Confronting US Imperialism in Somalia
by Farid Abdi Mohamed Omar
Towards the end of 2006, US-backed Ethiopian forces, with the direct support of American air power, rolled into Somalia to oust the Union of Islamic Courts that had restored peace and security in much of southern Somalia during their brief reign of power.
The illegal invasion and occupation of Somalia that installed a puppet war-lord regime marks a new phase of US imperialism in Somalia, plunging the war-torn nation into further anarchy.
It is also part of US militarist agenda meant to complete the unfinished business of the so-called "Operation Restore Hope," which went up in smoke in 1993 when nationalist forces defeated and humiliated US forces that occupied Somalia.
Somalia has endured a long history of imperialism both at the hands of European colonial powers and the US. But the Somali people have always demonstrated their strong determination to resist Western imperialism, and, in 1960, European colonizers were eventually defeated when Somalia attained its national independence.
In the early 1980s, US imperialism gradually took hold in Somalia as the US administration propped up the Barre military dictatorship through financial aid and the massive transfer of arms.
Working in collusion with Barre, US destabilization in this era was aimed at suppressing and dividing the Somali people, thereby making Washington directly responsible for state collapse in Somalia.
The primary objective of the US hegemonic designs in Somalia is the unfettered access to Somalia's untapped but massive oil reserves and vast uranium deposits. In geopolitical terms, Somalia is strategically located because it lies at the confluence where the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea converge. It oversees the daily passage of oil tankers that go through the Suez Canal while its close proximity to the Middle East and Sudan makes it ideal for the US to launch military strikes against perceived "Islamist threat" in the region.
Worse still, the US plans to use the strategic City of Berbera as the base of its newly launched Africom (Africa Command), a Pentagon-orchestrated scheme aimed at completing the militarization of the entire African continent.
Just as the Somali people rallied to defeat US imperialism in 1993, Somali resistance against the ongoing occupation will stop at nothing short of stamping out the remaining vestiges of imperialism
As well, the Somali Diaspora has stepped up its peaceful resistance to US imperialism, and this is evident in the recent well-attended Somalia Peace rallies organized by the Somali Canadian Diaspora Alliance (SDA). The SDA has also built alliances with like-minded organizations and other solidarity groups fighting against war and occupation in other parts of the world.
In fighting the occupation, and by forging ahead to rebuild a united, peaceful Somalia, an umbrella organization bringing together eight progressive Somali Diaspora organizations from both Canada and the United States was formed in November during a major conference held in Virginia.
The mandate of the new organization known as Somali Cause, is to demand an immediate end to the Ethiopian occupation and rampant war crimes, promote an all-inclusive national reconciliation process, and call for the establishment of an International War Crimes Tribunal for Somalia.
The main objective is to forge a united front to peacefully free Somalia from occupation and oppression, and to bring lasting freedom and democracy to the Somali people.
Farid Abdi Mohamed Omar, a long-time radio journalist, is a conflict analyst, peace researcher, and an international writer on politics, sports, and lifestyle. Farid is a recipient of the prestigious international scholarly award -- the Golden Key International Honour Society Award and the New Pioneers Award. The University of Toronto named Farid the Silcox Scholar in Public Administration. This article first appeared in his blog FaridNet.