UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
____________________________________________________________________ S O M A L I A N E W S U P D A T E ____________________________________________________________________ Vol 3, No 23 September 14, 1994. ISSN 1103-1999
Somalia News Update is published irregularly via electronic mail and fax. Questions can be directed to Bernhard.Helander@antro.uu.se or to fax number +46-18-151160. All SNU marked material is free to quote as long as the source is clearly stated.
UNOSOM AND THE PRICE FOR PEACE
SOMALIA NEWS UPDATE (Uppsala/Mogadishu/Washington DC, September 14)
-- "The line between defraying the costs for the peace process and purchasing cooperation has frequently been crossed by UNOSOM", says a former employee of the organization. Since at least early 1994 UNOSOM has made it a policy to hand over large amounts of funds to individuals within the various militias.
At the recent meeting of the exiled leaders for the SNM, SDA, USF and USP militias in Djibouti, a member of former SNM chairman Abdirahman "Tuur's" entourage, Ismael "Buubaah", displayed a letter from UNOSOM where the sum of 200,000 US dollars were pledged as support for the logistical expenses for SNM's participation in what was referred to as the "peace process". The head of UNOSOM's political division, Ambassador Ataul Karim has in a letter to Somalia News Update confirmed UNOSOM's financial support to Abdirahman "Tuur". Ambassador Victor Gbeho, the current SRSG, has declined to comment.
Abdirahman "Tuur" was the person who pronounced the secession of the Northwestern regions in May 1991. In 1993 he stood for, but lost, the elections for presidency in the unilaterally declared Somaliland Republic. After a meeting with the former acting SRSG Lansane Kouyate and the SNA leader Mohamed Farah Aideed, Abdirahman "Tuur" re-emerged on the Somali political scene from his exile in London, denounced the secession and claimed to be the legitimate leader of the Northwest. At the same time the elected president of the Nortwest/Somaliland has accused UNOSOM of withholding funds for the disarmament, the police force and the judicial system.
The support for Abdirahman "Tuur" appears to be just one of many similar deals struck between UNOSOM and various individuals within the different militias or persons associated with conferences that have been held or that are expected to be held. In late August UNOSOM gave the Imaam of Hiraab 300,000 dollars to help reconcile the warring Hawiye militias. The Imaam is the head of a Hawiye subclan to which both Aideed's Habar Gedir and Ali Mahdi's Abgaal belong. Sources in the US administration has told Somalia News Update that more than half of these funds went straight to Aideed. The Imaam already received a contribution from UNOSOM in January this year, earmarked for the various "feasts" that he was expected to hold. UNOSOM is also currently struggling with Aideed over a bill that he has handed over for his alleged expenses surrounding the ill-fated March agreement in Nairobi. The bill puts these expenses at 600,000 dollars and UNOSOM is currently trying to negotiate that down, despite the sentiment on the part of most observers that the demand should have been rejected out of hand. UNOSOM is also bothered by a similar demand from Morgan for 90,000 dollars he claims to have spent at the Lower Jubba conference.
UNOSOM has already spent between 500,000 and 600,000 dollars on the Lower Jubba conference earlier this summer, according anonymous UNOSOM sources. Much of this is rumoured to have found its way into the pockets of Morgan and Osman Atto. The Ogadeni (Absaame) conference in Dobley received a UNOSOM contribution of 57,000 dollars. A Somali eyewitness describes how a UNOSOM official handed the cash to Omar Jess, who turned to his left and handed it over to the new "Imaam" of the Absame, Sayid Hussein. Absame participants from all camps agree that Hussein pocketed a good deal of the money and even cut the conference short when he felt that it was eating into too much of the proceeds.
The Absame clans are also reportedly unhappy with the discrepancy between UNOSOM's patronage of the lower Jubba conference and the Dobley meeting, seeing in it continued favouritism by UNOSOM towards the Aideed-Morgan-Abdullahi Yusuf triangle.
Peace conferences have become the latest camel for the faction leaders to milk. And despite the little control that UNOSOM exerts over how its funds are handled once handed over, they seem only too willing to pay. Yet the handling of these funds are not the only questions that external observers have about UNOSOM's finances. Sources in UNOSOM's finance section has remarked that some of the checks picked up by former acting SRSG were earmarked for peace conferences that never took place. The 4 million dollars taken out of a UNOSOM filing cabinet last spring still remains unaccounted for. Perhaps sensing an immanent shutdown of UNOSOM, Brown and Root, who currently supplies logistical support has signalled that they will terminate their contract in December.
PEACEKEEPERS IN COMBAT?
SOMALIA NEWS UPDATE (Uppsala/Mogadishu, September 14) -- For the past week rumours have circulated in Indian media that the recent attacks on its peacekeeping contingent in Somalia was either carried out or instigated by the Pakistani peacekeeping contingent. India's army chief, General Bipin Chandra Joshi, said in Indian television on Friday that the performance of the 5,400 Indians serving with UN peacekeeping forces in Somalia had been a success.
"Our success had caused jealousies", Joshi said. "We believe those who were jealous of our performance of attacking us directly or getting snipers to do the job".
The remark came shortly after Pakistani Premier Benazir Bhutto at the meeting of the Organization of Islamic Countries said that the disputed Indian Kashmir province was part of Pakistan.
The last US diplomats will this week transfer to Kenya. The US administration apparently hosts vary mixed opinions about what a correct Somalia policy should comprise. The US Somalia ambassador Daniel Simpson, in a recent Washington Post interview said: "If you really believe in the principle of self-determination, then they have the right not to have a government. If they don't want to have a nation-state, that's their right. The old saying is true; you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. The world cannot force a people to constitute a government."
"There's no more Somalia", Simpson added. "Somalia's gone. You can call the place where the Somali people live 'Somalia', but Somalia as a state disappeared in 1991". What is likely to emerge now, he said, is "a quilt of pieces. ... It will look pretty much like the 19th- century Somali coast when the colonialists came", with a collection of city-states and trading posts along the coast and some sultanates in the interior.
However, more on the line of UNOSOM's ambition to create a quick- fix government from an assembly of the warlords, US State Department director for East African affairs David Shinn in a recent speech in Mogadishu assured that the US withdrawal did not mean the United States was abandoning the country. The mission will operate out of Nairobi and would play a "modest role" in Somalia. Shinn said: "We are prepared to return once things are back to normal and a national government is established".
A general reshuffle is under way within all the peacekeeping contingents with and troops abandoning outlying garrisons and concentrating in the major population centres. Following the recent attacks on the peacekeepers in Baydhabo, Beled Weyne and Balad, UNOSOM has declared that UNOSOM troops now are authorized to respond to fire directed against them. However, there are still no plans to let peacekeepers seek to intervene to curb inter-factional fighting.
THE HARGEYSA AIRPORT
SOMALIA NEWS UPDATE (Hargeysa/Uppsala, September 13) -- All air traffic to and from Somaliland has for some time been routed via other airports than Hargeysa. The measure was taken in an attempt to literally starve out the armed group of youngsters that have held the airport and been demanding expensive fees. Recently the elders of the clan to which the youngsters belong, the Idagalle, wrote a letter in support of the government explaining that although the group at the airport were children of their clan, they had now been disowned and declared as outlaws, and neither the clan nor its elders would oppose any form of government action directed against the gangsters.
The letter is a significant development as the Idagalle clan is a subgroup of the Garhajis group of clans to which the former SNM leader Abdirahman "Tuur" belongs. Some exiled opposition groups have argued that his recent denunciation of Somaliland's secession had won wide support among all Garhajis clans.
In another development, all roadblocks and checkpoints between Hargeysa and Berbera, the heartland of Garhajis, has now been removed.
SNU is an entirely independent newsletter devoted to critical analysis of the political and humanitarian developments in Somalia and Somaliland. SNU is edited and published by Dr. Bernhard Helander, Uppsala University, Sweden. SNU is produced with support from the Scandinavian Institute of African Studies, Uppsala, Sweden.
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 09:52:04 +0100 From: Bernhard Helander
Message-Id: <199409290852.AA00920@strix.udac.uu.se> Subject: No_23
Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
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