Ambassador Mohamed Osman Omar — The story you read is partially fact and partially fiction about what would happen at the end of the tenure of the present Federal Administration and the term of office of the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia and if the promised election fails to take place in September 2016.

One can say it is difficult to imagine that.

But take one thing for granted. The covert plan by the African Union, supported by the United Nations and the International Community is ready for implementation. The signs are that the African Union, supported by the International Community will not remain idle and let Somalia fall in a vacuum in case the present Federal Government fails to organise free and fair elections in 2016: A perfect pretext to execute a well planned takeover.

Back for four more years of “Transitional” government, will not happen  as that has been replaced by “a Permanent” government whose mandate is to end by 2016, the date that the tenure of the Federal Government will also end.

Well, so far there is no speculation of what is going to happen in case of vacuum of authority. However, by the way the AU is speeding up boosting of its military and civilian presence in Somalia gives the impression that such a large number of military personnel and equipment are intended to be deployed by the Organisation in Plans yet to be revealed rather than in protecting the government from opposition attacks.

The African Union and the neighbours of Somalia, especially those with which Somalia has territorial disputes, will have a lot to celebrate for the success of their campaign to combat against the Somali quest to regain its missing territories in the Horn of Africa.

The Somalis are now more likely not to talk about the “unity and territorial integrity” of their country. They are now more inward looking and tribal affiliation has become more important than unity among the Somalis.

Somalis do not realise that they are losing everything including independence and sovereignty. Following are the factors that caused the Somalis to lose their sense of patriotism: “Tribalism and Greed”

At the H.Q. of African Union

In Addis Ababa in 2016

This is just a hypothetical question. Suppose Somalia fails to fulfil the promise that it would organise general elections in 2016. At the Headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the African Union has put in place a special contingency plan for the future of Somalia. The plan is not yet for the public consumption. Only few actors, such as the International Community who are the main supporters of the African Union mission in Somalia, and the United Nations are present. There are very few Somalis around who, unfortunately, are not even consulted about the fate of their land and people.

The plan is that Somalia should be made toothless sharks, politically, economically and militarily so that the Indian Ocean will be a Sea, an international maritime route for all, and the Horn of Africa (Somalia) to be brought under the IGAD Trusteeship.

There is also a theory held by certain countries that Somalis cannot govern themselves and therefore better to divide the country into two parts and give one part to Ethiopia and one part to Kenya.

High level representatives from International Community approved the African Union plan. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is imposing its authority throughout Somalia. The Somali politicians seem to be oblivious of the rumours of the probable take-over. As long as they are going to stay members even in the “The Territorial Council” and the “Internal” Government, and salaries will be paid, no one cares about the rest of the situation?

During the 10 years UN Trusteeship under Italian Administering Authority in Somalia 1950-1960 financial burden was on the shoulder of Italy. It paid the salaries of the members of the “Territorial Council” (Consiglio Territoriale), the Civil Servants and the Teachers as well as the salaries of the Military and Police.

In today’s Parliament, over 50% of the MPs have dual citizenship and most of them receive money from their children or relatives who are abroad, in addition to what the IGAD Trusteeship Authorities will pay them monthly as attendance allowance (Gettoni di Presenza).

The IGAD Trusteeship Authority also controls Somalia’s foreign relations with other countries. Recently, it was rumoured that it vetoed a Turkish offer to provide military assistance to Somalia unless such assistance is channelled through AU.

Take-Over of Somalia

By IGAD Trusteeship Authority

The ceremony starts with a minute of silence to mourn the sad situation in which the Somalis find themselves, and the worst is that no one can assure what the future holds for them.   In the centre of the venue for the celebration  two flag poles are erected for the flags of the Somali Federal Republic and that of the African Union.  At 00.00hrs (midnight) Mogadishu time a soldier calls for the attention of the officials. On the right hand side only the Somali flag is hoisted.

The Chairman of the African Union holds the string of the Somali flag and while the national anthem of Somalia is played the African Union Music Band, Chairman lowers the Somali flag. Next The African Union Chairman hoists the African Union flag with the African Union anthem played by the band of the African Union.

Somalia’s membership of the United Nations has been suspended till further notice. But the Office of the Permanent Representative of Somalia will be allowed to operate as Information Office, at the Headquarters of the United Nations, New York.

The Somali leaders were not told in advance about the plan of the African Union. But, of course, all others knew what was going on and all other steps taken in secret.

To each of the so-called States a number of military and police men were sent to look after the security in case of unexpected riots. Although, at that moment, there was no unusual movement, rumour or murmur in town, some people already went to bed and few still stuck on the TVs or the local radios to kill the time.

The venue of the ceremony is the Halane Camp, known as the “No Go Zone” and it has a conference hall which can accommodate over 300 people. It is air-conditioned and made of bullet/bomb proof material. It also has 30 medium-size 7 Star hotel rooms and a few villas.

As for the Somalis, they are taken back to the 1950s when the UN Trusteeship took over, under Italy, as the Administering Authority. Imagine, after over 50 years of independence again repeating the same experience as a colonial territory.

Suddenly the whole tent is silent as if no one is there. More lights are switched on and a line of people some dressed in the African robe and others in Western dress. They are seated by a Protocol Officer of the African Union. The Chief of the African Union is seated in the centre of the table facing the dignitaries who are invited for the function. The Somali leader is seated on the right hand side of the Chairperson. Others are seated with the invitees.

This is what the Chairperson of the African Union, speaking on behalf of the AU and the International Community said on the occasion of placing Somali Republic under IGAD Trusteeship Authority in 2016.

As the function is not broadcast live on TVs or Radios, the speech will not be heard by the Somali people before the morning news of Radio Mogadishu at 06:30.

Your Excellency, Mr. President,

Dear Brothers and Sisters of Somalia,

Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations,

Commandant of the AMISOM forces in Somalia,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

I wished the atmosphere would have been different from what we are delivering to you, Somalis, tonight. For the last 25 years and more, since the collapse of the Military Administration in Somalia in 1991, there has not been a single Summit of our organisation that the Heads of State and Government missed adopting a resolution on Somalia calling upon you to reconcile and to bring Peace and Stability in your country.

Somali Brothers and Sisters,

It is unfortunate that the leaders in your country, (Sorry Mr. President and other Somali leadership), underestimated the gravity of the consequence of the lack of peace in Somalia. It is a very peculiar night, peculiar because we see that a country which has been a full member of the United Nations crashes out of the Club of the family nations.

I am referring to what was known as the Republic of Somalia born from the union of the former British Somaliland and former Italian Somalia in 1960 whose, membership of the United Nations has unfortunately been suspended with effect from today September 16, 2016.  And in consequence the African Union decided to place the territory under the Trusteeship of IGAD.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you are aware of, Somali Republic has been without a central Government since the collapse of the Government in 1991 and the various factions who were opposing the government failed to bring peace and reconciliation.  Civil war claimed hundreds of thousands of lives including children, women and elders as well as the destruction of private and public properties and displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.

On behalf of the African Union and on my own behalf, I extend my deepest sorrow and condolences to the families and relatives who have lost their loved ones in the two decades of civil war in Somalia.

Somali Brothers and Sisters,

What is happening tonight in your country is not an invasion or occupation by the African Union or by any member of the AU. It is not an occupation by the United Nations or any other member of the International Community. We are here tonight to tell you that for over two decades the International Community was on your side with moral and material support, both inside Somalia and outside as well as in the neighbouring countries where there is a large population of Somali refugees. We wished that together with your leaders peace will be achieved throughout the country.

It did not happen so, simply because your leaders have let down both you and the international community. They failed to establish a government that took national interest at heart.

Four years ago, the United Nations, the African Union and the International Community, have witnessed the election on 12th September 2012, of a new President who is not “Transitional” and who promised that the world will see a different Somalia than what it has been since 1991.

For the last two decades of civil war in Somalia, we came to help you to rebuild your country’s institutions, to complete the Draft Constitution and prepare for democratic elections to be held in September 2016. We, the African Union and the International Community met obstacle after obstacle. So far the outcome happens to be zero.

To come to this stage, the international community spent millions of their Tax Payers money. They supported the African Union Forces, AMISOM in Somalia to   protect the government institutions and members of the Federal Government.

Dear People of Somalia,

African Union sacrificed lives in defence of your country, the government and the people of Somalia.   Since the collapse of the regime in 1991, the Organisation of African Unity, and later on, the African Union with the full participation of the International Community and the United Nations have spent time and money for the recovery of Somalia. But unfortunately, you have not done  enough to help us bring your country back to the family of nations.

After having failed to hold the promised election in 2016, the International Community lost its faith in the Somali Federal Government, and the money which it used to send to the Federal Government of Somalia will, from now on be delivered to the Administering Authority – Somalia’s Trusteeship Authority, IGAD.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is 25 years and Somalia still lacks a central government and that situation has ruined the country and made the  Indian Ocean, unsafe which is an important and vital sea linking Africa and  world. After more than two decades of no central government, the Somali people were finally hoping to vote for the first time in 2016, for a government which was not “Transitional”. But this has failed to happen.

Today, Somalia has no government of its own and makes it difficult for the United Nations to recognise a government which is not democratically elected by the people in free and fair elections and mandated by a legitimate government as its own representative to the World Body. The International Community made it clear that if the Somali leaders are unable to lead their nation, then they should give up to an alternative way of governance. This is what is happening today here in your capital, Mogadishu. Till the Somali people show that they can govern their territory themselves, the IGAD will be the Administering Authority of the African Union, with effect from today 16 September, 2016.

The African Union, (AU) has adopted a Special Resolution to place Somalia under the African Union trusteeship system. This system will be applied also in the future to any country in Africa which fails as a state due to civil war or coup d’etat, unless situation is normalised within two years through free and fair elections.   IGAD is going to be the Administering Authority in Somalia and AU Trusteeship Council will include IGAD member countries on annual rotation for each member state. Other members in the council will include the stake holders but with no right to chair or vote.

In fact, for the UN, Somalia cannot be placed even under its trusteeship system. According to Article 78 of the UN Charter: “The trusteeship system shall not apply to territories which have become Members of the United Nations, relationship among which shall be based on respect for the principle of sovereign equality.”

The present Permanent Mission of Somalia at the United Nations will be allowed to operate as the “Observer Mission of Somalia” at the United Nations, New York.

Distinguished Guests,

Our last hope was that the present government has promised to eradicate corruption and mal-practice, but it too has been allegedly accused of ranking the “Number One” corrupt country in the world. Anything less than that, would have been an encouragement to the International Community and to the people of Somalia.

Excellencies and distinguished guests

As from today, nearly fifty thousand of AMISOM forces are deployed in various parts of Somalia to protect the Somali Nation from attacks and for the internal security of the country.

There will be a sufficient number of people who are medical doctors, teachers and other professionals that will be contributed from different African countries as well as from the other continents to work, side by side, with the Somali counterparts, in the civil departments.

Finally, as the Chairperson of the African Union and on behalf of the AU, I wish all the best to the Somali people.  I also ask the people of Somalia to welcome African Union and support it in the fulfilment of this difficult task to bring peace and stability in Somalia.

In conclusion, I wish express my gratitude to all the guests here tonight to witness the special event.

Long live Africa

Long live Somalia.

That was the end of the speech of the High Commissioner of African Union addressing a small but selected gathering of VIPs from African Union, the international community and the United Nations in Mogadishu’s “No Go Zone” on the occasion of placing Somalia under the AU Trusteeship System.

The President, the Speaker and the Prime Minister as well as the Chief Justice of Somalia were invited to the function but not told what was going on behind the scene.

The game has become one sided. The African Union has the upper hand and holds every strategic point and the Somalis being on the receiving end, has no voice in the chapter. They were treated so unceremoniously that they were just asked to put their signatures under their names on the AU document. Then each one was given a written statement to be read in public saying “they have voluntarily placed Somalia under the system of the African Union Trusteeship.”

The three top leaders and the Chief Justice of Somalia who were the only Somali leaders present at the ceremony were handed over a ready document which placed Somalia under African Union Trusteeship with effect from 16 September 2016 for an unspecified period of time. The atmosphere was tense and all the three lost their voices and the Chief Justice also could hardly believe what their ears heard without prior notice.

Anyhow, in the night’s agenda there was no time allotted for anyone of them to speak at the function. They look at each other, probably angry but not able to do anything. They signalled to each other like “let’s go from here.”

They cannot move from their chairs because the AU Police have already started their surveillance over the movement of the Somali leaders. At 03.00 the ceremony ended and almost all the guests have gone. Those to Nairobi, Kenya, have taken their own special planes and some went on board aircraft carriers which were waiting in the Indian Ocean close to the venue of the function.

The three Somali leaders and the Chief Justice were kept behind and accommodated in the villas of the camp for security reasons.

The people of Mogadishu were getting up for the morning prayers. Those who stay near the strategic areas of Mogadishu already in the street could not believe their eyes when they spotted soldiers in heavy armed cars. Their minds jumped back to the events of 21st October 1969 when the Armed Forces of Somalia took to the streets and toppled the civilian government in a military coup d’etat.

As they forgot how the uniform of the Somali Armed Forced looked,  the darkness of the morning and half asleep, coupled with nostalgia they developed for Somali Military during the two decades of the civil war, the inhabitants of Mogadishu, even those who used not to go to the mosque for morning prayers came out of their homes to join the crowd waving green leaves to welcome  the soldiers they saw in the streets just the same way as they did for what was then dubbed as the “Bloodless Revolution” on 21st October 1969.

But when morning news at 06:30 a.m., of Radio Mogadishu announced that the African Union had taken over power from the Somali Federal Government and the three top leaders and the Chief Justice are under African Union security protection, it has become clear that the Somali people lost its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

This is my own imagination, but I believe, within the next two years if drastic change in our situation is not made, what we are taking for granted could be just a dream. For that we are going to pay high price.

But I hope I am wrong.

Ambassador Mohamed Osman Omar,

Editorial 29 April 2022 13:51

Somalia is on the move. It is pushing for foreign investment, and large infrastructure projects are changing the face of its scarred capital city, Mogadishu. These developments could promise better fortunes for Somalis as the country emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic