The following is taken from my book Rastafari and its Shamanist Origins. The post concerns Somalia a neighbour of Ethiopia. Ethiopia is one of the main focal points of the book, Somalia played a crucial part at times vis a vis Ethiopia, as a result, it was included. Those who read this blog know that I went into some depth on the Ethiopian Haile Sellassie, on this blog here is the link to that https://soualigayouth.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/atseemperor-haile-sellassie/.
More posts like this will follow since I often post short or sometimes lengthy excerpts from the book previously mentioned.
Due to its arid climate, Somalia is a very infertile country with few natural resources.
Animal husbandry is the most important economic sector.
The war of 1991 virtually crippled the economy and it has yet to recover.
The bungling of the Americans in the armed conflict, in the early part of the 90s only worsened the Somali problem. The many clans and sub-clans vying for power in Somalia, all adhere to Islam Sunni Islam is the religion practiced by ninety-eight percent of the Somali population, the U.S. Army nor any other occupying force can resolve the conflict in Somalia, the conflict is of an ethnic and religious nature.
The Somali people themselves are the only persons remotely qualified to intervene in the highly complex social-political and social religious milieu that is Somalia.
Few western writers and journalists ever dare cross the line and accuse their governments outright of the crimes, and atrocious acts that they’ve committed in Somalia, I read an interesting piece recently which highlights such in my opinion quite succinctly, I’ll quote some excerpts from that piece here, from Johann Hari, The Independent April 15th, 2009. Hari exposed how the lack of a government in Somalia in 1991 created a lawless society teetering on the brink of starvation, that vacuum was exploited by unscrupulous western nations disposing of toxic waste. “As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken”. He narrated how the coastal population and their children suffered from, strange rashes, nausea, and malformed babies. Following the 2005 Tsunami hundreds of leaking barrels washed up onshore. People suffered from radiation sickness and more than 300 died. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia confirmed the presence of nuclear waste in Somalia: “Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it.” Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, which seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to “dispose” of cheaply. When I asked Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: “Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention.” Abdi Samatar said the following of the situation in Somalia: “The Ethiopian invasion, which was sanctioned by the US government, has destroyed virtually all the life-sustaining economic systems which the population has built for the last fifteen years.” Abdi Samatar, professor of Global Studies at the University of Minnesota, (Democracy Now).
The Ethiopians and Somalians have historically engaged in bloody protracted wars since Ethiopia is 48% Coptic Christian and about 41% Muslim with the remaining 11% of the population practicing indigenous animist beliefs. “At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia’s seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our fish stocks by over-exploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m worth of tuna, shrimp, lobster, and other sea-life is being stolen every year by vast trawlers illegally sailing into Somalia’s unprotected seas.”. The local fishermen have suddenly lost their livelihoods, and they are starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: “If nothing is done, there soon won’t be much fish left in our coastal waters.”
Out of the preceding scenario, the “pirates”, arose from Somalia, it is a well-documented fact that Somalian fishermen, in an attempt to stymie, the flow of trawlers and dumpers destroying their livelihood, attempted to impose a “tax”, on foreigners fishing and dumping waste in their waters. The Somali catastrophe that saw American troops in Somalia in the 1990s was exacerbated in 2006 during the Bush administration. In 2006 the Bush regime bolstered an alliance of Somali warlords calling themselves the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). The TFG established a base of operations in the western city of Baidoa, with the help of the Ethiopian army, the US Navy warships, AC-130 gunships, and western mercenaries, the TFG captured Mogadishu with the help of the aforementioned forcing the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), out of Mogadishu. Presently the resistance has re-captured most of Somalia, in the wake of the foregoing, Al-Shabaab has emerged seemingly “out of nowhere”, with a clear anti-western agenda, given Somalia’s recent history Al-Shabaab (the youth) is a reaction to the many modern western incursions into Somalia. The latest round of fighting in Somalia has created a humanitarian disaster rendering more than 1.3 million people homeless, continued instability, drought, high food prices, and the local currency’s collapse have served to worsen the dilemma. Paul Salopek wrote in the Chicago Tribune that: “(Somalia) is a covert war in which the CIA has recruited gangs of unsavory warlords to hunt down and kidnap Islamic militants…and secretly imprison them offshore, aboard U.S. warships. The British civil-rights group Reprieve contended that as many as 17 U.S. warships may have doubled as floating prisons since the Sept, 11 terrorist attacks”.
“Somalia is one of the great unrecognized U.S. foreign policy failures since 9/11,” said Ken Menkhaus, a leading Somalia scholar at Davidson College in North Carolina. “By any rational metric, what we’ve ended up with there today is the opposite of what we wanted.” (Paul Salopek, “US Appears to be Losing in Somalia”: Chicago Tribune). Presently Al-Shabaab is receiving aid from Al-Qaida in Libya and the LIFG, Somalia is a haven and breeding ground for militant Islamists, bent on jihad. The US interventions in the Islamic world have all been monumental disasters, this is the reason I opined that only the Somali’s are remotely capable of handling their affairs. In the pre-modern period of Somalia’s history protracted wars were waged, with the Ethiopians even in modern times, as was the case with the Italo-Ethiopian war’s, in the Ethiopian emperor Menellek II’, time the “Battle of Adowa”, was fought against the Italian invaders.