August 7, 2009
Ould-Abdalla railroaded Obama Administration into failed strategy for Somalia
Mohamud M Uluso
The UN Envoy for war-torn Somalia (SRSG), Ahmedou Ould-Abdalla has brazenly railroaded Obama Administration into failed strategy for Somalia and is forcing to add Somalia to the “Axis of evil” countries-Iran, Iraq and North Korea. He is engaged in aggressive political campaign based on war on terror because it attracts huge resources and guarantees impunity for all sorts of abuses. The critical issues for the Somali people like the “responsibility to protect innocent civilians”, conflict resolution and state-building, national sovereignty, territorial integrity, security, dignity, transparency and accountability are all antithetical to Ould-Abdalla agenda.
SRSG failed to help alleviate the humanitarian catastrophe in the South Central Regions as a result of Djibouti process and to diffuse the political crisis and contradictions failing Somalia. On July 29, the UK Representative at the United Nations has affirmed that Mogadishu has been emptied of its civilian’s population. Now the question is, “Who the Transitional Federal Unity Government (TFUG) and AMISOM are protecting in Mogadishu?” The answer is “their special interest”.
The majority of the International Community remains skeptical about Ould-Abdalla theatrical performance. Because of ghost Government confined in less than 3 miles square, the carnage continues in Mogadishu while SRSG sees the decline of violence in Lower and Middle Jubba, Gedo, Bay, Bakol, and Lower Shabelle regions all controlled by Islamists. It is absolutely fallacy and dangerous to train national police or military forces before legitimate political and administrative authorities are established in Somalia.
The hastily and underhandedly formed Government, the threat of Global Jihadists (Al Qaeda), the war on terror, and Ethiopia’s determination to control Somalia are major obstacles to reconciliation and peace in Somalia. The imminent takeover of Mogadishu by Islamists has shocked Obama Administration and possibly halted the search for alternatives. However, Andrew Bast suggests that as hardhearted it seems, the smartest response might be to let Al Shabab try to seize Mogadishu.
The creation of Green Zone in Mogadishu, characterization of AMISOM and TFUG actions as part of global resistance to terrorism and giving IGAD=Ethiopia a leading role on Somalia’s issues are intended to deepen the Somali crisis. The meeting of former military officers in Washington, D.C. reinforces the view that Obama Administration’s policy towards Somalia rests on the war on terror rather than on rebuilding a collapsed state and it also confirms that Ould-Abdalla is running the show.
As follow up to his June Op-Ed, “Why the World should let Somalia go to the dogs” , on July 20, SRSG published another op-ed in Washington Post under the title “The World’s Duty to Somalia” in search of support for TFUG. Some readers of the Op-Ed have observed that the idea that Somalia has legitimate government is bad joke or it seems questionable that a government that cannot fend off a few 100 foreign fighters, experienced or otherwise, is a government at all.
On July 24, he wrote his 16th letter to Somali Diaspora “Jaaliyada” as progress report. The messages in the letter were far from the realities. Coincidentally, the Somali-Canadian Diaspora challenged Ould-Abdalla’s propaganda campaign when they met him in Ottawa on July 31, 2009. They found his presentation and answers not substantive, evasive, short and patronizing.
There are many lies peddled around. The first one is that former associates of President Sheikh Sharif rejected the invitation to peace through dialogue. The fact is that Sheikh Sharif decided to abandon his political belief in exchange for personal political and material gain and acted without internal deliberations as per agreed framework. He also reneged on agreements signed in Sana’a, Yemen and betrayed his followers. Instead of extended hands, stakeholders wanted the ownership of a peace process that responds to the problems and aspirations of the majority of the Somali people.
The second lie is about Eritrea’s role in the Somali conflict. Eritrea supported the armed Alliance for Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) led by Sheikh Sharif. The problem is that “former Islamic Leader” wants to accuse his former forces and foreign supporter as “armed terrorists and foreign enemy”. Somalia and Eritrea share the ultimate goal of making sure that Ethiopia abandons once for all its “imperial conquest” and “oppressive political culture" and practically accepts peaceful co-existence and respect of people’s rights. The life imprisonment of Bashir Makhtal in 2009 and the death sentence of his Grandfather Makhtal Dahir in 1950 are clear evidence of Ethiopia’s tyrannical culture.
The third lie relates to Djibouti Peace Process, which was farce. It was a UN coup d’ etat in which TFG leaders were removed from power and ARS Faction led by Sheikh Sharif and Sharif Hassan were installed. The former Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein, ARS counterpart, occasionally appears with Ould-Abdalla in the Somali Diaspora gatherings for propaganda purpose.
The fourth lie is the claim of positive developments achieved by TFUG. The Representative of Russian Federation at the UN Security Council has dispelled such lie when he said, “While we understand his (Ould-Abdalla) hopes for positive developments in that situation, the overall picture is extremely alarming. …..Unfortunately, as the security situation remains totally unacceptable and unsatisfactory, it is now difficult to talk realistically about the possibility of expanding the United Nations presence on the ground in Somalia.” This lie is the cruelest one.
The hope is that Obama Administration formulates a comprehensive strategy that focuses on rebuilding the disintegrated Somali State in view of the needs and complex problems of the Somali people. This will strengthen the respect of American Leadership inside and outside Somalia.