Arte process was an important milestone in the search for peace and
reconciliation in Somalia but it was far from complete and one cannot
help avoid the fact that those Somali forces who were left out of the
Arte process control more than ninety percent of Somalia. The ‘TNG’
controls only parts of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, and pockets
elsewhere in Somalia and the new rulers have to operate out of Ramadan
and three other hotels. Their hope is to attempt with their help of
Italy, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates to
establish a top-down Mogadishu-based government, which could set off
another war to decide who controls it.
mistrust of the Arte Group is partly because seventy-five percent of the
“transitional Assembly” is members of radical Islamic groups and
ninety percent of them are leading members and ministers of the Mohamed
Siad Barre’s regime, the very people we say ruined the country. Mr.
Abdulqasim Salad Hassan himself served the disgraced dictator Mohamed
Siad Barre as minister in different ministries for eighteen years. The
conferees include former Mohamed Siad Barre army officers who are war
criminals such as Gen. Mohamed Hashi Gani, Gen. Mohamed Said Morgan and
Col. Hassan Abshir Farah (Prime Minister designate) and are responsible
the state in war in Somalia, the generalized violence, wide spread human
rights violations and unchecked criminal activity.
Abdulqasim Salad Hassan, is a known member Al-Islah group a sister
organization of Al-Itihaad Al-Islamiya, a radical Islamic group who has
carried out terrorist operations in Ethiopia (in 1996 Al-Itihaad was for
a bomb attack on a hotel in capital, Addis Ababa that killed four
civilians and injured about dozen others and in 1998 kidnapped six Red
Cross employees.) involved and helped him get appointed in Arte.
It is an open secret in Somalia that, Mr. Abdulqasim (sub-clan of
Gen. Mohamed Farah Aideed) who was living in Cairo at the time was
responsible for the General’s ties with Osama Ben Laden through Mr.
Hassan Al-Turabi of Sudan.
Ali, a former member of Al-Itihaad, says that Afghan and Pakistani
members of Al-Qa’eda recruited Somalis.
Al-Islaamiya, a radical Islamic group that owns banks and other
businesses (i.e. Al-Barakat), joined forces with Al-Qa’eda in 1992
after its leaders met Osama Bin Laden in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum
where Bin Laden was living. It
is a ‘political Islamic movement looking to take control of Somali
state and run accordingly to its fundamentalist reading of Sharia Law
and believe only radical Islam can unite the country’. Al-Itihaad which draws it support mainly from Haber-Gedir and
certainly supports Mr. Abdulqasim Salad Hassan. It helped establish the
Somalia’s Islamic Courts and turned over control of these courts and
its militia to the Arte group. It has posts in his government and runs
its headquarters openly in the capital, Mogadishu.
no central bank to object, Al-Barakat, which is known to fund Bin Laden,
has privately printed billions in the national currency, the shilling,
rendering it almost worthless. This false currency is intended as a tool
to gain more power by buying property
of indigenous people of the lands they now occupy (i.e. houses, farms,
land), political favors, more armaments and ammunitions and militia
salaries. It is also used to fill out a power vacuum in the country with
the help of Arab money by opening its own school to radicalize the
population, seeding anti-western sentiments in the country as enemies of
Islam and providing services normally associated with the government.
Arte group has no capability to militarily extend its influence in
Somalia. Nevertheless, it is not money and sold out traditional leaders
which are being used by the Arte group as instrument of subversion, but
Al-Barakat’s militia and other Islamic forces mainly the Al-Itihaad
Al-Islamia is the second arm of the Arte groups’ war by proxy. The
attacks of the forces of Muse Sudi Yalahow in Balad district (Ex-Banadir)
and Mogadishu on many occasions with some involvement of A’ir militia
of Abdulqasim is a good case in point.
want Mr. Abdulqasim and his sub-clan, the Haber-Gedir to leave Mogadishu
and Lower Shabelle region and go back to Mudug and Central Regions where
they belong, if they don’t want respect their host, the Muddullood. We
want them to establish their own regional administration and join the
rest of Somalia representing their own people. Only this way can Somalis
could come together, discuss the formation of a New Continuation without
marginalizing any group, based on the Rule of Law, multi-party democracy,
free elections and form of regional clan autonomy, where original
inhabitants of each region are left to manage their own affairs. My
modest hope is that as policymakers work to hinder
Somalia's villains, they will also explore
ways to bolster those quietly working for positive change. In Somalia
and elsewhere, the everyday heroes are too many to overlook.
Bush administration has named a Somali fundamentalist group, Al Itihaad
al Islamiya (Arabic for Islamic Unity) as a terrorist organization,
whose camps Osama Bin Laden probably visited.
Tenet said, the United States would "overlook at our own peril the
impact of crisis in remote parts of the world," such as Somalia,
Indonesia and Colombia. "Al Qaeda leaders still at large are
working to reconstitute the organization and resume its terrorist
operations," he said. "Al Qa’eda also has plans to strike
against U.S. and allied targets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and
Southeast Asia," Tenet told the Senate Intelligence Committee in
his first public appearance before Congress since the Sept. 11 attacks.
Tenet said places like Somalia where there is an absence of a national
government creates an environment in which groups sympathetic to Al
Qa’eda "have offered terrorists an operational base and potential
intelligence sources estimate that between 3,000 and 5,000 ‘hard core’
members of Al-Qa’eda and Al-Itihaad partnership are operating here in
Ex-Banadir, Mogadishu and Lower Shabelle, with 50,000 to 60,000
supporters and reservists. Actively terrorist camps include those in
central and northeast (Anod, Galkayo, Garowe and Bossasso) and southern
cities of Somalia (El-Wak, Gedo, Kisimayo, Merka (locally know ‘little
Kandahar’), Barawe, Bali-dogle and areas in Mogadishu (Huriwa, Km4,
Bakaraha and Black sea). The leader of the military wing of Al-Itihaad
is Maj. Hassan Dahir Aweys, believed to have orchestrated the shooting
down of American helicopters in Somalia in 1993, killing 18 servicemen.
the above, we cannot find any justification, Senior United Nations aid
officials saying fear of U.S. military action threatened to destabilize
Somalia as it emerged from anarchy and famine. This is absurd, Somalia
is so fractured that the nominal government controls less than half the
capital city and some coastal strips. The north has two breakaway states,
and in the rest 30 clans with overlapping borders go to war over land,
cattle raids and blood feuds.
not all is well in Somalia, as it remains one of the world's poorest
countries. Thousands of women and children live in camps or on the
streets, where they are mistreated and malnourished, particularly if
they are of a rival clan or a minority group. "I think it is having
a very destabilizing effect," said Randolph Kent, U.N. humanitarian
coordinator for Somalia, based in Mogadishu. Mr. Kent the world body has
100 international staff and 400 local staff in Somalia to help 750,000
of the neediest people in the country but why they are conveniently
absent from Hiran, Middle and Lower Shabelle, southern Mogadishu (Medina
and Dharkeynley) and northern Mogadishu?
all remember that, Gen. Mohamed Farah Aideed, was cutting off food
supplies, and tens of thousands of
people were starving to death, but UN agencies
and NGO’s were
against US intervention in Somalia during Operation Restore Hope and are
now nervous because United States has taken a new interest in the
country since Sept. 11 which is welcome news and many are grateful for
their children, who lived because the Americans were there, for the
medicine and food that saved their wives, husbands, fathers or mothers.
Thousands of lives were saved.
McPherson, a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel with 25 years of service,
who first traveled to Somalia 1992 during his tour and later in 1999
said, “I witnessed Americans dying in Somalia, but when I left in
April I felt that our presence had made a difference. I was angry and
felt betrayed by the people my countrymen had saved”.
is understandable, no people would accept the death of its children in a
country, where they are supposed to provide aid and all the Somali
people still wrestle with the same feelings of anger and betrayal.
This has tarnished Somalia’s image in the eyes of the world.
But it was Haber-Gedir sub-clan not the Somali people, led by Gen.
Aideed, Osman Atto, Abdi Qeyb-did (current Banadir Police Chief) and
Abdulqasim Salad Hassan, the Arte group’s so-called president who were
responsible that disastrous street battle in October 3, 1993 and
eventually forced the international community to withdraw. It is
profound sadness to see Haber-Gedir celebrating every year on October 3rd,
to mark the anniversary of their so-called ‘victory’ over the
is going to be tough to divorce America's past involvement in Somalia
from the new challenges that are bringing attention back to this
impoverished land and to overcome the long-term governance challenges
that terrorist might exploit to make Somalia a base, would require
Haber-Gedir to return to their regions and demonstrate that they possess
a real constituency, not just a menacing militia-where peacekeepers were
subjected to constant taunting, rock throwing, ambush, kidnapping of aid
workers and thefts. If Mr. Abdulqasim, Osman Atto, Hussein Aideed and
Abdi Qeyb-diid are popular as they claim to be, they should have no fear
of such process. It is not too much to ask of the international
community to safeguard the fundamental right of representative
governance for the Somali people.
doubt the Arte process is dead but the so-called ‘TNG’ will use the
issue of recognition to block any attempt for peace and bringing
together all Somalis for the target of forming broad-based government.
In this case the UN, the AOU and IGAD ought to unmistakably advise the
so-called ‘TNG’ rulers that they shouldn’t stand in the way of any
new peace proposal in the name of legitimacy and technical conditions.