Sunday, April 15, 2007

Get out of Somalia!

It is now clear that Meles Zenawi's reckless adventure into Somalia has brought more misery to Somalia. Many Ethiopians, including myself, have repeatedly warned (see here and here) the Meles regime about the dire consequences of interference in Somali internal affairs. Obviously, the regime has failed to heed those warnings and, as a result, it now finds itself in a quagmire of its own making.

I take no pleasure in saying "I told you so", but the Meles regime needs to be told so. Still,
however illegitimate the regime might be in the eyes of many Ethiopians, the regime is the sole custodian of Ethiopia's foreign policy at this time and I would like to see the regime correct its arrogant and foolish ways and do the right thing by withdrawing all Ethiopian military personnel out of Somalia immediately and by stopping its interference in Somali internal affairs! Of course, Ethiopia, being Somalia's most important neighbor should keep an eye on developments in Somalia and try to effect changes there in a way which respects the sovereignty of Somalia.

This latest Meles Zenawi's reckless adventure is superbly analyzed by Dr. Michael Weinstein of the PINR. I recommend that you read
his latest analysis of the situation in Somalia. In case you don't have the time to read the whole article, here is an excerpt:
The conflict in Somalia is seized with a tense stasis, as domestic and external actors are trapped in the consequences of decisions that have brought about the present and unintended configuration of power and interest.

Having engineered the conventional military defeat of the I.C.C., Addis Ababa and Washington now face a militant Islamist insurgency, an overt Hawiye opposition and an I.C.C. political wing backed by Eritrea. The T.F.G. remains weak and unpopular, the Europeans are becoming disenchanted with the T.F.G., Uganda is out on a limb, Kenya is out of action, potential contributors to AMISOM are lying back, and the regional and international players are divided on the definition of reconciliation and the advisability of an Ethiopian withdrawal. There are no honest brokers -- every actor is compromised -- and the domestic players will only pursue reconciliation on their respective terms.

That Addis Ababa and the T.F.G. attempted forced disarmament testifies to the deterioration of their positions. That their effort failed reveals both the deep cleavages in Somalia's political community and a broad support of resistance against foreign occupation.

The stasis that has followed the two waves of armed conflict in Mogadishu is tense and precarious. When the actors in a conflict are frozen into hostile positions, one of them eventually makes a move to break out with unforeseen consequences. Although it is impossible to forecast when the next big move will come and who will make it, it is clear that the twin pillars of the Western powers' policy -- "genuine" reconciliation backed by military protection of the T.F.G. by AMISOM -- are crumbling. Yet without those supports, the Western powers -- now more divided than before -- face a policy void, leaving Somalia to continue to devolve and fragment, and regional actors backed into corners of their own making.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I was waiting for a post of this thrust from you, as we had a debate her on your site about the Ethiopian intervention shortly after it had taken place.

I agree that things in Somalia are not going very pleasantly, but seriously doubt whether immediate and unconditional Ethiopian withdrawal would be helpful in any way. Rather, as in Iraq, it would pave the way for the worst local elements to take over power (again) and erect a regime of terror.

Moreover, the fact that things are not going perfect do not mean that things would stand better for Ethiopia had she never intervened.

Let's not forget that the Islamic Courts championed a very militatnt rhetoric towards Ethiopia and the TG, and that they backed up their words with actions as far as the TG was concerned. Any reason to believe they would not have taken an extremely hostile posture towards Ethiopia (with all the Saudi money to bakc them up) once they had toppled the -- perfectly legitimate! --TG?

Sometimes there are only bad choices.

And really, my patience with anything Somali is over. They constantly kill each other, with only brief interludes in which they are distracted by killing infidels.

I'm sorry for Ethiopia, with all her other problems (and Meles certainly is one of them), that she has to live with such a sicko neighbor.

I'm afraid the only working Somalia policy is to keep them busy killing themselves or squash them whenever necessary, whenever they give the slightest sign of wanting to kill you.

Unpleasant, yes. Terrible to imagine, yes. But wrong?

Michael (Germany)