|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.
J A N U A R Y 1 9 9 2
Somali gunmen drive through the streets of Mogadishu
OLD MAN BEGS FOR HELP FROM SOMALI GUNMAN IN CITY OF BAIDOA, SOMALIA
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
Somali Faction Dismisses Need for Ceasefire Talks
January 07, 1992
NAIROBI, Jan 7, Reuter - An armed group engaged in a vicious seven-week ethnic feud in Somalia's capital Mogadishu has said there is "no point" in meeting its main rival to try to secure a ceasefire.
A statement by warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed's faction given to Reuters in Nairobi on Tuesday, but issued from the war-torn city on January 5 said rival leader Ali Mahdi Mohamed had been ousted and a new interim administration established.
"Therefore, there is no point in meeting with Ali Mahdi," said the document signed by a close aide to Aideed, Omar Ahmed Jees.
Up to 20,000 people have been killed and wounded since the latest round of fighting broke out on November 17.
Somalia, an impoverished Horn of Africa country, was plunged into anarchy when guerrillas ousted dictator Mohamed Siad Barre a year ago and turned to feuding with each other.
James Jonah, the United Nations special envoy who visited Mogadishu at the weekend to urge faction leaders to agree on a ceasefire, said he was pessimistic about peace prospects.
"There is no organised civil society left. In such conditions the life of man is nasty, brutish and short and in the 20th century this cannot be tolerated," Jonah said on Monday.
The Aideed faction statement said it had called on the U.N. to help organise a national reconciliation conference.
Somalia has virtually collapsed as a nation state, carved up into tribal enclaves ruled by gangs of armed youths.
Political analysts said the prospects of sending an international peace-keeping force had increased as a result of the U.N.'s failure to broker a ceasefire in Mogadishu.
Ethiopia is spearheading calls for sending in an international force that could ensure humanitarian assistance and has said it would contribute to such an operation, the analysts said.
This option is expected to be discussed at a Horn of Africa summit in Addis Ababa this month drawing together Kenya, Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia and the self-governing Ethiopian province of Eritrea.
SOMALI GUNMEN DRIVE THROUGH THE STREETS OF THE CAPITAL MOGADISHU
Somalis loot U.N. barracks near the Mogadishu port