Tag Archives: Ethiopia

US Launches Missile Attack In Somalia

The Bush administration has always been clear about its policy of striking at alleged terrorists regardless of where they are hiding. Over the weekend, the United States launched a missile attack on the Somali town of Dobley to kill an alleged terrorist who was in a house. “It was a deliberate, precise, strike against a known terrorist” stated a US military official. Of course, similar “precise” attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq have sometimes resulted in the death of innocent civilians, but the Bush reasoning is if you are in the vicinity of a terrorist then, by definition, you are aiding the terrorist. Clan elder Ahmed Nur Dalaib said a senior Islamic official, Hassan Turki, was in town trying to mediate a conflict between his forces and a militia that was loyal to the Somali government.

The Bush administration urged Ethiopia to invade Somali and destroy its Islamic government resulting in a Christian nation now occupying a Muslim nation. Perhaps, there is logic in this invasion, but, so far, it has only resulted in further conflict.

It’s Not Us-It’s Them, Say Ethiopians

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia accused United Natins forces of exaggerating the humanitarian and security issues in Somalia to make it appear as though Ethiopians were the responsible party for problems in that nation. At the beginning of the year, Ethiopia, in conjunction with some American forces, invaded Somalia which was a center of fundamentalist Muslims who ruled the nation on the basis of Sharia law. the Ethiopian army readily defeated the Somalians with great loss of life on the part of Muslim soldiers. Ethiopian soldiers then occupied areas of Somalia which eventually led to attacks by Somalian Islamic rebels. The African Union has only deployed 1,600 of the promised 8,000 who were to help ensure security in Mogadishu and the surrounding areas. The Ethiopian president denied his troops fired on civilians or committed any atrocities as charged by certain members of the western media. There is considerable evidence Ethiopian forces denied access to humanitarian aid in parts of eastern Ethiopian which contains a large Muslim minority in the mainly Christian nation.

The United Nations estimates at least 1.5 million people have been displaced since the Ethiopian invasion. The Islamic government which had established the semblance of law and order prior to arrival of Ethiopian forces undoubtedly was mouthing the rhetoric of violence, but there is scant evidence it actually carried out any violent actions. There is no question imposition of Sharia law angered many moderate Muslims. The reality is the presence of a Christian Ethiopian army in a basically Islamic society, a situation leading to conflict and violence. Hopefully, the African Union can put together an armed force to replace the Ethiopians, but that probably will not occur within the coming months.

Chaos Accelerates In Somalia

The situation in Somalia continues its rapid decline into even more chaos than previously has been characteristic of this nation. The United Nations estimates about 1,000,000 people are now refugees in their own land and at least 200,000 have fled the capital of Mogadishu in the past two weeks. Several months ago, an Ethiopian invasion urged on by President Bush led to the overthrow of an Islamic fundamentalist government and the creation of an interim Muslim government lacking power or authority. The UN Commissioner For Refugees(UNHCR) describes “Families continue to lack proper shelter and consistently resort to using any material– including plastic bags– to patch up their tukuls–flimsy dome-shaped shelters.” The UN authorized a force of 8,000 soldiers to assist in the area but only 1,600 Ugandans are in Somalia.

George Bush is convinced that any type of Muslim government ruled by Islamic fundamentalist must, by definition, be a terrorist organization. He encouraged Ethiopia, a basically Christian nation, to overthrow a Muslim government and the result is even more chaos. Unfortunately, President Bush can not impose his will on people who detest his world perspective. Perhaps, America must, at times, accept the presence of a Muslim government that does not meet its standards because the alternative is chaos in the lives of millions of innocent people.

Somali Fighting Continues– 80 Dead, Hundreds Wounded

Fighting continues in Somalia’s capital as Ethiopian and Islamic forces clash over control in the nation’s largest city. The number of dead ranges from 60-80 and hospitals report at least 250 wounded. The Ethiopian army was enraged when one of their soldiers was killed and his body dragged through the streets to cheers. This initiated a rampage of fury as Ethiopian soldiers fired indiscriminately at civilians, many of whom were trying to flee for safety. A local elder, Ali Muse Mohamed described the scene: “It is a very gruesome scene. They indiscriminately shot innocent civilians who were fleeing the fighting.” There are reports of many children being killed and at least 114,000 have left Mogadishu in the past week. This brings the total of displaced people since the Ethiopian invasion to a total of 850,000. There have been no protests from American authorities even though the United States provided naval and air support for the Ethiopians.

Many conservative critics note as justification for the chaos that Ethiopians replaced an oppressive Islamic government. Of course, the same argument is used by President Bush to explain away the chaos in Iraq. The only conclusion one can reach is whenever Bush engages in foreign policy ventures, the result will be violence and people displaced from their homes.

Fruit Of Bush African Policies– Chaos In Somalia!

Several months ago, President Bush encouraged Ethiopia, which is predominantly Christian, to invade and conquer its Islamic government because he regarded the fundamentalist Muslims as part of the international terrorist movement. The Islamic government was wiped out and a new Somalian government put in place. In the past few days bloody fighting has erupted on the streets of the Somali capital, Mogadishu which has left at least 51 people dead in one of the goriest 24 hours the city has seen. Ethiopian soldiers fought insurgents in up-close battles that resulted in at least 10 soldiers being killed and one of the dead was stripped of his shirt and dragged through the streets in a scene reminiscent of the killing of American soldiers in the 1990s. The Ethiopian soldiers became infuriated and went through the city shooting people in an indiscriminate manner. A resident, Zakaria Adde, said, “We collected 12 bodies, mostly elderly people, women and children. They were shot by Ethiopians. Some of them bled to death in the streets where they were left all night.”

Thousands of people have left the capital and flooded into outlying towns where they create a new humanitarian crisis. The Bush administration provided air and naval support for the Ethiopian invasion. This is simply on more example of the inability of George Bush to conceptualize what happens after you overthrow a government?

War Looms In Horn Of Africa As Bush Stands Idly By

The International Crisis Group, a prominent think tank, warned that “the risk that Ethiopia and Eritrea will resume heir war in the next several weeks is very real” Both sides have moved thousands of troops to their borders and any incident might spark the resumption of war. If war breaks out, claims the group, “there will be no easy military solution,” since both sides are prepared to fight indefinitely. Part of the reason for the current crisis arises from the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia which was encouraged and supported by the Bush administration which wanted to crush the Islamic government which was in power. Eritrea, as a Muslim nation, opposed this action by Ethiopia which is mainly Christian. The two nations have previously been at war although an uneasy peace now reigns. President Bush has within his power the ability to calm things down since Ethiopia obtains considerable support and aid from the United States.

This is merely another example of Bush in operation. He becomes obsessed with crushing “terrorism” and in so doing only exacerbates issues, not solves them. The Somalia Islamic government was undoubtedly not a supporter of democracy, but for the first time in years some semblance of order had been established in Somalia. Now, with an invasion led by Christian Ethiopian troops (the US provided naval and air support) anger among Muslims has risen. One wonders if Bush ever listens to experts prior to supporting violence.

Tragedy Looms In Somalia

A humanitarian crisis akin to Darfur is now probable in the nation of Somalia. Under impetus from President Bush, and with support from US naval and air forces, Ethiopian troops invaded that nation and crushed an Islamic government resulting in further chaos within a nation that has known only chaos for twenty years. Christian Ethiopian troops are clashing with an Islamic society. The UN’s humanitarian co-ordinator, Christtian Balslev-Olesen says there are “reports of house-to-house searches and large scale detention by Ethiopian troops which
have “created a climate of fear among the population not witnessed before.” Ethiopian troops and Islamic insurgents were engaged in three major battles over the weekend that left about 100 civilians injured. At least 46,000 have fled Mogadishu and there is lack of food and water and medical services for the refugees.

The world is living with another Bush folly, the invasion of Somalia by Christian Ethiopian troops who destroyed a fundamentalist Islamic government. Bush is absorbed in the ‘fight against terrorism” that he fails to grasp long-term implications of his actions. In the coming months thousands of innocent people may again die because President Bush committed another mistake due to his inability to be sensitive to Muslim needs and aspirations.

New Darfur Emerging In Ethiopia

A new Darfur is emerging in Ethiopia as government troops are engaged in a devastating attack upon the civilian population living in the Ogaden region of the eastern part of the nation. Troops recently entered the village of Kamuda, selected seven girls and took them away. The next day the body of one girl who was raped was found hanging from a tree. The following day another girl’s body was hanging while the other seven were never seen again. A 12 year old boy was gang raped. Each night, villagers heard knocks on their door to be greeted by soldiers in search of more women. Finally, most of the villages fled. It is estimated at least 200,000 people have left their homes in search of safety while troops burn villages, rape women and kill in the name of fighting a Muslim led insurgency. UN food destined for the area has frequently been halted. There is scant doubt a systematic program of violence and intimidation is occurring sponsored by the Ethiopian government.

Ethiopia is America’s main ally in the Cape of Horn area in Africa. The Bush administration provides arms and ammunition and coordinated American air strikes with the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia to overthrow a fundamentalist Muslim government. Most Ethiopians are Christians but the Ogaden region is mainly Muslim and many people are sympathetic towards the ONLF rebel group. The Darfur horror that is emerging is mainly caused by American assistance to the Ethiopian government. Bush can end this brutality by threatening to withhold arms and ammunition, but he will not since the “war against terror” is justified to allow any act of horror or attack on civil and human rights. Perhaps, it is time for a congressional investigation into how our assistance is a factor in rape, murder, and violence against innocent civilians.

Congress Prepared To Demand Democracy In Ethiopia

Congressman Donald Payne’s bill, H.R. 2003,(Ethiopian Democracy and Accountability Act, 2007) was passed by the House of Representatives. The bill, which is awaiting a vote in the Senate, requires the United States government to withhold assistance to the present Ethiopian government until it begins to cease its persecution policies in the Ogaden region and restores basic rights such as freedom of the press. It specifically aims at restoration of democratic procedures such as an independent judiciary, freedom of the press and free elections. Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the United States, Samuel Assefa attacked Payne for interfering in the affairs of an independent African nation and said this would only lead to instability in the region. U.S. Secretary of State for African Affairs, Jendyl Frazer said the Bush administration was trying to foster democracy in Ethiopia and things were “moving ahead.” Ethiopian opposition leader, Dr. Berhanu Nega, told Congressional committees of the continued violence and brutality of his nation’s government and, particularly its policies of starving people in the Ogaden region who are Muslims.

The Ethiopian government provides the Bush administration with an arm of oppression in east Africa that takes away focus on the United States. Ethiopian troops invaded Somalia, with covert US support, in order to overthrow the Muslim fundamentalist government. Ethiopia is predominantly Christian and the presence of its soldiers in Somalia is generally not welcomed by the population. Within Ethiopia, opposing voices are silenced as the brutal regime imposes its will upon the population. Bush continually spouts his support for democracy while supporting one dictatorial regime after another. Is it any wonder nations don’t trust the man?