UN/AU Continues Somali Slaughter
By Thomas C. Mountain, Countercurrents.org
For over a year now the United Nations/African Union troops in Mogadishu, so called “peacekeepers”, have been regularly firing mortars and artillery into Somali neighborhoods in retaliation for attacks by the Somali resistance.
“Peacekeepers” firing artillery into civilian neighborhoods? “Peacekeepers” killing untold thousands of innocent women and children whose only crime was being Somali and living within range of the UN/AU artillery?
You have to wonder, are these Peace Keepers or Peace Killers?
The Somali resistance, or what the western media prefers to call “Al Queda linked Al Shabab” regularly stages hit and run mortar attacks on the UN/AU “green zone”, the steadily shrinking area of Mogadishu still controlled by the over 6,000 AU troops,mainly from Uganda and Burundi. Occasionally manned bomb attacks successfully penetrate the defenses surrounding the UN/AU Green Zone and do some serious damage.
Response from the UN/AU forces comes in the form of mortar and artillery fire, punishing the surrounding neighborhoods without regard for any actual presence of armed fighters. When the smoke and dust clears, with the Bakara market place seeming to be a favorite target, the dead are quickly buried, as in the Islamic tradition, and the bodies of those killed that lay unclaimed by family or friends end up in the local morgue. Estimates run for every one body turned into the morgue, an official death, 4 others are buried unreported.
When a leading Somali web site reports “On December 20, 2009 UN[AU] indiscriminate shelling killed 14 civilians and wounded 33 at the Bakara Market” the real body count was more like 70 dead. The Somali site goes on, “October 28, 2009...4 civilians killed, October 26...5 civilians killed...October 22...17 civilians killed...September 29,,,12 civilians killed...”. The year since has seen a dramatic upswell of violence.
The western media regularly reports body counts from Mogadishu as if these torn and broken bodies are the result of people being caught in some sort of crossfire. The reality is nearly all of these dead and wounded are innocent civilians killed by UN/AU “peacekeepers”.
Those of us who live in the Horn of Africa can only shake our heads and wonder, once again, where is the justice in this world? Why is this is slaughter being allowed to continue?
Is it because the world must continue it’s war on terror? Terror as in Al Queda and its local Somali wing Al Shabab?
Al Shabab as an independent armed group didn't even exist until the USA and UN/AU sent the Ethiopian army to invade Somalia at the end of 2006 and destroy the first peace seen in Mogadishu in 15 years. Up until the US backed Ethiopian invasion in 2006 Al Shabab was the youth arm of the Union of Islamic Courts and helped establish law and order in Mogadishu. The Union of Islamic Courts, with Al Shababs support established the beginnings of a new government that Somalis all over the world had been praying for. When the western instigated Ethiopian invasion took place followed by the retreat into temporary exile of the Union of Islamic Courts if was left to the likes of Al Shabab to step up and lead the Somali resistance, something is has done all to well.
Destoy the peace and create a new nightmare for US foreign policy in the form of “Al Queda linked Al Shabab”? What else should have been expected of the latest insanity by the worlds lone superpower when it comes to the Horn of Africa.
Of course we shouldn't forget to mention that the UN/AU “peacekeepers” are in Mogadishu to protect “democracy”. This democracy is presently in its third version of the “Transitional Federal Government of Somalia” headed this incarnation by one Sheik Sharif.
Sheik Sharif? Didn't he use to be part of the “Al Queda linked Union of Islamic Courts”? Wasn’t he the guy I used to raise my expresso to in the lobby of the former Imperial Hotel here in Asmara during the Somali unity conference and laugh about how I was sitting next to someone from “Al Queda”? Sheik Sharif? Is this the guy who went to bed one night being linked to Al Queda and woke up the next morning as a “democratically elected leader of the Somali Government”...? Democratically elected not in Somalia but in Djibouti, all the while surrounded by US and French military.
The western press continues to report that the UN/AU troops are “peacekeepers” rather than a foreign occupation army. Readers of the corporate media are told that the “peacekeepers” are there to protect the world from terrorism and are not actually slaughtering thousands of innocent Somali civilians. We are told that Instead of ending this crime against humanity support for the ongoing slaughter in Mogadishu must be stepped up or god forbid, Somalia will become a haven for terrorists from around the globe.
These “peacekeepers” hail from Uganda and Burundi, both countries with a long history of civil war and horrific massacres. Uganda is at war with the Lords Resistance Army, still continuing its decades long terror in the north. Worse, Uganda is once again facing ethnic unrest, and the next election could see ethnic cleansing break out, started by the largest tribe, the Bugandans.
So why are Ugandan troops in Somalia? Uganda gets some 40% of its budget from foreign aid and until the long dreamed of petroleum bonanza comes rolling in it must dance to the masters tune. After the Ethiopians were routed by the Somali resistance the west needed a new enforcer, and President Musuveni was induced into filling the role. As for Burundi, as in Rwanda, the Hutu-Tutsi bloodletting has been erupting of and on since independence, and the capital of Burundi could well use the Burundi troops in Somalia to help keep the peace at home. Burundi is increasingly dependent on western dollars just to feed its people, and “peacekeepers” earn hard currency for their government.
Unfortunately, the Ugandan and Burundian generals pocket much of their troops salaries and UN/AU “peacekeepers” end up selling their western weaponry for hard cash on the black market all to often to the very ones the UN/AU so loudly condemns, “Al Queda linked Al Shabab”.
The facts of the matter are that the west does not want peace in Somalia. Almost two decades ago the USA did its best to massacre the leading voices for peace of the Somali indigenous, clan based leadership during its ill fated invasion. Fifteen years later, when peace finally broke out in Somalia, Ethiopia was given the dirty task of destroying it.
With Ethiopia’s defeat, Ugandan and later Burundian troops filled the gap. Recently there has even been talk of Guinea sending troops. Just last year Guinea’s army was being roundly condemned by the west for its own massacres, yet are now being put forward as “peacekeepers” for Mogadishu?
As has been said here before, truth is so often stranger than fiction, and when it comes to the Horn of Africa fiction is passed as fact. Peace Keepers or Peace Killers,in Mogadishu? Again, you be the judge.
Thomas C. Mountain
thomascmountain at yahoo dot com