Bleak Predicament of Kenyan Adventures into Somalia…! - Part Two
Part Two - Read Part One first - By Prof. Mohamoud Iman Adan- Keydmedia - Virginia, USA - Kenyan Military Incursion & the Ambiguity of TFG Leaders - Mr. Gandi and his clan-affiliated Kenyan citizens have created a situation of hoodwinking Kenyan policy-makers to opt for military incursion into Somalia and eradicate al-Shabaab presence in Jubba lands and then handing over the control over to Azania regional authority.
The so called al-Shabaab kidnappings of aid workers and tourists from north coast of Kenya were carried on by Azania itself, admit Somali analysts as a legitimate way of mobilizing Kenyan forces to cross the boundary line, defeating al-Shabaab and installing Azania in place and then legitimizing oil exploitation.
The Fiasco of Exclusive Economic Zone & Oil Exploitation
Mr. Gandi is a geologist by trade and consulted for Total- a giant French oil company prior joining the TFG as minister of defense. Opting out to play as an enlightened warlord, he resigned the ministerial position and struck oil exploitation deal with Total and Norwegian oil co. offshore oil fields of Jubba territorial waters. Somalia owns 200 nautical miles, which poses a legal hurdle to exploit the oil fields without the oversight of TFG.
To get a way out of that, Mr. Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, then Prime Minister of the current TFG made all necessary arrangements to rescind the 200 NM of Somali territorial rights into 12 NM and lobbied to pave the way for the adoption of 12 nautical miles in order to put the oil fields beyond the reach of the so called Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)- a neutral ground up for grabs. The motion got rejected by the parliament, but the temptation of the oil deal lingered long in the minds of the interest group spear-headed by the TFG.
Again Mr. Abdiweli M. Aligas- a stakeholder of the deal himself- introduced a copy of the same motion to the parliament as an integral piece of the Road Map imbroglio. The parliament felt the whiff of the fishy deal and rejected the motion with striking majority. The legislators took it as a dead deal, but not yet.
Somalia’s natural resources are up for grabs and the EEZ initiative is a sweet deal that corrupt politicians can hardly walk away. Somali-Kenyan and the TFG counterparts can easily share the pie, and a deal like this can hardly die in the minds of “Get Rich Quickly mentality of Somali Leaders”, and the only way to achieve such goal is to invade Jubba land, hand over the land to a proxy regional authority under the control of Kenya.
Al-Shabaab is seen as a roadblock of the oil exploitation and a convenient scapegoat.
It is amply believed that the Somali major stakeholders of the oil deal include: Mr. Mohamed Abdi Gandi, the likely future president of the autonomous regions of Jubba lands and the progenitor of oil deal. Mr. Sherif Sheikh Ahmed, the President of the TFG. There is Mr. Omar A/Rashid Ali Sharmarke, then Prime Minister of the current TFG.Mr. Abdiweli M. Aligas, the current PM of the TFG and Sherif Sheikh Aden and the Speaker of the Parliament.
It is also believed that the Kenyan counterparts include: Mr. Yusuf Moallim-the Kenyan Minister of Defense & close cousin of Mr. Gandi. Farah Moallim-Deputy Speaker of the Kenyan Parliament and the mouthpiece of the Kenyan military incursion into Somalia. There is Mr. Mohamed Abdi Afey- Member of the Kenyan Parliament. And Mr. Aden Sheel- Advisor to the Kenyan Minister of Foreign Affairs.
This interest group belongs to Ogaden sub-clan(s) and plan to creating clan supremacy in Jubbaland before the end of the transitional period of the TFG. In fact, Ogaden clan supremacy and exploitation of the region’s natural resources are major components of Azania incorporation.
Native Clan and Sub-clan Composition in Jubba lands
Jubba land is home for 20 clans, and sub-clans that had always lived in harmony in Jubba lands for centuries. These clans are out of the Azania political framework, and include: Wagosha-Native Somali Bantu clans, the majority in the land, who are farmers by the banks of the two rivers-Jubba and Shabelle. Then there other farmers, fishing communities and pastoralist clans in the land, such as: Bajun, Dir, Shikhal, Biyamal, Awromaleh, Mareexan, Habargidir, Turdho, Murile, Jarirweyne (Samo), Tuni, Hawadle, Ashraf, Garre, Bajela, Ogaden, Dagodi, Ajuran, wardey and other sub-clan minority residents in towns and villages in the area.
All these clans are legitimate stakeholders of Jubba lands and no one had ever consulted with them. Without their full participation in the political process and no equitable power-sharing system formula in place, the future of Azania or any other one-side administration is bleak and Gandhi’s grandiose vision is likely to remain in draft books for long. Without that that system in place, foreign military incursion in Somalia will jeopardize Kenya political capital and compromises its military efforts in the long run.
On the negative side, in the absence of inclusive participation, we have the reason to worry that the marginalized clans may throw their allegiance to al-Shabaab and tip the political balance in the region in favor of a common enemy we are trying to get rid of it.
Al-Shabab’s Expected Profile
It is a well-known fact that Al-Shabaab brainwashes disgruntled young adults to fight for jihad- a misguided holy war tool that work for their benefit. They terrorize the public and make them believe that they are the vanguard of the true believers of the Islamic faith. They would say that the Christians are here to take your land, your religion, your women, your children and your natural resources.
They will urge people to take up the arms and defend the homeland. Al-Shabaab can easily sale a saleable trick where fallen martyrs earn the reward of everlasting heaven that has all the pleasures available in the gardens of Allah. This is a proven tool for al-Shabaab that can easily mobilize thousands of jihadists’ willing to sacrifice life and limb in order to uphold the righteous call of al-Shabaab, which likely swells mujahidin (jihad fighters) ranks without signing a contract sheet. For al-Shabaab, everything they get is cost free, including solid political profile and voluntary suicide bombers.
Unplanned spoilers may wreck the confidence of the people in the land and backstab the smooth running military operation. The invading Kenyan army and Gandi militia may humiliate residents of Jubba land. The soldiers may take their guns, rape their women, confiscate personal property and terrorize the people.
The Kenyan military fighters may inadvertently bombard innocent civilians and thus unleash the anger of uncommitted population to side with al-Shabaab. These actions and similar ones of the same nature could drive more volunteers to join in ranks of al-Shabaab insurgents.
Also, we are not sure whether the Kenyan trained TFG soldiers could remain loyal for the government. After failing to receive their pay, who can predict whether the soldiers will desert, sale their guns and ammunition and go home in peace, or joining into the ranks of al-Shabaab as a way of spiritual conviction or adhering to the call of a kin in distress.
We are not sure how the invading forces will confront al-Shabaab insurgents in their hiding turf. We don’t how the Kenyan public will react in case of defeat in Jubba land. So far, we are not sure how the war with al-Shabaab insurgents will play out. Just see and wait the outcome...…?
Al-Shabaab is not short of declared archenemies. There are field force alliance of Kenyan and Gandi militia fighting from one side, and the TFG and HSWJ are clearing the remnants of al-Shabaab from their strongholds in Mogadishu and Central and lower Shabelle Districts.
Al-Shabaab may lose certain financial muscle from import and export earnings as they lose the ports of Kisimaio, Brava and Merka ports, but it is believed that they have enough financial resources to keep the fighting for a year, or so. The USD cash in their possession will help them pay their way out of any difficult situation.With such, they can buy firearms, ammunitions and intelligence, as well as bribing every govt soldier in short of cash in the pocket.
Inside Kenya, al-Shabaab may wreak havoc where hurts the most. It is believed that the economy, the security and stability of Kenya are the main targets. Al-Shabaab mentioned their targets through the media, and includes: The tourism industry, ports, airports, foreign embassies and business centers, just to name a few of them.
For Somalis, Kenya is the 2nd sweet home over half a million drought refugees and another half a million or so of externally displaced person settled in Kenya in the past twenty years who are running lucrative business almost in ever commercial center in Kenya. Al-Shabaab victory over the Kenyan and Gandi militia will have adverse repercussion on the Somalis life and their business in the long run.
The Kenyan Military Incursion & the Ambiguity of the TFG Leaders
The President of the TFG declared that only the Kenyan trained Somali soldiers can cross the border line and clear al-Shabaab from the country, whereas the Kenyan army has to carry on the logistic support. The Prime Minister said just the opposite. He recommended that Kenyan army, Azania militia and the TFG soldiers are allowed to cross into the Somali border and dislodge al-Shabaab from Jubba lands. Not only that but a good number of MPs who are sympathetic of Azania creation backed the stand of the Prime Minister; while a double of that number of parliamentarians are supportive to the position of the TFG President.
So far there’s only eyeballing and no one is budging, but below the surface the political crack is evident, and many are asking the survival of the TFG before August 2012. However one thing is sure. Azania, or any other political administration brokered by Kenya or Ethiopia will not have a safe landing in Somalia where 20 other clans and sub-clans call home and finding themselves marginalized by Azania promoters.
Azania is now on drafting book, but the genie is already out of the bottle and the offshore oil discovery in Jubba land may herald a new cycle of tragic conflict both for Kenya and Somalia. Things are planned on one way track, and no one thinks how to handle about a protracted war in the jungle.
Currently, Somalia is a victim on the cross-roads of contemptuous geopolitical scramble, where hypothetical slogans and political conjures give way to uncertainty and dilemmas that will cast a long shadow in the region for some time. The swords are already drawn, the beagle of the war reverberates in the land, yet everything stands on shifting sand.
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