Somalia: Obama's Unholy Alliance With Yoweri Museveni

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[Black Star News Editorial]

If  New Year's prayers are answered, then the United States must stop bleeding the people of Somalia.

The U.S. must abandon its current approach to the Somalia tragedy. Washington must explore a genuine solution to end Somalia's decades of warfare and political paralyses.

Currently the U.S. underwrites a fictitious government in Mogadishu kept in place by Ugandan soldiers, sent there on behalf of the U.S. by dictator, Gen. Yoweri K. Museveni, who is without a doubt an unindicted war criminal.

Washington finds this relationship beneficial because by Uganda propping up the fictitious Mogadishu government, the U.S. believes Somalia is secured from being overtaken as a haven by Al-Qaeda, the United States' avowed foe. The U.S. views Somalia as Africa's Afghanistan. Nothing could be further from the truth.

For Gen. Museveni, the relationship is invaluable for many reasons: it prevents the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, from indicting him for the well documented war crimes his army committed in the DR Congo, on which the World Court found Uganda liable and awarded Congo $10 billion, or from unsealing the indictment if one already exists; it prevents Ocampo from indicting Museveni for well documented crimes against humanity committed by his army and generals, on his orders, in the northern part of Uganda; it provides him with the aura of international legitimacy, by being associated with President Barack Obama, even when his popularity continues to erode domestically as Uganda approaches a presidential election in February; and, it provides sustenance, in the form of military materiel and money, for his armed forces--which army he has primarily used to suppress domestic dissent and to commit wars of aggression against Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and now the Central African Republic.

The United States' rationale for having Uganda act as its hired mercenary army is preposterous and actually counters its own stated policy objectives. The fictitious Somalia government currently holds only a few blocks of Mogadishu, the capital. This means that since it's unable to expand its writ beyond this area, Somalia is actually fertile ground to become a haven for Al-Qaeda.

Therefore, the longer the U.S. pursues this strategically suicidal Somalia policy, the longer the crisis lasts, and with it, the suffering of the Somali people. Media accounts never refer to Somalia's civilians deaths, possibly tens of thousands--first through the U.S.-sponsored Ethiopian invasion, through starvation and diseases caused by the recurrent mass dislocations of population, and through the reckless shelling by Ugandan soldiers.

How can the United States continue to underwrite a policy that is actually contributing to the deaths of Somalians, and to the continued destruction of their country?

And what of the war crimes?

In addition to the indiscriminate shelling of Somalian civilians, it's been widely reported, including in corporate newspapers such as The New York Times that the fictitious Somali government employs child soldiers trained by Uganda --some of whom are as young as 11 years old-- to defend the few blocks it now controls.

This comes as no surprise to people who have followed Gen. Museveni's M.O. for years; he employed child soldiers in his own successful insurgency in Uganda. Of course, the use of children in war is prohibited by international law; the Somalian children are being paid with U.S. taxpayers money, which means the Obama administration is actually an accomplice to war crimes.

Fact is the Ugandan army: has not been able to check, let alone defeat the forces fighting against the fictitious Mogadishu government; it has not restored peace to any part of Somalia; it has not protected Somalians against violence from the armed militias; and, it has certainly not made Somalia a better country for its citizens.

It was a tall order--to ask Uganda's president, using his army, to undertake in Somalia what he has not been able to accomplish in Uganda in 25 years in office as the United States' own ambassador in Kampala confided in his memos to Washington, which were revealed to the world, courtesy of Wiki leaks.

Will the United States reverse its Somalia policy in the New Year? Not judging by the latest reports that the United Nations Security Council has okayed thousands of more troop reinforcement --surprise, surprise-- from Uganda, to Somalia.

Uganda's Gen. Museveni is an autocrat who is accountable to no one--his own regime's survival is predicate on continued anarchy in Somalia. The United States has a government that's supposedly accountable to Congress and to the electorate. What Somalia needs is an international conference that involves all major stakeholders, military, political, and civil society.

Contrary to the global media misrepresentation, Somalians are actually some of the most industrious, entrepreneurial, and intellectual people in all of Africa. If such a conference were sponsored by the international community, Somalians could form a legitimate interim regime--not the fictitious and discredited government now imposed on Somalia by the United States and Uganda.

African countries, including those with resources, such as South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, and Libya, might then be more inclined to contribute money and soldiers to a genuine African Union peace keeping force, with a clear mandate and rules of engagement, to ensure the security, while Somalia trains a police force. Perhaps Somalians may even be persuaded to lay down their weapons if they see that the world is genuinely interested in a comprehensive peace and recovery program.

So long as Somalia remains a mere arena for Washington's proxy war with Al-Qaeda, it will in fact remain a haven for all sorts of lawless militias--contributing to more and more Somalian deaths.

Gen. Museveni does not care; but what about President Barack Obama?

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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