Press Release 2005
Somali Intellectuals Without Borders
The Issue of Deploying Peace Enhancing Troops in Troubled Somalia
For Immediate Release - March 2, 2005
A NATION UNDER SEIGE AND A GLIMMER OF HOPE:
The Defenders of the Status Quo versus the WILL of the Majority of the Somali Public.
Mr. Speaker and honorable Parliamentarians, it is very likely that the Executive Branch of your government, the President and the Prime minister, will soon bring a motion before you, asking you to authorize the deployment of IGAD peace enhancing forces that will protect the institutions of the fledging government and that will also train a proposed Somali army that will participate in the disarmament of all of the Somali militia in all regions. We, the under-signed, a collective of Somali intellectuals and concerned Somali citizens who hail from all regions of Somalia pray for you during your deliberations of this most difficult and historical task at this juncture of heightened sensitivity in our society. We also stress upon you that when you exercise your vote, that you do so in conformity with your conscience, bearing in mind that you have been sworn to your office and position to place the welfare of the Somali citizens before any other interest.
Because of the prevailing anarchy and lawlessness, our country is today a prime haven for terrorists, pirates, international toxic waste dumpers and war profiteering enterprises masquerading as legitimate businesses; business enterprises that do not pay taxes, that use the national infrastructure such as ports, airports, highways and hospitals and yet do not pay for these services to any national authority, that do not care about the environment or human rights and that thrive in an atmosphere of bullying and thuggery.
We understand that some Mogadishu politicians and the Mogadishu-based Islamic Courts have voiced their opposition to the deployment of the proposed IGAD Peace enhancing forces on the grounds that Ethiopia, a member of IGAD and a possible contributor to the proposed forces, has a hidden agenda to colonize Somalia.
Mr. Speaker and honorable members of Parliament, this spurious argument should not emotionally sway you because it is an argument that has neither logic nor substance. We remind you that these born-again nationalists were at one time or another, client rebels of Ethiopia and that they owe their current economic as well as political power to Ethiopia. And they are not alone because most clan-based militias have at one time or another benefited from Ethiopian patronage and tutelage. It begs then, why Ethiopia was good enough for these men back then and it is decidedly bad now. That is one question that you, honorable members, should satisfy yourselves with before you cast your vote. In the eyes of most Somalis, these Warlords are using Ethiopia as an escape goat to achieve their political agenda, which is to keep the country hostage. The public will not be swayed by their cheap maneuvers and their current behavior amounts to a classic case of shedding crocodile tears. We are certain that even if the Ethiopia were excluded from the process, these professional warlords will erect another road block (Isbaaro) on the road to peace and normalcy.
Honorable members, a second question that you should ponder upon while casting your vote is, why in the past 14 years, besides chopping the hands of poor and vulnerable individuals in Mogadishu, the Islamic courts have not stood up for the poor and the vulnerable and challenged the warmongers in some pockets of Mogadishu, or why they have failed to organize rallies to address the issues of disarmament and peace in Mogadishu in the past. Yes, it is primarily Mogadishu which is the sticking point because on February 26, 2004, the IGAD fact finding mission, which is presently touring the country, has presented a preliminary report to President Yusuf and Prime Minister Geedi to the effect that the majority of the Somalis that they have encountered in many localities of Somalia have signaled an overwhelming support for the proposed peace enhancing forces, with or without the so-called front line states, which presumably includes Ethiopia.
It is our considered opinion that these groups and others are fudging the issue and that they are using Ethiopia's involvement in the proposed peace enhancing forces as a ruse in order to derail the completion of the peace process and the pressing agendas of the fledging Transitional Federal Government. We are not unmindful of the fact that Ethiopia may take its own political interests into account even when it is engaging in the Somali peace process. Any student of international relations, politics or the logic of History knows that countries must place their political interests before any other country and it must be expected that Ethiopia would do so. A stable and peaceful Somalia with a Central Government is, indeed, in the interest of all neighboring countries, including Ethiopia.
However, you, as the legislators of Somalia should be concerned with taking the interests of your country into account when you cast your vote. These are some profound questions that you should reflect upon on the Ethiopian question:
Honorable members, given the fact that most Somali clan-based militias have or have had some sort of client-master relationships with Ethiopia, including those who are now vocally opposing its involvement in the proposed IGAD forces, would it not be a better idea if we dealt with Ethiopia on a government-to-government basis, instead of clan-Ethiopia relationship as the current arrangements are. If your government invites Ethiopia into the process in a clear vote that is transparent to the whole world and under strict UN and AU-guaranteed conditions, then Ethiopia cannot continue the mischief that is attributed to her, because it will be subject to the spotlight of the international scrutiny.
During your deliberation, we hope you also take into account the following:
The word "Somalia" has entered into the contemporary political lexicon as the quintessential Failed State, and for a very good reason. Our country is teeming with weapons and the Somali population is held hostage by those strong enough to own or carry weapons and who keep them in perpetual fear, poverty and in some areas serfdom. Somalia also ranks among the very lowest countries in the world on the UNDP's Human Development Index (HDI), ranking below Sierra Leone which ranks at the very lowest bottom of the HDI ladder. The mortality rate for children under five exceeds 25%; average life expectancy is estimated at 41-43 years, adult literacy rate ranges between 14-17%; primary school enrolment is 13-16%; and GNP/capita is between US $176-200.
Moreover, a United Nations' environmental report released in recent days indicates that nuclear and hazardous wastes including uranium, radioactive waste, heavy metals (lead, cadmium and mercury); industrial wastes, hospital wastes, and chemical wastes dumped into Somalia's shores for the last 20 years had been scattered by the recent Asian tsunami into the inland and are now infecting Somalis in coastal areas. Unless an immediate clean up and remedial action is launched, this environmental disaster is tantamount to a ticking bomb that may explode at any time, thus adversely affecting the health and well being of all Somalis for years to come.
Honorable members, you have a choice between succumbing to the pressures of the guardians of the anarchic status quo or answering the call of your government for positive change towards peace and stability. History will remember you either as those men and women who saved their nation from the chaos and lawlessness or those who failed to grasp a golden opportunity and sentenced their fellow country men to an uncertain future and a life of misery and suffering. It is your choice. Please do the right thing; and pass this important motion in the interest of the Somali citizens.
1. Dr. Ali Said Faqi (USA)
2. Ahmed Jama Hamud (Canada)
3. Dr. Ali Khalif Galaydh, Former Primer Minister of Somalia (USA)
4. Abdurahman Hosh Jibril (Canada)
5. Abdulkadir Abo (Canada)
6. Catherine Michael Mariano (Canada)
7. Ms Anod Mohamed (USA)
8. Ali Bahar (USA)
9. Prof. Mohamud Siyad Togane (Canada)
10. Faisal Roble (USA)
11. Prof. Abdihamid Haji Mohamed (The Netherlands)
12. Prof. Abdulqadir Ismail Abdi (UK)
13. Abdiaziz Abukar Osman (USA)
14. Mohamud Dhafuuje (Canada)
15. Malaq Mukhtar Mohamed Aden (USA)
16. Col. Abdi Daad Osman (Canada)
17. Dr. Abdirashid Mohmed Shire (USA)
18. Bashir Gardaad (Canada)
19. Omar Sidow Omar (USA)
20. Abdulkadir Ali Abdi (Xurka) (USA)
21. Avv. Abdullahi Dirie Jama (USA)
22. Pilot Ahmed Elmi Gure (USA)
23. Mohamed Muhidin Omar (USA)
25. Abdulkadir Nur Abo (USA)
26. Aden Omar Abokor (USA)
27. Prof. Mohamed Siyad Togane (Canada)
28. Abdisalaam Haji Mohamud Dhere (UK)
29. Dr. Abdi Greek (UK)
30. Said Ahmed Salah (USA)
31. Suldan Said Faqi (USA)
32. Col. Hassan Salah Naji (Canada)
33. Col. Abdullahi Hussein Abdi Xayyi (USA)
34. Ali Abdulkadir Mumin (USA)
35. Bashi Hosh Jibril
36. Ali Alio' Mohamed (USA)
37. Ms. Sadia Mohamed Dirie (USA)
38. Shekh Mumin Shabab (USA)