Wednesday, August 11, 2010



By Abdulaziz Al-Motairi

British Somaliland and Italian Somalia formed a union government on 1st July 1960 without having past experience of such a union government. All they desired was to see all five parts of Somali-speaking communities in the Horn of Africa under one government. They mistakenly believed that similarities in language, religion and color could unite them; they failed to see other communities in the world that share language, color and religion but still remain independent of each other like Arab and many European countries.

This union government of the Somali Republic was hurriedly formed without a strong legal foundation and a negotiated union constitution. Because of these weaknesses, politicians misused power against other tribes and clans and communities that did not belong to them. Every president in Somali Republic misused his power against other tribes using his own kinsmen. Such unjust and unfair treatment led many Somalis to feel dominated and treated badly.

The unfair and unjust leadership of the likes of the Late Military Leader of Somalia Mohamed Siyad Bare created bad-feelings and injuries in the hearts of many tribes against other Somali tribes.

Somalilanders who brought 50% of the union government lost every right and share in the Union. They tried to disintegrate from the Republic of Somalia two years after the union. The first military coup in Somali history took place in 1961 by Somaliland Officers in Hargiesa but did not succeed.

The world should recognize Somaliland in order to avoid further problems in the former Somalia, because the people of Somaliland have shown sign maturity and self-respect, while their counterparts in the South are busy killing themselves.

One of my old articles @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @

UN Trusteeship System: the only solution to Italian Somalia:

The Transitional Government of Somalia (TGS) failed to restore law and order in Southern Somalia and Mogadishu and has paralyzed the country for about two decades. IGAD and Arab League have also failed to install government in Somalia after 14 Peace Conferences in Arab and IGAD territories. It is likely that the UN Trusteeship System that worked in the Italian Somalia for about ten years in 1950´s will again restore order in Mogadishu.

Effective from January 27th 1950, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending that Italian Somalia be placed under an international trusteeship system, and requested the Italian government to be the administrator of the territory until further recommendations to lift the resolution.

The decree worked fine between 1950 to 1960 and established local administration for the Italian Somalia until the union was formed betweeen Italian Somalia and British Somaliland on 1st July 1960. The UN has necessary legitimacy to impose trusteeship system on ungovernable states around the world including Somalia. This will help the civilians to live in peace.

We can say, during trusteeship, Italian Somalia enjoyed the best of its history and the people in Mogadishu today remember it as "Golden era of Italian Somalia". A lot of development and basic social services like education flourished.

Whereas, the General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending that the territory shall be an independent and sovereign state; that its independence shall become effective at the end of the ten years from the date of approval of the Trusteeship Agreement by the General Assembly with Italy as Administrating Authority, aided and advised by an Advisory Council composed of representatives of Colombia, Egypt and the Philippines. Italian Somalia remained under the trusteeship for ten years of prosperity and peace.

However, it is recommended that the UN must act upon its duties to maintain international peace and security more aggressively than it has in the past. The UN should support the government that failed to restore domestic peace and human rights respect in their areas like that of TGS, as well as to promote the political, economic and social advancement of all the peoples in the world.

Currently the UN maintains minimal role in the failed state of Somalia particularly the Italian Somalia compared to IGAD role.

On other hand, Arabs preserve their policy of using oil for money as Arabs especially in the rich Gulf countries distribute money to warlords like the current Abdullah Yousif of TGS and his henchman, who later turned against former Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Geddi. Such Arabian policy in Somalia will not stabilize Italian Somalia, instead it will build muscles of new warlords in Somalia politics.

One of the analysts, U.S. Ambassador Edward Marks suggests the need for the international community to search for a structure of governance that would assist and strengthen a country experiencing internal and civil turmoil, guide it through an unstable transition period, and allow it finally to reach a mature condition of governance in the world community. He is aware that some authorities do not consider the past League of Nations' mandate system and the United Nations international trusteeship system as successes or the type of structures needed in today´s environment.

Ambassador Marks described in his article how the international community, as an alternative to the trusteeship system, has attempted peacekeeping missions where the United Nations interfered in the internal affairs of member states such as in Cambodia, Somalia, Haiti, the successor state of the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Georgia, and Iraq, all with varying success.

In his conclusion, Ambassador Marks asserts that the world community must assume responsibility in international and internal conflicts, and that the United Nations is the most effective institution to accept this responsibility because of its consensual base. He suggests that the principle of a trusteeship system should be revisited with variations, even perhaps to supplement peacekeeping activities. The UN should enforce again the UN Trusteeship System in Italian Somalia (South Somalia), as the system worked successfully in the 1950´s. The system will create local authority for Italian Somalis who have suffered for two decades from civil wars.

In an address to the UN Security Council on 17th Dec 2007, UN Special Representative for Somalia A. Ould-Abdullah called for Saudi Arabia and NATO joint forces for Somalia, and described the situation in Somalia as dangerous and a threat to the peace and security. Ould-Abdallah, reaffirmed that a withdrawal of the International forces would result in a fighting that could create a humanitarian catastrophe. Mr. Ould-Abdullah was thinking that Saudi Arabia as the Custodian of Holy Mosques would win trust of Somalis, but reality shows the opposite. In Somali politics, the religion is no longer an important factor.

Ould-Abdullah is missing the point that Saudi Arabia, which is part of the conflict in Somalia failed several times to reinstate the stability in Somalia, and main reason is that Saudi Arabia has sponsored many warlords that have served its interest in Somalia. To date Saudi Arabia has supplied $32 million to Abdullah Yousuf and Geddi in cash.

My question, Can Saudi Arabia guarantee that the cash will not be used against innocent people in Mogadishu? The situation in south Somalia is deteriorating and UN should enforce UN Trusteeship in Somalia, as it´s the only way out from clan based conflict.

On 9th Oct 1992, UN Secretary General Boutros-Ghali (1992-1996) proposed UN Forces in Somalia to transfer the administration of the country to UN Trusteeship Council and appoint administrator, in order to build the local administration. This proposal did not win the support of the UN Security Council that failed to stabilize the vicious Somalia.

Many analysts think the situation in Somalia could have been different today, if the UN Security Council had accept the suggestion of Mr. Ghali.

Republic of Somaliland: The Modern State in the Horn of Africa

On the other hand, the 18 year old independent, democratic and stable Republic of Somaliland remains neglected as international community preferrs to remain uncommitted even as peace loving people of Somaliland have established complete infrastructure of their state. And, even, IGAD countries that enjoy strong diplomatic and economic relations like Ethiopia and Djibouti remained silent to the cause of Somaliland.
On the other hand, Somaliland leadership has made clear to international community that Somaliland will remain independent with or without international support. Somaliland has peaceful border with all its neighbors unlike Somalia.
Somaliland has many times in the past requested African Union membership in 2005, after a fact-finding team led by His Excellency Patrick Mazimhaka, Deputy Chairman of African Union suggested to the African leaders to consider Somaliland case differently, and even highlighted to the leaders that recognizing Somaliland would solve the chronic problems of Somalia.

The Africans should help the active and hardworking members of their community in the black continent like Somaliland that have security and democracy better than many AU members. Somaliland has the tools to build their nation including a modern government, defined border and populations, which are necessary conditions for modern state.
Somaliland has managed stability and continuous growth through its democratic policy, but its foreign policy has been paralyzed by diplomatic embargo, where the international community still chooses to remain blind and even refuses to hear the Somaliland voice of freedom.

In 2007, Somaliland diplomacy started shinning after Rwanda Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Charles MURIGANDE highlighted Somaliland development followed by a lecture delivered by Somaliland Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Mohammed Duaale in the last AU Foreign Minister´s meeting. Besides, the recent statements of U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in support to Somaliland during his visit to U.S. Forces in Djibouti needs to be taken seriously.

Clearly, we can say Somaliland is a victim of other regional politics. The I.G.A.D. is committed to Somalia's unity fearing that a successful secession of Somaliland could be misinterpreted as a precedent for other movements in East Africa. Arab countries are trying to balance Ethiopia's influence in the Horn, to ensure their interest in the region like Egypt with Nile Water Policy and Gulf Arab countries securing the path of oil exports to the West that crosses the Somali-Yemen coastal areas.
UN should consider imposing trusteeship resolutions to save Somalia and support the independence of Somaliland in order to reduce the size of the problem in failed Somalia. This shows that keeping Somaliland away from current chaos in Somalia may accelerate restoring hope in the region. UN should know Somaliland can be helpful in restoring peace and stability in horn of Africa. UN Trusteeship System is a must for Italian Somalia today, as Italian Somalia has failed to solve their internal problems.

Abdulazez Al-Motairi

Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi, MA in Journalism and Mass Communication, Columnist, Freelance Journalist and Weekly article writer about Middle East and African politics and human rights. He is member of International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).