Foreign Troops Must Leave Somalia – Rep. Donald Payne

December 29th, 2006 Print Print Email Email

United States Congress (Washington, DC)


By Donald Payne | December 29, 2006

The invasion of Somalia by Ethiopian forces, despite claims of invitation by the weak Baidoa-based Transitional Federal Government, only leads to more suffering and instability in the Horn of Africa region. United Nations Security Council resolution 1725 clearly stated that “all Member States, in particular those in the region, should refrain from any action in contravention of the arms embargo and related measures.”

Using military force instead of negotiations is a deliberate and ill-advised measure that will further destabilize and increase the suffering of the Somali people. I strongly condemn this aggression and call for the immediate withdrawal of Ethiopian and all foreign forces from Somalia.
The African Union and the Arab League have called for Ethiopian and all foreign troops to immediately leave Somalia. Unfortunately, the inaction by the United Nations Security Council has once again failed the helpless people of Somalia. The international community should be supportive of an all-inclusive peace process and the deployment of a peacekeeping force as stated in resolution 1725. The Union of Islamic Courts has consistently stated and indeed participated in negotiations with the Transitional Federal Government.

A negotiated settlement is the only guarantee for a lasting peace, not war. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia accuses the Union of Islamic Courts as Jihadist and extremist. He also justifies his action against Somalia because of the threats he claims the Courts pose against Ethiopia. The fact the matter is Ethiopian forces are in Somalia and not the other way around. Besides, how is it possible for a non-conventional force to really pose a threat against the largest armed forces in Sub-Saharan Africa? Ethiopia’s military adventure not only diminishes hopes for a negotiated settlement, but confirms the suspicion of Somalis that the TFG is a proxy of Ethiopia.

For those who deliberately ignore the reality on the ground, it is important to remember what the Courts have done since June 2006. They brought about relative peace and stability in the area they controlled and ended the brutality of the so-called warlords. How is it possible to effectively fight those terrorists roaming around or hiding in the region, if Somalia is turned into a battleground for foreign armies with their own agenda? We must never forget the helpless civilians who have endured over a decade of hardship and untold suffering. A generation of Somalis are growing up surrounded by violence and poverty. The millions being wasted in a military campaign against innocent civilians could be spent to build schools, hospitals, or feed the hungry.

Donald Payne represents the tenth district of New Jersey in the U.S. House of Representatives and is the incoming chair of the Subcommittee on Africa Global Human Rights and International Operations of the House International Relations Committee.

  1. Tigist
    | #1

    I am so glad that people such as Rep. Donald Payne knows Woyanne and Meles as much as most of Ethiopians know them. The crazier staff Meles does, the more his evil nature expose to the whole world. The way things are going right now, he will run out of any options. I heard that Sadam Hussen is going to hanged over the weekend for the crimes that he committed when he was a dictator leader of Iraq. I have a feeling that Meles days are coming as well. Meles is getting a lot of attention these days. The more people pay attention to him, the more he will be known for who really this Addis butcher is. The main reason that he invades Somalia is to divert attention from his internal political crises, but it is firing back. Now he is getting the attention that he didn’t want to. To conclude I would like to say to Meles what our fathers say “Echi eyugne eyugne behuala debekugne debekugne endatehone.”

    God Knows Ethiopia and It is goong to be there long after Woyannes and Meles are gone!

  2. aygeze
    | #2

    I started reading your argument and I couldn’t finish it because you are woeyne yourself or you are completely insane. You know I am tired of all those guys analyses claiming you are educated know this or that. You know my people are suffering because of those selfish people like you who claimed they are educated and have sold their soul to wayane. Coming to the point, are you telling me that the jihadist are more threat to Ethiopia than meles?
    Please what we want is freedom to our people and the jailed people to be released. What we want is bread for our people. My friend please stop this unreasonable analysis on this two respected people. If you see the reality what ever the congressman mentioned is the right one. You see one thing you have to understand is Americans have a very good system where one can think his own mind and the one they think is right will win and his plan will be implemented not jailed. They have seen what happened in Iraq and now it is time for them to change there policy .Thank GOD they have people like the two respected people who can see things clearly and try to fight for the real democracy and the right of the poor people at the horn of Africa.
    Please don’t be biased and dwell on the past. I am a proud Ethiopian of the new generation who want peace and real democracy for the horn of Africa. I have Somali friends. And I am a believer that our issue should be solved by our own people. We should stop blaming America when people like you see the suffering of our people and turn blind eye and tell us your fantasy analysis.
    For your justification of the war please read the following article

  3. Tigist
    | #3

    You are right Aygeze, Belai’s analysis is not worth reading. He is basically attacking Congressman Donald Payne and Ambassador Shinn. That is what Woyanne does all the time. If you dear to differ Woyanne, it will attack you, discredit you or accuse you for genocide or treason. What we are noticing these days is that the lists of Woyanne’s enemies are growing everyday. Anna Gomez, Christ Smith, Donald Payne and now David Shinn are some of them.

    The other thing that I would like to tell Belai is your “Open letter” address also to Patriotic Ethiopians around the world and friends of Ethiopia. What is going on here? Are you telling us that now you are Ethiopian patriot? Hey, I don’t know, if you are kidding or not, but we all know that you just can’t be Woyanne and Ethiopian patriot at the same time. The reason is simple. That is Woyanne is a traitor. It gave Eritrea to Shabia and we become the biggest land locked country in the world. Woyanne opened its door a little bit back in 1997 for free election. Woyanne lost the election. We all know that very well. Instead of giving up power for the winner party CUDP, it jailed all the CUDP leaders. For Ethiopians the CUDP leaders are Ethiopian Patriots. They are the likes of our grandfathers and fathers who keep Ethiopian territory for centuries and pass it to us. Woyanne is not Ethiopian patriot. It has never been. If Woyanne wants to be considered as patriotic party, it has to release the Kinijit leaders, share power, and have the courage to institute the democracy institutes in Ethiopia. You can’t afraid the majority Ethiopian people opinion and be patriotic at the same time.

  4. | #4

    cray..cray ..cray me a river oh..oh.. da job is done for know ppl. thank’s to P.M. M-ZENAWI. da king of all SHABYA and NEFTGHENA. what.. bring’t on .LOSSERS. i’m glad that i’m knot one of u ALKASHA ppl. LONG LIVE EPRDF.

  5. kemal
    | #5

    mamo kelo

    its becase of moron like u and meles our country is in chaos, thax to ur father meles we now have enmys from north and south. are u happy? u vermin

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