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SOMALIA: FLAWS IN THE AFRICAN UNION DECISION

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Sunday September 12, 2010 - 16:51:27 in Articles by Super Admin
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    SOMALIA: FLAWS IN THE AFRICAN UNION DECISION

    In the 15th Summit of the African Union held in the Ugandan capital of Kampala in July this year, the heads of African states have agreed to send additional 20,000 African troops to Somalia to combat the Somali extremists of Al-shabaab who have claim

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In the 15th Summit of the African Union held in the Ugandan capital of Kampala in July this year, the heads of African states have agreed to send additional 20,000 African troops to Somalia to combat the Somali extremists of Al-shabaab who have claimed responsibility of the Kampala twin attacks on 11 July. But the leaders have totally ruled out or intentionally underestimated the need to incorporate humanitarian mission into their military engagement. This was clearly visible in their appeal to the International Community for military hardware, funds for war, transport and logistical assistance to conduct a large-scale offensive against the extremists. In their statement they did not mention the demand for civilian protection in the form of humanitarian and emergency aid such as food, shelter, medical services etc. It is absolutely ridiculous to fight inside a city and give no consideration to the poor masses who will be caught up in the fire. Among them are women and children who are already devastated by the endless wars in their country.

I can only judge these leaders as interest-groups who have no feeling and concern for the Somalis though they claim to be stepping in, in an effort to rescue the Somalis and the entire region of the Horn from religious extremism. Any military action that lacks humanitarian support package is no different than a systematic massacre of innocent civilians no matter how expertly the intervention is justified. A bullet can kill an enemy but it cannot feed a child. But if the intention is to kill both the child and the enemy then the plan will work effectively smart.



Currently we have over 1 million people already displaced from Mogadishu who are suffering from lack of access to basic services. Other millions are starving in the rest of the country and if more people are driven out of their houses the situation will reach unimaginable levels of horror and destitution. Besides that the displaced people will fight for their way to survive at any cost and can possibly become soft targets for Al-Shabaab who might lure them to their fake Jihadi business. Some others might move to safer and relatively more stable locations such as Somali-Land and Puntland in the Northwest and Northeast of the country and shall put heavy strain on the meagre economies of those administrations.

The recent eviction of thousands of Southerners from Puntland in the guise of beefing up security is a recipe for a widespread chaos and a subsequent humanitarian disaster in the country and its neighbours. This, coupled with the expulsion of thousands of Somalis from the oil rich nation of Saudi Arabia, would deepen the already deteriorating condition of the Somali people. At the moment the borders with neighbouring nations are either closed or remain open with tightened security not letting anyone to slip in without undergoing a hectic security check. If people are uprooted without any arrangements of humanitarian aid to which they can fall back, then the consequences of war will be far higher than anyone can imagine. Those who perpetrated the Kampala twin attacks should be taught a lesson but the defenceless civilians and the poor child should not pay the price of the mistakes of few extremists.

Why can’t the African leaders think of tackling the problem in a two-pronged way instead of one dimensional-interest-oriented approach or the objective of their peacekeeping mission is to create unnecessary humanitarian tragedy in Somalia?. Why can’t the human rights organizations speak about this horror unfolding before our own eyes or they just want to record casualties and indict culprits after the damage has been done? Why can’t the humanitarian agencies, be them UN or others, warn AU against sending troops unless there is a plan to protect the civilians? Anyway it is everybody’s responsibility to suggest corrective measures if something is detected to be wrong or if there are flaws in any decision that touches his or her life either directly or indirectly. My ability, at the moment, is limited to make a piece of shout and that is what I am doing now through pages of the internet. I want my voice to reach those leaders who, if sworn in today to serve the nation and its people, start firing rounds of mortar rockets shortly after takeover. I want my voice to reach those extremists who on one hand carry the Koran and hold bombs on the other to kill the innocent, I want my voice to reach those African leaders who think only of their interests and not showing any concern to human life. Please pass on my message. Thank you.


By Abdi-Noor Mohamed
[email protected]
Writer and Film maker
Sweden


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