What is happening in Somalia?

 The US has carried out an air strike on a village in southern Somalia. The US/Ethiopian backed puppet transitional government has announced many people have been killed in the raid. The air strike follows the Ethiopian offensive against the Union of Islamic Courts, which reinstalled Abdullahi Yusuf and his American backed transitional government.

Somalia is an Islamic land that has a glorious past and it occupies an important strategic position. The people of Somalia entered into Islam very early, with some entering Islam during the early phase of the da’wah (call) in Makkah when some of the Companions migrated to Abyssinia. The land was subsequently opened in 77 AH during the time of Abd al-Malik and remained an Islamic land connected to the Muslim lands, particularly Yemen which faces it across the Gulf of Aden. Towards the end of the Ottoman Caliphate it was afflicted by the greed of the colonial states that competed for its dominance so as to take its resources and benefit from its strategic position, since then Somalia has been ravaged by poverty and famine.

The horrendous situation of the Muslims of Somalia remained until the Union of Islamic Courts; a gathering of sincere Somali’s began to unite the country once again around Islam, shunning tribalism and colonialist interference. This situation perturbed the Americans and her agents in the Horn of Africa including Ethiopia. Ethiopia has been funding the defunct ‘government’ of Abdullahi Yusuf, providing it material support. It fears a united Somalia, especially a Somalia united by Islam.

As for America it has not ceased yearning for the long years in which it had control in Somalia during the reign of Siad Barre. Barre was overthrown in 1991 when armed warlords removed him from power, vying for control. At the same time, Britain annexed Somaliland, which was previously under its mandate (British Somaliland). America attempted in 1992 to return her influence once again under the pretext of a humanitarian effort, calling their endeavour ‘Operation Restore Hope’. Some 28,000 troops were used in this operation, however in 1995 it had to make a humiliating retreat.

In 2000 America worked to destroy the Djibouti Agreement which would have established the government of Abdul Qasim Salad, as it was an EU initiative that did not sufficiently consolidate US control over Somalia and its resources. She then worked to establish an interim government headed by her puppet Abdullahi Yusuf and prepared to develop international recognition for this government, which had no recognition with the people. Yusuf’s government sent representatives to the African Union, Arab League and the United Nations.

As well as supporting the puppet government of Yusuf, America continued to support the warlords in Mogadishu. With this parallel strategy, America tried to retake control over Somalia by politically supporting the puppet government and militarily supporting the warlords.

However the corruption of the government and overt link to America and Ethiopia as well as the continued conflict amongst the warlords made the people of Somalia look to an alternative to rescue them from their dire situation. They turned their attention to the Union of Islamic Courts. The Union of Islamic Courts was familiar to the people, who had witnessed its justice since 1994. As Somalia lost a central government, the Union of Islamic Courts voluntarily began to solve the problems between people, earning recognition for their fairness and sincerity. The Union of Islamic Courts initially started as a social movement but after witnessing the state of Somalia it decided to put an end to the disturbed situation of the country. The warlords backed by America opposed them, frightened that a sincere unifying force would put an end to their selfish and narrow designs. But the people rallied behind the Union and soon the warlords were defeated. It was said that the people joined the Union even before their men reached their towns and villages. The Union brought stability to Somalia after years of colonial interference.

This stability was seen by America to be unacceptable, for any independence from its will especially if Islam inspires that independence will not be tolerated. Hence America pushed Sudan to broker negotiations between the Union and its puppet government led by Yusuf in Khartoum. Through these negotiations it tried to marginalise the Union and give some power to its puppet Yusuf under a power sharing agreement. At the same time it assigned Ethiopia to protect Yusuf through military support so that the Courts would not be able to defeat his weak and hated government.

When the strength of the Union of Islamic Courts became intolerable and it became clear that they would soon overrun the puppet government, America instructed Ethiopia to declare openly its opposition to the Union by open warfare. The US military backing of Ethiopia was no match for the ill equipped Muslims of the Courts Union especially since the Muslim governments and armies lay deaf to the call of their brethren in Somalia.

The war was supported by America, who planned, financed and supported the war for three reasons:

1. Islam was a unifying factor in Somalia. America fights any Islamic movement wherever it can. It detests Islam and its people, particularly those who do not conform to what its calls ‘moderate Islam’, as exemplified by the corrupt Arab and Muslim rulers that litter the Muslim world. America is all too aware that if it left the Union of Islamic Courts to stabilise Somalia, this would give strength and support to all those wishing to rid the Muslim lands from colonial interference.

2. Somalia has a strategic position on the Indian Ocean with the longest shoreline  (reaching 2720km), longer than any African state. Its shores stretch from the eastern side of Somalia upon the Indian Ocean and from the northern side upon the Gulf of Aden, in front of the Bab al-Mandeb of the Red Sea. Thus its position controls the Horn of Africa in such a way that it makes Somalia a launching point, if not the controlling point, in Southern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

3. Somalia is rich in resources. The land of Somalia is, in some estimation, rich with untapped resources. According to studies it holds reserves of uranium, natural gas, petroleum and other natural resources. Towards the end of the 1980s, in the time of Siad Barre, the rights of exploration were given to American petroleum corporations who found rich reserves of petroleum, the presence of which was verified even before this by geologists from the World Bank. However the coup that removed Siad Barre brought a stop to the exploitation of these resources. America through its greed, wishes to control these resources so that its companies can once again exploit it.

The recent air strike in Southern Somalia has already been announced as a strike against Al-Qaeda camps, with this America will try to justify its shameless intervention in Somalia as part of the War on Terror. In reality what has taken place in Somalia is a result of shameless colonialism.