AFD STATEMENT ON PROSPECTS OF WAR BETWEEN SOMALIA AND THE REGIME IN ETHIOPIA
November 28, 2006
In its statement of June 5, 2006, the Executive Committee of the Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (AFD) registered its concern about worrisome developments in Somalia, particularly the attempt by the minority TPLF/EPRDF regime in Ethiopia to exploit the sad situation in Somalia to deflect attention from the deteriorating situation in Ethiopia itself, to salvage and recover its sagging popularity at home and to garner the support of the West, particularly that of the United States, by jumping on the bandwagon of the war on terror.
Today we have learned to our deep dismay that the US government is submitting a draft resolution to the UN Security Council asking for the repeal of the arms embargo on Somalia. We are afraid that this would bestow legal cover on Meles Zenawi’s ill-conceived adventures in Somalia. AFD full-heartedly concurs with ICG’s dire assessment that this action risks igniting a regional war.
At a highly volatile historical juncture when relations between the world’s major religions are increasingly getting sour throughout the world, at a time when there is a widespread sentiment and perception in the Muslim world that the Western World is becoming increasingly Islamophobic, Ethiopia’s tyrant is about to plunge the already volatile Horn of Africa region into total chaos by militarily interfering in Somalia and thereby aborting the Khartoum process of dialogue that has the best chance of restoring stability. The international community should not pour fuel on an already complicated situation in Somalia by giving the green light to the Ethiopian dictator to take a poor country into a costly war with its neighbor igniting a larger and devastating regional conflict.
When the situation in Iraq is getting complicated and thus requiring a rethinking of strategy, it is counterproductive for the United States to pursue the same policy in Somalia, a policy rejected by the US electorate in a recent election. The attempt by the US administration to provide legal cover for its proxy in the Horn to invade Somalia will certainly become a catalyst for starting a war that has all the hallmarks and ingredients to engulf the entire region and beyond. We are also concerned to notice that a pattern of disinformation and deliberate misinformation by those with an ax to grind in a manner reminiscent of news coverage preceding the Iraqi war is now distorting the actual situation on the ground in our troubled region.
The Alliance calls on the United States to reconsider this resolution and rather concentrate efforts on encouraging the parties in Somalia to come to the negotiation table to resolve their differences without external interference. We also call on the international community to rather press the regime in Ethiopia to heed the call for an all-inclusive dialogue to resolve rising internal tensions rather than embarking on another costly adventure in a neighboring country.
While advising the parties in Somalia to seek mutual accommodation, exercise moderation and compromise rather than fanning irredentist rhetoric, we urge the EPRDF and its benefactors to desist from plunging the region into chaos and planting the venomous seeds of religious strife.
Alliance for Freedom and Democracy