Somalia: Gescheiterter Staat und Objekt der Begierde / Failed State Somalia
Ethiopian troops enter Somalia / Dramatische Entwicklung von der islamistischen Eroberung bis zum Einmarsch äthiopischer Truppen (englisch)
Somalia zählt spätestens seit dem Sturz von Mohamed Siad Barre 1991 zu den sog. "failed states", den "gescheiterten Staaten" dieser Erde - zweifellos eine Begleiterscheinung, wenn nicht sogar ein Produkt der neoliberalen Globalisierung. In Somalia fand Anfang der 90er Jahre des vergangenen Jahrhunderts die erste vom UN-Sicherheitsrat mandatierte "humanitäre Intervention" statt, in deren Verlauf den USA eine bittere Lektion erteilt wurde. Somalia wird nach wie vor von Warlords regiert, eine zentrale Regierung gibt es nicht. Im Juni 2006 hat eine Islamistische Union den Süden des Landes einschließlich der Hauptstadt Mogadischu unter ihre Kontrolle gebracht und bestimmt seither mehr und mehr das politische Geschehen im Land, während die seit 2004 amtierende Interimsregierung bedeutungslos geworden ist. Auf der anderen Seite rief das den großen Nachbarn Äthiopien auf den Plan, das offenbar Truppen nach Somalia in Marsch gesetzt hat.
Im Folgenden dokumentieren wird die Ereigniss in Somalia vom 5. Juni bis zum 20. August 2006. Mit dem militärischen Eingreifen Äthiopiens spitzt sich die Situation im Land merklich zu. Die Berichte sind dem arabischen Fernsehsender Aljazeera (online-Ausgabe) entnommen, der sehr viel umfassender berichtet als das europäische Medien tun.
(Monday 05 June 2006)
Miltias of the Islamic Courts Union have seized the town of Jowhar, taking control of all of southern Somalia except Baidoa, where the transitional government is set up. Here are some facts about Somalia.
The nation of 10 million people has a long coastline on the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, forming the Horn of Africa. Its neighbours are Djibouti to the northwest, Ethiopia to the west and Kenya to the southwest.
- The main religion is Islam (Sunni) and there is a small Christian minority.
- Somalia was created in 1960 through the merger of the British Somaliland Protectorate and Italian Somaliland. In 1969, the president, Abdirashid Ali Shermarke, was assassinated and the army seized control. Mohammed Siad Barre became president.
- In November 1991, after the overthrow of Barre, a power struggle broke out between rival clan regional commanders, Mohammed Farah Aideed and Ali Mahdi Mohammed. It evolved into civil war, with thousands of civilians killed and wounded.
- In February 1992, the rival commanders signed a UN-sponsored ceasefire but failed to agree on monitoring provisions.
- In December 1992, the UN Security Council endorsed a full-scale military operation led by the United States. A week later US marines reached Mogadishu's beaches.
- The US mission ended disastrously when 18 US army rangers and one Malaysian were killed after Somali militias shot down two US helicopters. Hundreds of Somalis died in the ensuing fighting.
- In October 2004, in the 14th attempt since 1991 to restore a central government, an Ethiopian-backed regional commander, Abdullahi Yusuf, was elected Somali president by politicians. In December, a new government led by Mohammed Ali Gedi was sworn in in exile, in neighbouring Kenya.
- In February, MPs arrived in the northwestern Somali town of Baidoa for the first meeting of the country's parliament on home soil.
- Since 1991, Somalia has had no constitution as rivalry between clan-based militia groups prevented the emergence of central authorities.
- After the descent into anarchy, the Islamic Courts Union tried to restore order by imposing sharia (Islamic) law. Some were hijacked by Islamist militants or jihadis.
- Before the new parliament met in the country in February, regional commanders formed an Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism in what many analysts saw as a US-funded ploy to reduce the influence of Islamic leaders.
- On June 5, Islamic courts-allied militia took control of Mogadishu, the first time the capital had been wrested from Somalia's powerful regional commanders since Barre was toppled.
- The interim administration has been powerless to control fighting in Mogadishu and is not strong enough to move to the capital.
Ethiopia denies crossing into Somalia
Saturday 17 June 2006
Ethiopia has denied sending troops into Somalia after the Islamic Courts Union leader accused its neighbour of deploying 300 soldiers across the border.
Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmad, chairman of the Islamic Courts Union, said Ethiopian troops had entered Somalia through the border town of Dolow in the southwestern region of Gedo at 8am (0500 GMT).
"We want the whole world to know what's going on," Ahmed told journalists. "Ethiopia has crossed our borders and are heading for us. They are supporting the transitional federal government.
"They have deployed a lot of soldiers around the border towns, which is why we have been saying that Ethiopia is going to send in troops to Somalia," the cleric said.
However, Bereket Simon, an Ethiopian minister without portfolio and close ally of Meles Zenawi, the Ethiopian prime minister, said Ethiopian soldiers were at the border but had not crossed it.
"Ethiopia has a right to monitor its border," he said. "Ethiopia has not crossed the border. So far, the fundamentalists (Somalia Islamists) have occupied Baladwayne and are marching toward the Ethiopian border. "Ethiopia hopes that they will not cross the border."
Aljazeera's correspondent in Mogadishu cited witnesses as saying more than 100 Ethiopian trucks had massed along the road to Bedawa, where the headquarters of the interim Somali government is located.
Separately, a spokesman for the Ethiopian foreign ministry told Aljazeera that Addis Ababa had no interests in interfering in Somalia.
Abdullahi Yusuf, Somalia's interim president and a former regional commander, is closely allied with the Ethiopian government, which was instrumental in his election after peace talks in Kenya in 2004.
The Islamic Courts Union is the group behind the militiamen that captured the Somali capital on June 6 after months of on and off fighting with an alliance of warlords backed by the US.
More than 330 people died in the fighting, most of them civilians. The group now controls most of southern Somalia.
The Islamist group, accused by the United States of harbouring al-Qaeda, portrays itself as free of links to Somalia's past turmoil and capable of bringing order and unity.
Leaders of the Islamic Courts Union deny that they harbour any terrorists.
An Islamic Courts Union spokesman, meanwhile, said the last two main regional commanders who lost the Somali capital to the militia fled the country on board a US warship on Saturday.
But the US Naval 5th Fleet, which patrols international waters off Somalia and is based in Bahrain, said it had no reports that any of its ships had picked them up.
"We want the whole world to know what's going on. Ethiopia has crossed our borders and are heading for us"
Abdi Rahman Osman, spokesman for the Islamic Courts Union, said Muse Sudi Yalahow and Bashir Rage left Mogadishu late on Friday on a boat and were picked up by a US warship off Somalia's coast early on Saturday.
The departure of Yalahow and Rage from Mogadishu would mean the 11-member regional commander-led Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counterterrorism has collapsed. Most of them have publicly declared their resignations from the group and retreated to their clans or expressed support for the Islamic Courts Union.
Somalia has been without an effective central government since the fall of Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. The Islamist group's only competition for control of southern Somalia is Yusuf's transitional government.
The government is based in Baidoa, 250 km northwest of the capital, Mogadishu, because of instability in Mogadishu.
Somali Islamists warn Ethiopia
Sunday 18 June 2006
The Islamist alliance that has taken control of key areas of Somalia has said new fighting may occur if Ethiopia refuses to withdraw its troops from the country.
However the Somalian government accused the Islamists of lying about an Ethiopian troop incursion as a pretext for attacking the government's headquarters in the town of Baidoa.
Sheikh Shariff Sheikh Ahmed, the head of the Joint Islamic Courts, said on Sunday that he had "confirmed" that 300 Ethiopian troops crossed into southwestern Somalia early on Saturday to counter his increasingly powerful group.
"We ask them to go (back) to their country, if not their presence will cause a big conflict between the invaders and Somali people," Ahmed said.
The Ethiopian government denies its troops have entered Somalia, saying it had boosted troop levels along the Somali border following provocation from Islamists.
A spokesman for the Ethiopia-backed Somali government said the Islamists accusation was "absolutely baseless".
"There are no Ethiopian troops in Somalia. We have received intelligence reports that they are using the incursion lies as a pretext to attack Baidoa," said Abdirahman Nur Mohamed Dinari, a government spokesman.
"But our army, militia, police and forces are ready to defend the city should they dare attack," he added.
Antonio Guterres, the head of the UNHCR - the United Nations refugee body - said the violence in Somalia risked causing a humanitarian crisis in Somalia.
Ethiopia has been a strong supporter of the interim Somali government led by President Abdullahi Yusuf.
Earlier this month the Islamic courts defeated a coalition of militia leaders - said to be backed by the US - that have run the country since the collapse of central government in 1991.
The fighting has killed around 350 people since February.
Ethiopia denies Somalia incursion
Saturday 01 July 2006
Ethiopia has denied that its troops crossed into Somalia on Saturday to protect the interim government seat of Baidoa from an attack by the powerful Islamists movement.
A member of parliament in Somalia said that six armoured vehicles from Ethiopia had moved into the Baidoa airport. A Somali intelligence source said the Ethiopian troops were in the town of Berdale, about 60km from Baidoa towards the border with Ethiopia.
The Islamists, who took the capital Mogadishu on June 5 and control a large swathe of the country after defeating secular US-backed warlords, have repeatedly said that Ethiopia has sent troops into Somalia.
"Ethiopia denies the allegation by Somalia sources that its troops have crossed the border," Zemedhun Tekle, the spokesman for the Ethiopian ministry of information, said.
"The allegation is the usual fabrication of the Islamists group aimed at hoodwinking the international community."
Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia's prime minister, said this week that the Islamists movement was dominated by members of a terrorist group and that Addis Ababa had beefed up its defences along the border to prevent any threat from the Islamists.
Largely secular Ethiopia has long been wary of the influence of Islam in the region.
The Somali member of parliament said that the Ethiopia troops had moved to the southern city of Baidoa to protect the interim government of President Abdullahi Yusuf.
"The Ethiopians want to protect the government but I think it is aimed at creating a problem between the government and the Islamic Courts," the MP, who declined to be named, said.
Islamists claim victory in Somalia
Monday 10 July 2006
Abdi Hassan Awale Qeydiid, Somalia's last secular warlord in the capital Mogadishu, has surrendered to Islamic militants after a two-day battle that left at least 67 dead, militants said.
The militants said on Monday that they had captured the warlord's headquarters in the south of the city and that his fighters had begun handing over their weapons.
The militants had claimed on Sunday that they had taken full control of the city after declaring victory over Qeydiid and fellow warlord and transitional government member Hussein Aidid, but heavy fighting had resumed early afternoon on Monday.
After four months of fighting between militants and the US-backed warlords, which left over 400 dead, Mogadishu fell on June 5 to the militants, who also control swathes of southern Somalia.
Somalia's transitional government in Baidoa, about 250kms (150miles) from Mogadishu, demanded that the Islamists abandon territories they seized in Mogadishu and be excluded from peace talks with the government, expected to resume in Khartoum on Saturday.
But Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, a top official in Somalia's supreme Islamic Court, said that "the government has nothing to do with peace in Mogadishu".
"This government was unable to come to the capital after being repelled by the warlords, whom we have at last toppled. They (the government) should be grateful for what we did," he told journalists.
Earlier on Monday in Nairobi, Mwai Kibaki, the Kenyan President and Yoweri Museveni, his Ugandan counterpart, who are members of the seven-nation east African Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), called on the international community to help deploy peacekeepers in the east African country.
In recent weeks, IGAD officials have complained that the international community, especially Western powers, have been non-committal on the Somali conflict, thus complicating regional efforts to restore a functional government there.
Somalia toll rises as fighting resumes
Monday 10 July 2006
Fresh fighting has erupted between Somali fighters loyal to defeated US-backed militia commanders and Islamists, taking the toll to at least 60 since Sunday.
Residents feared further deaths as the most ferocious fighting in Mogadishu since the Islamists routed the commanders from the capital a month ago entered its second day on Monday.
"I am sure that more than 60 have died so far," Abdikadir Sheikh, a medical official at Mogadishu's Madina hospital, said by phone as artillery and gunfire sounded in the background.
Residents of Mogadishu's Kilometre Five area said the toll had risen by at least 40 and nearly 100 had been wounded since heavy street battles broke out at dawn on Sunday in the neighbouring Kilometre Four area.
Hospital cut off
Witnesses said artillery and mortar shells were raining down on Kilometre Five after the battle broke out on Monday afternoon, following a morning lull, and cut many victims off from Madina hospital.
"The hospital is under very heavy mortar and artillery attack and stray bullets are hitting. Chaos is everywhere in the hospital and staff are running away," Sheikh said.
A Kilometre Five resident who refused to give his name said the number of dead would exceed 60 "because so many of the injured cannot go to the nearest hospital".
Residents said the streets were empty as militiamen traded automatic weapons fire, and "technicals" - pickup trucks mounted with heavy weapons that are Somalia's version of tanks - had their guns blazing.
Battles broke out on Sunday when the Islamists set a daybreak ambush in Kilometre Four for fighters loyal to Hussein Aideed, the interior minister in the interim government, and another militia commander, Abdi Qaidid.
The Islamists have taken control of most of the coastal capital and a key swath of Somalia, posing a serious threat to the interim government - which is too weak to enter Mogadishu and is now based in the south-central town of Baidoa.
The Islamists want to impose sharia law across the country and oppose the deployment of foreign peacekeepers, which Abdullahi Yusuf, the interim president, says is essential to get his government on its feet and pacify the Horn of Africa country.
Somalia's Islamists reject peace talks
Tuesday 25 July 2006
The leader of Somalia's Islamist movement has rejected peace talks just hours after the country's interim government agreed to meet in Sudan.
Shaikh Hassan Dahir Aweys said the presence of Ethiopian troops sent to reinforce Somalia's government had ruined any chance for peace. Aweys said: "Until Ethiopian troops leave Somali soil, we will never negotiate with the government."
Earlier on Tuesday, the government had agreed to attend unconditional peace talks in Khartoum.
This followed a meeting between the government and Francois Lonseny Fall, the UN special representative to Somalia, in Baidoa, 240km northwest of Mogadishu.
Shortly before Aweys' announcement, Abdirizak Adam, President Abdullahi Yusuf's chief of staff, said: "We will go to Khartoum without any preconditions."
Fall later arrived in the capital, Mogadishu, which is controlled by the Islamic group. He attended prayers with two Islamic officials, Shaikh Ahmed Shaikh Sharif and Shaikh Yusuf Indohaadde.
Talks between the two sides to prevent a standoff from escalating into war broke down on July 22, when the Islamists pulled out because of a reported incursion into Somalia by Ethiopian troops to defend the fragile interim government.
Fall's visit came a day after the African Union (AU) urged the UN Security Council to speed up plans to ease an arms embargo on Somalia to allow foreign peacekeepers to deploy.
The appeal followed an agreement by the AU and the east African regional body IGAD to send troops to help to secure peace in Somalia.
The plan has been repeatedly rejected by the Islamists, who control Mogadishu and a large swath of southern Somalia after defeating US-backed secular regional chiefs early last month.
Somali PM accuses Egypt, Libya, Iran
Sunday 30 July 2006
Somalia's interim prime minister has accused Egypt, Libya and Iran of providing weapons to Islamists who have taken control of much of the country's southern region.
Mohammed Ali Gedi said: "Egypt, Libya and Iran, whom we thought were friends, are engaged in fueling the conflict in Somalia by supporting the terrorists."
Gedi is facing a no-confidence vote after 18 lawmakers resigned from his administration in disgust, saying it had failed to bring peace.
Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, leader of the Islamists, denied receiving support from foreign countries and said Gedi was "trying to distract attention from his own troubles".
Jendayi Frazier, US assistant secretary of state, said that both sides in the conflict have "invited in foreign forces" and that "neither the union of Islamic courts nor the transitional federal government can take the high ground". Speaking from Kinshasa in the Congo she said: "They've all been backed by foreign forces."
The Islamists have rallied their supporters by condemning reports that Ethiopian troops, Somalia's traditional enemy, have entered the country to protect the government. The government, in turn, accuses the Islamists of receiving weapons from Eritrea.
On Saturday, mourners in Baidoa attended the burial of Abdallah Isaaq Deerow, the transitional government minister who was shot dead on Friday. Police chief Aadin Biid said nine people have been arrested regarding Deerow's death.
Saturday's funeral for Deerow forced officials to postpone a scheduled vote in parliament on a no-confidence bill against Gedi.
Somali PM refuses to quit
Thursday 03 August 2006
The prime minister of Somalia has refused to resign despite a mass exodus of cabinet ministers and mounting criticism over the deployment of Ethiopian troops to protect his 18-month-old powerless administration.
Abdurahman Mohamed Nur Dinari, a government spokesman, said Ali Mohamed Gedi was instead working to replace the 36 ministers who have quit the 102-member cabinet in the past week.
The ministers called for Gedi's resignation even after he escaped a vote of no confidence over the weekend.
"The prime minister is not going to resign. Instead he is consulting with the MPs who support him and clan elders to replace the ministers who have quit," Dinari told AFP from the government's temporary base in Baidoa, about 250km northwest of Mogadishu, on Thursday. "There is no legal basis for the prime minister to resign," he added.
Dinari spoke as Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and parliament speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden held private consultations after they disagreed with Gedi on whether to engage the Islamist militia in peace talks.
He said the fallout was caused by Yusuf and Aden insisting on sending delegates to the Arab League-mediated talks with the Islamists in Khartoum against Gedi's call for a postponement of the second round talks.
"The prime minister made it clear that the two were not respecting the principle of separation of powers and that it was his responsibility to chose delegates," Dinari said.
The Islamists, grouped under the Supreme Islamic Council of Somalia (SICS), hold sway of much of southern Somalia, including the capital, which they seized after routing US-backed warlords in clashes that claimed at least 360 lives.
On Wednesday, the SICS chief Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys
invited ministers who had resigned to join his movement and lashed out at Gedi for allowing the deployment of Ethiopian troops that has split the country.
The SICS have said that they will not participate in the talks until the Ethiopian troops pull back, with some Islamists calling for war against their northern neighbour.
The United Nations, the United States and other Western countries have warned that any interference by Somalia's neighbours might scupper efforts to achieve lasting peace in the country.
The Somali government, formed in Kenya in late 2004 after more than two years of peace talks, was seen as the best chance for the lawless nation to set up a functioning administration since the ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.
Islamists seize key Somali town
Wednesday 09 August 2006
The Islamic militia has seized control of a strategic township near the Ethiopian border from Somalia's transitional government, further expanding their territory, officials and residents say.
There were no reported casualties in the clash, which saw only a brief exchange of fire around 7am (0400 GMT) on Wednesday.
Islamic militia commander Yusuf Makaraan said his fighters took control of Beledweyne, the capital of Hiraan region 300km north of Mogadishu, after Yusuf Ahmed Hagar, the Ethiopia-backed, government-appointed governor, allegedly fled to Ethiopia.
"We have full control of Beledweyne," Makarran told AFP by telephone.
"The governor fled and we captured one battlewagon - a pickup truck mounted (with) a machine gun - from his fleeing forces."
"People closed their business centres and are very much concerned that likely renewed clashes between Islamists and Yusuf Hagar clan members" might resume, said resident Mumin Derow.
Fear of attack
The growing influence of the Supreme Islamic Council of Somalia (SICS), which controls much of southern Somalia including the capital Mogadishu, has threatened the authority of the transitional government based in Baidoa, about 250km northwest of the capital.
The Islamists have shown interest in controlling other parts of Somalia, but have denied accusations of planning to raid Baidoa, where Ethiopian troops have been deployed to protect the fragile government.
Residents here expressed fear that Ethiopian soldiers, who are stationed on the border, might attack.
"We are afraid that the former governor might lead to intervention by the Ethiopian force," said Mustafa Aw-Abdi.
"Hagar is not in Ethiopia to worship, he is seeking military support."
"If Ethiopia intervenes militarily to bring back Hagar to power, that will renew more violence," said Ahmed Abdullahi, a shop owner.
"I am sure Ethiopians will come to support their man in Beledweyne. But they can't keep him in power."
The deployment of the Ethiopians in Baidoa and Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi's refusal to engage Islamists in talks has led to mass resignations of ministers, compelling Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, the president, to fire the whole cabinet.
The Islamists have refused to participate in Arab League-mediated peace talks in Khartoum until the Ethiopian soldiers pull out, apparently complicating efforts to restore a functional authority in this impoverished, war-torn African nation.
The brief clashes in Beledweyne, which links southern Somalia to the agriculturally rich central regions, came after Hagar refused to formally hand over control to the Islamists.
More Ethiopian troops enter Somalia
Sunday 20 August 2006
Hundreds more Ethiopian troops have arrived in the town of Baidoa, the seat of Somalia's largely powerless transitional government, officials and witnesses say.
The soldiers are reportedly taking over the security of an airport which was abandoned when government troops defected to the Islamic militia that controls the capital, Mogadishu, and much of the south of the country.
Witnesses said about 90 government troops went over to the Supreme Islamic Council of Somalia (SICS), the latest in a series of defections.
Earlier, residents in Awdiinle, about 30km from Baidoa said they saw 11 trucks carrying about 300 heavily armed Ethiopian soldiers pass through.
"We have seen Ethiopian troops here in Awdiinle," a resident told Reuters news agency. "They are advancing towards Baidoa. We know these are Ethiopian troops because of their trucks and their uniforms."
The Supreme Islamic Council of Somalia, formerly called the Islamic Courts Union, said the soldiers came at the request of the government.
Ethiopia moved troops into Somalia last month to protect the Somali government from attacks by the increasingly powerful Islamists who it says are being supplied by neighbouring Eritrea.
Both countries have denied that Ethiopian troops are in the country, but Addis Ababa has threatened to "crush" the Islamic courts if they target the transitional government.
The Islamists have refused to participate in Arab League-mediated peace talks in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, until the Ethiopian troops pull out.
The latest deployment came as the Islamist movement announced it would organise a national forum to plan the country's future, further bypassing the weak transitional government.
More than 14 internationally backed initiatives have failed to restore peace in Somalia, which plunged into lawlessness in 1991 after Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown.
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