Archive | March 5, 2012

Somalia: Thieves in the Night

Somalia: Thieves in the Night

 

By Hwaa Irfan

Sometimes, just sometimes, humanity sinks to its lowest depths, debunks the human spirit to succumb to the human animal instinct, though animals are much more honourable than what is about to be described.

It was in September 2011 that I received a communiqué, one in deep distress, unable to make sense of certain actions that seem to be manifesting in their beloved country. Tired and forlorn from the activities of Shebaab, something quite ominous was afoot like the veil that shrouds Haiti, accept in Haiti, Haitians know what is going on. Instead of harking on about the famine which was dissipated by the rains, but served as an opportunity for certain international forces to occupy and take control of Somalia, The communiqué was struggling to make sense of something else.

At the time, the world was being convinced that a famine of biblical proportions was taking place in Somalia, meanwhile thousands in the name of humanitarian aid was being raised which never reached the government let alone the people. The propaganda was convincing, but to Ahmed Jama, a Nairobi-based agricultural economist (former consultant with the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation) this was not what was happening at all! Jama informed Rasna Warah reporting for Pambazuka:

“I was disturbed by the WFP announcement because Lower Shebelle is Somalia’s breadbasket and had even experienced a bumper harvest last year”.

But to the world, 63% of Somalis were starving from hunger, and anything awry could be blamed on Shebaab. Jama continued:

“In the case of Somalia, the timing of the UN’s famine appeal appeared suspect, as it coincided with the beginning of the peak harvest season in July and the start of the short rains, known as Deyr, in September,” he adds. “And this is not the first time that a famine has been declared. It seems that in the past 20 years, Somalia has been in a permanent state of crisis, instead of moving towards development despite the myriad development agencies operating in the country.”

When aid agency reports started to evaporate into thin air, with final reports stating that ‘nothing could be done’ other certain activities which are far from humanitarian were in full swing. This all culminated in September 2011, at the same time as a ‘meeting’ was convened to discuss Somali sovereignty. At this ‘meeting’ Somalis sovereignty was already compromised as they were ‘told’ to accept 12nm only as territorial waters. A situation exacerbated by Somali ‘pirates’ who got greedy, but initially set out to protect their waters from being dumped in by countries that felt they had a right, went awry to the extent that Somalia no longer belonged to Somalis. This ‘meeting’ took place in the Seychelles with a follow-up in Norway where Somali leaders were and did sign relinquishing sovereignty.

The bait for what was a ‘roadmap’ was to call an ending to the transitional period in order to obtain international ‘recognition’, a case in hand being from the opposite in the case of Afghanistan and Libya. Then, and only then, the Transitional Federal Government, TFG would received bilateral aid, at least so they were told. Then there was talk of territorial waters 200nm which would encroach upon the territorial waters of Yemen and Saudi Arabia, in the full knowledge that sea borders are drawn at 90 degrees.

It slowly dawned on Somalis aware that something was afoot, that the intent by the convening donors/powers (under the auspices of the United Nations Monitoring Group) was to rob Somalia of its natural resources. By ending the transitional period, what was in fact a puppet government would then be obliged to sign binding treaties, which of course has been overridden in the case of the Egyptian transitional government. Those binding treaties pertained to military bases along with oil and mineral resources of Somalia.

In February 2012, a ‘meeting’ was convened in the U.K. the result of which has Somalis outraged. What was an international conference hosted by U.K.’s current unpopular Prime Minister, David Cameron, the week after U.K.s foreign secretary, William Hague, visited the capital, Mogadishu with talks of ‘rebuilding the country’ as engineers and visitors surveyed a well in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region where the presence of oil is suspected. The minister for international cooperation in Puntland, N.E. Somalia Abdulkadir Abdi Hashi is working with British officials and stated to the British Observer:

“We have spoken to a number of UK officials,  some have offered to help us with the future management of oil revenues. They will help us build our capacity to maximize future earnings from the oil industry.”

The U.K. of course is not alone as the Canadian company ‘Africa Oil’ has already begun drilling with China National Offshore Oil Corporation hoping to follow suit.

However, the February 2012 conference controlled by the International Contact Group (ICG) and the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia has basically turned Somalia into a colonial outpost with the help of Ethiopia and Kenya on the basis of a New Deal of Engagement with Fragile States. With a annual funding of U.S$ 550 from the UN Security Council of the African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM, a lot has been invested to ensure a return in investment of the few, to the benefit of the few while continuing to illegal fish, dump toxic waste off the Somali coast, and for the UN to keep on killing Somalis and their cattle from the skies.

On 23 February 2012, Somalia ceased to exist internationally, and the TFG will be terminated 20 August 2012. The U.S. backed government will have a new constitution put in place by Switzerland. Somaliland where the oil is will no longer be a part of Somalia, which in terms of global governance no longer exists, and Somaliland will be directly funded to the tune of £105mn by the U.K., while the British are in a growing state of depression from mass unemployment, and a weaker say in what their government says and does.

Joint Financial Management Board (JFMB) for Somaliland will be run by the French Republic, United Kingdom, the E.U., and the World Bank, while territorial waters will be controlled by the European funded Regional Maritime Capacity Building Initiatives all in the name of Somalis who know nothing of what has been said and done in their name!

Why not, it has been done before, but then it was without media attention!

The Chagos Islands

‘Stealing a Nation’ tells a story literally hidden from history. In the 1960s and 70s, British governments, conspiring with American officials tricked and expelled the entire population of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean from their lands.

The aim was to make a joint major military base on the island of Diego Garcia. Indeed, it is from Diego Garcia that U.S. planes been bombing Afghanistan and Iraq for the past decade.

The story is told by islanders who were dumped in the slums of Mauritius and in the words of the British officials who left a paper trail of what the International Criminal Court now describes as a crime against humanity.

Sources:

Townsend, M. “Britain Leads Dash To Explore For Oil In War-Torn Somalia.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/25/britain-oil-dash-somalia

Uluso, M. “London Conference Strips Somalian Sovereignty.” http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/80361

Related Topics:

Tears for Somalia

Life or Death: Humanity Runs Awry in Somalia

Saudi Arabia Donates $50mn to Somali Children

The U.S. Government not in the Interest of Haitians

Controlling Haiti

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