25/10/08 (B471) Shabelle & Shabit / L’Erithrée déclare que les réunions programmées au Kenya, pour la recherche d’une solution en Somalie, ne sont que « des pertes de temps », qui se dérouleront « en vain ». // Eritrea says planned talks on Somalia in Kenya « futile attempts » (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

Eritrean government has insisted that Somali talks expected to start in Nairobi as fruitless.

A statement from foreign ministry of Eretria was written as follows:-

The invasion of the sovereign state of Somalia by external forces in gross violation of all international laws and principles is a shameful chapter in the history of the world that prides itself on its civilized laws and principles and modern philosophies of human rights. The massacre, destruction and displacement of innocent civilians that ensued after the invasion that was carried out in clear violation of the principles of the right to self-determination and the rule of law are by far the worst crimes on humanity in the 21st century.

Ill-devised invasion

The outcome of the ill-devised invasion has, so far, been nothing but failure and embarrassment. For two years the world has seen and heard the news of war, turmoil and human loss coming out of Mogadishu.

Desperate search for way out of Somalia

Having entered into a quagmire of fire to please its masters, the TPLF [Tigray People’s Liberation Front, reference to the current Ethiopian government] regime is now in desperate search for a way out.

Inescapable quagmire

Realizing that they are immersed deeply in an inescapable quagmire, the quarters that invaded Somalia have been making attempts to divide and weaken Somali opposition forces in a bid to cover up their failures and shake off accountability for the crimes on humanity they committed on the Somali people.

Futile attempts in Kenya

It is to be recalled that the ill-conceived so-called reconciliation attempts made by external powers in Djibouti had failed without accomplishing anything, because they did not include the wishes and desires of the Somali people and their political forces.

Yet, apparently having learned nothing from previous experience, the same quarters are now engaged in similar futile attempts in Kenya. However, there is one fact that these quarters have been unable to recognize, or refuse to recognize, i.e., the primary reason why the aforementioned attempts could not success is because the initiative was not taken by the Somali people, and its contents did not address Somali issues.

Deaf ears

It is to be recalled that the government of Eritrea two years ago warned that the invasion of Somalia by the TPLF regime and the US Administration could only lead to an inescapable quagmire and that it will entail dangerous consequences on the Horn of Africa. The Eritrean government had also pointed out that the Somali issue should [be resolved] and could only be resolved by the Somalis themselves. But the warnings fell on deaf ears and the illegal invasion was carried out.

In their attempt to cover up the failure they sustained in their initial erroneous measure through the use of excessive military force, these forces have in the past two years committed gross crimes on humanity against the Somali people which history will never forget. The Somali experience of the past two years in particular and what the world has learnt regarding the US Administration and their agents in general is that their tactic of trying to redeem one mistake by another is only a march forward to failure and destruction. Repeating in Kenya the failed attempt for so-called reconciliation in Djibouti is a clear example of the aforementioned fact.

Formidable challenge

Although the US Administration and the TPLF regime refuse to face facts as they are, their most formidable challenge in Somalia is the people’s own initiative for peace and reconciliation. Thus, it is clear that there is only one effective solution, i.e. to accept and respect the Somali people’s choice without interference. The problem is that of the Somalis and accepting the fact that it can only be resolved by the Somalis themselves would be a wise move.

Somalia’s territorial integrity

The only constructive role the international community can play is to encourage and create conducive grounds for the Somali people to come together and deliberate on their differences, and more importantly to respect Somalia’s territorial integrity.

25/10/08 (B471) Shabelle / Les USA conduisent une action diplomatique régionale pour faire prolonger le mandat du GNT. US seeks extension for Somali government (Info lecteur – En Anglais)

US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Affairs Jendayi Frazer has called upon the leaders of Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya to extend the mandate for the installed TFG (« Transitional Federal Government ») whose tenure is due to ran out within six months.

“We want to prevent the government from collapse because that will make worst the situation of Somalia” Frazer said.

From the start of next month in November, it is expected all current members of the TFG to be present in Nairobi for a meeting to formalise their extension for another five years without a lengthy voting process between the warlords.

One major obstacle facing the United States is the process of legitimising its servant nations such as Ethiopia and Uganda currently deploying troops in Somalia to protect the installed TFG and to fight the Somalis opposing such government.

The Ethiopian prime minister has been lobbying United Nations to accept the utter failures of current TFG to bring peace to Somalis. This he hopes will bolster United Nations suspicions of Somali incapacity to govern its territories.

Dr Asha-Rose Migiro acting deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations from Tanzania met with Meles Zenawi to discuss Ethiopia’s thirst to stay in Somalia by all means necessary.

This coincides at a serious moment when USA is expected to cut the budgets of servant nations such as those in East Africa. Ethiopia hopes UN to convert occupying Ethiopian troops in Somalia to « peace corps » coming under the UN flag rather than under the directives of American forces stationed in Djibouti.

Warlord government is assumed to enthusiastically welcome such American requests in a bid to hold on to their fiefdoms as they face increasing opposition from within the country. However, this could also lead to more fractured government as many illiterate government officials are heading to Nairobi on the assumption of building a « new » government.

TFG Parliamentary speaker Mr Madoobe left the seat of parliament in Baidao along with many parliament members to fly to Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. In a press release, he said .. all of us will participate in the building of a more inclusive government »

The UN supports the salaries of the warlord parliament of Somalia, and provides assistance to warlord government with travel expenses and other amenities. The UN does not recognise Somaliland who declared independence from Somalia, and continues to isolate officials from Somaliland in participating in UN sponsored conventions for Somalia.

By: Abdinasir Mohamed & Shuun Isaq

25/10/08 (B471) Shabelle : les insurgés attaquent Baïdo au mortier. Insurgents attack Baidoa airport with mortars (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

Mortar shells rained down Friday evening on the airport in Baidoa, the seat of the parliament, about 250kms south of Mogadishu, residents told Shabelle.

“A sudden bang suddenly broke out in Baidoa with consecutive blasts alternatively near the airport,” Madey Jesow, a shopkeeper in Baidoa, told Shabelle by telephone. “The Ethiopian troops and the government soldiers cordoned off the vicinity of the palace, the roads are empty, business is closed and the tension in the capital is high.”

A military spokesman in Baidoa who requested to remain unnamed, confirmed the attack through a telephone interview. He said there were no casualties reported but he confirmed that four shells landed in and around the airfield.

Residents reported this morning that five injured government soldiers were admitted at the hospital in the town.

Baidoa is the seat of the Somali parliament where many of members of parliament are based and it is the second time in the recent past that the place has been attacked since after the Islamists were chased out of south and central Somalia in late 2006 with the help of Ethiopian troops.

Southern and central Somali towns have been the hardest-hit with insurgent attacks, including roadside bombings, assassinations and guerilla-type attacks against the government forces and their Ethiopian allies. But in recent months, more attacks have been reported in the countryside, including in the Bay region and other regions in central Somalia.

25/10/08 (B471) Shabelle : ouverture ce samedi matin du troisème tour des négociations pour la paix en Somalie, qui se déroulent à Djibouti, sous l’égide des Nations Unies. Third round of Somali peace talks open in Djibouti (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

Abdinasir Mohamed Guled

UN-backed talks have opened will open in Djibouti on Saturday in a bid to end the civil conflict that has raged in Somalia for nearly two decades.

The talks on Saturday which will open at 10:00pm local time are aimed at bringing Somali government officials and exiled opposition leaders into direct dialogue in a push for peace.

The Islamic Courts’ Union, and the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia, their allies, demand the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops but the two sides have agreed in the ealy talks the Ethiopians to pull out within 120 days.

The first rounds of discussions, the two sides jointly agreed different articles including the withdrawal of the Ethiopian troops from Somalia within 120 days, but the move was seen as a breakthrough in efforts to end a conflict which has seen at least 6,000 civilians die in fighting over the past year, according to international rights groups and aid agencies.

It also urged Somali factions that have so far shunned the process to participate in the negotiations.

While some Islamist leaders and influential clan leaders have joined the discussions, other Islamist opposition leaders claim the mediation was biased and continued to demand an Ethiopian withdrawal before talks can start.

The talks are taking place despite continued violence in Somalia, on Friday two soldiers and three Islamists killed in Bardale town of Bay region when fighting erupted.

Somalia has not had functioning government since 1991 after dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted from power by tribal militias.

25/10/08 (B471) AFP / Les USA lancent un avertissement à l’Erithrée pour qu’elle règle le problème de frontière avec Djibouti. U.S. warns Eritrea to resolve dispute with Djbouti (En Anglais – Info lectrice)

The United States on Thursday warned Eritrea that it faces « appropriate action » from the UN Security Council if it refuses to cooperate to resolve its border dispute with Djibouti peacefully.

US Ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad said Asmara had defied the world community by attacking its smaller neighbor last June « in a violent confrontation that left 44 Djiboutian soldiers dead and many more missing. »

He said a UN fact-finding mission « has clearly documented the extent to which the Djiboutian govt has worked to resolve the crisis peacefully. »

Khalilzad said that in line with the mission’s recommendation, the United States was calling on UN chief Ban Ki-moon to send a high-level envoy to the area « immediately. »

« Eritrea should be given a clear timeframe in which to accept the assistance of the United Nations, the African Union or any other organization or body that is acceptable to both parties to find a peaceful solution to the crisis, » he said.

« However if Eritrea rebuffs any such effort at resolution, the council must react appropriately, » he added.

France’s UN Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert for his part proposed that the 15-member council begin early consultations on a text that would « strongly reiterate its demands to Eritrea, notably the withdrawal of its forces (from Djiboutian territory). »

He said such demands should be coupled with « a clear timeframe. »

Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh meanwhile urged the Council to demand that both parties be given three weeks to resolve the crisis.

« Any failure to comply should trigger sanctions from the Council, » he added.

But Eritrea’s UN Ambassador Araya Desta slammed what he called « the series of hostile campaigns » against his country and « the unwarranted statements that followed any concrete evidence. »

He asserted that the June border clashes was « instigated by the unprovoked attack unleashed by Djibouti against our units inside our own territory. »

« Contrary to the claims made, Eritrea has not taken any land that belongs to Djibouti and it does not have territorial ambitions, » he added.

Last June, the Security Council has already urged Eritrea to withdraw its troops from a border area in dispute with Djibouti. A similar demand was made by the African Union in July.

The long-running border row between Djibouti and Eritrea over the disputed Ras Doumeira promontory on the shores of the Red Sea flared up last June after previous clashes in 1996 and 1999.

The clashes have assumed a greater strategic significance because both France and the United States have bases in Djibouti, a former French colony. Some 100 French troops have deployed along the border.

The United States has more than 1,200 troops stationed in Djibouti, which hosts an anti-terrorism task force in the Horn of Africa.