Statement of Somali Orgnizations on the deployment of more foreign troops in Somalia
Another military intervention in Somalia is in the works. That is exactly the outcome of the 15th Extra-Ordinary IGAD Summit Meeting held in Addis Ababa on July 5th/, 2010. IGAD decided inter alia “to send 2000 more troops immediately to Somalia and raise another 20.000 to be deployed through out the country with possible intervention by neighbouring States.”
Some serious concerns need to be highlighted in this regard:
Where will these fresh troops come from? Which IGAD countries have a self interest to deploy such troops? The objective of this new military initiative in Somalia? These questions can best be answered by the willingness, self interest as well as the military capacity of the various IGAD member states.
Most of the IGAD countries would be reluctant to deploy due to prevailing internal dynamics. Sudan, for example, is most unlikely to contribute given the problems in its South and Darfur. Djibouti’s military capability remains limited, while there is an ever growing internal opposition in Uganda to any further deployment of its troops in Somalia. Eritrea is no longer an IGAD player in view of its boycott of the organization. Kenya will have to think twice as a result of its security concerns along its porous border with southern Somalia.
Ethiopia remains the only IGAD Member State with the military capability, self interest as well as willingness to once again put boots on the ground in Somalia. In fact, Ethiopia is the architect of this new push to wage another war in Somalia. In its pursuit of a strategy to actively undermine the re-birth of a functioning Somali State, Ethiopia uses IGAD to re-engage militarily in Somalia. Simply put, this IGAD call for a surge in foreign troop levels in Somalia is a licence for Ethiopian re-occupation of Somalia. With this IGAD decision, Ethiopia seeks to legitimize a permanent military presence throughout Somalia.
Another objective of an Ethiopian led foreign re-occupation of Somalia is to perpetuate its domination and undermine other achievable initiatives for peace and genuine national reconciliation in Somalia.
The current AMISOM military intervention did not bring peace to Somalia. On the contrary, AMISOM commits daily and with impunity gross human rights violations and atrocities.
Similarly, the imminent Ethiopian re-occupation of Somalia will not serve the quest for sustainable peace in Somalia but will exacerbate further the suffering of the Somali people. The numbers of killed, maimed, displaced as well as refugees will dramatically rise to unprecedented levels. Destruction of property, looting and rape, the trade marks of Ethiopian troops, will take place. A humanitarian catastrophe, tantamount to genocide will ensue.
We Somalis are well-known for aversion to foreign led military interventions on our soil and in particular those by traditional enemies like Ethiopia. As the imminent re-occupation takes places, the level of violence in the country will increase as the war rages between us and the Ethiopian invaders.
Another question is whether this IGAD decision is consistent with UN Security Council Resolutions? And in particular, those provisions on interference in the internal affairs of Somalia as well as the deployment of troops by neighbouring States. Security Council Resolution 1425 (2002) “insists that no State, and in particular those of the region should not interfere in the internal affairs of Somalia. ……Such interference could jeopardise the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia.” Furthermore, Para 4 of Resolution 1725 (2006) expressly “prohibits States neighbouring Somalia from any military deployment in Somalia.”
The IGAD issued licence for Ethiopia to re-occupy Somalia is a flagrant violation of the UN Security Council Resolutions and is therefore null and void.
IGAD and the rest of the international community miss one important factor relevant to the Somali conflict: There can be no foreign led military solution to the Somali conflict. Contrary to what the cynics and our enemies may say, we Somalis can and must solve our problems. Our main obstacle continues to be foreign interference and diktat.
We, the representatives of the under mentioned Somali organizations:
Strongly condemn the IGAD decision allowing the re-occupation of Somalia.
Strongly urge the UN Security Council and the international community to reject any campaign to endorse this IGAD decision.
Call on all decent and patriotic Somalis to reject this Ethiopian plan for the re-occupation of our homeland.
Call for a Somali owned initiative for peace in Somalia.
On behalf of Somali Democratic & Patriotic Movement.
On behalf of Somali Concern.