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Opinion: Ethiopia and Kenya help dismember Somalia
By Martin Plaut Published 03 September 2013
A new deal has recognised Jubaland, a strip of land in southern Somalia and bordering on Kenya and Ethiopia, as yet another quasi-independent entity in the region.
After nine days of late night meetings and plenty of arm-twisting, the fragile government of Somalia was finally forced to accept that a further slice of its territory had slipped beyond its control. The deal, signed in Addis Ababa, recognised Jubaland as yet another quasi-independent entity. This strip of land in southern Somalia and bordering on Kenya and Ethiopia, it is the illegitimate heir of both of these countries.
Jubaland is of critical importance to the whole of southern Somalia. Trade through the port and airport of Kismaayo is a lifeline for the region. In theory Jubaland will be the ‘Interim Juba Administration’ and last for just two years, while Somalia re-forms itself into a Federation. In reality it is now outside Mogadishu’s control – just like those other fragments of Somalia, including Puntland, Galmadug and the self-declared independent state of Somaliland.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who was only sworn in as Somali president a year ago, was unable to resist the intense pressure of his neighbours and agreed to the deal. The entire sorry saga was witnessed by Nicholas Kay, the UN’s Special Representative in Somalia; welcomed by Catherine Ashton for the European Union and supported by the African Union. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the South African chair of African Union described the agreement as “historic”, declaring that it was “a further illustration of the capacity of the Somalis to triumph over their differences.”
It is hard to see what there was to welcome.
The deal officially recognises Ahmed Mohamed Islam (known, like all Somalis by a nickname - ‘Madobe’) as the ‘leader’ of Jubaland. Yet only a month earlier Sheikh Madobe was described in a major UN report  as a “spoiler” and one of the chief threats to Somali stability.
The Sheikh was said to be “subverting the efforts of the Federal Government leadership and its partners to extend the reach of Government authority and stabilise the country, particularly in Kismaayo.”
What the Baroness Ashton and her colleagues have done is anoint a man who has been roundly denounced by the Monitoring Group, established by the UN Security Council. Its July report pointed out that the Sheikh had been a member of the short-lived Union of Islamic Courts, which was ousted by Ethiopia during its 2006 invasion of Somalia. What happened next is interesting. As the report puts it: “Madobe’s forces returned to Kismayo in August 2008, when Al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam recaptured the city following the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Somalia.” At this time the Sheikh Madobe was a key player in the al-Qaeda linked network. But, as is ever the case in Somalia, clan and inter-clan rivalry came into play and the Sheikh fell out with his former allies. He threw in his lot with the African peacekeepers and the Federal Government. But Sheikh Madobe did not cut his ties with al-Sabaab altogether and the UN report accuses him of continuing the export of charcoal from territory controlled by the Islamists – a trade long since outlawed by the UN because of its catastrophic impact on the Somali environment.
Under the new arrangement the Sheikh retains the port and the airport, although he is required to hand control to the Federal Government within six months. Since this would cut his income and hence his power, there seems little chance of the handover ever taking place.
The outcome has been a triumph for Somalia’s neighbours, even though Kenya and Ethiopia will continue to vie for influence  in this critical part of the country.
The Kenyan foreign ministry has long seen the establishment of a buffer state along its northern border as vital to its security interests. Thanks to Wikileaks, we know that Kenya’s Foreign Minister, Moses Wetangula, practically begged the United States for its support when he saw Johnnie Carsons, President Obama’s most senior US Africa official, in January 2010. The Kenyans were requesting backing for an invasion of Somalia to create Jubaland, but the Americans were far from keen.
As the confidential embassy telex puts it: “Carson tactfully, but categorically refused the Kenyan delegation’s attempts to enlist US Government support for their effort.” It was, said the telex, the third time Wetangula had made the appeal, but Carsons resisted, pointing out – rightly – that “the initiative could backfire.” Critically, Carsons warned that: “if successful, a Lower Juba entity could emerge as a rival to the TFG” (Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government). This is exactly what has now come about.
Brushing these concerns aside, Kenya sent its troops into Somalia in October 2011 . As predicted, they found it very heavy going and it was to take almost a year before al-Shabaab were driven from Kismaayo .
For the Ethiopians, the establishment of Jubaland is a further fragmentation of Somalia, its sworn enemy since the Somalis invaded their country in 1977. It was an attack that is imprinted on Ethiopian memories, fuelling a determination to see the end of a powerful, centralised Somali state.
As if the situation was not complicated enough, newly created Jubaland could be sitting on reserves of oil. Several fields have been detected in the waters along the Kenya-Somali border, but, like many African frontiers, the location of the border is a matter of dispute. The Somali government refuses to recognise oil licenses granted to multinational companies by Kenya, and has persuaded several oil-majors, including Total and the Norwegian state owned Statoil, to withdraw their claims. But, said the UN in July, the Italian firm, ENI, was still pressing ahead with its claims.
As Jonnie Carsons remarked in 2010, Jubaland “raises more questions than it answers.”
“This strip of land in southern Somalia and bordering on Kenya and Ethiopia, it is the illegitimate heir of both of these countries.”
what does the above quote mean?
Let there be no denying History, it is actually Mengistu who di-stablized Somalia for good bombarding Mogadishu through air raids,effectively weakening Siad Barre and his army for good and making them easier target for challenge to his internal rivals and warlords. Many don’t know these facts because for some reason the west media largely has decided to ignore the vents.
But who is to blame for all the problems Somalia is having? who made a critical mistake of invading another country (Ethiopia) and attempt to take land by force? In fact no one other than the boastful Said Barre and his army!
The dismemberment of the country is the after effect of the brutal wars waged with Ethiopia. When one, let alone go to war, loses a war there will be always be great consequences, from killing each other to splintering apart over decays and centuries.
In fact it may also be the reason why we have a our own dismemberment up north and we have idiots like Addis Zefen Fart claiming to be Ethiopian.
What do mean it does mean? It is simple suggestion. It means the said strip of land or area is neither belongs to Kenya nor Ethiopia and they should refrain to meddle its affairs. It has been part of Somali territory legally, historically and administrative wise. And still it belongs to the newly formed Somali government and its up to it to stabilize and make whatever political decisions needed to administer peacefully. Need more and easy explanation than that?
The balkanization of Somalia is not in the best long term interest of Ethiopia as much as Balkanization of Ethiopia is not in long term interest of Somalia. Dealing with one strong democratically elected government is much easier than dealing with several little fiefdoms with their own army and Militia.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Woyanes were the one hatching these ideas. Why not, if they can make their own country land locked, I am sure they will not hesitate to do it to others. They only look after their short term interest to extend their life.
The so called Au is just a bunch of dictators representative with modern suite and smuggling business. The main purpose of Au is to unite the continent with old pan Africa vision once the pioneers like HAILE selase of Ethiopia, Ghana ,and others struggled to bring unity and but here we have western nation dividing us into small tribal clan based 21st century modern colonial mapping. Are we all so stupid that what we are witnessing in today’s Somalia is a copy of what took place in southern Sudan where the western fanatic rich Christians extremist supported and succeeded in creating their own interest new christian based south Sudan. From 100% anaemic religion 1970 to 89% Protestant the new south
Sudan. And here we are again a tiny region of Somalia remapped by western new colonial into pieces and this is just a begging of remapping Africa into 21st century modern colonial mapping. AU is not aware of this new western strategy but they have become a servant of this modern colonial apparatus. Like the Turks and Indies served their master during colonial era in begging of 19 century to colonise Africa and here we are witnessing how the AU turn to become a 21century mercenary to serve as a slave to western modern colonialist strategy. What I see is a remapping of Africa b former colonialist supported by UN and AU. What a stupid organisation.
What is recently happening actually in Somalia is the reflexion of the institution of a
New Neo Colonialism System in Africa .As did happen by the past decades in Central Africa by the desmanteling of the Congo Republic .The recent situation in Lybia and the desmanteling of the Sudan .The opportunist bandas and the Fools dealing with the Agazi Bandits must meditate on the Future of the Country .For more information I invite all of you to Watch these links :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG4yS3lFVW8 and :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsU43BCIKWc .
Martin Plaut wrote this article on Somalia’s recent history and the Jubaland initiative, taking the time to demonize Ethiopia, Kenya and the west at every opportunity and failed to mention once Eritrea’s highly destructive crucial role or the 2011 famine which was worsened by Al Shabab banning all foreign aid workers and orgs.
This looks more like an article written by Thomas C Mountain, that white boy BBC reject who moved to Eritrea, nailed an Eritrean babe and now lives there writing pieces for Shabia.
Somalia doesnt need Martin Plaut to tell them about what has happened in their own country. Let the millions of starving Somali women and children who were dying from famine and al shabab suicide bombs speak for themselves. Refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya provided them shelter, safety, food and healthcare unable in their own destroyed country. Al shabab used to control the whole country. In the end it was Kenya and Ethiopian military that have effectively wiped out al shabab and sent them from sitting proudly in the cities to hiding in the jungles. Let the people of Baidoa and Beledweyne in the Bay and Hiraan regions of Somalia recall of their lives under Al Shabab. Public beheadings, lashings stonings, a terrorized population. This all ended in early 2012 when Ethiopian soldiers banished Al shabab from these areas.
Today Somalia has gone from hell on earth to a fragmented stability. At least diasporans are now dreaming of returning home and opening businesses. This stability is due to the sacrifices of Ethiopian Kenyan AU and TFG forces.
Martin Plaut’s tired Siad Barre era rambling is out of touch with Somalia of 2013.
If it wasnt for her neighbours Somalia would have been dismantled and destroyed by western oil oligarchs (after oil discoveries in Puntland 2012). In history its the white colonizers of England and Italy who dismembered and divided Somalia.
And for Martin Plaut to claim we are deeply wounded with the 77 Ogaden war imprinted in our minds, just know that the majority of Ethiopians are under 30 years of age and werent even born then. This generation of Ethiopians only knows of Somalia from seeing their refugees at the Addis Ababa immigration office near Bherawi and Legare.
We have no hate nor ill wishes for them. Martin Plaut and like minded trash westerners need to back off. Hes trying to create hate amongst our ppls. Africa for Africans. Not for stinky hate infested snobby Brits.
This is the first of the good news coming from that wretched piece of desert; the rest will follow when all these primitive bandits split up into their natural conclaves as roaming clans!! Good riddance!!
what a beautiful comment, well done
@ the intruder C’est moi senait
U are a mysterious individual who has since hijacked the real Senait’s pen name and churns out many disgusting comments on her behalf.
It is quite depressing to observe many an indvidual like this above one who lack self confidence to declare their own self identity.
Why do you want to opt for cover under her stinky skirt? Have you already taken a useless lesson from wimp-Shaebiya like they used to do it hiding themselves under the skirts of Somalia’s women?
Trust yourself & show your guts! YeMatireba Geriba, anten bilo Arada – Idiot!
One Stronge Somalia will soon in the middle of Savagery Tigrai stage.We believe the only cancer we have in our blood are Tigrai Weyane and As a Somalia nationalist one we shall over come in this trubble area toghter .Hurry man boys.
Wasting your time on YouTube and inviting us to do the same is the ultimate example of your stupidity. YouTube is a great source of music video,other than that valueless self-indulgent crap posted by losers,low lives and moronic people like you.
The new autonomous Jubaland’s leader Madobe and his militia are mainly Ogaden Clan members. So once they lay their hands on the sea and air port of Kismayo, that will be end of Ethiopian grip on south eastern part of Ethiopia( Ogaden Region) and ultimately the break-up of the so called Ethiopia. So what goes around comes around. Those of you who are jubilant about the sad saga of Somalia’s dismemberment and Sudan should think again. Be careful of what you wish for, it could come back to bite you. Person in a glass house shouldn’t start throwing stones about.
It is good to live in unison with respect and love provided that all are treated equal with their human right intact. All of us are of mankind and all land and the universe belong to all.
SAY NO TO ARTIFICIAL BORDERS THAT DIVED US, THAT KEEPS US APART BY MAN MADE SELFISH RULES AND CULTURES!!
PEACE AND LOVE TO ALL!
The notion of"Dismembering Somalia.”
At first place the writer should read the history books.
Somalia as whole was the part of ancient Abyssinia in bible and Quran in 500 years ago.
Second, the region you talking Juba
or Jubaland was part of East African colony of Germans before the Second World war. but, part of Italian colony of Southern Somalia after Germans were defeated.
Again, Ethiopia and Kenya never claimed any part of what was called Somalia, when Somalia was united from 1960 - 1999.
Somalia was only state which claiming ownership of the parts of Ethiopia,Kenya and whole Republic of D’Jabuti. And that was what the wars were about. Now, it is Somali choice to be free from each other.
For example Somaliland Republic which is now its own sovereign country used to be part of Somalia and before 1960 it was different country.
So, if you are Somalia or its lover don’t blame anybody with your own problems.
What this really means is the trend that shows the greater Somalia since the departure of Ziad Bare, going to be devided into many regions each being controlled by a clan leader!!!
It is the new desease facing all non developed nations all over the world.
It decimats any country throwing it’s citiznes to an abyss of economic and social hell
Let us all hope this is not contagious to our homeland.
We have already witnessed the symptom thanks to the late “devil” Shifta meles the Chenawi, who carved Eritrea away
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