CE QUI S’EST PASSE EN 1999, tel que l’on a pu le lire dans la presse internationale...
En mars 1999, on apprenait qu’une
épidémie de choléra avait touché la Somalie,
surtout aux alentours de la ville de Baidoa. Cette épidémie
aurait tué au moins 200 personnes. Des milliers de personnes avaient
fui les villages autour de Baidoa pour échapper aux combats entre
Les groupes de milices rivales ont accepté un cessez-le-feu informel dans la capitale Mogadiscio. Au moins 12 personnes avaient trouvé la mort dans des heurts qui se sont produits entre un groupe mené par Musa Sudi Yalahow et des hommes formés par des hommes d’affaires locaux. Les combats ont débuté quand Musa Sudi Yalahow a tenté d’imposé des impôts aux hommes d’affaires.
Des combats violents entraînant la mort de plusieurs personnes se sont produits entre factions rivales dans le sud de la ville de Baidoa. Un porte parole d’une des factions, la « Rahanwein Resistance Army » a déclaré que son groupe s’étaient battu contre des membres de la milice menés par Hussein Mohamed Aidid.
Ces deux factions se combattent mutuellement depuis 1995 dans le sud de la Somalie habité par les clans « Rahanwein »et ceci depuis que le père d’Aidid, le général Mohamed Farah Aidid, s’est emparé de Baidoa.
En Avril 1999, on apprenait que les
leaders des deux principales factions en Somalie avaient joints leurs forces
pour protester officiellement devant les Nations Unies contre des incursions
éthiopiennes à la frontière du pays.
Les deux leaders Somali sont Ali Mahdi et Hussein Aideed.
En Juin 1999, des combats violents
se déroulaient dans la ville de Baidoa entre forces appartenant
à des seigneurs de la guerre rivaux.
Les forces appartenant à la faction du leader Hussein Aideed, du sud de Mogadiscio, sont face à l’armée de résistance Rahanwein. On a dénombré 20 blessés à Mogadiscio. Des combats violents se déroulent autour de la ville de Baidoa afin d’en prendre le contrôle. Pendant ce temps, dans la région sud ouest de Gedo, le Front national Somali (SNF) a accusé les forces éthiopiennes de mauvais traitements sur les civils dans la ville de Luq. Les éthiopiens seraient tout proche des villes de Golwayn et Yurkud.
Le port de Kismaayo aurait « changé de mains » après une bataille terrible, selon des rapports provenant de la Somalie. La prise de ce port constituerait un atout politique majeur pour les alliés de Hussein Aideed (le SNF), qui ont perdu le contrôle de la ville de Baidoa. Kismaayo (3ème plus grande ville du pays) a été capturé par des miliciens du Front National Somali, alliés de Hussein Aideed. On pense que le SNF ainsi que Aideed bénéficient de l’aide de l’Erythrée. La ville de Kismaayo a été contrôle pendant 6 ans par la faction du leader Muhammad Said Hirsi, connu sous le nom du général Morgan.
Il faut rappeler que le pays n’est plus gouverné (pas de gouvernement central) depuis la fuite de l’ancien dictateur, Siad Barre en 1991. C’est l’anarchie qui règne en Somalie depuis 9 ans. Pendant les pires années de guerre civile, entre 1991 et 1994, Mogadiscio a dégénéré en une masse de clans en compétition permanente. Cette ville est dans un état de déliquescence avancée.
Après l’implosion du gouvernement, les seigneurs de la guerre ont été garant de la seule sécurité possible, mais ils ont aussi récolté des impôts et les combats entre clans ne créent pas un climat favorable pour les affaires.
En Juillet 99, les agences d’aide
internationale lançaient un appel pour une aide d’urgence en faveur
de la Somalie : urgence due à la guerre et à la sécheresse.
80% des récoltes de sorgho serait menacé ! Les routes commerciales
ont été coupé lors des affrontements entre seigneurs
de la guerre.
On se rappelle que les USA étaient intervenu en 1992 pour essayer de stopper la guerre ; on se rappelle quels ont été les résultats de cette intervention ! !
On pourrait bien évidemment parler de l’état sanitaire désastreux, du manque de médicaments, de l’état des hôpitaux….L’Hôpital de Baidoa était tenu par MSF jusqu’en 1997, date à laquelle cet organisme a été expulsé de la ville (un médecin de MSF a été tué).
Hospital crisis in Somalia
The case of three-year-old Aden Idow, who was injured when gunmen fired a bazooka rocket on the bus he was in, highlights the devastation of the war in Somalia.
EVEN in squalid Somalia, the suffering
of three-year-old Aden Idow in a desolate hospital in this violence-ravaged
town is heartrending.
Idow sustained abdominal injuries when gunmen fired a bazooka rocket on a bus in which people fleeing factional fighting in Baidoa were travelling.
He survived the attack in which his mother and several other people were killed. But a piece of shrapnel severed his urethra. To keep Idow alive, Abbas Hassan, the only doctor in the forlorn hospital, has made an incision through his bladder and inserted a catheter so that urine can flow out.
"The only thing we can do is keep him alive," says a visibly frustrated Doctor Hassan. "There is no equipment, no medicine, no water, no food for the patients. What can we do?"
He told visiting journalists on Monday that Idow, who lies in bed supported by his aunt Mariam Hassan, needed a major operation to reattach his urethra to the bladder and save his life. But Baidoa hospital in its current state is struggling to provide even the rudiments of medical care. The hospital was previously run by the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF or Doctors without Borders), but the organisation pulled out of Baidoa after gunmen stormed the facility on June 20, 1997, and killed MSF doctor Ricardo Marcos.
Hassan and his nurses have put up a memorial for Marcos in the form of a cross supported by a heap of stones in the hospital compound.
Baidoa, the main town in the Bay region of south-central Somalia, was under occupation by forces of south Mogadishu warlord Hussein Mohamed Aidid from September 1995 until June 6 this year when they were defeated and driven out by fighters of the local Rahanwein clans, known as the Rahanwein Resistance Army (RRA).
Many members of the Rahanwein clans who fled to surrounding villages due to alleged atrocities committed against them by Aidid's forces, most of them members of his Habr Gedir group, have trickled back to the town.
"We are hoping that that staff will come back (to the hospital) and that the international community will help," Hassan said. Residents accuse Aidid's forces of torching villages, destroying water wells, raping women and looting during the four-year occupation. Their problems have been compounded by food shortages caused by a prolonged drought throughout southern Somalia.
Aid agencies on Tuesday issued a donor alert for 17 million dollars to alleviate the suffering of an estimated one million people in the Bay, Bakol and Gedo regions. "The general analysis points to continuing population movement and a deterioration in the food security and health," said the appeal by the Somalia Aid Coordination Body, which comprises donors, UN agencies and non-governmental organisations.
"The dangerous combination of war, drought and an economy in shambles means that food aid is only one component of an overall humanitarian response," it added.
A senior associate of Somali warlord
Hussein Aidid was killed Friday when at least five gunmen opened
fire on his vehicle as he left his south Mogadishu home, witnesses said.
The gunmen shot and killed Hirsi Mohamed Barkhadleh, known as
Hirsi Aweyeh, dragged his body from the car and sped off in the
vehicle, the witnesses said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Hirsi Aweyeh, who lived in a south Mogadishu neighborhood
controlled by Aidid, was alone in the vehicle.
Witnesses said the assailants took the car into north Mogadishu,
which is controlled by faction leader Ali Mahdi Mohamed, Aidid's
Aidid and Ali Mahdi last year joined forces to set up a joint
municipal administration in the stateless capital.
The reason for the attack was not known.
Hirsi Aweyeh had been a close associate of Aidid's father, the
late Gen. Mohamed Farah Aidid, who had collaborated with Ali Mahdi
in the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.
The senior Aidid and Ali Mahdi then began fighting for control,
leaving Somalia without a central government and carved into
Meanwhile, fighting around the port of Kismayo, 280 miles
southwest of Mogadishu, intensified Friday, according to a
spokesman for faction leader Gen. Mohamed Saeed Hirsi, known as
In June, Morgan's forces lost control of Kismayo, the key port
in southern Somalia's fertile Juba River valley where most of the
country's grain is produced, to rivals forces of the Somali
National Front, which has been allied with Aidid.
The spokesman, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said
Morgan's forces had inflicted heavy losses in two days of fighting
Somebody needs Somalia as it is. No border controls, no government and no taxes! After eight years with no central government, and four years after the UN abandoned it, Somalia is today a hanging danger in the horn of Africa, forgotten by the world community and hardly reported by the Western media.
Now both Somali and regional leaders are getting worried that the country is being taken advantage of by rogue international merchants and even terrorists.
On 4 May this year, a ship docked at the Somali port of Merka with heavy weapons and 700 troops. The arms were reported to have come from Eritrea (which is fighting Ethiopia) and were meant for one of Somalia's faction leaders, Hussein Aideed. Ethiopia and Eritrea are reported to be stepping up support for opposing factions in Somalia. The Ethiopian government is said to be supporting anti-Aideed factions while Eritrea is in cahoots with Aideed.
A few weeks earlier, a plane from Somalia had landed at Nairobi's Wilson airport. Inside was a cache of weapons. Kenya is understandably becoming worried about the goings-on in Somalia. Having lost more than 250 civilians in the Nairobi bombings last August (blamed on Osama bin Laden, now the world's most sought after terrorist), Kenya's foreign minister, Bonaya Godana, says Nairobi has "made it clear to our partners in the US that Somalia, in its present state of statelessness, is bound to be a haven for all kinds of undesirable elements like terrorists trying to acquire training grounds, and using its porous borders as points of infiltration into neighbouring countries".
At a recent meeting in Nairobi with Western diplomats to discuss the region's problems, Godana said it was clear that the international community had lost interest in Somalia. When he asked why the disinterest, one of the leading ambassadors said: "Well, there's really fatigue about Somalia".
Heavy casualties are reported in
fighting between rival clans in southern Somalia.
One village, Hosingo,in the Lower Jubba region, is said to have been completely destroyed, apart from the mosque.
Nearly fifty people are reported to have died in the territorial clashes over the past two weeks between the Ogaden and Sheikhal clans.
Reports from southern Somalia say the town of Garbaharrey has once again changed hands in heavy fighting between two rival factions of the Somali National Front.
The reports say more than twenty people may have been killed in fighting in which the Ethiopian-backed group led by Ahmed Sheikh Buraleh was forced to retreat.
Ethiopia stepped up military activity in the area last year, when the rival SNF faction began training hundreds of Ethiopians of the Oromo ethnic group in Somalia to attack Ethiopian government forces. Meanwhile, at least eight militiamen died in further fighting in the town of Qoryoley in the Lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia.
African regional leaders endorsed
proposal for war-torn Somalia today that was aimed at undermining
the power of the warlords.
During a one-day summit in neighboring Djibouti, the leaders of
Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti embraced the plan put forth
earlier this year by Djibouti President Ismael Omar Guelleh.
Peace in Somalia has been an improbable prospect until now. The
country has been divided into warring fiefdoms since political
rivals ousted President Mohammed Siad Barre in 1991. In the
intervening years a dozen peace initiatives have come to naught,
scuttled by one warlord or another.
But lately support for the warlords has been waning. They cannot
pay fighters or buy weapons, and at least one is reportedly facing
challenges to his leadership. Seizing the momentum, businessmen in
the capital, Mogadishu, have begun funding Islamic courts whose
private militia police the city.
In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly in September, Guelleh
chastised the warlords for their failure ``to live up to anything
during this long, intractable civil war.''
While Guelleh's plan does not exclude warlord participation in
rebuilding the violence-ridden country, it suggests involving
leaders of a devastated civil society, ``including intellectuals,
artists and mothers,'' in political negotiations.
The plan calls for the warlords to disarm, turn their factions
into political parties and submit to the authority of a formal
Most of the warlords have opposed the plan. But African regional
governments, Arab League states, the United States and the European
Union have endorsed it, as have two Somali leaders.
In advance of the summit, Abdullahi Yussuf Ahmed, the
self-styled president of Puntland in northeastern Somalia, and
warlord Mohamed Saeed Hirsi, known as Morgan, met Kenyan President
Daniel arap Moi to promote the Guelleh initiative.
Two warlords controlling the southern half of Mogadishu, also
traveled to Nairobi to try to debunk the proposal, but Moi,
apparently, was unconvinced.
``Those so-called leaders, or warmongers, must understand,''
Yussuf said, ``that with the entire Somali population fed up with
war, they will lose.''
Governments and humanitarian organizations active in other
divided countries have adopted a low profile in Somalia in recent
years, especially after gunmen plundered relief food during a 1992
famine and after 18 U.S. soldiers were killed in Mogadishu in 1993.
``Somalia's civil society has had several years to think about
why the world turned the other way,'' said David Stephen, U.N.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special representative for Somalia.
``Many Somalis have come to the conclusion that they can find
Some observers, though, are skeptical about the chances of the
Ethiopian-backed initiative at a time when the Ethiopia-Eritrea war
has spilled over into Somalia. Eritrea has armed warlord Hussein
Aidid, and Ethiopia is backing his rivals.
At the summit today, the leaders agreed that the IGAD standing
committee, which includes the six member countries, donors, the
United Nations and the European Commission, would meet in Nairobi
on Dec. 15 to discuss implementation of the plan.
Eritrea did not attend the summit because of bad relations with
Djibouti, which backs Ethiopia in the war. Uganda also did not
participate for undisclosed reasons.
Leaders from the Horn of Africa meet this week to discuss a peace initiative for Somalia. Africa reporter Virginia Gidley-Kitchin looks at how Somalis have organised themselves since central government broke down.
When the Somali state collapsed nine
years ago amid civil war, insecurity was not the only nightmare: Somalis
were also left without a health service, schools or judiciary.
Gradually, voluntary groups emerged to try to fill some of the gaps, particularly in the south where the fighting was worst.
As well as local charities, they include a human rights body in the capital, Mogadishu, intellectuals and professional people who tried to administer the port town of Merca, Islamic courts financed by the Mogadishu business community, and the Somali Olympic Committee which still sends Somali teams to world sporting events.
Perhaps most remarkable are the women's
groups which have sprung up all over the country. As well as advice on
women's health issues, they provide literacy lessons, handicraft classes
and even computer training for Somali businesswomen.
Halima Abdi Arush, founder of the women's group, IIDA, says that women have had to learn to fend for themselves: "The women lose husbands and sons, so they have a new role: they are the breadwinners.
"As IIDA, we try to give them skills because they hadn't enough training."
It is groups like these which Djibouti's President Ismael Omar Guelleh has identified as Somalia's new civil society.
President Guelleh, who in September launched a new peace initiative for Somalia, argues that Somali people's organisations should form the basis of the next attempt to restore a Somali state.
Unlike the 12 previous international peace agreements, which tried to secure a deal among the country's tribal warlords, President Guelleh wants the warlords to take a back seat and allow what he calls Somalia's civil society to shape the country's future.
The question is how to persuade the
warlords to give up power.
President Guelleh is relying on a combination of pressure from the weary Somali public and the threat of international sanctions against stubborn individuals.
The plan is expected to be discussed in Djibouti on Friday, at a summit of the regional grouping Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
IGAD comprises Djibouti, Eritrea,
Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda, though Eritrea has threatened
to boycott the summit because of tensions with Djibouti.
Although there is still scepticism about whether President Guelleh's plan for Somalia is realistic, it has picked up unexpected momentum, with even some warlords voicing support.
DESPITE sporadic inter-clan violence,
Somaliland remains the most peaceful part of the region and its government,
under the leadership of President Ibrahim Egal, has been lobbying for it
to be recognised as an independent state.
The government is warning that unless it receives assistance from world financial institutions, the violence that plagues the rest of Somalia might spread into its area.
"By refusing to recognise us the international community has dumped us in the twilight zone," said Foreign Minister Mahmoud Saleh Nour. "They still believe in a united Somalia but our independence is not negotiable."
Denied such financial aid, the Somaliland government has only its paltry annual revenue of $15-million, 73% of which pays the 20 000 former militiamen who are now integrated into the police and armed forces.
In the capital, Hargeisa, the scars of the civil war remain but the markets are stocked with imported goods, new buildings are springing up, and record traffic is passing through its main port, Berbera.
Yet the majority of its people live in poverty and, without international assistance the state cannot improve education and health facilities. The UN, the European Union and aid agencies are assisting Somaliland with basic relief projects but funds are limited.
Last year the UN refugee agency initiated the repatriation of thousands of refugees from neighbouring Ethiopia back to Somaliland, yet the country still has difficulty obtaining development aid because of its security situation.
A regionally led peace initiative to be launched in Djibouti next month is widely seen as being Somalia's last chance at restoring order and reunifying. But the people of the former British protectorate of Somaliland regard the 1960 decision to merge with Italian Somaliland to form Somalia as misguided.
"We are a separate country and want nothing more to do with the south," said Kamal Abdullahi Warse, a 20-year-old student. This stance wins sympathy from many aid workers, who believe Somaliland could become a success story if it is allowed to secede.
It is believed to have significant oil deposits and mineral wealth. But for now the country depends on livestock exports to the Gulf states.
"The EU is by far the biggest donor in Somaliland and yet by comparison to other countries the money we spend here is peanuts," said Barry Clarke, the senior EU representative in Hargeisa. "This place has a great future if it is properly managed."
There are signs that growing international
worries about the violence and chaos in Somalia may work in Somaliland's
One senior European diplomate based in Nairobi said: "Somalia is a major transit point for drugs and arms shipments in and out of Africa, Islamic fundamentalism is on the increase and the international community fears that if the chaos is allowed to fester then Somalia could become a bigger problem than Afghanistan."
Five of the main Somali faction leaders
say they have agreed to establish a joint authority to administer the area
around the capital, Mogadishu.
A statement said an accord was signed after three days of talks by Hussein Aideed, Hussein Haji Bod, Osman Ali Atto, Mohamed Qanyare Afrah and a representative of Ali Mahdi Mohamed.
Each of these warlords control a part of the capital.
The statement said the new administration would run Mogadishu's main port and airport which have been closed since United Nations peacekeepers pulled out in 1995.
Ali Mahdi, who is currently in Egypt, was represented at the talks by his deputy in the United Somalia Congress faction.
When the UN troops left, the warlords disagreed over the sharing of revenues from the port and airport and an attempt to set up a joint administration failed last year when some warlords refused to back the authority.
One key warlord, Musa Sudi Yalahow,
who controls south-western Mogadishu and part of the northern section of
the city, has once again refused to join the proposed administration.
Correspondents say the port and airport are within the range of his militiamen's artillery.
Political observers say that if the joint authority succeeds it is expected to pave the way for the resumption of Somalia's stalled national reconciliation process.
AFP news agency quoted a source as saying that Libya had pledged financial assistance to facilitate implementation of the agreement.
The nation has been without a central government since the 1991 ousting of President Mohamed Siad Barre.
At least eight people have been killed in and around the Somali capital, Mogadishu, in clashes between different groups of people loyal to one of the main clan leaders, Ali Mahdi Mohammed.
At least three civilians died in the city centre yesterday after militiamen stopped to investigate a roadblock manned by other militiamen.
A grenade exploded and both sides began firing in the resulting confusion.
Five armed men were killed the day before in the Middle Shabelle region north of Mogadishu in fighting triggered by rivalry over a German aid contract to rehabilitate a canal.
THE World Food Programme warned on
Friday that a major famine disaster was in the offing in some parts of
Somalia if the anticipated rainy season fails.
The situation, the agency said, was pathetic in the southern regions of Bakool, Gedo, Bay and Hiran, where about 450 000 inhabitants do not have enough to meet their daily food needs.
"We are still five to six months away from the next harvest. Even if we do get some rains, it won't solve the immediate needs of the people most in need," Kevin Farrell, WFP representative for Somalia, warned in a statement.
Elsewhere in the north-east, north-west and central regions of the country, up to 200 000 people are facing food and water shortages as well.
The regions have suffered seven consecutive poor harvests and three poor rainy seasons, drastically reducing crops and livestock, which are the mainstay of the economy.
"We are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst," Randolph Kent, the UN resident and Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Somalia said.
"The UN is already there on the ground, looking at ways to gear up operations if things get worse," he assured.
Climate experts predict that there is a 50-percent chance the April long rains - which account for three quarters of yearly crop yields, and are crucial to livestock pasture - might fail, "tipping the balance from misery to tragedy."
Malnutrition in children under five
years has also recorded an alarming rise in some areas in the country.
According to recent surveys by UNICEF, malnutrition has reached 30 percent in Rabule, 22 in Hoddur and 21 in Hoddur townships of Bakool region, while Bardera in Gedo region recorded 24 percent each.
Wells are also reportedly drying up due to overuse by people, with over-crowding of livestock around the meagre water sources.
The drought has also forced hundreds of families to migrate to riverine areas south of Baidoa and Mogadishu, while others have crossed to neighbouring countries in the hope of finding better conditions there.
The security situation in the country has also compounded the already fragile situation, since humanitarian food convoys, though heavily guarded, are often at risk from armed bandits.
MAI 2000 : Peace talks
TALKS aimed at restoring peace in
Somalia, which has lacked a central government since 1991, opened in Djibouti
on Tuesday, with up to 400 delegates taking part.
The conference, held a fortnight later than originally scheduled, is the first stage of a peace plan drawn up by President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti.
The plan enjoys the backing of much of the international community but has been shunned by several of the most important warlords who have carved up Somalia into fiefdoms. This conference is the 13th such meeting to be held since the fall of president Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.
After a reading from the Koran, the opening ceremony was held under a large tent as heavy rains fell.
Guelleh was later due to make the
Representatives of the United Nations and various governments, notably those of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an east African body prominent in peace-broking, were present in Arta, some 30 kilometers south of Djibouti city.
Most of the Somali delegates present are members of the Hawiyeh clan, which has a strong presence around Mogadishu and in the centre of the country.
Only one of Somalia's major warlords, Ali Mahdi Mohammed, whose men control north Mogadishu, was in Djibouti. All others have rejected Guelleh's initiative.
The plan differs from its predecessors in shifting focus from the warlords to civil society.
"That's a good start, but they (the delegates) should not leave this place without reaching an agreement," said Sudan's foreign minister, Moustafa Osmane Ismail.
Guelleh's plan also calls for the appointment of a parliament, which would nominate an interim president.
Speaking in Mogadishu on Tuesday, warlord Osman Hassan Ali "Atto" warned that if this were to happen, he would be forced to "fight aggressively."
Thousands of people were killed in clashes after Ali Mahdi Mohammed was named interim president of Somalia during a conference in Djibouti in 1991.
Somali - After several weeks of debate at the Djibouti Conference on Somalia, the conference participants issued in mid May, 2000, a communique harking back to the Greater Somalia Irredentism, while completely overlooking the reality in the Horn of Africa, in particular the Republic of Somaliland.
The conference participants asked the Somaliland Republic (referred to in this communique as the North West Region) and the Puntland Regional Administration (referred to as the North East Region) and others to join the conference. One might wonder why is the name of the Republic of Somaliland taboo to the attendees and their hosts. We must keep in mind that this conference is for Somalia, and not for Somaliland. The people of Somaliland have reasserted their independence in 1991 and welcome any initiative that would bring peace to their brethren in Somalia.
The communique starts with an intent to resurrect the failed Somali state on the basis of justice, equality, unity and Islamic law. It states that Somalis should forgive and forget the past. Nevertheless, the attempted genocide, torture and murder of civilians in the former Somalia cannot be forgotten nor forgiven and those responsible for crimes against humanity must be brought to justice. If the participants are proposing this for Somalia (not Somaliland), may we remind them, that in all the countries, which have gone through similar atrocities, there was never a question of asking the victims and survivors of those atrocities to simply forget the past.
They say that the unity of Somalis is sacrosanct because Somalis have the same language, culture and religion. This is harking back to Somali irredentism of the 1960s, and, if pursued, it will lead to war in the Horn. "The irony is that the hosts of the conference (the Republic of Djibouti) are Somalis who share the same language, culture and religion with all ethnic Somalis, but have, as is their right to self-determination, chosen to remain as an independent state", said Amina Malko, Chair of Somaliland Forum.
The communique is asking the international community to refrain from supporting those who are opposing the conference. It is clear that this conference is bent on recreating the former Somali State, which is an undisputable formula for failure. The Somaliland people have already decided their destiny and some of the people in Somalia are already working on the ground away from the Conference in creating peace.
We wish them luck, but we implore the international community not to be swayed by the utterances of this unrepresentative conference.
The Republic of Somaliland has already proven beyond doubt that it is a peaceful, democratic and separate nation, as it has been for three-quarters of the last century. "We urge the international community not to be duped by the conference's blatant attempts to undermine the peace and sovereignty of Somaliland. This will not lead to peace in the region; in contrast, it could lead to anarchy, political upheaval and war, which would be detrimental to the Horn at large", said Amina Malko, Chair of the Somaliland Forum.
Bossaso City - It is with great pleasure that the SPR has received and read the strong statement in support of peace and of national government issued by Somali traditional clan elders at the Somali peace conference in Djibouti, on 20th May 2000.
The statement by Somali clan elders is a profound manifestation of the sentiment of the Somali people for an end to the senseless conflict that deeply damaged the fabric of Somali society since the collapse of Somali State in 1990.
The recent statements and the display of political tolerance by Somali traditional clan elders at the Somali peace conference in Djibouti encourage the Somali peace participants and peace lovers to collectively work on finding rational, sustainable and equitable peace stability in their country.
The statement by Somali clan elders also encourages the Djibouti government's peace plan aimed at attaining a lasting peace in Somalia, and calls for a principled, balanced and comprehensive framework for the resolution of all the issues that underlie Somali crisis.
Such statement by Somali clan elders can, certainly, facilitate a dialogue between all parts involved in Somali civil war, calm the situation on ground, enhance a climate of political tolerance among Somali leaders and protect human rights of all Somalis, given the clan elders' strong position in Somali social fabric. It is through a dialogue that the Somali people will decide their political future.
The SPR strongly believes that Somali traditional clan elders still have traditional rights to protect human rights of their community, contribute to sustainable peace impact, to prevent the erosion of Somali traditional values and to enhance Somali unity against the thefts of Somali warlords and their roving bandits. Accordingly, the restoration of peace in Somalia will depend upon the successful involvement of Somali traditional clan elders in national peace process and the establishment of national institutions with vibrant disciplined civil servants.
Like Somali traditional clan elders and intellectuals at Somali peace conference in Djibouti, the SPR strongly condemns in the strongest possible terms the assistances given by foreign governments (such as Yemen, Eritrea, Rwanda, and Uganda) to Somali warlords in direct contravention to Somali peace process, and acts of roving warlords which, under cover war, are multiplying in the country.
As the leadership is critically important during times of great change in the country, the SPR firmly recommends that the future Somali political leaders should be leaders with a deep understanding of current conditions by their society, a clear vision of the future and with the ability to consider long- term consequences of particular courses of action during transition.
Such political leaders should able to facilitate democratic institutions, stimulate public participation in policy discussions, consider new ways to strengthen representative politics in future Somali government and diminish the forces of warlords who led to the destruction of Somali social fabrics.
The SPR believes that the country is deeply in need of institutions with capacity to plan and effectively manage Somalia's post-conflict development programmes. Such needs demand our future political leaders of transitional government to be vibrant leaders equipped with great knowledge of changes taking place regionally and internationally. In addition, effective regional and local governments could play a great role in the promotion of peace and realisation of sustainable system in the long run.
As peace cannot be achieved through Somalia in the short term without changing political and military calculations of Somali warlords, the SPR strongly recommends the Somali future political leaders and international community to give much efforts to promoting a culture of peace and reconciliation throughout the country. In this perspective, Somali women, religious and traditional leaders should be encouraged to continue their calls for peaceful solution to Somalis.
Taken together, the Somali clan elders' appeal for peace and against war must be seriously considered by all parties involved in Somali civil war. The Somali civil war has already resulted in the death of thousands of innocent people, the destruction of hundreds of homes and villages, the thefts of Somali public and private goods by Somali warlords, and the dislocation of millions of Somali people. We, Somali Peace Rally (SPR), endorse our clan elders' call for peace and forgiveness among Somalis.
Somali Warlords Have Economic Advantages in Conflicts
Mogadishu City - Somali Peace Rally (SPR) believes that the current attitudes of animosity, incompatibility, suspicion and hostility by Somali warlords towards Djibouti peace plan for Somalia reflect their economic advantages in Somali conflict such as illegally printing Somali money and using public infrastructure for their personal interests.
Somali warlords' attitudes towards Somali peace process also stem from the fact that they do not want to see their unbridled passion of riches and power to be constrained by a Somali state with the capability to make rules, collect revenue and enforce the rule of law.
The Djibouti peace plan aims at the holding of a national reconciliation conference and the establishment of a Somali transitional government with an acting president, Prime Minister and a parliament. The peace plan reinforces the position of Somali civil society in peace establishment.
The Djibouti peace plan for Somalia is aimed to promote national consensus, deepen and give substances to the concepts of consent, participation, legitimacy and accountability to the Somali people.
Since the collapse of Somali state, Somali warlords have wilfully caused mass killings, serious suffering and inhuman treatment to unarmed civilian populations, destruction of social and physical fabric in Somalia, and the use of the Somali public and private properties for their personal interests.
Therefore, the SPR strongly urges the international community to hold the warlords back and force them to co-operatively participate in bringing the Somali peace process to fruition. What Somalis is seeking today is a form of integration which involves all parties concerned in peace establishment, in order to build up the foundations that are necessary for sustainable peace and prosperity.
Th SPR also urges the UN Security Council, the United Nations, IGAD, Arab League, EU and Djibouti government to encourage Somali peace participants at the peace conference in Djibouti to facilitate a Somali government which has the intention of strengthening the foundations of the civil administration aiming at meeting the fundamental desire by Somali grass roots level and the expected demand of international community for peace, stability, security and prosperity in Somalia.
The SPR welcomes the UN Security Council's statement of 23 May 2000, supporting the peace initiative on Somalia initiated by the Government of Djibouti. The SPR sincerely wishes to thank the UN Security Council for its concern about the consequences of Somali civil war on Somali people.
President Ismael Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, who is sponsoring a peace conference on Somalia, says warlords can no longer impose their will on Somali society.
Some powerful Somali faction leaders have rejected a peace plan put forward by Mr Guelleh.
In a BBC interview, Mr Guelleh said the conference -- which began four weeks ago -- was entering its second phase, and he was optimistic about its outcome.
More than eight hundred delegates representing Somali clans, political and armed groups are discussing the peace plan in Djibouti. The plan envisages a transitional government to run Somalia for two years.