Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
U.S. Extends Reevaluation of Security Threats to Yemen and Somalia
President Obama's senior national security team reviews counterterrorism policies at the White House in response to the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a passenger jet near Detroit, 5 January 2010
President Obama tells the American public that U.S. intelligence apparatus must do better than its failure to stop a 23-year-old Nigerian from flying to the United States with concealed chemical explosives and attempting to blow up a passenger plane.
President Barack Obama acknowledged Tuesday that the United States has stepped up the fight against al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and has also begun focusing on other countries, including Yemen and Somalia.
Somali-born geography professor Abdi Samatar of the University of Minnesota says that the intensification of fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the Christmas Day airline bombing attempt by Nigerian-born Umar Abdulmutallab have helped shift the focus of conflict to al-Qaida in the Arabian peninsula, particularly to Yemen. But he notes that reports of recent arms shipments from Yemeni rebels to Somalia's Islamist al-Shabab fighters have so far had little impact on the rebel insurgency against Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG).
"I don't think that the amount of weapons that are going from Yemen through al-Qaida to al-Shabab is significant. Shabab has many other sources of weapons, both in the domestic market, and, remember, Somalia has one of the largest small weapons markets in Mogadishu itself," he said.
Despite al-Shabab claims of sending fighters to help al-Qaida resist Yemeni and foreign-assisted efforts to quash its insurgency, Professor Samatar says a Somali presence in Yemen is limited to longtime refugees who have lived in northern Yemen for decades, but not a significant infusion of terrorists or resistance fighters.
"Containing refugees and others in particular localities I don't think is going to be a significant element in tackling the terror matter," he noted.
As for Yemenis operating in Somalia, Samatar says the security threat is also low. But he does acknowledge that the stepped up fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan have expanded the arena of doing battle with al-Qaida back to the Gulf region, where it was extremely active ten years ago.
"The military pressures in Pakistan and Afghanistan are having a significant effect on al-Qaida's ability to further decentralize itself so that they cannot be holed in one particular locality. And this is a fact that should be taken into account in both Somalia and in Yemen," he observed.
Does this mean a more intensified struggle in Somalia at this point? Samatar says not as far as expecting an infusion of fighters from Yemen to add to Somalia's woes. He says al-Shabab continues to lead insurgents' attempts to bring down the internationally endorsed TFG.
APIslamist al-Shabab fighters conduct military exercise in northern Mogadishu's Suqaholaha neighborhood, 01 Jan 2010
"I think Shabab controls much of southern Somalia at the present, and in the last week or so, they have had military celebrations in Mogadishu itself, to show the caliber of their troops and the size of their troops. So they are already what they are, and they control what's left of Somalia….small strips in south Mogadishu and a few other pockets. And I just don't think further pressures are going to make any difference in those spots because those are where the African Union forces are, and I don't think al-Shabab will have the wherewithal to confront them head-on," he said.
The answer to U.S. and British efforts to bring greater stability to both Somalia and Yemen can be found in new initiatives to democratize both countries rather than focusing on the anti-terror threat, according to Professor Samatar. He warns that stepped up foreign military involvement can foment resentment among local populations in both countries, which have long been discontent with the authoritarian qualities of their own failed states' leaderships.
"I think the Somali people would welcome a very genuine support from the United (States) government to help themselves rebuild their country. I think the project that the United States helped take part in in Djibouti, which ultimately produced the Transitional Federal Government was both illegitimate and incompetent. And so what the Somali people are looking for is support from Britain and the United States people and governments that are genuinely democratic, that will support civil society, and Islamic movement that is also democratic," he maintains.
Samatar asserts that Yemeni and Somali resentment are stirred up against western interference when it is being engineered to serve outside interests.
"Genuine democratization of the political process in Somalia, pushing the Transitional Federal Government into becoming more inclusive, more accountable, more effective, and bringing on board people with capacity who are Somalis who can deliver for the local population, if the U.S. and Britain push things in that direction, the Somali people will genuinely welcome that, in my opinion," he noted.
Monday, December 28, 2009
London, UK, December 26, 2009 (SL Times) – The former minister of industry, Muhammad Suleiman Weyne said to a gathering of Somalilanders in Bristol, UK, that when they laid a cornerstone for a new cement factory in Berbera they were play acting, and that they were deliberately misleading the public and had no intention of building such a factory. He described it as all part of the lies that they were telling the public for the last twenty years.
To make the situation worse, Muhammad Suleiman Weyne's did not make his confessions because his conscience bothered him or anything like that but in order to ingratiate himself with UCID party. Obviously, it is in UCID's interest to distance itself from such a self-confessed and unrepentant liar. This episode confirms the corruption and deep cynicism that pervades the highest levels of Somaliland's government and provides good reason for why Somalilanders are correct in not accepting at face-value the claims and pronouncements of President Dahir Rayale Kahin and his ministers.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Enough is Enough-Dahir Rayale
The people of Awdal have been patient for a long time and is time to rise and fight against injustices, humiliations and the intolerable and constant demeaning. The Awdal people are hard-working, honest and sophisticated people who has always think twice before taking actions. They are unlike the other Somali nomads who act on emotions and impulses. However, it is obvious that ignorant, illiterate Dahir Rayle and his hunch men did miscalculations and tested the people's patience to the zero limit.
Firstly, all agencies and important administrative institutions are removed from Awdal and that created a large unemployment. Today, in Borama alone, tens of thousands of well-educated young people are in the streets. These young men and women worked hard and completed their studies in different fields. They are often jailed when they protest or ask for better conditions. The business people have to wait everything from Berbera when there are other possible routes.
Secondly, members of the people's elite were very recently slaughtered in cold blood and Dhair Rayale could not dare to even send condolences to his people. The butchers are still being covered by their own people and Rayale works as though nothing has happened. What an immoral and stupid mentality for a so-called president of a nation.
Thirdly, Rayale has exchanged Samaroon land for a passport. This last incident shows how cheap this man and his wife are. The Djibouti president has studied them carefully and blackmailed accordingly. He found them that they needed two important issues: (1) A bank account where they can hide their rip-off money (2) Passport for insecure family. Every Somaliland woman and man knows that Zeila and surroundings was not an Issa land. It is a Samaroon land in history and in today. The Issa administration in Djibouti had long dreams of finding backyard for their hot Island of Djibouti. Many different tactical projects and plans were presented by Djibouti to the existed Somali governments but were all rejected. Today, Rayale and his greedy and insane wife are trying to sell Samaroon lands piece by piece. They don't care about the future of their people's children. They think only about the future of their children.
Final advice to you and your henchmen(Awdal governors) in Awdal. Many African dictators, who were stronger than you, were chased away. where is Mengistu and where is Siyad Barre?. Come back your to sense before it is too late. the rip-off money did not help those dictators and so it wont help your family.
Abdikarim A. Osman
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Payne, they will not sit with other Somalis
By Mohamed A. Mirreh
In an attempt to alleviate the ongoing tragedy in Somalia, Mr. Donald
M. Payne of the United States Congress invited the TFG of Somalia,
Puntland administration and Somaliland administration to a meeting in
Washington on 25th June, 2009. Initially all the three entities
accepted the invitation but only the TFG and Puntland representatives
have attended the meeting, while the Somaliland´s "foreign minister"
being ill-advised by foreign whistle-blowers did not show up in the
meeting, claiming that "Somaliland is an independent country which has
nothing to do with other Somalis".
Following this and during the congressional hearings in Washington DC,
Hon Donald Payne, Chairman of Committee for African Affairs at US
Congress had, bearing in mind that the so-called Somaliland is not sui
generis and its people are not different from other Somalis, stated
the following: If they [Somaliland people] want to be isolated, they
can be assured that I will do all I can to isolate them.
This statement by the congressman, which certainly did not cut ice
with the secessionists, has apparently prompted an outcry among those
who are desperate for secession, to the extent that in an article: to
Awdalnews.com, Hon Donald Payne was likened to a warlord and a
terrorist of Somalia.
In another letter: which has appeared in WardheerNews and other Somali
websites, addressed to Hon Donald Payne, Mr Mohamed Baranbaro, the
author of the letter tried to convince the congressman and his
associates that "Somaliland" deserves an international recognition. If
anything this type of letter is a downright insult to the intelligence
of any learned congressman, like Hon Donald Payne. There is a paucity
of truthfulness in the said letter and its content is basically a
rehash of the secessionist's stereotype and ludicrous claims for a
much sought international recognition.
These types of acts clearly reflect how the "leaders" of one clan in
North-west Somalia want to mislead the international community and get
an international recognition for a pretend state called, Somaliland.
Institutions like the US congress and all other international forum
are privy to the fact that the concept of "Somaliland" is the
invention of some disgruntled "politicians" of one clan among the five
clans in northern Somalia (former British Somaliland), who acting upon
tribal dominance and taking the advantage of the collapse of the
Somali state, unilaterally declared in May 1991, a secession of the
area from Somalia and adopted a former colonial name of Somaliland.
For the last 18 years the secessionists and some hired foreign agents
have been relentlessly campaigning for Somaliland´s recognition and
these often present flimsy justifications as pre-requisite for
recognition. Among these justifications are that Somaliland is
democratic, peaceful and both presidential and parliamentarian
elections were conducted or that all the clans in the former British
Somaliland are identified with the secession. All these,
justifications which are similar to the hackneyed collection of claims
stated by Mohamed Baranbaro do not hold water and a point-by-point
rebuttal to these claims are given below:
Somaliland was an independent nation with internationally delineated
boundaries and was recognized by 34 nations including 5 permanent
This is a lie and I challenge anyone who can produce a single country,
let alone 34 countries or the 5 permanent members of the UN, which
ever recognised Somaliland as an independent state. It is irrational
that any government would have recognised a transient administration
as an independent state, that was only to exist for 4 days (26 June -1
July 1960) and then to disappear for good after joining an
administration from the South to form the unity government of the
Somali Republic. Mr Baranbaro is day-dreaming if he thinks that his
claim is available in the archives of the UN or in the records of the
34 countries, mentioned in his letter.
Somaliland existed before Somalia was granted independence. Once
Somalia achieved independence, Somaliland then initiated a Union with
Somalia for a greater "Somali Republic". There had never been a state
called Somaliland unless one erroneously believes that the then
British Somaliland Protectorate was a separate state and was not an
occupied part of the Somali home by the British colonisers. Also, the
union was not initiated by the North, but it was an aspiration of all
This Union was never legally formed thus never bound Somaliland to perpetuity.
Contrary to this claim and unless Mr Baranbaro is speaking through his
hat, one clan has no solid legal basis to abrogate the act of union
(Atto di Unione) formed and signed by the governments of North and
South in 1960.
Somaliland never relinquished her right to restore her independence at
any point. Somaliland restored her independence in 1991 after 30 years
of the disastrous policies that saw the aerial bombardment of cities,
the massacre of over 50,000 innocent people and the systemic
humiliation of the people of Somaliland.
The writer of this claim, like all the proponents of secession
believes that his clan had solely inherited from the British, all the
territories of the former British Somaliland Protectorate and by
virtue of this, his clan alone decides in an on-and-off mode, when and
how the north-west of Somalia can be part of Somalia. Again, Mr
Mohamed Baranbaro as usual heaps all the blames to the unity itself or
the South but conveniently ignores that the politicians, both from
North and South were to be blamed. The secessionist´s claim that 50
000 of their people were killed by the former Somali president, Siyad
Bare who was from the South, is exceedingly over the top and even if
this and other fabricated stories were true, these would not justify
for an international recognition to Somaliland, as the said regime
which had army officers both from North and South of Somalia, also
carried out killings in the South and central parts of Somalia. One
must also recall that the people of Sool, Sanag and Cayn of North
Somalia were massacred by their thousands during the Darwish
movements' in1900 – 1921. These massacres were committed by the
British colonisers with the collaboration of Somalis and Ethiopia.
This historical fact is not an invented one, but it is documented and
can be found in the world libraries. From these library records, Mr
Baranbaro can find out who were these Somalis who collaborated with
the British colonisers.
The Somaliland public voted overwhelmingly- on more than one occasion
- to rescind the union. This decision is neither reversible nor open
This is again a wishful thinking to contemplate that all clans in the
north-west regions of Somalia are behind the secession. The fact that
Somaliland militia occupies in the unionist Sool region and its
capital Lasanod which they invaded in October, 2007 speaks for itself.
Somaliland's case is unique in that the recognition of Somaliland will
not set precedent or infringe upon African Union protocol or
convention. There are no other formerly independent and recognized
nations seeking to exit union or reclaim independence.
There is nothing uniqueness in the secessionist´s cause and simply
put, if Somalia is divisible so is the so-called Somaliland. World
bodies like the UN, AU and all other international organisations know
that if this clan-entity is recognised this will let the genie out of
the bottle, therefore the unity of Somalia is sacred and untouchable.
Somaliland fulfils all requirements for statehood; a) the nation has a
permanent population, b) had been independent once before, c) has a
clearly defined territory.
The secessionists always highlight their fond for the legacy of
British rule and its attributes, like a defined territory, based on
arbitrary boundary and drawn by the British. One has to know that such
boundary was illegal in the first place, and became obsolete once the
internationally recognised boundary of Somalia was in place and, if an
arbitrary boundary was to be counted one has to remember that the
Turks, Egyptians and even the Omanis ruled some parts of the Somali
home and as a result had drawn their respective arbitrary boundaries.
One wonders why unlike other regions of Somalia and of all those
powers who occupied Somalia, the British legacy in Hargeisa is
olfactory and aural – Was there very special bond between the British
colonisers and those who still evocatively remember the British rule?
Mohamed A. Mirreh