Grasping the Somali issue
By Kiflu Hussain
Perhaps the best way to understand the present quagmire in Mogadishu, is by reading the titled Somalia; The problem child of Africa authored in 1977 by a venerable geography professor named Mesfin W/Mariam. In that book and numerous others he published afterwards, Mesfin predicted today’s events in the Horn of Africa.
He illustrated how the British desire to incorporate Ogaden in the then British and Italian Somaliland during the colonial era paved the way for Somali irredentism under the banner “Greater Somalia.”
Although, this illusion of Greater Somalia to unify all Somali clans in neighbouring Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti, it had never prompted subsequent Somali regimes to launch an invasion into these countries except Ethiopia.
The underlying cause for this is found in the rivalry between the two super powers during the cold war era; especially United State’s desire to control the safe passage of oil tankers in the Red sea and Gulf of Aden.
The intractable Arab-Israeli conflict too had an impact which to this day has a reverberating effect. Also Egypt’s imaginary insecurity over the Nile prompted was a factor. Thus, African nations are always pawns.
It is also noteworthy that Kenya, that has faced terrorism, did not poke its nose in Somalia. Yet, the Ethiopian regime is allowed to shell Mogadishu indiscriminately. The bottom line is; it is not as easy as Shaban Mugweri simplified in a recent article in which he held Eritrea responsible.
As in the words of Cameron Duodu, the columnist for New African magazine, to back this invasion with a so-called peace keeping force is a betrayal of what the original OAU Charter stood for. Of course, while double standard reign supreme in the New World order, who cares? You just blame it all on a chieftain out of favour.