by Mohamud M Uluso
Friday, February 28, 2014
The unethical practice
of UN Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) to leak disputed allegations
to the media for vilification of Somali leaders and clans has done huge disservice
to the efforts of statebuilding in Somalia and reinforced public distrust about
foreigner powers’ intentions. Equally, it has also tarnished the reputation of
the United Missions for Somalia (UNSOM) advisor to the federal Government of
Somalia. SEMG, supposedly an independent Auditor-General for assessing the
implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions, has violated six rules necessary
for the integrity of its work.
The six rules are: 1) In-depth
examination of the consistent following of policies and procedures agreed upon by
all parties, including the international community; 2) verification of the
accuracy and reliability of the information collected for assessment; 3) observance
of impartiality and apolitical stance with respect to interested parties; 4) investigation
of constraints, inconsistencies, and conflicts related to mandated policies; 5)
transparency towards investigated subjects; 6) accountability to higher
Admittedly, Somalis has
weak interest in their nation building mainly for foreign manipulations. But more dangerously, SEMG is one of the five
machetes (destructive channels) used by international actors to make Somalia’s annexation
inevitable. The other four machetes are: UNSOM, AMISOM, IGAD, and International
Non-Governmental Organizations (INGO). The four organizations compel Somalis to
own inherently contradictory policy prescriptions, pay attention to foreign allegiance, and
preside nominal government. Then, SEMG comes in to dramatize the misdeeds and
failures created and nurtured by the four. This triggers humiliating international
media blitz that calls for fresh international actions-intervention, sanctions,
and change- in Somalia.
The latest report
issued by SEMG on Feb 6, 2013 assesses the implementation of UN Security
Resolution 2093 (2013) concerning
the partial lifting of arms embargo to achieve the goal of statebuilding in
Somalia. The resolution, adopted against the vigorous objection of Kenya and
Ethiopia, was intended to implement the UN approved plan for the creation of
Somali National Army (SNA), necessary for a sovereign Somali State.
report heavily influenced by foreign warlord experts on Somalia targeted Hawiye
clan, particularly Abdgal, Habargidir, and Ayr sub clans for ulterior motives. It
is an abuse to blame the federal government for the flaw of arms to Mogadishu
Market Arms. The incendiary language used in the report against Hawiye clan
clearly indicates the prejudicial frame of mind of the authors of the report.
In general terms, the
report accused the federal government of failure to comply with the reporting
of its military structure, logistical infrastructure, and arms control procedures
to the UN Security Council. With the exception of unaccounted 1,000 AK-47
rifles supplied by the Government of government, the most sensational evidence
discussed in the report is Hawiye conspiracy.
The evidence include clashes
between Habargidir and Biyamal clans in Lower Shabelle region, Abgal and Bantu in Middle Shabelle region, and clashes between sub clan Habargidir and “heavily armed troops of Puntland” near
Galkaio. Another bizarre allegation in the report is the connection of President
Hassan Sheikh with Al Shabab leader Yusuf Kabakutukade for clan affiliation. SEMG
did not disclose the motivation of President Hassan in supporting Kabakutukade
who zealously plans to kill him.
SEMG has been disturbed
by the discovery of attempts of the federal government to improve the
cooperation between Abgal and Habargidir for strengthening the
cohesion within Hawiye clan because Darods in Puntland and Jubbaland States
felt threatened. This argument shows one of the many flaws of clan federalism.
The report ignored to recognize the complain
of the federal government about the lack of notification of arms delivered by the
UN to regional states of Somalia or to acknowledge the receipt of the 47 pages
report of the federal government detailing
the SNA structure, logistical infrastructure, and arms control. It also omits the
publicized reconciliation efforts arried out by cabinet members,
parliamentarians, security officials, and civic leaders who genuinely
intervened and mediated peaceful agreements about the clashes in the Middle and
Lower Shabelle regions. SEMG decided to take over the investigations of both
clashes from the Somali state and other Human Rights Organizations. No follow
up for the clashes near Galkaio.
The conspiracy link of
President Hassan Sheikh, Minister Abdikarim, and presidential Security Advisor
Abdurahman Isse with Hawiye clan fits the strategy of the United Nations,
European Union, African Union, and IGAD to divide Somalia into
institutionalized clan fiefdoms under the slogan of federalism. Some clans have
established their local security institutions directly accountable to Addis
Ababa, Nairobi, and Jigjiga. This raises the question about the usefulness of
the federal government in the face of country divided into clan fiefdoms.
Former Foreign Minister
of the Transitional National Government of Somalia, Ismail Buba, suggested in
his concluding remarks during the 8th Fagaaraha Forum held in
Mogadishu on Feb 15, 2014 the urgent need to review the structure of the Somali
government and to separate the administration of “South Central Somalia” affairs from the federal government. His
suggestion has encouraged consultation among Hawiye clan for the proclamation
Council for security, development, and International cooperation,” which will take over the
responsibilities of the security, finance, public administration, port,
airport, and local government functions and the partnership role with
international forces stationed within Hawiye fiefdom. “clan
(not state) monopoly of use of force (violence)” is what UN wants in Somalia.
Without plausible justification,
SEMG has recommended a reversal of the 2013 partial lifting of arms embargo to
get the quick approval for tightening, intrusive, and humiliating sanctions,
which will be a blow to the federal government’s ability to gain public support
and credibility. It is critical that members of the UN Security Council set
aside the inflammatory SEMG report for rebuttal and further scrutiny.
The federal government angrily
dismissed the SEMG allegations. Its report does not address the Hawiye
conspiracy, but it answers the requirements of UN Security Council Resolutions.
In January, the Security Advisor of President Hassan pleaded with SEMG
Coordinator to give feedback about the government report to no avail.
SEMG overlooked many factors screwing up the Somali security
and politics: one, the federal government populates members of all clans but it
burdens and messes mainly with Hawiye clan; two, externally influenced clans
defied this shared federal government by labelling it as “Hawiye representative, ” a mendacious argument and decided to
remain separate; three, according to clan federalism, clan represents
antagonism, hatreds, and self-importance; it stimulates the concept of
“otherness, “and anti-citizenship; four, Somali National Army in south central
Somalia is formed along clans ( twelve brigades) and is subordinate (ally) to
AMISOM forces deployed in four sectors-Mogadishu, Beletwein, Baidoa, and
Kismaio. Donors pay salaries and arms. The role of the Federal government
remains to be as a liaison.
report reveals the UN deceptive position. The UN publicly supports but
practically undermines the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political
independence of Somalia; similarly, it declares opposition but spearheads
Somali refugee repatriation in high risk area; it killed the New Deal strategy
for Somalia despite expressing support; it symbolically calls for the
leadership role of the federal government in the Somali affairs but practically
stifles; it is silent about Somaliland rejection of UNSOM and about Kenya and
Ethiopia meddling; it fetters the Somali security build up.
Clan federalism forces each
clan to devote time, energy, and resources to pursue its short term vanity in rivalry
mood with other clans. The security concern of each clan could instigate border
and trade disputes, restriction of movements of people, revenge killings and
harassment, and introduce the temptation of deterrent and preemptive strikes.
The ultimate outcome of
clan federalism is to see Somali clans under permanent threat among themselves
and not being anymore security concerns to neighboring countries. The use of
the phrase “Somalia in peace with its international neighbors (Kenya and Ethiopia)”
will be replaced by “clan X in peace with
its other Somali clan neighbor(s).” This
is what the UN and Ethiopia are hoping to achieve in Somalia. It is a sad
chapter of Somali history close to become a reality.
However, Somalis have
the power (maybe not the will) to avert such tragic fate. In his timely
Corruption and Tribalism dooming Somalia’s war on Al Shabab Extremists?
Andrew McGregor reminds Somalis and foreigners the following:
the Shabaab threat will remain impossible no matter what degree of
international assistance and funding is provided so long as service in national
and local administrations in Somalia is seen as a means for personal
self-enrichment and the furtherance of clan interests at the expense of
national interests. Ultimately, the path Somalia will follow will depend not on
UN assistance or AU military deployments, but rather on the interest Somalis themselves have in
the national project.
Mohamud M Uluso