By Venatrix Fulmen - 08. December 2010
Ethiopia Not Enthusiastic About Kenya’s Jubaland Initiative in Somalia
– Nairobi – In a cable sent by and from the U.S.American embassy (YATES) in Addis Ababa concerning U.S. UNDER SECRETARY OTERO’S MEETING WITH ETHIOPIAN PRIME MINISTER MELES ZENAWI on JANUARY 31, 2010, it was reported that in the presence of U.S. Under Secretary Otero, Assistant Secretary Carson, NSC Senior Director for African Affairs Michelle Gavin, PolOff Skye Justice (notetaker) and Special Assistant Gebretensae Gebremichael the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi stated as follows:
"Meles said he had been briefed extensively regarding Kenya’s Jubaland initiative. Because Ethiopia had previously intervened in Somalia without seeking Kenyan approval, he said, the GoE would not presume to analyze the Kenyans’ chances for success in their own intervention. The GoE is sharing intelligence with Kenya, but Meles expressed a lack of confidence in Kenya’s capacity to pull off a tactical success, which he feared could have negative regional impacts. The GoE is therefore working to minimize the likelihood of a spillover effect in Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State. Noting that Ethiopia might have underestimated Kenya, Meles said, “We are not enthusiastic, but we are hoping for success." – so far the cable.
Not known to the Abyssinian dictator was at the time that the Anglo-American cousins already had made up their minds together:
On Kenya’s Jubaland initiative, UK Foreign Office Somalia Unit head Gill Atkinson reportedly and as per WikiLeaked U.S. embassy cable from January 2010 stated that the Foreign Office remains pessimistic and would like to consider a joint U.S.-UK demarche to the Kenyans. It was also revealed that authorization for creation of a "shadow embassy" for Somalia based in Nairobi was expected..
Atkinson said that the Foreign Office can see the potential attraction for the Kenyans to pursue their Jubaland initiative, but that the UK does not think it will be successful. The UK is interested to know if the USG sees merit in jointly demarching the Kenyans about not pursuing it. If the Kenyans insist, Atkinson suggested that a proposal be made to the Kenyans for a long-term reconciliation process that would result in military/para-military activities only if needed and in the context of reconciliation talks. Atkinson said that Baroness Kinnock, during her on-going visit to Kenya, plans to speak with both TFG President Sheikh Sharif and the Kenyans about the Jubaland initiative, mainly to assess where they have gotten to in their thinking before taking a decision on the UK position about it. Additionally, the British Embassy in Ethiopia is making similar inquires with the Ethiopia authorities.
SECURITY ON THE GROUND
Security in Gedo region was stable during the six months from January to June 2010, according to UN Civil Insecurity Monitoring and UNHCR Population Tracking, though the magnitude was limited, the intensity of conflict was low and the insecurity trend was normal. Commodity and population movement was not restricted.
But then on August 27, 2010 Ethiopian troops crossed the southern border and entered Somalia. “Around 1,000 soldiers are heading in the direction of Beledehawa and Elwak,” a source in Dolo told Addis Neger online. Beledhawa and Elwak are towns along the Kenya-Somalia border. They were accompanied by forces from Somalia’s transitional government, according to CNN, who exchanged fire with Al-Shabaab militants under whose administration these areas had come.
According to the source, nearly 6,000 GoE soldiers are also deployed on the border town of Dolo. Dolo is a town that border Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. The troops had reportedly been stationed in Dolo already for three weeks before this invasion.
Addis Neger analyst said at the time that the objective of the move was to divert the focus of the Islamic militant group, Al-Shabab, from Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, where a fledging transitional federal government and its African Union protection forces had come under heavy military pressure from the Islamist insurgents.
Ex-Somalia warlords from Juba and Bakol regions had been holding a meeting in Addis Ababa the week before with General Gebre Adhana, a former Commander in Chief of Ethiopian troops that were based in Somalia. The warlords held another meeting with junior Ethiopian Army commanders in Dolo towns, a source disclosed.
In addition it was reported on 29. August 2010, that a large number of Ethiopian troops in military vehicles on Sunday reached Somali villages after crossing its borders with Hiran region in Central Somalia. The Ethiopians, according to residents in the Beledweyne town, 335 kilometres north of Mogadishu, seem more serious than before to tackle the authority of Al-Shabaab, the radical Islamist group opposing the Transitional Federal Government, in Hiran region.
Thereafter, three foreign envoys who narrowly escaped a suicide attack in Somaliasaid then on September 14, 2010 that a rift at the top of its Western-backed government is threatening to derail efforts to fend off an Islamic insurgency.
"The current divisions between the leadership of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) are unhelpful and potentially very damaging," said a statement received by AFP.
The joint statement was signed by the UN chief’s special representative for Somalia Augustine Mahiga, his counterpart from the African Union Boubacar Diarra and Kipruto arap Kirwa from the regional body IGAD.
The three officials met President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed the week before in Mogadishu and were at the airport when suicide bombers from the Al Qaeda-inspired Shebab group attacked the compound.
Thousands of civilians had meanwhile fled across the Kenyan-Somali border after the incursion by the Ethiopians together with troops said to have come from the recently EU-sponsored and conducted training in Uganda to support the TFG, while Kenyan troops had been deployed en masse to that boundary. These Kenyan military unit then were restricting the flow of refugees and pushed most of them back across the border into Somalia, though after Al-Shabab had called up tp 3,000 fighters into that zone and gained quickly again the upper hand.
Gedo region remains until today under Al-Shabab control.
Once the Juba river was the boundary where the British and Italian colonial forces stood against each other and for their imperialist territories of the "British East African Protectorate" and the "Africa Orientale Italiana" (A.O.I.) respectively.
Kenyans, who stepped into the boots of the British still might dream about Jubaland, which could seriously backfire, because the popular referendum of 1961 concerning the 126,902 sqkm so-called NFD (Northern Forntier District) , the blurred findings of a commission, which according to the Hansard records found "the districts divided" and the blank refusal of the Lancaster conference in 1962 as well as subsequent demands made at
During World War I, Britain secretly reached an agreement with Italy to transfer 94,050 square kilometers of its Somali-inhabited Jubaland protectorate (in present-day south-western Somalia) to Italian Somaliland. This was Italy’s reward for allying itself with Britain in its war against Germany. The treaty was honoured and in 1924, Britain ceded Jubaland. In 1926, Jubaland was incorporated into Italian Somaliland, and was later re-dubbed Oltre Giuba by the Italians. After its conquest of Ethiopia in 1936, Italy also annexed the Ogaden region.
In early World War II, Italian troops invaded British Somaliland and ejected the British. However, Britain retained control of British East Africa, which included the almost exclusively Somali-inhabited Northern Frontier District that is currently administered by Kenya.
Britain regained control of British Somaliland in spring 1941, and conquered Italian Somaliland and the Ogaden. In 1945, the Potsdam conference was held, where it was decided not to return Italian Somaliland to Italy. But the UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations and opted instead in 1949 to grant Italy trusteeship of Italian Somaliland for a period of ten years, after which time the region would be independent.
Meanwhile, in 1948, under pressure from their World War II allies and to the dismay of Somalis, the British "returned" the Hawd (an important Somali grazing area that was presumably ‘protected’ by British treaties with the Somalis in 1884 and 1886) and the Ogaden to Ethiopia, based on a treaty they signed in 1897 in which the British ceded Somali territory to the Ethiopian Emperor Menelik in exchange for his help against plundering by Somali clans. Britain included the proviso that the Somali nomads would retain their autonomy, but Ethiopia immediately claimed sovereignty over them. This prompted an unsuccessful bid by Britain in 1956 to buy back the Somali lands it had turned over.
Britain also granted administration of the almost exclusively Somali-inhabitedNorthern Frontier District (NFD) to Kenyan nationalists despite a plebiscitedemonstrating the overwhelming desire of the region’s population to join the newly formed Somali Republic. This referendum carried out in the NFD is today more and more belittled as an "informal plebiscite" but it was carried out by an official Commission of Her Majesty’s government and carried out in all the six administrative units of the Northern Frontier District, whereby only two wanted to remain with Kenya.
In December 1962 a Boundaries commission recommended that the district be divided into two regions, both to be included in the new Kenyan state. This recommendation, which was accepted by the British Government produced riots and a rupture of diplomatic relations with Somalia. Kenya was able to get other African states led by Ethiopia on its side and Kenyan delegation walked out of an Afro-Asian conference at Moshi in Tanganyika in February 1963 when Somalis raised the border issue. At a Further conference in Addis Ababa in May a number of Africans led by Ethiopia chided the Somalis for again raising the Question.
Led by the Northern Province People’s Progressive Party (NPPPP), Somalis in the NFD vigorously sought union with the Somali Republic to the north. In response, the Kenyan government enacted a number of repressive measures designed to frustrate their efforts:
Somali leaders were routinely placed in preventive detention, where they remained well into the late 1970s. The North Eastern Province was closed to general access (along with other parts of Kenya) as a "scheduled" area (ostensibly closed to all outsiders, including members of parliament, as a means of protecting the nomadic inhabitants), and news from it was very difficult to obtain. A number of reports, however, accused the Kenyans of mass slaughters of entire villages of Somali citizens and of setting up large "protected villages" — in effect concentration camps. The government refused to acknowledge the ethnically based irredentist motives of the Somalis, making constant reference in official statements to the shifta (bandit) problem in the area.
Nobody can therefore say that the colonial powers were not the root-causes of the persistent conflicts in the region and being unsolved means today that the Jubaland and NFD games seems far from being over.
Kenya came to independence in 1963 with a federal “majimbo” constitution. Benyamin Neuberger claims that the federalism was not adopted to solve ethnic problems, but as “the only way to get independence…and to prevent the secession of …the Northern Frontier District (N.F.D.) of Kenya.” Empowerment of the seven regional governments established by the constitution was delayed by the KANU government. Within a year the main opposition party and supporter of the “majimbo” constitution, KADU, was essentially absorbed into KANU. In a sense, the federal system may have contributed to a transition in which leaders of small ethnic groups were able to become a part of a patron-client system which worked to solve evolving ethnic problems.
From a Kenyan perspective certain communities, particularly those residing in the semi-arid and arid areas of the country, were excluded through what were referred to as the Northern Frontier Districts. The exclusion and discriminatory practices were made official during the colonial regime through, among others, the Outlying Districts Ordinance, the Special Districts (Administration) Ordinance 1934 and the Stock Theft and Produce Ordinance 1933, which were retained by post-colonial authorities. These laws caused economic hardship and increased insecurity, exacerbated by government forces with executions and massacres in those regions. Section 19 of the Kenya Independence Order in Council (Kenya subsidiary legislation, 1963) provided that the Governor General ‘may, by regulations which shall be published in the Kenya Gazette, make such provision or in relation to the North Eastern Region and without prejudice to the generality of that power, he may by such regulation make such temporary adaptations, modifications or qualifications or exceptions to the Provisions of the Constitution or of any other law as appear to him to be necessary’. Through such orders, any form of insecurity in that region was met with declarations of states of emergency that resulted in mass killings and displacement of indigenous peoples."
This situation was only marginally changed through the 1997 Inter-Parliamentary Parties Group (IPPG) Reforms, aimed at creating a level playing field for the general elections of that year.
Ethiopia and Kenya concluded already in 1964 a mutual defence pact in response to what both countries perceived as a continuing threat from Somalia. This pact was renewed in 1980 and again on August 28, 1987, calling for the coordination of the armed forces of both states in the event of an attack by Somalia.
The United Nations resolution of 1960 says: "The subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the Charter of United Nations and is an impediment to the promotion of world peace and co-operation". It says later: "Any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations."
The noble Earl, Lord Lytton quoted in this debate at the House of Lords from "The Gathering Storm": "If ever there was an opportunity of striking a decisive blow for a generous cause with the minimum risk it was here now. The fact that the nerve of the British Government was not equal to the occasion…actually played a part in leading to an infinitely more terrible war." And on 02 December 1965 he stated clearly: "In the case of the Somali nation, it was dismembered and divided into five different pieces. The dismembering was carried out mainly on British initiative and with British arms, including five substantial campaigns."
Decades earlier the then President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, in a speech to Congress in 1928, gave as the second of four principles: "That peoples and provinces are not to be bartered about from sovereignty to sovereignty as pawns in a game, even the great game, now forever discredited, of the balance of power." In the Atlantic Charter of 1941, which was made between Sir Winston Churchill and the President of the United States, it was said: "They" — that is, Great Britain and the United States of America— "respect the rights of all peoples to choose the form of Government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them." Not much left today of those noble standings.
CHINESE WEAPONS FOR JUBALAND INITIATIVE
In another S E C R E T classified U.S. embassy cable ambassador Ranneberger stated on Wednesday, 17 February 2010:
"China may be a potential partner in the development of the new mega-port at Lamu. In addition, China is heavily involved in various infrastructure projects across Kenya primarily with roads. China is also providing weapons to the GOK in support of its Somalia policies and increasing their involvement with the Kenyan National Security and Intelligence Service (NSIS) by providing telecommunications and computer equipment.
In January 2010, the GOK received from the GOC via CATIC weapons, ammunition, supplies, and textiles for making uniforms in support of the GOK’s Jubaland initiative.
In addition, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) noticed a marked increase in poaching wherever Chinese labor camps were located and in fact set up specific interdiction efforts aimed to reduce poaching. KWS also reports that 90% of the ivory smugglers detained at JKIA are Chinese nationals … the GOC has not demonstrated any commitment to curb ivory poaching."
Another memo, from the US consulate in Lagos, Nigeria, on 23 February this year , was even more blunt in its assessment of the potential rival superpower. Apparently based on a conversation with Johnnie Carson, the US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, it said: "China is a very aggressive and pernicious economic competitor with no morals. China is not in Africa for altruistic reasons. China is in Africa for China primarily."
It warned of "trip wires" and asked: "Is China developing a blue water navy? Have they signed military base agreements? Are they training armies? Have they developed intelligence operations? "Once these areas start developing then the United States will start worrying. "
Well, the January 2010 cable leak already stated that the Americans know very well that the Kenyan National Security Service (NSIS) apparatus has received all the Orwellian wire-tapping and communication interception technologies they dreamed of since the Israelis installed the first surveillance technologies for the Moi government.
To balance all this influence the Somalis would need strong friends, but unfortunately even the present head of Kenya’s Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission, exAmbassador Bthuel Kiplagat, is said to have himself been involved in the Wagalla Massacre in the NFD and offers little hope for the Somalis.
THE SUDAN LINK
So called Somali pirates, who actually did the work of those nations tasked to enforce the resolutions of the UN Security Council concerning weapons-embargoes, intercepted an illicit shipment from the Ukraine and destined for Southern Sudan on 25. September 2008. 33 Russian-made T-72 battle-tanks, 812 tonnes of ammunition, 150 grenade launchers and 6 antiaircraft guns were transported on the roll-on-roll-off ship and destined for the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), as the manifest clearly showed.
Negotiations to free the vessel and its potentially deadly cargo were not only led by the clandestine Israeli businessman Vladim Alperin, the owner of the vessel, and his team together with the secret services of the Ukraine, Kenya, the U.S. of America as well as South Sudan and their numerous Somali connections, but also emissaries from Khartoum, who went directly into Somalia and stayed for weeks in Galkayo.
Khartoum only gave up when that team realized that even if they could snatch that loot from their southern brothers, the close US surveillance protecting the tanks from being offloaded into the hands of the al-Shabaab would make it impossible to physically get hold of them.
Until today sources maintain that this and the previous four weapon-shipments destined for Southern Sudan were actually paid for by certain circles in the upper echelons of the U.S. government, which operate so hidden, that even U.S. ambassadors believe their services to keep the issue out of the radar would not serve a different cause than to just protect friendly nations from embarrassments and didn’t realize that they were even misused to play that game in certain diplomatic moves trying to streamline all the countries involved.
Nobody seems to care about the previous weapon-shipments for Southern Sudan in circumvention of of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and potential violation of the arms embargo on Dafur – delivered by MV RADOMYSHL on 29. October 2007, MV BELUGA ENDURANCE on 08. January 2008, MV MAREKI on 11. February 2008, and by MV WHITE RHINO on 12. February 2008. While the shipments in February 2008 only stirred up some interest because it came right after the Kenyan post-election violence with 1,500 people killed, it was only the load on MV FAINA, which made it finally to the world headlines – thanks to the Somali interceptors. The official report by the Kenyan Parliament select committee concerning these Ukrainian weapons-shipments into Sudan via Kenya is still kept secret.
“We also recognize that some members of your government informed some members of the USG that this deal was being prepared,” a cable, which was sent by Secretary Clinton, stated. But that did not appear to mollify the Kenyans, writes Jeffry Gettleman in the NYT, who quoted: A cable on 16. December 2009 recounted that the head of Kenya’s general staff told American officials that he was “very confused” by the United States position “since the past transfers had been undertaken in consultation with the United States.”
"In consultation" is what the U.S. ambassadors had then to learn, "with the blessing of the U.S. government" is what Hillary Clinton revealed, while the real trail of the money and all the dealers involved still needs further exposure. Of the consignment of at least 90 battle tanks only 32 remained for a while in Kenya to let grass grow over the scandal, while satellite images showed already the arrival of the Ukrainian weapon-shipment in Sudan.
That close links exist between North- as well as South-Sudan with the SheikSharif-led TFG in Mogadishu as well as the Al-Shabaab, who are now governing now three quarters of the country, is known since long. But the intricate games in which this is played especially with the involvement of the United States is murky – to say the least.
THE UGANDA CONNECTION
Human rights violations and even war-crimes follow regularly in the track of U.S.-American interventions. So it does not astonish when the US told Uganda to let it just know when their army was going to commit war crimes using American intelligence – but did not even try to dissuade Uganda from doing so, the WikiLeaked US embassy cables suggest.
The U.S. of America was and is supporting the Ugandan government in its fight against rebel movement the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), providing information and $4.4m (£2.8m) worth of military hardware a year.
Though a year ago officials became concerned that the Ugandans were guilty of war crimes in the long-running battle against Joseph Kony’s rebel movement, nowhere it does it appear that Jerry Lanier, the US ambassador to Kampala, directly told the Ugandans to observe the rules of war. Likewise the U.S. government also did nothing when the U.S. embassy just reported that a captured colonel, Peter Oloya, held in prison in Gulu, had been shot on the orders of Colonel Charles Otema, the head of military intelligence in northern Uganda who was virtually running the war. Otema is reported to have been in daily contact with Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni. That makes the U.S.A. an accomplice in war-crimes.
Time or better further leaked cables will tell to what extent the government of the U.S. of America is aware and actually financeing the clandestine establishment of mercenary armies in the Puntland and Galmudug federal states of Somalia. In Puntland the connection through the company Saracen with links to the brother of Ugandan president Museveni is obvious already and the US’s double proxy Uganda cashes in on that private partnership like it does on the deployment of Ugandan troops to the African Union protection force AMISOM – officially guarding the TFG in Mogadishu but inofficially being entangled in the war against Al-Shabaab.
Just during the last few days 6 Ugandan soldiers have now been arrested for deliberately shooting innocent civilians in Mogadishu – a clear war-crime if proven.
A much more heinous war-crime is in the making in Somalia and has similarities to the death of now far over one thousand civilians due to the Cholera outbreak in Haiti, which was triggered by a rare Cholera-strain brought into the country by UN troops seconded from Nepal.
In Somalia the issue is the extremely high HIV infection rate of Ugandan and Burundi troopers, who – provided for by Somali pimps – seem to have ample supply of Somali girls engaging in prostitution with the troopers out of their dire needs for survival.
Despite the demands by human rights organizations to have strict health – incl. HIV – testing made compulsory for any dispatched troops, be it in the context of UN, AU, US or EU lead so-called peace-keeping interventions, nothing has changed. To the opposite – in Somalia it actually seems the case that mainly HIV-infected troops are sent by Uganda and Burundi.
The perfidy in the present wars of the new scramble for Africa becomes even more obvious if one takes into consideration that the World Food Programme (WFP), the worlds largest food distribution chain, which operating under the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) – has e.g. in the case of Somalia since 1994 persistently refused to allow independent testing of their food-stocks before they are brought into the country – neither for the content in that "food-aid" deriving from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) nor for other contaminations like heavy metals or biological agents.
Given the situation, whereby the WFP had forced countries like Zimbabwe against their will to accept horror-food in form of U.S.-American GMO-maize, the extent of the GMO contamination can only be estimated.
Such clandestine operations and the money which can be made along such in-transparent food-chains are seen as the mayor root-causes for the vulnerability of the WFP for persistently corrupt malpractices. These are especially in Somalia now only under investigations since suddenly links between the listed terrorist organizations and the contractors, which are said to have syphoned off not only around 50% of the food but also transport money amounting to tens of millions of dollars, were reported.
Whatever proxy-warriors the U.S.-American money wants to buy, engage and unleash against the Somalis – be it governments like Abyssinia (today’s fake Ethiopia) or Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Yemen or Djibouti, or the multinational forces under UN or under the African Union(AU) or in form of Somali "governmental" mercenaries trained by the European Union and the U.S. or outright mercenary outfits like Xe (Blackwater), DynCorp, Bancroft, KBR, Saracen, Phoenix, Espada, Aspid or others – they only will add insult to injury.
Though the Chinese involvement and the support of another assault against the South of Somalia by Kenya certainly will ruin the chances for China to be involved in the Lamu port project, it shows that not only the Americans and Europeans are seriously engaged in another scramble for Africa.
Justice must be done to Somalia on a much wider and lager scale than ever tried before and on land as well as on the 6th estate which is formed by the vast ocean areas of Somalia, if the Horn of Africa region shall come to a peaceful and prosperous stability.
Salus Populi Est Suprema Lex ! … and the global players must first of all leave the Somalis in peace.
(*) The author can be reached via: Venatrix_Fulmen[AT]tutanota[DOT]com
Other reports by ECOTERRA on Somalia and the Horn of Africa you could earlier find on now defunct www.australia.to
This work by ECOTERRA International was first published on now hi-jacked groundreport.com and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International