Zooming into the Past                          



M O G A D I S H U   C I V I L   W A R S




Zooming into the 1990s interviews and statements, given by the spokespersons and leaders of Somali factions, enables us to prove that clan-animosity account of the Somali civil war has not been given the scholarly attention that its magnitude warrants, even after sixteen years of clan-warfare.  This clan-animosity feeling can in fact be derived from faction joint communiqué and statements; and therefore, posting selections of these public relation statements should be a matter of concern to all Somalis – particularly, to those who are in the field of Somali Studies.


After all, clan factionalism disguised in English acronyms (formed from three or four initial letters which include the sacrosanct letter “S”) are now facts of life for Somalis.  The words and deeds of the turbulent faction followers have ordained to presuppose that faction spokespersons assumed a monumental role in fuelling clan-hatred.  As a result of that, the Forum rushes in to investigate and share with you excerpts of faction communiqués, hoping to find solutions to the current tragic political situation in Somalia.  From our perspective, these selections are indeed those that Western scholars/(Somalists) most neglected, or could offer hints to the causes of the civil war.



F E B R U A R Y    1 9 9 0 s


Somali gunmen drive through the streets of Mogadishu




A young Somali smokes and holds a weapon as he and his friends sit on a car


Children pulling a donkey cart watch a carload full of armed militiamen pass through the streets of Mogadishu





'Heavy Fighting' Reported in Mogadishu

 Paris AFP in English 0957 GMT

February 13, 1992


[Text] Nairobi, Feb 13 (AFP)-Heavy fighting erupted in the Somali capital Mogadishu as U.N.-sponsored talks aimed `at ending three months of savage clan warfare continued in New York, relief officials said' here Thursday. The officials, in . contact with. Mogadishu by satellite telephone, said fighting had intensified Wednesday afternoon.


They said 16 people had been reported killed and 142 wounded in only two hours, ,despite a call for an imme�diate cease-fire by U.N. Secretary-General Butrus Butrus Ghali, the Arab League, the Organisation of African Unity and the Islamic Conference.


Meanwhile. three-member delegations from the two war�` ring factions were due to meet separately with the U.N. chief in New York on Thursday," and might later hold their first face-to-face talks.  "


Butrus Ghali, an Egyptian who is the first African to hold the post of U.N. secretary-general, is determined to end the carnage in Somalia, an East African country he is familiar with.


More than 20,000 people have been killed and wounded since a long-standing rivalry between interim President Ali Mahdi Mohamed and General Mohamed Farah Aidid erupted into a three-day bloodbath in September. A truce was agreed, but lasted only a month.


Ali Mahdi and Aidid lead opppsing factions of the large Haawiye clan and the United Somali Congress which overthrew President Mohamed Siad, Barre more than a year ago.        


Relief Flights Said Suspended

 Paris AFP in English 1520 GMT

February 13, 1992


[Text} Nairobi, Feb 13 (AFB.')-Aid-organizations flying food and medical supplies to Somalia's war-torn capital said flights had been suspended to northern Mogadishu on Thursday but were continuing to the main airport in the-south.


Heavy fighting erupted in Mogadishu as U.N.-brokered talks aimed at ending three months of- savage clan "warfare continued in New York.


Relief officials, in contact with Mogadishu by satellite telephone said fighting had intensified Wednesday after�noon. According to Somali sources, the forces of General Mohamed Farah Aidid, opposing those of interim Pres�ident Ali Mahdi Mohamed, reportedly launched a "mas�sive attack" on an airstrip used by Ali Mahdi '10 kilorne�tres (six miles) north of Mogadishu.


They said Ali Mahdi had apparently responded by shelling Aidid's territory in southern Mogadishu from his stronghold in the north.


The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC said it had cancelled a flight Thursday to the  airstrip in the north, which serves Ali Mahdi's sector, but was still flying to the main civilian 'airport in the south near Aidid's territory.


In Geneva, the ICRC said it had mobilized five boats distribute 6,000 tons of food to the most severely affected regions in Somalia's civil war.


In a communique, it said 'the first boat had arrived January 10 in Kismaayo and was being unloaded. Two boats were expected over the next few days to reach the ports of Hobyo and El Dheer, north of Mogadishu. Two others will leave Mombasa, Kenya, next week' for Merca and Brava, south of the Somali capital.


The ICRC, whose director of operations Jean de Courted visited Somalia from last- Saturday [8 February] to Monday [ 10 February], said it was taking medical equipment daily by plane to points on the front which divide Mogadishu. It said the hospital of Kaysannay, in the north of the capital, was operating and had a Dutch surgical team.


Somali clan alliance calls for talks

as U.N. goes

 By Aden Ali

February 06, 1995


A Pakistani officer does a head count of his troops waiting in line to board the last

ship out of Somalia March 2, 1995.


MOGADISHU, Feb 6 (Reuter) - A Somali clan warlord who once proclaimed himself president called on Monday for rivals to meet and forge peace before U.N. troops leave.


Ali Mahdi Mohamed, who leads the Somali Salvation Alliance of clan factions and declared himself president of the anarchic Horn of Africa country in 1991, told reporters his arch rival, Mohamed Farah Aideed, was invited.


Somalia's factions have held a string of peace conferences, some funded by the United Nations but all ending in failure, since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991.


The warlords whose feuding killed thousands of people and aggravated a disastrous famine have hugged in public or talked of interim government but nothing has come of it.


Ali Mahdi said on Monday he wanted the United Nations, which has spent millions of dollars on past talks, to be involved in the new effort involving up to 700 delegates on February 25 in Somalia or elsewhere.


Virtually all the 2,500 expatriate civilians from the United Nations who tried to restore a state and government in Somalia for the last two years will have been evacuated by then.


Only a rearguard of the United Nations force -- which once numbered nearly 30,000 troops from 28 nations -- will be left at Mogadishu's port and airport, waiting to be pulled out by a U.S. Marine task force.


It will be the end of a failed mission that cost the lives of more than 130 foreign troops and at least $1.5 billion a year.


The United Nations and Washington say they will not abandon efforts to help Somalis restore peace and set up a government -- but they will be doing it from neighbouring Kenya.


Many residents of Mogadishu gloomily predict that militias from Ali Mahdi and Aideed's clans will immediately fight over who is to control the port and airport when the U.N. leaves.


Ali Mahdi earned the hatred of Aideed when he declared himself president in January 1991 after Siad Barre was ousted. Their feud between November 1991 and March 1992 killed and wounded up to an estimated 30,000 people.


Ali Mahdi's new proposal, set out in a written statement, says his alliance's firm stand is "for the inviolability of Somali unity, independence and territorial integrity".


The proposal calls for a new constitution that would introduce a central government with autonomy for the regions, a system of Islamic law and an independent judiciary.


It also outlines a step-by-step process in which Somalia's militias will come together in a National Reconciliation Conference to establish a transitional government that would rule for two years.


Somalia currently has no judiciary, police force, government, or other state institutions. The country remains in the thrall of the clan militias locked in turf wars and living by plunder.


© 1995 Reuters Limited








Somalis loot U.N. barracks near the Mogadishu port





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