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  1. SITUATION IN SOMALIA Presentation to the Portfolio Committee Mr M Nkosi Deputy Director General: Africa Bilateral 04 June 2008 CONFIDENTIAL



  4. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND • In 1948, Britain donated the Somali inhabited Ogaden region to Ethiopia. By 1950, the United Nations had voted to grant Somalia independence. • In 1960, the two former colonies, viz. Northern Somalia ruled by Britain and Southern Somalia ruled by Italy were united to form the Somali Republic. • In 1967, former Prime Minister Ibrahim Egal was declared President, however on 21 October 1969, he was overthrown in a coup led by General Mohamed Siad Barre. Subsequent to that, the civilian cabinet was replaced by the Supreme Revolutionary Council (SCR) led by Barre. • The dictatorial rule by Siad Barre was influenced by the Socialist way of development intending to suppress Islam. CONFIDENTIAL

  5. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND (Cont) A) The Origins of the Conflict in Somalia • Real opposition to Mohamed Siad Barre’s regime emerged in 1977 after the Somali army was defeated in the Ogaden war between Somalia and Ethiopia. The war was an attempt by Barre to annex the Ogaden region of Ethiopia to create Greater Somalia. • The defeat also marked the beginning of clan based conflicts with a group of Majeerteen sub clan attempting a coup against Barre’s regime. The coup attempt resulted in many army officers being executed. Many however fled to Ethiopia and formed various groups including the Somali Salvation Democratic Front, led by Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, who today is the President of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). • By late 1980’s, a plethora of opposition groups based on clan allegiances had increased in opposition to Mohamed Siad Barre’s regime. This led to the fall of Mohamed Siad Barre’s regime in 1991. CONFIDENTIAL

  6. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND (Cont) A) The Origins of the Conflict in Somalia (Cont) • The fall of Mohamed Siad Barre’s regime saw the intensification of fighting among clans for power and resources, with the country gradually being disintegrated. In May 1991, the Somali Patriotic Movement in the North (Somaliland) proclaimed independence. • Since this period, Somalia has experienced 13 failed peace processes. Failure was due mainly to the tendency of the Somalis to rely heavily on military solutions, clan-based conflicts and non inclusion of all Somalis in the decision making and final outcomes of these processes. • The last peace process held in Mbagathi, Kenya 2004 (hence the name Mbagathi Peace Process) resulted in the adoption of the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC) and the formation of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), which brought hopes of peace but failed to achieve any. CONFIDENTIAL

  7. CURRENT SITUATION A) Political Situation • Paralysis of the TFG resulted in the emergence of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC). • Their stint was however short-lived as they were later expelled in January 2007 by Ethiopian Forces. • The UIC dissolved and have re-emerged as part of the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia based in Asmara. • On 15 May 2007, the TFG launched the national reconciliation congress amid criticism of its lack of transparency, inclusiveness and the fact that there was no agenda item on power sharing. • The conference was concluded on 30 August 2007 with a number of resolutions and time table for implementation. • International reaction was divided, with many observers labelling it a disappointment. CONFIDENTIAL

  8. CURRENT SITUATION (Cont) A) Political Situation • Bickering within the TFG continues. • President Yusuf seems determined to hang on to power despite poor health and the fact that he is increasingly being isolated by Western powers. • Prime Minister Nur Adde supports reconciliation, but lacks a power base of his own. Prime Minister Nur Adde has been compromised by his failure to condemn Ethiopian atrocities and now faces a no-confidence motion in the transition parliament. CONFIDENTIAL

  9. CURRENT SITUATION (Cont) A) Political Situation • The opposition Alliance for the Re-liberalisation of Somalia (ARS) is an alliance of elements of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), dissident members of the TFG’s parliament, some former warlords and leaders of the Somali Diaspora. • The Islamists in the ARS have pursued a dual diplomatic-military strategy. Al-Shabaab carries out the insurgency in Somalia. CONFIDENTIAL

  10. CURRENT SITUATION (Cont) A) Political Situation • The UN is now leading the political process in Somalia, with the UN Political Office for Somalia mediating peace talks between the ARS and the TFG in Djibouti. The talks started on 11 May 2008 and are led by the UN Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould Abdallah. • The UN proposed a three track approach to the situation in Somalia: i) political dialogue between the TFG and the ARS; ii) a credible security presence; and iii) programmatic track which proposes the programmatic expansion of capacity building support to the TFG/TFIs, economic recovery, etc. CONFIDENTIAL

  11. CURRENT SITUATION (Cont) B) Security Situation • Security situation worse than as any time in the past 17 years. Killings, rape, torture and disappearance are a daily occurrence in Mogadishu. • 6,500 civilians have been killed since 2007. • Looting is widespread and entire neighbourhoods are being destroyed. • Insurgents (Al-Shabaab) continue to make gains in Southern Somalia, pushing TFG forces back in Mogadishu and temporarily capturing strategic towns in the region. Counter-insurgency by TFG and Ethiopian troops. • On 19 January 2008, the AU PSC extended the mandate of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for a further six months. To date, only Uganda and Burundi have deployed 2,200 troops. CONFIDENTIAL

  12. CURRENT SITUATION (Cont) C) Humanitarian Situation • Humanitarian organisations have declared certain parts of Somalia as being in a state of humanitarian emergency. • Up to 1 million Somali civilians have been displaced internally and forced to flee the country. • 2.6 million Somalis need assistance. The figure is expected to reach 3.5 million by the end of the year. • The 2008 Consolidated Appeal Programme (CAP) for Somalia amounts to US$406 million and seek to provide urgent assistance and protection to 1.5 million people. • The high levels of insecurity have also created an obstacle in the work of humanitarian organisations. CONFIDENTIAL

  13. CURRENT SITUATION (Cont) D) Socio-economic Situation • Somalia is one of the world’s poorest countries, with no proper economic structure. • Agriculture is considered the most important sector; accounting for 40% of GDP and 65% of exports. • Livestock, hides, fish, charcoal and bananas are Somali's principal exports. • The oil sector has drawn international attention with a Chinese company signing a deal to explore northern Puntland. • The recent international food price crisis has also hit Somalia resulting in demonstrations in Mogadishu. • Food riots took place on 6 May 2008 CONFIDENTIAL

  14. REGIONAL RELATIONS A) Ethiopia • Financial burden and casualties make Ethiopia eager to withdraw from Somalia. However, withdrawal is on condition that a credible international peacekeeping operation is deployed. CONFIDENTIAL

  15. REGIONAL RELATIONS (Cont) B) Eritrea • Supports the opposition (the Alliance for the Re-liberalisation of Somalia) in Somalia. • Eritrea’s interests are centred around its border conflict with Ethiopia. • Eritrea also has a perspective that Ethiopia is imposing itself as a regional hegemon. CONFIDENTIAL

  16. REGIONAL RELATIONS (Cont) C) Kenya • Hosted the Mbagathi peace process which resulted in the formation of the TFG. • A significant amount of Somali refugees are in Eastern Kenya, the Dadaab area. CONFIDENTIAL

  17. REGIONAL RELATIONS (Cont) D) Djibouti • Pre-colonial Djibouti was part of the Greater Somalia. • Djibouti remains predominantly populated by the Gadabursi sub-clan of the Dir clan of Somalia. • Djibouti engaged in efforts of bringing peace in Somalia. Djibouti hosted the Arta peace process and is currently hosting talks between the TFG and the ARS. CONFIDENTIAL

  18. RELATIONS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES • A) South Africa • No diplomatic relations between South Africa and Somalia. • South Africa continues to support multilateral efforts to bring about peace and stability in Somalia. CONFIDENTIAL

  19. RELATIONS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES B) The United States • The US’ interests in Somalia are driven by its war on terror. Seeks to ensure that Somalia does not become an al-Qaeda haven. • The US Military carried out air strikes in Southern Somalia against suspected al-Qaeda operatives. CONFIDENTIAL

  20. RELATIONS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES C) China • Chinese interests are driven by the desire to obtain natural resources in the Continent. • In 2007, a deal was signed between a Chinese oil company and President Yusuf. • China is also the focal point of the UNSC on Somalia. CONFIDENTIAL

  21. RELATIONS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES D) Italy • Italy’s interests are based on its historical link with Somalia as the former colonial master. • However, Italy deals with Somalia through international structures such as the UN, the EU and the International Contact Group. • Within the EU, Italy influences the EU’s policy on Somalia. CONFIDENTIAL