” experiment with Syria.
The outgoing Government of Somaliland was warned, privately, of the moves being made to overthrow it by using the occasion of the Presidential election to stage what amounts to a coup de manœuvre, and yet proved incapable of addressing the threat. GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs also publicly identified the process through 2010. And yet no-one acted, other than the extremists and their Western supporters who may well have been promised resource concessions in the region as payment for their support.
Ahmed Mohamed Siilanyo, chairman of KULMIYE won the Election Democratically . The 1st in the Horn of Africa
The Ex British Somaliland( Hargesa), today self declared indepedant state of Somalia is running the second democratic election in the Horn of Africa while the Puntland has became a a pirate-land, ( Bassaso) and Somalia ( Mogadishu ) in total chaos . The May 2010 elections in Sudan and Ethiopia have been ragged, while in of Kenya violently contested.
Three men, Dahir Riyale Kahin, Ahmed Mohamud Silanyo and Feysal Ali Warabe, are vying to become president of the unrecognised region, a haven of relative peace in the northwest of Somalia. The candidates had agreed to hold campaign rallies on different days in order to avoid f violence between supporters.
Somaliland became a de facto independent Republic in 1991, after the collapse of the central government in Somalia, the main part of the territory declared its independence on18 May 1991. It is the successor state to British Somaliland which was independent for a few days in 1960 as the State of Somaliland.
Abderahman Ahmed Ali Tuur became its It s 1st president in 1991 . In 1993 Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal was appointed by the parlament of the clan eleders. Egal was reappointed in 1997, and remained in power until his death on May 3, 2002. The vice president, Dahir Riyale Kahin, was sworn in as president shortly afterwards, and in 2003, Kahin became the first president of Somaliland elected in a free and fair election.
Earlier this week, overall Shebab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, a native of Somaliland, issued an audio message warning the breakaway state’s population that they would “face the consequences” if they cast their ballot.
German military security firm helps Somali warlord
Monday, 24 May 2010
German lawmakers have voiced concern about a deal between a German military security firm and a warlord hostile to the UN-backed government in Somalia.
Rival militias have turned the capital Mogadishu into a killing zone
Asgaard German Security Group, which hires former German troops, has signed a contract with Abdinur Ahmed Darman, who claims to be the Somali president.
Rival militias have turned the capital Mogadishu into a killing zone
MPs from three German parties said the deal would aggravate the conflict in Somalia and violate UN sanctions.
But a BBC reporter in Somalia says Mr Darman is a marginal figure in the war.
Mr Darman declared himself president in 2003, but has not lived in the country for about five years, and is regarded by most Somalis as a publicity seeker, the BBC’s Mohamed Moalimuu reports from the capital Mogadishu.
Preparing for power
Asgaard says it will provide services, including military training, only when Mr Darman becomes the country’s leader.
Mr Darman’s Republican Party has an office in Mogadishu and occasionally issues statements – referring to Mr Darman as president – but is not considered a major political player.
“As soon as he assumes control of state affairs again, with the approval of the UN, Asgaard GSG will take charge of training, equipping and supplying the fire service, public health service and disaster control, as well as the police and military,” a statement on Asgaard’s website said.
“We want to do this in close co-operation with the German government, and we are in no way acting against their interests. At this point there are no German citizens in Somalia at the instigation of Asgaard GSG.”
Somalia has been racked by violence for more than two decades.
A leading German MP in the left-wing Linke party, Paul Schaefer, said Asgaard’s deal was worrying “because it’s a kind of shadow foreign policy, beyond parliamentary control”.
A German liberal FDP politician, Rainer Stinner, said such a deal “clearly violates” UN sanctions prohibiting arms deliveries or training for Somali militias.
Islamist groups control much of the south of the country, with the UN-backed transitional government headed by President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed limited to small parts of the capital.
President Ahmed – a former insurgent leader who was elected by Somali MPs in January 2009 – is in Turkey for a peace conference, where he told the BBC how he intended to tackle the Islamists.
He said he wanted to build up a government army while offering an olive branch to radicals who might be turned.
But the BBC’s Mark Doyle in Istanbul says it is far from clear if the president, described in the West as a moderate, will prevail.
He has Western support now, because Washington hopes he will keep al-Qaeda at bay in East Africa, but
Western support is a poisoned chalice in nationalist Somalia, he says.
U.S. destroyer shadows ship under pirate control
By the CNN Wire Staff
May 24, 2010
(CNN) — A U.S. destroyer is shadowing a ship off the coast of Somalia after it was taken over by 50 pirates, authorities said.
The M/V Iceberg was identified last week after the USS McFaul conducted a 36-hour surveillance mission, the multi-national Combined Maritime Forces said in a statement. The USS McFaul began shadowing the Panamanian-flagged vessel May 19 before the M/V Iceberg reversed course and began heading toward the Somali coast.
“We cannot be sure what the pirates’ plan was if they had not been interrupted,” said Rear Adm. Beom Rim Lee, commander of the Combined Maritime Forces task force.
The destroyer USS McFaul is monitoring a Panamanian-flagged vessel taken over by pirates.
“The vessel may have been on its way to either assist other pirates in distress, or look for another merchant vessel to attack,” he said.
The M/V Iceberg was last been seen off the coast of the Somali town of Garacaad, a known pirate haven, but its exact location was unknown until USS McFaul positively identified it. “Further investigation showed the name of the ship had been crudely painted over” in an effort to disguise it, which caused confusion in identifying it, the Combined Maritime Forces statement said.
The USS McFaul had initially requested to board the ship to check on the crew. The M/V Iceberg denied it had been taken over, saying it was having mechanical difficulties. Eventually, crew members radioed back saying they had been taken hostage by heavily armed pirates, officials said.
The M/V Iceberg has a crew of 24 from Yemen, India, Ghana, Sudan, Pakistan and the Philippines, officials said.
Cmdr. Ronald W. Toland, Jr., commanding officer of USS McFaul, said he tried to ensure the safety of the crew first.
“Given the report of heavily armed pirates on board, it was more prudent to monitor the ship’s movement, rather than attempt a rescue,” he said.
SOMALIA: Ethiopia disapproves of Puntland government ministers
ADDIS ABABA (Somalilandpress) — The president of Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland, Mr. Abdirahman Mohamed Farole has recently held a meeting with Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister, Seyoum Mesfin in Addis Ababa.
The meeting which took place in Sheraton hotel, focused on number of issues including regional security as well as the Puntland cabinet ministers.
According to a sources close to Mr. Farole, the Ethiopian government disapproved Mr. Farole’s presidential decree, dated March 12th, ordering the dismissal of Puntland Intelligence Service (PIS) director, Mr. Osman Diana (see SOMALIA: Puntland President Dashes to Ethiopia For an Emergency Meeting). The PIS is said to receive at least 50 per cent of Puntland’s annual income as well as funds from Western and Ethiopian intelligence services.
While the two were discussing the issue, the Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Mesfin, has expressed concern about a number ministers and provincial officials in the Puntland government accusing them of having ties with extremists in southern Somalia.
Mr. Mesfin, accused Puntland’s national planning minister, Mr. Daud Mohamed Omar and number of others including the governor of Bari region, Sheikh Abdihafid Ali Yusuf, the Mayor of Garowe (capital of Puntland), Mr. Abdiaziz Nur Elmi Koor, mayor of Bossaso town, Mr. Mohamud Farah Beldaje and the mayor of Galkayo, Mr Abdirahman Mohamud Haji Hassan of having ties with Somalia’s Islamists rebels fighting the TFG in southern Somalia.
Mr. Mesfin told the Puntlander leader that, Ethiopia has evidence that Puntland’s planning minister’s car was one of the vehicles used in the trio-suicide bombs that rocked Somaliland’s capital, Hargeisa, in October 2008. The bombs strucked the presidential palace, the Ethiopian Consulate and a United Nations compound, killing 21 people and wounded 26 people
United States House of Representatives Committee on Forgeign Affairs invites Somaliland.
The Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health chair by Congressman Donald M. Payne has invited Somaliland’s Foreign Minister his excellency Abdillahi Mohamed Dualeh, along with Puntland President Dr. Abdirahman Farole, Dr. Crispus Kiyonga Minster of Defense from Uganda and Somali’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Omar.
These leaders were invited to attend an open briefing and hearing of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health with regards to Somalia’s prospects for lasting peace and a unified response to extremism and terrorism.
Hizbul Islam and Shabaab are considered the two top Islamist insurgent groups in Somalia. While Shabaab is widely recognized as having close ties to al …
Hizbul Islam spokesman invites bin Laden to SomaliaLong War JournalHizbul Islam and Shabaab are considered the two top Islamist insurgent groups in Somalia. While Shabaab is widely recognized as having close ties to al …
Ethiopia: Zenawi Govt calls EU MP Ana Gomes “Stupid” for a hearing on Ogaden conflict
Ms. Ana Gomes has reappeared, not unexpectedly. She was the highly controversial head of the EU Electoral Observer Mission to Ethiopia in 2005 whose behavior and less than balanced relationship with opposition leaders and parties led to a formal complaint by the Government. Ms. Gomes has been active on a number of occasions in recent years on behalf of violent opposition movements in the Diaspora, particularly Ginbot 7. Now with the election coming up she is looking for the limelight again. This week, as a European Member of Parliament, she was hosting and opening a “hearing” on “Human Rights and the Security Situation in the Ogaden”, in collaboration with the Organization of Unrepresented Nations and Peoples, a collaboration which, by definition, demonstrates Ms. Gomes’ ignorance of the political situation in Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State where Ogaden Somalis are represented and participate in government. This week Ms. Gomes has been in London where she addressed a meeting organized by Third World Solidarity. It appears that Ms. Gomes and the Eritrean Government have something of a common agenda. Whether they are working together as some allege, is beside the point. Most of those at the meeting were former Derg members or supporters guilty of crimes against the people of Ethiopia. The organizers claimed the meeting would be attended by MPs but none of those listed actually attended. One person who did attend was a lady who is persona non grata in Ethiopia because of the dubious disposal of property from the Russian Embassy in Ethiopia in the early nineties. In a few weeks time, in early April, Ms. Gomes apparently plans to be in Washington to deliver a “keynote speech” at an opposition organized conference on Governance, Peace and Security and Development. No doubt Ms. Gomes will also surface at other meetings before the election on May 23rd. It would be difficult enough to accept this sort of deliberate effort to interfere in the electoral process by an outsider even if Ms. Gomes actually knew anything about the reality of politics in Ethiopia. Ms. Gomes, however, does not as she comprehensively demonstrated by her naïve, and frankly stupid, performance as head of the EU Electoral Observation Mission in 2005. Her recent efforts show she has not become any more sensible, or knowledgeable.” SOURCE: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ana Gomes hosts EU hearing on Ogaden, Ethiopia crisis
Human Rights and Security in Ogaden: European Parliament Film screening (excerpts): Silent Cry Ms. Ana-Maria Gomes, MEP Mr. Marino Busdachin, UNPO Mr. Abdullahi Mohamed, African Rights Monitor Ms. Xasan Ruqiyo, Ogaden Communities & Civil Society Association The hearing, whose topic is “Human Rights and Security Situation in Ogaden,” will be opened by Ms Ana Gomes MEP, who is chairing the event, and Mr. Marino Busdachin, General Secretary of UNPO. Mr. Abdullahi Mohamed, from African Rights Monitor, and Ms. Xasan Ruqiyo from the Ogaden Communities & Civil Society Association will be speaking on behalf of Ogaden. There will also excerpts from a film, Silent Cry, a grassroots documentary produced by British students, reporting the lives of Somali refugees from Ogaden. These stories were discovered accidentally when the students, visiting Nairobi on vacation, met Omar, a taxi driver who shared with them his personal tragic story. The students then went to the Ifo Refugee Camp, in Northern Kenya, where they interviewed several refugees, including victims of rape and torture. Ogaden is a region in eastern Ethiopia with a majority population of Somalis. The Ethiopian government has waged a long-term war against the Ogaden, suppressing the region and its people. Years of neglect and war have left Ogaden in a state of turmoil, and human rights abuses by the Ethiopian government are commonplace. There is limited infrastructure, and due to Ethiopia’s corrupted federal structure, no political power on the part of the people of Ogaden to develop the area. The hearing is sponsored by Ms Ana Gomes, MEP from the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu) of the European Parliament in collaboration with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
An Open Letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Justice Navanathem Pillay
Office of the United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Dear Madame High Commissioner,
Advocates of justice around the world are thrilled at the strong action the Prosecutor of the International
Criminal Court has taken in issuing a warrant for the arrest of Omar al-Bashir of the Sudan, resulting in
finally holding him accountable for the atrocities being committed in Darfur over the last six years. Under
al-Bashir’s leadership, millions of Sudanese from Darfur, as well as from Southern Sudan, have suffered
inconceivable harm, injustice and hardship.
The action that the International Criminal Court has taken in this situation has restored hope to peace and
justice loving people, affirming that international human rights law not only exists on paper, but in reality.
It also sends an important message to perpetrators throughout the world that impunity for their crimes is not
assured forever; which may be a primary reason that one of the first leaders to defend Omar al-Bashir and
condemn the warrant was Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, whose government has also been
implicated in a pattern of widespread perpetration of serious human rights atrocities in Ethiopia and in
Somalia. He and those within his government may be keenly aware of their own vulnerability to similar
actions by the ICC in the future that could upend a deeply entrenched system of government-supported
impunity that has protected perpetrators from any accountability.
I first became knowledgeable regarding the abhorrent human rights situation in Ethiopia when Genocide
Watch and Survivors Rights International were called by the head of the Anuak Justice Council, Obang
Metho, (now the leader of the newly formed Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia) to investigate the
brutal massacre of 424 Anuak carried out in Gambella, Ethiopia in December of 2003. The Anuak are a
tiny, dark-skinned ethnic group who live in a remote section of southeastern Ethiopia.
Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) and civilian militia groups from another ethnic group utilized a
prepared list to target Anuak leaders, many of whom were opposed to the government’s plan to exclude
them from any involvement in the drilling for oil on their indigenous land. As militia groups chanted,
“Today is the day for killing Anuak,” both the military and militias used machetes, axes and guns to kill the
unarmed victims, frequently raping the women while chanting, “Now there will be no more Anuak
Extra-judicial killings, rape, disappearances, destruction of livelihood and the displacement of thousands of
Anuak continued into late 2005 before finally subsiding when the same Ethiopian National Defense Forces
were moved to the Ogaden area of southeastern Ethiopia and into Somalia where similar atrocities were
and still are being committed. A subsequent investigation of the Anuak massacre by Genocide Watch and
Survivors Rights International to determine who was behind the human rights crimes, documented the
existence of a plan called “Operation Sunny Mountain,” that could be traced to originating at the highest
levels within the central government of Ethiopia.
As a result of our investigation and based on our experience in international law and genocide, we
concluded that the killing of the Anuak in Gambella, Ethiopia, fit the definitions of genocide and crimes
against humanity. Human Rights Watch also conducted two investigations of their own and determined that
the crimes against the Anuak meet the stringent definition of crimes against humanity.
Most of the perpetrators in their report and in ours have never been brought to justice under the Ethiopian
justice system due to the failings and corruption of that system. Despite the violation of international law,
not only has no one has been held accountable for these crimes which occurred over five years ago, but
worse than that, such crimes continue in other places in the country.
Only some of these cases have been investigated by respected international human rights organizations, but
where they have, findings consistently point to the involvement of the Ethiopian government in the inciting,
the empowerment or the perpetration of crimes against humanity, war crimes and even genocide, often
justified by them as “counter-insurgency.”
In light of these facts, I would strongly urge you to initiate an investigation of the situation in
Ethiopia based on your proprio motu powers as the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.
We believe that your investigation is justified due to the culture of impunity that exists within Ethiopia.
Extensive documentation is available to examine the violations, most of which has been compiled in
independent investigative reports completed by international human rights organizations. We also believe
that the Ethiopian people have been waiting long enough for genuine justice and relief from the harsh
oppression and brutal tactics committed by a government that purports to be a partner in the War on Terror,
while terrorizing their own people. Addressing the EPRDF regime, friendly to Omar al-Bashir, may bring
greater stability to the entire Horn of Africa.
We are willing to provide assistance to you in carrying out this task because we, in Genocide Watch, and
other human rights organizations are determined to pursue justice, even long after violations have occurred,
as part of our mission. Investigative reports, contacts and other information can be provided should you
I thank you for the excellent work you are doing in combating impunity, the enemy of justice. Perpetrators
of crimes against humanity must not be allowed to walk free. Genocide Watch will continue to do its part,
collaborating with others, in pursuing additional ways to make such crimes carry a heavy penalty. One way
is to work with domestic governments to make sure that those Ethiopians who have committed these crimes
do not gain access to entry into western countries, something that is now supported through new legislation
in many of the western countries. Additionally, in Canada, Europe and in the US, there are now laws giving
authority to these governments to prosecute human rights perpetrators found within their new countries of
residence should admissible evidence be found to charge them. The western countries should no longer act
as a haven for such criminals.
Thank you for your consideration of this request for the initiation of an investigation of genocide, crimes
against humanity and war crimes in Ethiopia. We look forward to hearing from you.
(Ogaden Online) — Reports reaching the Ogaden Online service desk from the city of Diridhaba in the province of Shiniile confirm the existence of a recent pitched battle that took place between the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) troops stationed in the area and the local population.
It is reported that towards the end of last week, the civilians held an area-wide demonstration to protest the recent confiscation by the Woyanne militia of a fertile agricultural land estimated at 60,000 hectares. Reliable sources within the TPLF and in Addis Ababa intimated that the land was clandestinely sold to a Chinese consortium
Eyewitnesses reported that the TPLF troops, instead of letting the citizens vent their bent up anger and frustration through the peaceful demonstration, started shooting everyone on sight. Ogaden civilians, once they realized what was going on, immediately dispersed. However, Ogaden Online reporters in the area confirmed that instead of waiting out the TPLF troops to return to their barracks, as used to be the norm, the residents, many of whom were nomads who have firearms for protecting their livestock from wild animals in the area, went back to their homes and came back armed and ready to fight the TPLF gangs.
Eyewitnesses reported that the TPLF troops were quickly overwhelmed by the sheer number of armed civilians from all corners of the city. As a result, the TPLF troops were quickly overrun by the local civilians. It is reported that the TPLF militias left five of their dead in the area and went back to their barracks. The casualty figured from the Woyanne side is unknown.
The civilians were said to have lost one, but there are many injuries sustained by the civilian side. The city is still tense. There are reports that the TPLF militias have consulted with their bosses inAddis Ababa on what to do next. It is said they are awaiting further instructions. Many of the civilians are said to have sworn that rather than vacate their fertile land, they would die facing off the TPLF militias and any other group that attempts to confiscate their land.
The northeast region of Somalia has, since mid-1998, been referred to as the Puntland State of Somalia . Although pre-colonial Somalian society did not have a national government with modern structures and clearly defined international borders, the northeast region had traditional structures of government dating from the early years of the 19 th century; namely, the Sultanate of Majerteen (1901–1927), whose territory included the current regions of Bari and Nugal, the Sultanate of Mudug/Hobyo (1885–1925) and the Sultanate of eastern Sanaag (1896–1925).
These Sultanates were relatively under-developed and far from achieving a modern status in terms of political and state management systems. They had administrative and military structures, which safeguarded security, social welfare and political stability until these were disrupted by colonial powers; the Italians in the first two Sultanates and the British in the third one. Trade and commercial relations existed between the Sultanates and the Indian sub-continent and Arabian Gulf states. For instance, ad valorem taxation systems, export of livestock, animal and agro-forestry products and import of consumer goods thrived in the Sultanate of Majerteen during the second half of the 19 th century and first quarter of the 20 th century.
The Italian and British conquest of the Sultanate in (1923-1927) suppressed the peoples’ resistance and destroyed all political, economic and commercial structures. The Italian fascist authorities were more repressive than the British, as reflected by the economic policies they applied to these regions. For instance, import-export trade and all the commercial transactions with above mentioned traditional markets were suspended and forcibly replaced with Italian trade companies, which imported consumer goods from Italy and exported salt, frankincense, hides, skin and agricultural cash crops (banana and cotton) to Italy through Mogadishu.
The suspension of trade markets and political structures of the former Sultanates by the colonial authorities had a devastating effect on the livelihood security, famine coping mechanism and employment/income earning opportunities of the northeastern communities. Pastoralists, merchants and fishermen had to immigrate to the southern regions in order to seek employment and trading opportunities.
Furthermore, the Sultans of Majerteen and Mudug, their families, relations and key collaborators, such as the traditional elders, were forcibly deported by the Italians to Mogadishu .
EU: Somali pirates seize Kenyan fishing vessel
Fri, Mar 12 2010
Bartamaha (Nairobi):- Somali pirates have seized a Kenyan-flagged fishing vessel, the European Union Naval Force said Tuesday.
Cmdr. John Harbour said Tuesday the Sakoba was taken last week, but many details remain unclear. The owner has not been in touch and the ship was not registered with maritime authorities. The crew nationalities and numbers are unknown.
Pirate attacks usually peak in March and April when the seas are calmer and the past week has seen a flurry of attacks and shoot-outs between pirates and security forces.
It is very unusual for a ship owner not to report a hijacked vessel to naval authorities. Naval authorities say there has been no communication with the crew. However, Harbour said that armed pirates have been sighted onboard.
The Sakoba was last registered in Spain three years ago but the Spanish Environment Ministry, which handles maritime affairs, said the vessel is Kenyan-owned.
The ship was apparently taken about 400 miles (640 kilometers) east of the Tanzanian city of Dar Salaam last Wednesday, Harbour said. Somali pirates have been extending their reach south into the Indian Ocean because of stepped up naval patrols in the Gulf of Aden.
Harbour said the pirates may use the hijacked vessel as a ‘mothership’ to carry extra food, fuel and water and tow pirate speedboats hundreds of miles out to sea. The Sakoba is following the path of another hijacked ship, a Norwegian chemical tanker, which was seized on Friday near Madagascar. Both vessels appeared to be headed for the pirate stronghold of Haradheere, he said.
The failed state of Somalia provides the perfect haven for pirates, which prey on the busy shipping lanes nearby. The Somali government is fighting an Islamist insurgency and cannot take on the well-armed, well-paid pirate gangs as well. Ransoms are typically several million dollars _ a fortune in a war-ravaged country where nearly half the population is dependent on aid.
BOSSASO, Somalia June 14, 2009 –A Cabinet minister in Somaila’s self-governing State of Puntland returned home Saturday from Ethiopia with a delegation led by the Puntland Vice President, Radio Garowe reports.
Mr. Farah Aden Dhala, Puntland’s Planning and International Cooperation Minister, spoke with community-based Radio Garowe via telephone after returning to Bossaso, the region’s commercial hub.
“Our trip to Ethiopia was a follow-up of the President’s visit in March,” Minister Dhala said, adding that discussions with Ethiopian government officials in Addis Ababa ranged from security to trade relations.
According to the Planning Minister, Puntland and Ethiopian officials discussed the possible opening of an Ethiopian Trade Office in Garowe, the capital of Puntland State, which would help facilitate travel and trade relations between the two sides.
Further, the discussions covered ways of establishing airline relations of direct flights between Addis Ababa and Bossaso in order to help improve commerce and strengthen trade ties.
“Our delegation also met with Ambassadors from several countries, including Sweden and Germany, while in Addis Ababa” Planning Minister Dhala said, adding that discussions covered anti-piracy efforts.
He noted that anti-piracy discussions with Western ambassadors were successful and that the Puntland delegation informed the international community of the “best way to fight against pirates.”
Lastly, the Planning Minister said that Ethiopian government officials want to play a “neutral role” in the conflict between Puntland and Somaliland.
“We expressed Puntland’s policy of retaking Las Anod and Ethiopian officials said they want Puntland and Somaliland to coexist peacefully,” Mr. Dhala added.
Las Anod, the capital of Sool region, has been at the heart of the Somaliland-Puntland conflict since Dec. 2002 when Puntland security forces took control of the provincial capital.
In Oct. 2007, Somaliland troops took control of Las Anod after fierce battles forced upwards of 50,000 civilians to flee.
Both Planning Minister Dhala and Puntland VP Gen. Abdisamad Ali Shire hail from Sool region, which is dominated by members of the Dhulbahante sub-clan within the larger Darod clan-family.
By LARRY NEUMEISTER | Posted: March 9, 2010 2:53 pm |
Evidence collected by the United States against an East African charged with providing support to a Somali terrorist organization linked to al-Qaida includes lengthy statements he made to authorities, a prosecutor told a judge Tuesday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher LaVigne made the revelation during a plea proceeding for Mohamed IbrahimAhmed in Manhattan. Ahmed’s lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
Ahmed, 35, a citizen of Eritrea, was brought to the United States on Saturday from Nigeria on charges that he supported al-Shabaab, a violent extremist group in Somalia.
Prosecutors say he gave the organization 3,000 euros and studied weapons and explosives at a training camp. They say he bought an AK-47 rifle, ammunition and two grenades in April in Somalia. Al-Shabaab was designated by the U.S. as a terrorist group in 2008.
LaVigne told U.S. District Judge Kevin P. Castel that evidence the government will turn over to the defense in the case includes extensive statements Ahmed made in Nigeria, along with items recovered from him.
The prosecutor said Ahmed’s statements were in six reports that amounted to 10 to 13 pages. As the prosecutor spoke, Ahmed nodded his head as he listened to a translator. The government wouldn’t disclose details on Ahmed’s statements.
His apparent cooperation with authorities seemed evident in court. At the end of the proceeding, which lasted only a few minutes, Ahmed leaped from his chair and headed toward the door leading to the cell block next to the courtroom. The marshals who accompanied him did not appear alarmed by his rapid movement.
Court papers indicated Ahmed might have been held by authorities since November, when officials say he was found in possession of documents reflecting bomb-making instructions. The indictment also said his crimes stretch from at least January 2009 through last November.
U.S. authorities would likely welcome any information Ahmed can provide about al-Shabaab.
An indictment charging Ahmed with providing material support to the organization and receiving training from the group said a former leader of al-Shabaab who trained with al-Qaida in Afghanistan prior to 2001 had called for foreign fighters to go to Somalia to join al-Shabaab in a “holy war” against the Ethiopian and African Union forces in Somalia.
The indictment said al-Shabaab’s recruitment efforts had led men from other countries including the United States to go to Somalia to engage in violent jihad _ holy war.
The indictment said al-Shabaab was believed to have provided protection and safe haven for al-Qaida operatives wanted for a 2002 hotel bombing in Kenya and the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that resulted in 224 deaths, including 12 Americans.
It said al-Shabaab in April declared it was responsible for mortar attacks against a U.S. congressman visiting Somalia. A year before that, al-Shabaab leaders declared that their fighters would “hunt the U.S. government” and warned that the U.S. and Ethiopia should keep its citizens out of Somalia, the indictment said.
Al-Shabaab is the most active group of violent extremists targeting Somalia’s weak U.S.-backed transitional government. The indictment said it has carried out assassinations of civilians and journalists and had distributed a videotape depicting the slow decapitation of an accused spy.
Somalia, an impoverished East African nation of about 10 million people, has not had a functioning government for more than a decade.
Federal prosecutors said al-Shabaab, hoping to impose strict Islamic law throughout Somalia, has claimed responsibility for suicide bombing attacks in recent years, including five simultaneous suicide bombings targeting government, Ethiopian and United Nations facilities in October 2008.
If you recall few days ago The New York Times made a deliberate error in its reporting of the terrorism suspect held in New York as being from “Eritrea.” And as usual the evil-slave woyanes hell bent to smear Eritreans run with it, flooding the cyberspace, including this forum, with their childish propaganda to smear the good name of their former masters — the Eritreans.
But now that the terrorism suspect is identified as an Ethiopian national, most probably from Tigray, the woyane propaganda guns are silenced. You slave-woyanes got to be careful what you wish for because essentially that it will come back to bite you in the a$$ – and here it has…..
Sabrina Schroff, the man’s lawyer in the United States, says that the Ethiopian native denies all the accusations. The New York Times identifies him as Eritrean, but the Swedish Foreign Minister holds that he is originally from Ethiopia.
U.S. report accuses Eritrea of systematic abuses
Bartamaha (Nairobi):– The United States has intensified its criticism of Eritrea, saying the Red Sea state systematically abuses human rights and is a destabilizing influence in the Horn of Africa.
In its annual human rights country report, released late on Thursday, the U.S. State Department accused Eritrea of sponsoring terrorism in the Horn of Africa, and acting as a source and conduit for arms to insurgents in Somalia.
It said Asmara oversaw unlawful killings by its security forces, routine beatings and torture, arbitrary arrests, and severely restricted freedom of speech, the press, assembly, association and religion.
“(Throughout 2009) consistent and systemic gross human rights violations persisted unabated at the government’s behest,” the report said.
Citing a June report by the U.N. Munitions Monitoring Group, it said the Red Sea state was guilty of sponsoring terrorism in the Horn of Africa.
The State Department report went on: “The government acted as a principal source and conduit for arms to antigovernment, extremist, and insurgent groups in Somalia.”
Asmara says there is no concrete evidence for the allegations, accusing Washington of inventing statistics and interfering in the region, and blames years of intrusive U.S. foreign policy as a cause of the conflict in Somalia.
Ties between the United States and Eritrea have been severely strained by a series of accusations and counter-accusations.
In February, the U.S. embassy suspended its consular services and last week issued a travel warning, referring to a rise in anti-U.S. sentiment among Eritreans. Eritrea then accused Washington of trying to create chaos in the country..
Asmara has still not officially recognized the U.S. ambassador and the state-owned media are running a sustained campaign against what they say are decades of U.S. persecution.
The United States sees Eritrea as an enemy in the fight against Islamist radicalization, alleging support for the al Qaeda-linked Somali militant group al Shabaab.
U.S. prosecutors said this week an Eritrean arrested in Nigeria was brought to New York to face charges after receiving bomb-making training from al Shabaab.
The United States bankrolled Eritrea’s regional rival Ethiopia during its long occupation of Eritrea, a memory that still rankles among Eritreans when ties with Washington start to go cold.
The occupation ended in the early 1990s when the outnumbered Eritreans fought Ethiopia and won independence.
—————– (Editing by David Clarke and Andrew Dobbie)
Eritrean response to sanctions
The UN Security Council has today passed a shameful resolution imposing sanctions against Eritrea. The unjustifiable measures imposed on Eritrea include: an arms embargo; the inspection and seizure by Member States in their territory of such cargo to and from Eritrea; and, the imposition of a travel ban, and the freezing of assets of, Eritrea’s political and military leadership who may be blacklisted by a Committee.
As Eritrea has strongly emphasized in the past weeks, this brazen act is neither based on fact nor on the provisions of international law. It constitutes a travesty of justice and amplifies the dangers inherent in a unipolar world.
The fact of the matter is this resolution was originally conceived and feverishly executed by the United States. Britain, and especially Uganda, were co-opted as sponsors of the resolution for purposes of deceitful packaging. The US Mission to the UN further tried to invoke a resolution of the African Union to disguise the real culprit. But in the end, this cover did not work. As it happened, the US Ambassador to the UN was ultimately forced to come out of the closet and cajole UN Member States to adopt the resolution willy-nilly.
Setting aside the misguided policies of the US Administration in the Horn of Africa region and the loathsome personal agenda of the US Ambassador to the UN who could not hide her obsession to “punish Eritrea” and “break its arrogance”, what are the accusations leveled against Eritrea? How do these accusations square with the provisions of the UN Charter? Does the
heavy-handed process pursued in this case conform to the modalities and precedents of the UN Security Council in imposing sanctions against a Member State?
1. It must be stressed that the accusations against Eritrea for involvement in Somalia have never been substantiated or verified. Many Member States objected to the draft resolution in the early days precisely for these reasons though they acquiesced to US pressure later. The Somalia Monitoring Group had previously accused Eritrea for “supplying arms to those opposing the TFG”. This clause was later dropped quietly and the revised version indicts Eritrea for “providing political, financial, and logistical support to armed groups engaged in undermining peace and reconciliation in Somalia”. As pointed out earlier, these allegations were, again, not explained or substantiated. Indeed, how can Eritrea provide logistical support to armed groups in Somalia when it does not have a contiguous border with that country? The allegation of financial support is equally tenuous. Eritrea has neither the political will nor the financial clout to bankroll armed groups in Somalia. As for the accusations of political support, it is well-known that Eritrea has not recognized the TFG for cogent and well-thought out reasons. This was also the case with the externally established previous TFGs installed in Mogadishu without the consent of the Somali people. Eritrea’s impartial and balanced position emanates from its profound desire to contribute to a durable and sustainable solution to the crisis in Somalia. These political considerations aside, the fundamental legal issue at hand is whether this matter of purely sovereign national jurisdiction can be misconstrued as a subject of UN Security Council concern. Is it the mandate of the Security Council to punish any Member State on account of the political views it holds or the diplomatic choices it makes? Has the Security Council ever imposed sanctions against one or more countries because they have not recognized Kosovo, Abkhazia, or South Ossetia? Does controversy on matters of this nature empower the UN Security Council to take punitive measures against a defenseless country arbitrarily?
2. The resolution refers to the “decision of the 13th Assembly of the African Union in Sirte, calling on the Council to impose sanctions against Eritrea”. Again, this assertion is replete with distortions and half-truths. As underlined earlier, the resolution was co-sponsored by Uganda in its individual capacity. It was not tabled, but on the contrary, vehemently opposed by Libya which is the current Chair of the AU and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. More importantly, the UN Security Council’s function is not to rubber-stamp resolutions adopted by a regional organization when invoking Chapter VII of the UN Charter to impose sanctions against a Member State but to do so independently and only on the basis of incontrovertible facts and law.
3. In a feat of unprecedented cynicism, the UN Security Council Resolution recommends other punitive measures against Eritrea on account of the U.S. fabricated “border dispute with Djibouti”. For seven long years now since the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission gave its final and binding Award on the border dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia in April 2002, the Security Council has refused to shoulder its responsibilities to ensure the respect of the arbitration decision in accordance with the provisions of the Algiers Peace Treaty that was largely drafted and explicitly guaranteed by this same body. This has encouraged Ethiopia to violate its treaty obligations, the UN Charter and international law to continue its occupation of Badme and other sovereign Eritrean lands. This same Security Council is now singing to a different tune, simply because it is played by Washington, to threaten Eritrea with punitive measure for a non-existent border conflict.
Security Council Resolution 1907(2009) is thus not based on law and incontrovertible facts. The United States has simply employed its preponderant influence to ram through unjustifiable sanctions against a small country. What is shameful is that the United States has been allowed to use the platform and authority of the United Nations to perpetrate injustices against the people and Government of Eritrea; for the second time in recent history. What is shameful is that other major powers in the UN Security Council cannot go beyond expressing their disappointment, mostly in private meetings, to check the excesses of Washington. What is shameful is that the United States can turn the tables and victimize an innocent nation for the very crimes that it is responsible for in the first place. Because the truth is, the United States is mostly responsible for the mayhem and suffering that is bedeviling Somalia today. Indeed, it is common knowledge that as intractable as the Somali crisis is, there were real hopes of a turnaround for the better in 2006. For reasons that defy reason, the Bush Administration then acted to roll back those promising developments to instigate and support Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia. That single debacle claimed the lives of thousands of innocent Somalis, made half a million people homeless and aggravated the humanitarian crisis in Somalia to unprecedented levels. But then, the Security Council is not taking action on the basis of justice and legality. It is taking action on the basis of the existing power balance in a largely unipolar world. This does not bode well for international justice and peace. This is why today is a shameful day for the United Nations.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
23 December 2009
Somalia backs UN sanctions on Eritrea
MOGADISHU (Somalilandpress) –The Somali envoy to the United nations security council, Elmi Ahmad Du’ale, has said the sanctions imposed on Eritrea by the Security Council on 23 December were “proof” that the country aided terrorism.
The Security Council on Wednesday imposed sanctions Eritrea over providing military support to Islamist insurgents battling the Somali government.
“The sanctions were based, first and foremost, on proof that Eritrea supports terrorism and extremist groups opposed to the Somali government, which have been the stumbling block to stability in Somalia” Du’ale said in a strong drawl in an interview with Hornafrik local radio in Mogadishu on Thursday.
2010-03-12 05:41:31 GMT2010-03-12 13:41:31 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
Soldiers of Somali government forces take position at the frontlines of the fighting with Islamist insurgent fighters in Mogadishu, Somali, March 11, 2010. At least 30 people were killed and 83 others injured Thursday as fierce fighting continued between Somali government forces backed by African Union peacekeeping troops and Islamist insurgent fighters in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, medical sources said. (Xinhua/Ismail Warsameh)
Soldiers of Somali government forces run for cover at the frontlines of the fighting with Islamist insurgent fighters in Mogadishu, Somali, March 11, 2010. At least 30 people were killed and 83 others injured Thursday as fierce fighting continued between Somali government forces backed by African Union peacekeeping troops and Islamist insurgent fighters in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, medical sources said. (Xinhua/Ismail Warsameh)
Soldiers of Somali government forces take position at the frontlines of the fighting with Islamist insurgent fighters in Mogadishu, Somali, March 11, 2010. At least 30 people were killed and 83 others injured Thursday as fierce fighting continued between Somali government forces backed by African Union peacekeeping troops and Islamist insurgent fighters in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, medical sources said. (Xinhua/Ismail Warsameh)
MOGADISHU, March 11 (Xinhua) — At least 30 people were killed and almost 83 others were wounded Thursday as the fierce fighting continues between Somali government forces backed by African Union (AU) peacekeeping troops and Islamist insurgent fighters in Mogadishu, medical sources said.
The fighting which erupted on Wednesday resumed in the early hours of Thursday morning after it briefly stopped overnight with both sides claiming successes.
“As many as 30 people were killed, 12 of them in one area in the north of Mogadishu while we have picked almost 83 wounded people including 35 children mainly in the northern districts of Mogadishu,” Ali Muse, head of local ambulance service told Xinhua.
Heavy artillery and intense gunfire was heard around the battle areas in the north of Mogadishu where witnesses said several shells landed in residential neighborhoods.
Families in residential pockets in the north began fleeing their homes to join hundreds of thousands of displaced civilians on the outskirts of coastal Indian Ocean city of Mogadishu.
Somali government military commanders as well as insurgent fighters have claimed to have achieved ground from the other side but that cannot be independently verified as the battle still rages in north Mogadishu.
The latest upsurge in fighting comes as speculation intensifies of a major government offensive to retake the capital from rebels who control more than half of the restive coastal city.
Somali government controls only parts of the capital Mogadishu while Islamist groups rein over large swathes of territory in the south and centre of war-ravaged horn of African nation.
The U.S. pledged to support Somali government plans to wrestle control of Mogadishu from Islamists who are poised to oust the weak but internationally recognized government of Somalia.
Somali official tells residents to flee battle zones as fighting flares for a third day
By Mohamed Olad Hassan, AP
Friday, March 12, 2010
Somali official to residents: Flee battle zones
MOGADISHU, Somalia — Fighting erupted in Somalia’s capital for the third straight day Friday in some of the worst violence in nearly a year, as government-backed troops shelled the front lines of rebels trying to advance into government-held territory.
Mogadishu’s mayor warned residents to flee the fighting, which is expected to intensify in coming weeks after the government launches a long-awaited offensive against Islamist insurgents.
Emergency officials say at least 50 people have been killed and nearly 150 wounded in fighting in the Somali capital on Wednesday and Thursday. At least two more people were killed in fighting Friday, a resident reported. At least six were wounded, emergency officials said.
Rebels advanced to as close as 1 mile (2 kilometers) from the government-held area on Thursday, but have since been pushed back several blocks.
Mogadishu Mayor Abdurisaq Mohamed Nor told citizens to move at least a couple miles (kilometers) away from battle zones. Residents in Mogadishu are often caught in crossfire or are hit by off-target munitions.
“The ongoing fighting is not part of our planned major offensive, but there is possibility that it can follow, we urge the civilians to flee from the battle zones,” said Nor “This time your suffering will not last much longer. We will finish the rebels off.”
A resident, Mohamed Abdi Haji, said that about 200 insurgents aboard a dozen gun-mounted vehicles moved into his neighborhood and drove toward the presidential palace. Government soldiers and African Union peacekeepers fired barrages at the militants and forced them to retreat, Haji said.
Somalia: Africom’s First War
Friday, 12 March 2010, 5:13 pm Opinion: Rick Rozoff
Africom’s First War: U.S. Directs Large-Scale Offensive In Somalia
Over 43 people have been killed in the Somali capital of Mogadishu in the past two days in fighting between Shabab (al-Shabaab) insurgent forces, who on March 10 advanced to within one mile of the nation’s presidential palace, and troops of the U.S.-backed Transitional Federal Government. The fighting has just begun.
The last ambassador of the United States to Somalia (1994-1995), Daniel H. Simpson, penned a column for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on March 10 in which which he posed the question “why, apart from the only lightly documented charge of Islamic extremism among the Shabab, is the United States reengaging in Somalia at this time?”
He answered it in stating “Part of the reason is because the United States has its only base in Africa up the coast from Mogadishu, in Djibouti, the former French Somaliland. The U.S. Africa Command was established there in 2008, and, absent the willingness of other African countries to host it, the base in Djibouti became the headquarters for U.S. troops and fighter bombers in Africa.
“Flush with money, in spite of the expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Defense obviously feels itself in a position to undertake military action in Africa, in Somalia.” 
Fulfilling its appointed role, the New York Times leaked U.S. military plans for the current offensive in Somalia on March 5 in a report titled “U.S. Aiding Somalia in Its Plan to Retake Its Capital.” (Note that the Transitional Federal Government is presented as Somalia itself and Mogadishu as its capital.)
The tone of the feature was of course one of approval and endorsement of the Pentagon’s rationale for directly intervening in Somalia at a level not seen since 1993 and support for proxy actions last witnessed with the invasion by Ethiopia in 2006. The report began with a description of a military surveillance plane circling over the Somali capital and a quote from the new chief of staff of the nation’s armed forces, General Mohamed Gelle Kahiye: “It’s the Americans. They’re helping us.”
Afterward “An American official in Washington, who said he was not authorized to speak publicly” – a hallmark of the American free press – was, if not identified, quoted as maintaining that U.S. covert operations were planned if not already underway and “What you’re likely to see is airstrikes and Special Ops moving in, hitting and getting out.” 
The New York Times also provided background information regarding the current offensive:
“Over the past several months, American advisers have helped supervise the training of the Somali forces to be deployed in the offensive….The Americans have provided covert training to Somali intelligence officers, logistical support to the peacekeepers, fuel for the maneuvers, surveillance information about insurgent positions and money for bullets and guns.” 
Four days later General William (“Kip”) Ward, commander of United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
In his introductory remarks the chairman of the committee, Senator Carl Levin, reinforced recent American attempts to expand the scope of the deepening Afghanistan-Pakistan war, the deadliest and lengthiest in the world, to the west and south in stating that “al Qaeda and violent extremists who share their ideology are not just located in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region but in places like Somalia, Mali, Nigeria and Niger.” 
In his formal report Ward pursued a similar tact and expanded the Pentagon’s “counter-terrorism” (CT) area of responsibility yet further from South Asia: “U.S. Africa Command has focused the majority of its CT capacity building activities in East Africa on Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Uganda, which – aside from Somalia – are the countries directly threatened by terrorists.” 
He also spoke of the current offensive by “the transition government to reclaim parts of Mogadishu,” stating “I think it’s something that we would look to do and support.” 
Senator Levin and General Ward included eight African nations in the broader Afghan war category of Operation Enduring Freedom, countries from the far northeast of the continent (the Horn of Africa) to the far west (the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea). The U.S. military has already been involved in counterinsurgency operations in Mali and Niger against ethnic Tuareg rebels, who have no conceivable ties to al-Qaeda, not that one would know that from Levin’s comments.
In between South Asia and Africa lies Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula. The New York Times report cited earlier reminded readers that “The United States is increasingly concerned about the link between Somalia and Yemen.” Indeed as Levin’s comments quoted above establish, Washington (along with its NATO allies) is forging an expanded war front from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen and into Africa. 
That extension of the South Asia war has not gone unobserved in world capitals, and earlier this year Russian political analyst Andrei Fedyashin commented: “Adding up all four fronts – if the United States ventured an attack on Yemen and Somalia – America would have to invade a territory equal to three-fourths of Western Europe; and it is hardly strong enough for that.” 
Strong enough or not, that is just what the White House and the Pentagon are doing. The only other objection that can be raised to the above author’s description is that it too severely narrows the intended battlefront.
In the past six months Somali troops have been sent to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda for combat training and “most are now back in the capital, waiting to fight.”
In addition, “There are also about 5,000 Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers, with 1,700 more on their way, and they are expected to play a vital role in backing up advancing Somali forces.” 
Last October the U.S. led ten days of military exercises in Uganda – Natural Fire 10 – with 450 American troops and over 550 from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The U.S. soldiers were deployed from Camp Lemonier (Lemonnier) in Djibouti, home to the Pentagon’s Joint Task Force/Horn of Africa and over 2,000 U.S. forces. The de facto headquarters of AFRICOM.
At the time of the maneuvers a major Ugandan newspaper wrote that they were “geared towards the formation of the first Joint East African Military Force.” 
In addition to using such a multinational regional force in Somalia, the U.S. can also deploy it against Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels in Uganda, Congo and Sudan, and could even employ it against Eritrea, Zimbabwe and Sudan, along with Somalia the only nations on the African continent not to some degree enmeshed in military partnerships with Washington and NATO. (Libya has participated in NATO naval exercises and South Africa has hosted the bloc’s warships.) 
Earlier this month the Kenyan newspaper The East African divulged that “American legislators are pushing for a law that will see another phase of military action to apprehend Lord’s Resistance Army rebels.”
The news source added that the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Bill adopted by the U.S. Congress last year “requires the US government to develop a new multifaceted strategy” and as such the new bill under consideration “will not be the first time the US government is providing support to the Uganda army in fighting the LRA.
“The US has been backing the UPDF [Uganda People’s Defence Force] with logistics and training to fight the rebel group.” 
Last month it was announced that the U.S. Africa Command has dispatched special forces to train 1,000 Congolese troops in the north and east of their nation, where Congo borders Uganda.
Former U.S. diplomat Daniel Simpson was quoted above as to what in part is Washington’s motive in pursuing a new war in and around Somalia: To test out AFRICOM ground and air forces in Djibouti for direct military action on the continent.
A United Press International report of March 10, placed under energy news, offered another explanation. In a feature titled “East Africa is next hot oil zone,” the news agency disclosed that “East Africa is emerging as the next oil boom following a big strike in Uganda’s Lake Albert Basin. Other oil and natural gas reserves have been found in Tanzania and Mozambique and exploration is under way in Ethiopia and even war-torn Somalia.”
The region is, in the words of the Western chief executive officer of an oil prospecting firm, “the last real high-potential area in the world that hasn’t been fully explored.” 
The article added: “The discovery at Lake Albert, in the center of Africa between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, is estimated to contain the equivalent of several billion barrels of oil. It is likely to be the biggest onshore field found south of the Sahara Desert in two decades.”
It also spoke of “a vast 135,000-square-mile territory in landlocked Ethiopia that is believed to contain sizable reserves of oil. It is estimated to hold 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas as well.”
And, more pertinent to the Horn of Africa:
“A 1993 study by Petroconsultants of Geneva concluded that Somalia has two of the most potentially interesting hydrocarbon-yielding basins in the entire region – one in the central Mudugh region, the other in the Gulf of Aden More recent analyses indicate that Somalia could have reserves of up to 10 billion barrels.” 
Washington’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies are also deeply involved in the militarization of East Africa.
On March 10 NATO extended its naval operation in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia, Ocean Shield, to the end of 2012, an unprecedentedly long 33-month extension. On March 12 “Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 will take over missions from Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 for the four-month assignment. The change will increase NATO’s contribution from four ships to five ships….” 
At the same hearings of the Senate Armed Services Committee that AFRICOM commander William Ward addressed, NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, America’s Admiral James Stavridis, “noted that 100,000 NATO troops are involved in expeditionary operations on three continents, including operations in Afghanistan, off the coast of Africa, and in Bosnia.” (Evidently Kosovo was meant for Bosnia.)
Stavridis, who is concurrently top military chief of U.S. European Command, said “The nature of threats in this 21st century [is] going to demand more than just sitting behind our borders.” 
He also said he finds “Iran alarming in any number of dimensions,” specifically mentioning alleged “state-sponsored terrorism, nuclear proliferation and political outreach into Latin America.” 
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen recently returned from Jordan and the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain where he pressured both nations to support the war in Afghanistan and Alliance naval operations.
NATO’s top official said [on March 9] that he has asked Jordan and Bahrain to contribute to alliance naval operations fighting terrorism and piracy in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf of Aden, as he ended a visit to the two countries. NATO is keen to improve cooperation with Arab and Muslim states, seeing them as important allies for a number of missions, including the all-important deployment in Afghanistan.” 
Regarding the Western military bloc’s almost nine-year Operation Active Endeavor in the entire Mediterranean Sea and its Operation Ocean Shield in the Gulf of Aden, Rasmussen said, “We would very much like to strengthen cooperation (with Bahrain and Jordan) within these operations.” 
While in Jordan he was strengthening military ties with NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue partnership – Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia – and in Bahrain firming up the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative aimed at the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have military personnel serving under NATO in Afghanistan.
In late February a delegation of the 53-nation African Union (AU) visited NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Mons, Belgium.
“NATO continues to support the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) through the provision of strategic sea- and air-lift for AMISOM Troop Contributing Nations on request. The last airlift support occurred in June 2008 when NATO transported a battalion of Burundian peacekeepers to Mogadishu.” 
On March 10 AMISON deployed tanks to prevent the capture of the Somali presidential palace by rebels.
The North Atlantic military bloc, which in recent years has conducted large-scale exercises in West Africa and inaugurated its international Response Force in Cape Verde in 2006, also supports “the operationalisation of the African Standby Force – the African Union’s vision for a continental, on-call security apparatus similar to the NATO Response Force.” 
In May the European Union, whose membership largely overlaps with that of NATO and which is engaged in intense integration with the military bloc on a global scale , will begin training 2,000 Somali troops in Uganda.
Brigadier General Thierry Caspar-Fille-Lambie, commanding officer of French armed forces in Djibouti, said “the Somali troops will be trained with the necessary military skills to help pacify and stabilize the volatile country.”
He issued that statement “at the closing ceremony of four-week French operational training of 1,700 Ugandan troops to be deployed” to Somalia in May. The French ambassador to Uganda said “The EU troops shall work in close collaboration with UPDF to train Somali troops.” 
The 2,000 soldiers to be trained by the EU will represent a full third of a projected 6,000-troop Somali army.
The U.S.-NATO-EU global triad plans an even larger collective military role in the new scramble for Africa. On March 4 and 5 a delegation from AFRICOM met with European Union officials in Brussels “seeking EU cooperation in Africa,” specifically in “areas where cooperation could be possible, notably with the soon-to-be-launched EU mission to train Somali troops.” 
Tony Holmes, AFRICOM’s deputy to the commander for civil-military activities, said “Somalia, that’s an area where we’re going to be doing a lot more, the European Union is already doing a lot and will be doing more….
“Somalia is very important for us. The European Union is involved in training Somalis in Uganda and that’s something we might be able to work closely with to support.”
The AFRICOM delegation, including Major-General Richard Sherlock, director of strategy, plans and programs, also discussed “counter-terrorism cooperation with the EU in the Sahel region, notably in Mauritania, Mali and Niger…” 
In late January the chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, said “that the Alliance is in discussion with a Gulf state to deploy AWACS planes for a reconnaissance mission over Afghanistan in support of its ISAF mission and also for anti-piracy off Somalia.” 
To demonstrate that NATO’s anti-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia has other designs than the one acknowledged, early this year a NATO spokesman announced that the bloc’s naval contingent in the Gulf of Aden “now has an additional task” to intervene against a fictional deployment of Somali fighters across the Gulf to Yemen.
The spokesman, Jacqui Sheriff, said “NATO warships will be on the lookout for anything suspicious.” 
As though Somali al-Shabaab fighters have nothing else to do as the U.S. is engineering an all-out assault on them in their homeland.
Five days after the New York Times feature detailed American war plans in Somalia, the Washington Times followed up on and added to that report.
U.S. operations are “likely to be the most overt demonstration of U.S. military backing since the ill-fated Operation Restore Hope of 1992….”
“Unmanned U.S. surveillance aircraft have been seen circling over Mogadishu in recent days, apparently pinpointing insurgent positions as the TFG [Transitional Federal Government] marshals its forces. U.S. Army advisers have been helping train the TFG’s forces, which have been largely equipped with millions of dollars’ worth of U.S. arms airlifted into Mogadishu over the last few weeks.”
The newspaper report further stated: “It’s not clear when the offensive will start. The word on the street is sometime in the next few weeks….”
Timeline: Somalia (BBC)
A chronology of key events:
600s – Arab tribes establish the sultanate of Adel on the Gulf of Aden coast.
Somali capital, Mogadishu, in more peaceful times
Emerged as Arab settlement in 10th century
Bought by Italy in 1905
Capital of independent Somalia from 1960
Estimated population: 1 million
1500s – Sultanate of Adel disintegrates into small states.
1875 – Egypt occupies towns on Somali coast and parts of the interior.
1860s – France acquires foothold on the Somali coast, later to become Djibouti.
1887 – Britain proclaims protectorate over Somaliland.
1888 – Anglo-French agreement defines boundary between Somali possessions of the two countries.
1889 – Italy sets up a protectorate in central Somalia, later consolidated with territory in the south ceded by the sultan of Zanzibar.
1925 – Territory east of the Jubba river detached from Kenya to become the westernmost part of the Italian protectorate.
1936 – Italian Somaliland combined with Somali-speaking parts of Ethiopia to form a province of Italian East Africa.
1940 – Italians occupy British Somaliland.
1941 – British occupy Italian Somalia.
1950 – Italian Somaliland becomes a UN trust territory under Italian control.
Parliament in ruins: War devastated much of Mogadishu
1956 – Italian Somaliland renamed Somalia and granted internal autonomy.
1960 – British and Italian parts of Somalia become independent, merge and form the United Republic of Somalia; Aden Abdullah Osman Daar elected president.
1963 – Border dispute with Kenya; diplomatic relations with Britain broken until 1968.
1964 – Border dispute with Ethiopia erupts into hostilities.
1967 – Abdi Rashid Ali Shermarke beats Aden Abdullah Osman Daar in elections for president.
Drought and war
1969 – Muhammad Siad Barre assumes power in coup after Shermarke is assassinated.
Muhammad Siad Barre backed ‘Scientific Socialism’
Born in 1919
Led military coup in 1969; overthrown in 1991
Died in Nigeria, 1995
1970 – Barre declares Somalia a socialist state and nationalises most of the economy.
1974 – Somalia joins the Arab League.
1974-75 – Severe drought causes widespread starvation.
1977 – Somalia invades the Somali-inhabited Ogaden region of Ethiopia.
1978 – Somali forces pushed out of Ogaden with the help of Soviet advisers and Cuban troops. Barre expels Soviet advisers and gains support of United States.
1981 – Opposition to Barre’s regime begins to emerge after he excludes members of the Mijertyn and Isaq clans from government positions, which are filled with people from his own Marehan clan.
1988 – Peace accord with Ethiopia.
1991 – Mohamed Siad Barre is ousted. Power struggle between clan warlords Mohamed Farah Aideed and Ali Mahdi Mohamed kills or wounds thousands of civilians.
Somaliland breaks away
1991 – Former British protectorate of Somaliland declares unilateral independence.
UN force sent to quell violence suffered losses, left in 1994
On This Day 1992: American marines land in Somalia
On This Day 1993: US forces killed in Somali gun battle
1992 – US Marines land near Mogadishu ahead of a UN peacekeeping force sent to restore order and safeguard relief supplies.
1993 – US Army Rangers are killed when Somali militias shoot down two US helicopters in Mogadishu and a battle ensues. Hundreds of Somalis die in the battle depicted in the film “Black Hawk Down”. US mission formally ends in March 1994.
1995 – UN peacekeepers leave, having failed to achieve their mission.
1996 – Warlord Muhammad Aideed dies of his wounds and is succeeded by his son, Hussein.
1998 – Puntland region declares autonomy.
2000 August – Clan leaders and senior figures meeting in Djibouti elect Abdulkassim Salat Hassan president of Somalia.
Fighting in 2002 led Somali civilians to seek safety in Kenya
2000 October – Hassan and his newly-appointed prime minister, Ali Khalif Gelayadh, arrive in Mogadishu to heroes’ welcomes. Gelayadh announces his government, the first in the country since 1991.
2001 April – Somali warlords, backed by Ethiopia, announce their intention to form a national government within six months, in direct opposition to the country’s transitional administration.
2001 August – UN appeals for food aid for half a million people in the drought-hit south.
2004 August – In 14th attempt since 1991 to restore central government, a new transitional parliament inaugurated at ceremony in Kenya. In October the body elects Abdullahi Yusuf as president.
2004 peace deal: Factions agreed to set up new parliament
2004 December – Tsunami waves generated by an undersea earthquake off Indonesia hit the Somali coast and the island of Hafun. Hundreds of deaths are reported; tens of thousands of people are displaced.
2005 February – June – Somali government begins returning home from exile in Kenya, but there are bitter divisons over where in Somalia the new parliament should sit.
2005 November – Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Ghedi survives an assassination attempt in Mogadishu. Gunmen attack his convoy, killing six people.
2006 February – Transitional parliament meets in Somalia – in the central town of Baidoa – for the first time since it was formed in Kenya in 2004.
Sheikh Aweys: His Islamic militia controlled Mogadishu
2006 March and May – Scores of people are killed and hundreds are injured during fierce fighting between rival militias in Mogadishu. It is the worst violence in almost a decade.
2006 June-July – Militias loyal to the Union of Islamic Courts take control of Mogadishu and other parts of the south after defeating clan warlords.
Ethiopian troops reported in Somalia.
2006 July-August – Mogadishu’s air and seaports are re-opened for the first time since 1995.
2006 September – Transitional government and the Union of Islamic Courts begin peace talks in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.
Somalia’s first known suicide bombing targets President Yusuf outside parliament in Baidoa.
2006 October – About 35,000 Somalis escaping drought, strict Islamist rule and the possibility of war have fled to Kenya refugee since the start of 2006, the UN reports.
War of words between Ethiopia and Somalia’s Islamists. Premier Meles says Ethiopia is “technically” at war with the Islamists because they had declared jihad on his country.
2006 December – UN Security Council resolution endorses African peacekeepers, specifies that neighbouring states should not deploy troops. Islamist leaders react by saying they will tackle foreign forces as invaders.
Ethiopian troops, government forces routed Islamist militias
Ethiopian and transitional government engage the Islamists in battle and soon put them to flight.
2006 December 27 – African Union, Arab League urge Ethiopia to pull out its troops. UN Security Council fails to agree on a statement calling on foreign forces to withdraw.
2006 December 28 – Joint Ethiopian and Somali government force captures Mogadishu.
2007 January – Islamists abandon their last stronghold, the port town of Kismayo.
President Abdullahi Yusuf enters Mogadishu for the first time since taking office in 2004.
US carries out air strikes in southern Somalia which it says targetted al-Qaeda figures, and which reportedly kill an unknown number of civilians. It is the first known direct US military intervention in Somalia since 1993. The strikes are defended by President Yusuf. They are condemned for killing innocent civilians.
Interim government imposes three-month state of emergency.
2007 February – UN Security Council authorises a six-month African Union peacekeeping mission for Somalia.
2007 March – African Union peacekeepers land at Mogadishu amid pitched battles between insurgents and government forces backed by Ethiopian troops. The Red Cross says it is the worst fighting in 15 years.
Humanitarian crisis grows
2007 April – UN says more than 320,000 Somalis have fled fighting in Mogadishu since February.
Hundreds of people are reported killed after several days of fierce clashes in the capital.
2007 May – The World Food Programme says a resurgence of piracy is threatening food supplies.
2007 June – A US warship shells suspected Al-Qaeda targets in Puntland.
Prime Minister Ghedi escapes a suicide car bomb attack on his compound.
Ethiopian Premier Meles Zenawi visits Mogadishu, pledging to withdraw his troops once peace takes hold.
2007 July – National reconciliation conference opens in Mogadishu and comes under mortar attack. Islamist leaders stay away from the talks.
Refugee exodus grows amid an upsurge in violence.
2007 August – Human Rights Watch accuses Ethiopian, Somali and insurgent forces of war crimes, and the UN Security Council of indifference during the recent conflict.
New opposition alliance
2007 September – Opposition groups form a new alliance to campaign for a military and diplomatic solution to the Somali conflict. They meet in Asmara, Eritrea.
2007 October – Ethiopian forces fire on demonstrators in Mogadishu protesting at the presence of what they call foreign invaders.
Heaviest fighting in Mogadishu reported since April. Ethiopians move reinforcements into the city.
CRACKDOWN ON PIRACY
French commandos snatch pirates in Somalia as foreign navies begin their fight-back
Aid agencies warn a catastrophe is unfolding in Somalia.
2007 November – Government shuts down Radio Shabelle, Radio Simba and Radio Banadir.
UN special envoy Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah describes Somalia’s humanitarian crisis the worst in Africa, suggests using international justice to curb the violence.
Nur Hassan Hussein, also known as Nur Adde, sworn in as new prime minister.
Number of Somali refugees hits one million, with nearly 200,000 fleeing the capital in the past two weeks, the UN reports.
2007 December – Ethiopian troops leave key central town of Guriel.
2008 January – Burundi becomes the second nation to contribute troops to the African Union peacekeeping force, sending 440 soldiers to Mogadishu.
2008 March – US launches missile strike on southern town of Dhoble targeting suspected al-Qaeda member wanted for 2002 bombing of Israeli-owned hotel in Kenya.
Islamist-led insurgency continues to spread.
2008 April – EU calls for international efforts to tackle piracy off the Somali coast after a series of hijackings and attacks on vessels.
2008 April – US air strike kills Aden Hashi Ayro, a leader of the Al-Shabab insurgent group.
2008 May – Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi says he will keep troops inside Somalia until “jihadists” are defeated.
The UN Security Council unanimously votes to allow countries to send warships into Somalia’s territorial waters to tackle pirates.
2008 June – Government signs three-month ceasefire pact with opposition Alliance for Re-Liberation of Somalia.
The deal, which provides for Ethiopian troops to leave Somalia within 120 days, is rejected by Islamist leader Hassan Dahir Aweys, who says Union of Islamic Courts will not stop fighting until all foreign troops have left country.
2008 July – Head of the UN Development Programme in Somalia, Osman Ali Ahmed, killed by gunmen in Mogadishu.
2008 September – Somali pirates’ hijacking of a Ukrainian ship carrying 33 tanks prompts widespread international concern. The US and other countries deploy navy ships to Somali waters.
2008 October – Nato agrees to despatch a naval force to patrol to waters off Somalia by the end of 2008, in an effort to control piracy.
A wave of coordinated bombings across the self-governing and relatively peaceful regions of Somaliland and Puntland, in Somalia’s north, kill at least 27 people.
2008 November – Somali pirates hijack an oil-laden Saudi super-tanker and demand a 25m dollar ransom for its return.
2008 December – Ethiopia announces plans to withdraw all forces by end of 2008.
President Abdullahi Yusuf tries to sack Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein over his attempts to draw moderate Islamists into the government. Parliament declares the dismissal unconstitutional and passes a vote of confidence in Mr Nur. Mr Yusuf resigns.
2009 January – Ethiopia completes the withdrawal of its troops. Fighters from the radical Islamist al-Shabab militia take control of the town of Baidoa, formerly a key stronghold of the transitional government.
Meeting in neighbouring Djibouti, Somalia’s parliament swears in 149 new members from the main opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia. It elects a moderate Islamist, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, president, and extends the transitional government’s mandate for another two years.
2009 February – President Ahmed selects Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke as prime minister. Mr Sharmarke, a former diplomat, is widely seen as a bridge between Islamists within the Somali government and the international community.
2009 May – Islamist insurgents launch onslaught on Mogadishu.
2009 June – Somalia’s security minister and more than 20 other people are killed in a suicide bombing at a hotel in Beledweyne, north of the capital Mogadishu.
President Ahmed declares a state of emergency as violence intensifies. Somali officials appeal to neighbouring countries to send troops to Somalia, as government forces continue to battle Islamist insurgents.
2009 September – Al-Shabab proclaims allegiance to Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
2009 October – Al-Shabab wins control over the southern port city of Kismayo after defeating the rival Hizbul-Islam Islamist militia, which withdraws to villages to the west. At least 20 are killed and 70 injured in fighting that threatens to spread to the rest of the Islamist-controlled south.
2009 November – Pirates seize a supertanker carrying oil from Saudi Arabia to the US, one of the largest ships captured off Somalia. The Greek-owned Maran Centaurus was about 1,300km (800 miles) off Somalia when it was hijacked.
Kidnappers released journalists Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan after 15 months in captivity.
2009 December – Al-Shabab denies being behind suicide attack that killed 22 people in Mogadishu, including three ministers.
2010 January – Al-Shabab declares it is ready to send fighters to support Islamist rebels in Yemen.
2010 February – Al-Shabab formally declares alliance with al-Qaeda, begins to concentrate troops in southern Mogadishu for a major offensive to capture the capital.
An Associated Press reporter in Mogadishu said the fighting is the heaviest since last May, when insurgents trying to topple the weak, U.N.-backed government launched massive attacks.
Residents fleeing the city said many of their relatives and neighbors are trapped in the war zone.
“My husband and six of my relatives and some of my neighbors are trapped inside their homes … by mortars and bullets flying every where,” said Dahabo Duhulow, a mother of six.
An Associated Press photo showed red couches piled high on a wooden, donkey-pulled cart as two Somalis helped propel the cart forward.
With his 2-year-old son clasped to his chest, Adow Yusuf Da’ud said that he had walked three hours through dangerous streets to escape the fighting.
“During the day and during the night, the shells were raining down into our residences,” Da’ud said. “We had to walk through the danger to escape. my oldest son is still there to take care of the house and the property”
More than half of those living in Somalia’s seaside capital have fled. Those remaining are mostly too poor to move or fear being attacked as they leave. Compounding their dilemma, an Islamist group issued a series of demands at the beginning of the year that caused the U.N.’s World Food Program to pull out of much of southern Somalia. Soon families fleeing into the countryside may find nothing to eat.
Neither the Islamists or the U.N.-backed government can take and hold enough ground for a decisive victory.
The government is supported by around 5,300 African Union peacekeepers, whose tanks and armored vehicles help them to outgun the insurgents. The insurgents favor mobile hit-and-run attacks, using snipers and mortar fire to make it hard for the government’s poorly trained and irregularly paid soldiers to hold their position.
The government hopes to break the stalemate with an upcoming offensive, but its launch has been delayed by problems that include inadequate equipment and training. There has been a surge in fighting since the beginning of the year, when the offensive was first being publicly discussed.
Even if the government push succeeds, few Somalis trust an administration that has failed to deliver even a semblance of services or security more than a year after it took power.
The arid Horn of Africa nation has not had a functioning government since the overthrow of a socialist dictator in 1991. Its civil war, which began into clan warfare, has morphed in recent years into a fight between an administration favored by the international community and an Islamist insurgency backed by hundreds of newly arrived foreign fighters.
Genocide is a term created during the Holocaust and declared an international crime in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The Convention defines genocide as any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
a. Killing members of the group;
b. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
c. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
d. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
e. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
The specific “intent to destroy” particular groups is unique to genocide. A closely related category of international law, crimes against humanity, is defined as widespread or systematic attacks against civilians.
This timeline traces the development of the word and law of genocide.
Karadzic Trial Resumes March 1, Court Rejects Delay
Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic in the courtroom of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague in November 2009
February 26, 2010
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) — The war crimes trial of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic will resume on March 1, judges at the Yugoslavia tribunal have ruled, dismissing his request for a postponement.
Karadzic, who denies all 11 counts of war crimes relating to the 1992-95 Bosnian war, had asked for a further delay of his trial after judges appointed London-based barrister Richard Harvey in November as his lawyer and postponed the trial to March 1.
“A further postponement would be a drastic measure that would, concurrently, have real repercussions for the parties’ rights to a fair and expeditious trial,” the court’s judges said in statement which was signed by Presiding Judge O-Gon Kwon.
Karadzic had said more time was necessary until the court’s appeals chamber had ruled on one of his appeals against Harvey’s appointment and there was a decision on defence funding.
On February 12, the appeal chamber said Harvey could stay on as counsel because of Karadzic’s “persistent obstructive behavior.” Harvey was appointed after Karadzic boycotted the first three days of his trial in October.
Harvey’s exact role in the trial will be determined after Karadzic has given his opening statements on March 1 and 2, the judges said.
If Karadzic, who has said he plans to attend the March 1 opening, continues to boycott the rest of the trial, he loses his right to represent himself and the appointed lawyer will take over.
Karadzic, who was captured in July 2008 after 11 years on the run, is being charged with the genocide of 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica, the worst atrocity of the Bosnian conflict, and responsibility in the 43-month siege of Sarajevo beginning in 1992.
An estimated 10,000 people died in the siege as the former Yugoslavia was torn apart in the 1990s by Serbs, Croats and Muslims fighting for land.
A New, but Limited, Legal Sanction is Issued
Allied forces codified the general principle of “crimes against humanity” into enforceable law and prosecuted Nazi war criminals for atrocities they committed against both their own and other nation’s citizens. However, the law was limited in scope, applying only to crimes committed during an international conflict.
The Charter of the International Military Tribunal (1945) defined crimes against humanity as “murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.” The definition of crimes against humanity was further refined during the process of drafting the Rome Statute (1998) which created the International Criminal Court.
The Promise Goes Unfulfilled
Though massive atrocities against civilian populations were committed in the years following the Holocaust and throughout the Cold War, the very countries that signed their names to the Genocide Convention scarcely considered whether these crimes constituted genocide.
Not one country invoked the Genocide Convention when the Khmer Rouge (1975–79) regime in Cambodia caused the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million people. Cambodia itself ratified the convention in 1950. These prisoners were interred at Tuol Sleng (Security Prison 21), a secret center operated by the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Documentation Center of Cambodia, Phnom Penh
After the Genocide Ends, the World Creates a Tribunal for Rwanda
From April through mid-July, at least 500,000 civilians, mostly of the Tutsi minority, were murdered with devastating brutality and speed while the international community looked on. In October, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to include a separate but linked tribunal for Rwanda, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, located in Arusha, Tanzania.
A Permanent Court to Prosecute Atrocities against Civilians is Established
Through an international treaty ratified on July 17, 1998, the International Criminal Court was permanently established to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The treaty reconfirmed the definition of genocide found in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. It also expanded the definition of crimes against humanity and prohibits these crimes during times of war or peace.
Crimes Against Humanity: Any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:
(d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population
(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law
(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity
(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court
(i) Enforced disappearance of persons
(j) The crime of apartheid
(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
U.S. Declares that Genocide Is Occuring in Darfur, Sudan
Testifying before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 9, 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell declared that “genocide has been committed in Darfur.” Though the United Nations and other governments agreed on the scale of atrocities being committed against civilians, they did not declare them “genocide.”
December 2003 Ethiopian Genocide
World Organization Against Torture and Genocide Watch respond to Ethiopian Prime Minister’s denial of massacres of Anuaks in interview with Reuters
Geneva – Washington, 5 May 2004
The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and Genocide Watch reiterate the need for an independent and impartial investigation into reports of massacres of members of the Anuak community, mass rapes, forced disappearances, torture and burning of homes and crops in the Gambella region in Ethiopia.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, in an interview with Reuters on 29 April 2004, dismissed reports that the Ethiopian army targeted and killed Anuaks as ‘fiction’ and said that at the most 200 people had been killed in clashes in the region. He stated that the “only people who had been killed by the military in the area were armed Anuak insurgents who had staged cross-border raids from Sudan.”
Genocide Watch, Survivors’ Rights International (SRI), and OMCT have previously drawn the attention of the international community to reports that Ethiopian government troops and ‘highlander’ militias massacred 424 Anuak civilians, including women and children and the elderly, in December 2003. Genocide Watch and SRI interviewed eyewitnesses and documented the massacres in the Gambella region in a 23-page joint report released in February 2004, titled ‘Today is the Day of Killing Anuaks’. A list detailing the names, gender and ages of the 424 people who were killed has also been compiled. Genocide Watch sent a letter to Mr. Zenawi on 8 January 2004 urging him to prevent the massacres from becoming full-scale genocide. The letter also called on Mr. Zenawi to order the arrest of the perpetrators of the massacres, and named three Ethiopian government officials responsible for the killings. Genocide Watch has received no reply to its letter to Mr. Zenawi. The named officials have been promoted to positions of more authority, rather than arrested.
Following its own fact-finding in Gambella, the U.S. government called for “transparent, independent” inquiries into the violence in which hundreds were killed. In a statement from Washington on 20 February 2004, the U.S. said the Ethiopian government must investigate allegations that its troops were involved in the killings. On 25 March 2004, the European Union Council of Ministers called for “a full and independent enquiry into suggestions of involvement by members of the Ethiopian military in violence directed against innocent civilians” in the Gambella region of Ethiopia.
“We have interviewed numerous victims and eyewitnesses from the minority Anuak ethnic group who fled south-western Ethiopia in the wake of massive and unprovoked violence against unarmed men, women and children,” said Genocide Watch/SRI researcher Keith Harmon Snow. “We have collected detailed testimony suggesting that acts of genocide and crimes against humanity were committed against unarmed civilians by Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defense Forces (EPRDF) and ‘highlander’ militias.”
“There is irrefutable evidence of atrocities against thousands of civilians, and we continue to receive reports of killings and mass rape,” Mr. Snow said. “We are very concerned about rural areas where communications and access to civilians are prevented by isolation and a heavy military presence. On April 27, for example, we received reports of four girls and three farmers allegedly shot dead by EPRDF soldiers in Pinyudo and Abobo districts, but assessment of the scale of the violence in rural areas remains difficult because the government has prohibited access by independent investigators.”
Recent reports received by OMCT and Genocide Watch allege that killings and other acts of ethnic cleansing are continuing. On 8 April 2004, The United Nations Commission on Human Rights heard testimony estimating that between 13 December 2003 and 31 March 2004, the total number of persons killed had reached 1,137. (See http://www.genocidewatch.org/ethiopiastatementobang.htm.) These reports need to be investigated carefully, considering the massacres and other violations documented in December, accounts of ongoing violence from families of victims and other local sources, as well as information collected from the thousands of refugees who continue to flee to Pochalla in Sudan. Although the total numbers of victims are estimates, OMCT and Genocide Watch believe that the Government cannot dismiss the consistent accounts of scores of eyewitnesses as fabrications.
Mr. Zenawi has stated that, “Without the intervention of the army, the killings would have continued indefinitely.” This statement is in stark contrast to reports from victims and eyewitnesses to Genocide Watch and SRI and to documentation by a member of the OMCT network that uniformed Ethiopian troops incited highlanders to commit violence and led attacks on Anuak civilians in Gambella and the surrounding areas. The killings were allegedly ordered by Tsegaye Beyene, commander of the Ethiopian Army in Gambella, with the authorization of Dr. Gebrehab Barnabas, an official of the Ethiopian government. According to reports, the Ethiopian army continues to commit atrocities against Anuak civilians daily. The situation is reported to be so severe that OMCT, Genocide Watch and SRI have called for the withdrawal of Ethiopian government troops from the region.
The Ethiopian Parliament has mandated the establishment of an independent commission to investigate the reports of violence. While OMCT and Genocide Watch view this is as a positive development, and a recognition by the Parliament of the seriousness of the situation, we have raised profound concerns about the independence, composition and mandate of the commission that has been set up. One of the alleged planners of the attacks has even been named Chairman of the commission. The commission appointed seems to have been designed to “whitewash” the crimes committed. These concerns have not been addressed by Mr. Zenawi.
Genocide Watch and OMCT repeat the urgent requests that we have made to the Ethiopian government, urging an immediate halt to all military operations against Anuaks, and independent and impartial investigations to bring the perpetrators of massacres, mass rapes, torture, and other grave human rights violations to justice. We also strongly urge the government to invite independent UN human rights experts to visit the Gambella region, in order for them to carry out unrestricted investigations into these atrocities. Immediate access to the region by international monitoring groups and humanitarian assistance must also be guaranteed.
Armed militants from Somalia’s Hizbul Islam rebel group take position as they guard a roadblock in southern Mogadishu. Violence in Somalia has killed at least 21,000 people in the failed Horn of Africa nation since the start of 2007 and driven another 1.5 million from their homes.” Photo/REUTERS
Tibetan History begins with the incursions of Tibetan K’iang in Central China when Buddha was living in India, Confucius and Lao-tseu in China (5th century B.C.). The History of Tibet can be divided in two parts = the first one with the establishment and the end of the Tibetan Kingdoms, the second with the establishment and the end of the Dalai-Lama Theocracy. During both periods civil and religious problems are mixed and cannot be made distinct. In the seventh century, the Tibetan King Sron-tsan-gampo was very powerful and a menace to the Chinese Empire. During this period, many famous buildings and holy places were built. Later when the Tibetan leadership in Central Asia was weaker, the Mongol Khan considered Tibet as a sacred country and secured it. This protection continued when Mongol Dynasty reigned over China. The Chinese Ming Emperors also acknowledged the leadership of Tibetan Buddhism in all of China. Tibet lived peacefully up to the recent period. The first European travellers to visit Tibet were very impressed by the country and its inhabitants. They reported that Tibet was considered as a mythic country. At the end of the second World War, the Mao-Tse-tung Army defeated Chang-Kai-chek and invaded peacefull Tibet. After installation of a pro-Chinese Administration, the first decisions brought a severe famine, suppressed civil rights and imposed the Chinese language. In March 1959, Lhassa population obliged the Dalai-Lama to escape in India, against his will… In the 1970’s, during the Cultural Revolution the Red Guards destroyed nearly 2000 official buildings and holy places, and burnt nearly all the Tibetan libraries and books to get rid of the Tibetan civilization and language.
For the last 4 years a strong repression has occured in Monasteries, in spite of the presence of Europeans journalists and tourists. The actual facts don’t seem sufficiently interesting for the Western media………….
Tibet officially became part of the People’s Republic of China in the 1950s.Some people say that it has been a part of China from at least 18th century in the Qing Dynasty.
Tibetan culture also influences other regions nearby, such as Nepal, Bhutan, parts of eastern Kashmir and some regions in India, most notably Sikkim, Uttaranchal and Tawang . China claims part of the Indian province of Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet.
Chinese Position !!!
Truth about dialogue with Dalai Lama
2010-02-10 09:06:00 | by: | From: People’s Daily
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China’s State Council Information Office held a news conference on Feb. 2, inviting Zhu Weiqun and Si Ta, executive vice-ministers of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee, and Nyima Tsering, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress of the Tibet Autonomous Region, to introduce the recent talks with private representatives of the Dalai Lama and answer questions.
Zhu said that he hoped the Dalai Lama would change his stance and make the right choices in the remaining years of his life.
Zhu Weiqun, executive vice minister of the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, gives a briefing on the meeting between the Central Government representatives and private envoys of the Dalai Lama, at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office, Feb. 2, 2010, photo from CTIC.
On the same day, the While House said that U.S. President Barack Obama insisted on meeting with the Dalai Lama during the latter’s visit, despite China’s opposition.
During this period, the Dalai Lama sent his private representatives to meet with the Chinese government while actively seeking the opportunity to meet with the U.S. president as well, asserting his political ambitions on the China-U.S. relationship. On the one side, the Chinese government has shown its consistent patience and sincerity in the 9 talks that central departments had held with the Dalai Lama’s private representatives. They did not close the door even after the Dalai Lama’s side publicly announced the termination of the talks with the Chinese government at a special meeting on Tibet’s future in November 2008, but rather, has been patient to wait for their revision of stance.
On the other side, the Dalai Lama’s side has always been double-faced. For instance, Lodi Gyari, one of Dalai’s representatives, put forth a “Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People” during a recent talk, deliberately using obscure words and words from both China’s Constitution and the Law on Regional Autonomy for China’s Minority Nationalities to defend their propositions such as “Greater Tibet” and “high degree of autonomy.”
The essence of that stance is still to seek the semi-independence or independence in a disguised way.
Thirdly, major differences between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government still exist, which is especially true in terms of the “4 no” principles –The national interests must not be violated, the principles of the Constitution must not be infringed, the national dignity must not be damaged and the universal desires of various ethnic groups of the people must not be defied.
That being the case, why does the Dalai Lama want contact and dialogue with the Chinese government? He actually does not want to improve relations with the Central Government, or make self-reflections on his words and deeds on the basis of respecting history, or face reality and conform to the times to make a fundamental correction on his own political views. But rather, he has taken a delay-and-exhaustion strategy to maintain him “chess piece” position in containing China in international relations. Actually, in the context of Taiwan and Tibet correlating China’s core interest, the U.S.’ tentative political strategy becomes all too clear.
Ironically, it is in this moment that the Dalai Lama has chosen to “meet” with Obama to cooperate with the U.S. strategy.
China-U.S. relations have stepped into the “Dalai Round,” which clearly shows China’s Central Government’s sincerity and integrity on the Dalai Lama Issue. Actually, the fact is quite simple. The Dalai Lama always pretends to be a religious, learned and merciful Buddhist leader who has experienced a lot of hardships but has strong will. Previously, he even publicly claimed again and again that there was no doubt that he was a “son of India.” But in fact, what he did had far exceeded the range of pure “religious issues.”
Our patience and sincerity have become bargaining chips for him to continue his tricks in international communities, and has allowed him to create a false impression: as long as he can maintain contact with the Central Government, he will always be able to possess his “magic ability” for hurting China.
Therefore, the Dalai Lama has become much crazier and more insane. The collusion between the Dalai Lama and the U.S. government during the “Dalai Round” was nothing but another futile effort. For the Dalai Lama, it also exposed once again his plot of splitting the motherland and his true intention of selling the interests of China.
However, although the Dalai Lama has played many tricks, he still forgets one thing that – Whether he wants “Tibet independence” or “independence in disguise,” whether he uses violent methods or “non-violent” methods, whether he wants to internationalize the “Tibet issue” or to beat drums for the international anti-China forces, whether he makes use of the Central Government’s morality or sells out our patience and sincerity, Dalai’s effort is doomed and he will never succeed.
The role the Dalai Lama plays in the international community not only disappoints the Chinese, but also will bore people worldwide. The “political market” gained at the expense of ethnic groups and the nation will become more and more lonely and dangerous. Luckily, the current condition in Tibet gives the lie to the Dalai Lama’s lack of imagination, and China and the world will learn the history and future of Tibet in a more realistic and objective way.
Just like what Zhu had said, we wish the Dalai Lama who is drifting away from his country can find his way back while he is still alive.
Legend tells us that Tibetan history starts with a monkey and a Raksasi, a female ogre, when the monkey was sent by Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezi) for the religious training on this high plateau. The Raksasi persuade the monkey to marry her by threatening to kill thousands of people. Having the permission of Avalokiteshvara, they married and had five offspring who are believed to be the ancestors of the Tibetan people. This legend is well known and depicted in ancient books and murals. Even the name of Tsedang, the capital city of Shannan Region, means ‘the place where the monkey plays’.
However, archeological and geological discoveries lead ethnologists to believe that Tibetans are descendants of aboriginal and nomadic Qiang tribes. According to archeology, Tibetan history can be traced back 4,000 years. At that time, life was simple, with stone implements being used. Historical records show that not until the 7th century could Tibetans be recognized as a race of people. The rising Yarlung Dynasty (Tubo Kingdom) unified Tibet and became an aggressive power. The first palace in Tibet, Yumbu Lakang was built for the first king of Tibet, Nyatri Tsenpo. His offspring, Songtsen Gampo, the most powerful and intelligent king of Tubo, conquered other tribes and founded the first dynasty of Tibet, Yarlung Dynasty (Tubo Kindom). Songtsen Gampo also made great contributions to Tibetan culture, economy, technology, religion, etc. by communicating with the outside world. The outstanding king of the Tubo Kingdom married two princesses of Nepal and of the Tang (618-907). The Princesses brought with them advanced technology, exotic culture, tea, silk and most important of all, peace and Buddhism.
Songtsen Gampo embraced the religion and the first transmission of Buddhism came to the snowy land. The king and the princesses built Jokhang Temple and Ramoche Temple to enshrine the holy statues of Sakyamuni. They also ordered the construction of the grand Potala Palace. The king’s successors followed the religion too and in 779 King Trisong Detsen set up Samye Monastery, the first Buddhist temple in Tibet. The great religious teacher, Padmasambhava was invited to Tibet and Buddhism was recognized as the state religion. The Buddhist influence spread as the expansion of the Tibetan empire continued. The indigenous Bon were not satisfied with the popularity that Buddhism held with the royal family. In 836, King Ralpachen was assassinated and Lang Darma , who believed in Bon and objected to Buddhism, was installed as King. Severe persecution against Buddhists ended the first Buddhism transmission. Lang Darma, in 842, was assassinated by a Buddhist and the collapse of the Yarlong Dynasty followed causing the decentralization of Tibet and a struggle for power for the next 400 years.
In 1042, Atisa was invited to Tibet to launch the second Buddhism transmission and Buddhism gradually revived. Gradually, Tibetan Buddhism divided itself into many sects and sub-sects, which rigorously debated with each other, vying for dominance by seeking patrons among the warring principalities. In the twelfth century, the Mongol Empire rose to power and expanded aggressively. Sakyapa, or the Stripe sect, was quite powerful among all the sects at that time. The Mongol Emperor negotiated with the abbot of Sakyapa and assisted him to become the ruler of Tibet. From then on, Tibet became an appendage of the Mongol Empire. Later, the Mongol Empire conquered the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and founded the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). In 1254, Kublai Khan granted supreme authority over Tibet to the leader of Sakyapa. Sakya Pandit was appointed to become the imperial preceptor and a high official in his court. Tibet was thus incorporated as one of the 13 provinces of China. At the end of the Yuan Dynasty, Sakyapa declined and was replaced by the Kagyu order, whose patron offered tribute to the imperial court and was conferred with titles and administrative authority. After the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) was established, Tibetan high lamas were summoned to the imperial court to receive titles and appointments.
In 1751, Mongol Alton Khan gave his submission to the Ming Dynasty and the Ming Dynasty titled the local leaders accordingly. In 1641, under the patronage of Qosot Gushri Khan, Gandan Podrang Dynasty took the reign and Gelugpa, the order of Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama, stepped into political arena. The Third Dalai Lama paid tribute to the central government and was titled again by the Ming Dynasty. Soon afterwards the Manchurian Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) came to power in China. In 1652, the Fifth Dalai Lama was summoned to Beijing, and in 1653 he was re-conferred with the title Dalai Lama and made religious leader of Tibetan Buddhism by Emperor Shunzhi. In 1654, the Fifth Dalai Lama had the Potala Palace renovated making it the base for Dalai Lamas to live, work and practice Buddhism. In 1682, the Fifth Dalai Lama passed away and dispute arose around the identification of the Sixth Dalai Lama. In 1709, Emperor Kangxi of Qing Dynasty sent his imperial envoy to assist the local magistrate Lhabzang Khan, grandson of Gushri Khan to confirm the Sixth Dalai Lama.
The Panchen Lama was conferred with the title Panchen Erdeni in 1713 by Qing Dynasty. Dzungar Mongols attacked Tibet in 1717, killing Lhabzang Khan, sacking monasteries and deposing the sixth Dalai Lama. The Qing troops dispatched to Tibet escorted the newly installed Seventh Dalai Lama and drove Dzungar out of Tibet. Internal unrest rose again causing the Emperor to send his imperial troops to quench the turmoil and to put in place a plan to reform the local administration. After a series of reforms, the local administrative authority fell to the Dalai Lama and the imperial representative official in Tibet, who were equal in status.
A Lot Drawing Process was introduced to avoid dispute over the identification of high lamas and their installation has been approved by the central government since 1793. In 1904, a British force invaded Lhasa and remained for 50 days. The Thirteenth Dalai Lama fled to Qinghai. In 1911, the Qing Dynasty collapsed and the Republic of China was founded. The Thirteenth Dalai Lama’s title, which was withdrawn by the Qing Dynasty in 1910, was restored by the Republic of China in 1912. Later, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama returned to Lhasa. In 1923, a dispute occurred between the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and the Ninth Panchen Lama. The Panchen Lama fled to Qinghai and died there in 1937. The Chinese government approved the identification of the reincarnations of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and the Tenth Panchen Lama in 1940 and 1949 respectively.
In 1965, the Tibet Autonomous Region was founded. After opening to tourism from abroad, increasing numbers of visitors from all over the world have visited this splendid pure land.
Tibet Time Line
1063BC: Bon religion established
127BC: Tibetan kingdom of Nyatri Tsenpo
600AD: Buddhist texts translated into Tibetan
602: Tibet is unified under Namri Songtsen
629: Tibet expands under Songtsen Gampo
630: Songzen Gampo introduces Buddhism to Bhutan
637: Songtsen Gampo builds the first Potala in Lhasa
760: Indian mystics such as Santarakshita and Padmasambhava visit Tibet
763: Tibetan sack of Chinese capital Xian
779: the first Buddhist monastery is founded in Samye by Guru Rinpoche/ Padmasambhava
821: Peace treaty between Tibet and China
842: the Tibetan emperor Langdarma is assassinated and the empire disintegrates
1042: the Indian mystic Atisha visits Tibet (Kadampa teachings)
1073: Sakya monastery and Sakya domination
1080: the Tibetan poet and mystic Milarepa
1247: the Mongols (known as Yuan dynasty in China) become de facto rulers of Tibet but Sakya monks become their tutors
1253: Kublai Khan declares Buddhism the state religion of his empire
1254: Drogon Chogyal Phagpa is appointed ruler of Tibet (first to exert both religious and secular authority over Tibet, or “lama”)
1409: Ganden Monastery founded by Tsongkhapa and Gelugpa domination
1445: Shigatze monastery founded by Gendun Drup (b 1391), later recognized as first dalai lama
1573: The Mongol emperor invites Sonam Gyatso of Tibet to the Mongol capital of Altan Khan and begins conversion of Mongolia to Buddhism, and bestows on Sonam Gyatso the title of “Dalai Lama” (“Ocean of Wisdom”)
1601: The Mongol emperor appoints Yonten Gyatso, a grandson of Altan Khan, as Tibet’s Dalai Lama, causing a civil war in Tibet
1642: Ngawang Lozang Gyatso (fifth dalai lama) assumes both spiritual and temporal authority over Tibet
1648: Potala built in Lhasa
1650: Choskyi Gyaltsen is recognized as first panchen lama (“great scholar”)
1652: Tibet’s dalai lama visits the Manchu emperor Shunzhi in Beijing
1684: Tibet is defeated by Ladaq and Bhutan
1697: The dalai lama Tsangyang Gyatso seizes power in Tibet
1706: A Mongol king Lhazang Khan, an ally of the Chinese emperor, deposes Tsangyang and installs a hand-picked dalai lama, Ngwaang Yeshi Gyatso
1716: Mission by Jesuit priest Ippolito Desideri
1717: Another Mongol king defeats Lhazang Khan and liberates Tibet
1720: The Manchus invade Tibet, turn Tibet into a protectorate and install Kelzang Gyatso as the new dalai lama
1728: The Manchus appoint Pho-lha-nas as the real political leader of Tibet
1750: The Manchus invade Tibet again to quell an uprising and install a council presided by the Dalai Lama
1788: Nepal invades Tibet but the Manchus intervene on Tibet’s side
1792: China enacts rules on how Tibet should elect its government
1793: Nepal is definitely defeated
1841: An Indian kingdom invades Tibet
1856: Peace treaty with Nepal
1904: British troops invade Tibet but soon withdraw
1905: Chinese troops led by Zhao Erfang invade Tibet and destroy many monasteries
1911: After the fall of the Qing dynasty, the Chinese troops in Tibet mutiny and kill Zhao
1913: Tibet proclaims its independence from China, a popular insurrection expels the Chinese troops, and the dalai lama returns to Lhasa
1918: Tibet pushes the Chinese back and reaches the Yiang Tze Kiang
1946: Tibetan representatives attend the Chinese constitutional assembly in Nanjing as observers
1949: China invades eastern Tibet
1951: China annexes the whole of Tibet
1959: Tibetans riot against Chinese occupation (87,000 dead)
1959: the dalai lama escapes from Lhasa to India
1966: During the “cultural revolution” 2,692 Tibetan monasteries are destroyed
1976: China begins a campaign to resettle ethnic Chinese in Tibet
1979: China opens Tibet to foreign tourists
1987: the Chinese government establishes a special school in Beijing to educate the reincarnate Tibetan lamas
1989: The dalai lama is awarded the Nobel Prize for peace
1991: the panchen lama dies, opening a conflict with China over the appointment of the successor
2002: Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and other Tibetan leaders are arrested by the government of mainland China
2006: a railway connection between mainland China and Tibet is inaugurated (the 1,140km Golmud-Lhasa being the world’s highest)
2008: 130 Tibetan protesters are killed and hundreds arrested in Lhasa by the troops of mainland China after Tibetans riot and kill 18 Chinese civilians living in Tibet