By: Abdul-Aziz Al-Mutairi
Somalilandsun – Somalia’s collapse into anarchy almost two decades ago created a uniquely explosive combination of terrorism and instability. Somalia has become an example of failed state, corruption, civil war and human rights violations. Somalia has poor record in human rights record, where children and women face extreme difficult situation.
As Somalia army lacks military regulations, there are reports of abuses and human rights violation at the hands of the army including rape.
Union Forces in Somalia (AMISOM) is running the country from the back office. The AMISOM liberated Mogadishu from Al-Shabab terrorists, and is training Police Forces. Somalia army are used as ‘interpreters’ for AMISOM in the newly liberated areas. Al-Shabab adopted guerilla strategy ‘Hit-and-Run’ against AMISOM. Although, Al-Shabab were defeated in the main cities of Somalia like Mogadishu, but still it has massive influence. Somalia Army (nationalized militia and tribesmen) sell their weapons to the civilians as they are not paid regularly.
AMISOM presence in Somalia reflects from instability and violence. Somalia will need 10-15 years to establish an army that can overtake the duties of AMISOM. Somalia is identical to Afghanistan, where Afghan forces are unable to take over NATO Forces after 10 years of the invasion. Al-Shabab and Taliban have similar principles.
Today, the liberated Somalia population are lacking discipline of life, where majority know language of gun rather than “pen”. They need all kind of social services including clean water, schooling, shelter, clothes, food…etc. they require major rehabilitation program to overcome that bad memories of the civil war, particularly the teenagers who grown up with bullets.
Somalia need the AMISOM and International community to start on disarming the public, as there is a gun in every house. The Anti-aircraft guns are on sale in Mogadishu streets. There should be development programs which will create job opportunities for the younger generations. The weapon dealers in Mogadishu smuggled Kalashnikovs and heavy guns into Kenya, Ethiopia and Somaliland. This soured up the crime rate in these countries. Terrorism is another product of Somalia to the world and to neighbors including suicide bombing in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somaliland.
The Kenyan gangs use AK47 to robe banks in the daylight. Ethiopian tribes are fighting each other by weapons smuggled from Somalia. Somaliland is fighting militant who receive support from Somalia..
The life in Mogadishu is coming back to normal – thanks to AMISOM – although there are a lot to be done. After 21 years, the streetlights are glowing; private schools are reopening; embassies are reestablishing their office. Government of Turkey vowed to develop the infrastructure in Mogadishu and gives university scholarships for the Somali students.
AMISOM has done remarkable job in Somalia despite the shortfalls. The African countries who contributed in AMISOM received huge financial support from the western countries in exchange of their soldiers in Somalia: It is business rather than humanitarian. Kenya has plans staying in Somalia particularly Kismayo City for oil-related interest. Kenya is playing major role in establishing regional administration for Jubba and Gedo regions. AMISOM, also, is ending security threat of Al-Shabab against the western countries (UK & USA). The western nations agreed on dismantling Al-Shabab via AMISOM and acknowledged the danger.
However, the UN Security Council, suddenly, lifted weapons embargo that was imposed on Somalia many years ago. This triggered many questions: Why UN Security Council lifted the embargo now while Somalia need restructuring and humanitarian aid. Who is behind such move. These questions are lingering the mind, so let analyze one-by-one.
It is obvious that Somalia need peace building and reconciliation between tribes, who fought each other last 21 years. The AMISOM and international community must create jobs to the Somalians by building their skills through vocational training. The living standard of the normal Somalian must improve, which will reduce the violence and terrorism. Today, the Somalian citizen has nothing to lose because he is hungry, naked and don’t see bright future. The reconciliation between the Somali tribes is very important because long-lasting peace cannot be achieved in Somalia without creation of trust between tribesmen. AMISOM and Government in Mogadishu must work on teaching public the importance of respecting ‘Law&Order’ .
UN Security Council is profiting the weapon dealers instead of understanding the real need of the Somalians. There are enough weapons in Somalia as everyone is armed. Bakara Market in Mogadishu is famous market for heavy/light weapons in last 20 years. Unfortunately, the new weapons, sponsored by the UN Security Council, will go into the hands of the terrorists, pirates and tribesmen, which will terminate the glimpse of hope towards stability.
Somalia will need more sophisticated weapons than permitted light ones to build an army. AMISOM came necessary military equipment inside Somalia – during the embargo. This illustrates that UN Security Council is either wants to create another chaos or want to profit the weapon dealers!
Al-Shabab has undercover agents (Sleeper Cells) inside Somalia Army and security agencies. Recent suicide-bomber at the front gate of Villa Somalia was member of Somalia’s National Security Agency (NSA). Al-Shabab claimed the responsibility of the attack. The suicide-bomber was one of such ‘Sleeper Cells’. Somalia’s Minister of Information confirmed that NSA newly recruited the bomber.
Somalia MP Mr. Abdulaziz Xidig confirmed that Al-Shabab members (Sleeper Cells) are part of recent army brigade sent to Kismayo City to restore order. According to the MP Mr. Xidig, Al-Shabab are enemies within government departments. This illustrates a serious gap in Somalia security agencies. Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland rejected the decision lifting the weapons embargo, and expressed similar concerns of the MP.
About the port city of Kismayo, there is serious tribal conflict that led recent fighting between pro- and anti-government tribes. The government in Mogadishu is giving sides between tribes, and even rejects the on-going conference intended to create semi-autonomous region for Kismayo. This region will be similar to Puntland and adopt federal system with Mogadishu government.
There are severe tribal conflict in the port city of Kismayo, where Mogadishu government is giving sides. Some of the tribes in Kismayo city rejected the government proposed solution, and even the city, recently, witnessed fighting between pro-government and Anti-government tribes. It will be possible that government in Mogadishu to supply the newly imported light weapons to some tribes in Kismayo which will enflame more civil war.
UN Security Council must know that extra weapons in Somalia will create more violence and instability in the region, and the weapons will cross into the neighboring countries. The neighboring Somaliland expressed concerns over the UN Security Council decision. The elected Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud Siilaanyo expressed disappointment over the decision and described as “Pouring more fuel into violence in Somalia”.
By\ Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi