w w w . S o m a l i T a l k . c o m

Statement by Hon. Drs. Fawsia Mohamed Sheikh Hassan, a Member of Central and Executive Committees and also Secretary for Human Rights and War Crimes of the Alliance for Re-liberation of Somali (ARS). 

Madam Chairperson/Mr. Chairman,

Honorable Participants,

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Good morning/Afternoon, 

      I am pleased and feel honored to be here with you today. I have come from a far away party of the globe in order to attend this important meeting and would like to share with you our anxiety about the ongoing man-made humanitarian crisis that is ravaging our country. 

      As you may all know, for the last more than ten months since end of 2006 our country has been under foreign occupation after the Bush administration sanctioned invasion by Ethiopian proxy forces. These forces have ever since been committing war crimes tantamount to genocide, which escalated during April 2007. They have been massacring the civilian population, especially in the capital city, Mogadishu, barbarically raping women, often in the presence of their children and spouses; committing acts of sacrilege against religious sites, the Mosques, and looting properties of the people. They target cash in any currency, portable electronic goods such as laptops, Mobile phones, transistor radios, etc., which ends up in black markets in Addis Ababa. Such looting by Ethiopians soldiers is a traditional custom of Abyssinian culture since the Menelik era. Not only were soldiers permitted to commit acts of pillage, but also to live upon the spoils of conquests or the resources of the people of occupied territories as is the present case of Somalia. 

      Ethiopian forces have wantonly destroyed hundreds of homes almost in every quarter of the city by indiscriminately firing at random their artillery lethal weapons including tanks in order to inflict collective punishment against the civilian population whenever they meet opposition from the ‘Mujahidin’ of the national resistance. Permit me to quote the following passage from the Report of UN appointed Monitoring Group for the arms embargo on Somalia for June 2007 (para.30, p.12) and was submitted to the UN Security Council on 18 July 2007: And quote: “… antagonizing against Ethiopians is at crescendo – clearly not being helped by the Ethiopian Army’s heavy handed response to insurgent attacks involving the use of disproportionate force.” And furthermore, according to that same Repot (para.117,p.29) the Ethiopian forces even use lethal chemical weapon of a type called, white phosphorus’ and the report showed photographic evidence of the deployment impact of the substance and confirmed at least 35 unarmed non-combatant civilians killed in Mogadishu. 

      The media has been continuously harassed since the Ethiopian occupation in order the stifle news. Nine journalists have been killed under circumstances leading to suspect operatives allied with Ethiopian occupation forces. Radio Stations were specially targeted, their equipment damaged or destroyed and their staff often arrested and mishandled until finally three of the stations: Shabelle, Simba and Banadir were totally shut down for more than three weeks. 

      The Ethiopians have been conducting widespread searches of people’s homes for alleged security reasons, but primarily motivated by plunders. Prominent people are constantly detained for ransom. On Saturday, July 28 2007, BBC News released interviews with people who had been detained and later ransomed at $500 per head. One of the interviewees described their ordeal as that of being in a human market. He added that out of about seventy people who were arrested from inside Mosque, twenty –three of them could not ransom themselves for lack of resources and remained in detention who were later accused of trumped up charges.  

The following were the latest development of major events in Mogadishu: 

      On 8th November 2007, Ethiopian forces in large numbers with their heavy weapon and other armor entered several quarters of the Mogadishu city. In some quarters, they met fierce resistance and nineteen (19) people were killed including nine (9) Ethiopian soldiers, but the majority of them were non-combatant unarmed civilians as well as some ‘freedom fighters of the national resistance. In the other quarters twenty-nine (29) dead bodies of civilian were later retrieved from houses, which the Ethiopians had entered into. Four other bodies of two small children and their two mothers were recovered from inside a Mosque where they had taken refuge, but were pursued by Ethiopian soldiers who killed them there. One of the two women was pregnant. 

      In the following morning, on 9th November at about 9a.m. without any further confrontation with the ‘freedom fighters the Ethiopians indiscriminately fired their lather artillery weapons including tanks from their occupied camps and at random directed toward some quarters in the capital city that continued for about six hours until 3 p.m. in the afternoon. According to BBC News over seventy people were reported killed and 185 others wounded. Over seventy of the wounded were admitted into the Dayniile hospital where French doctors ‘without Frontier’ work and assist the local hospital staff.  

      On November 10th for the third consecutive day the Ethiopians resumed their indiscriminate bombardments of the city. Among common places hit was the mother and child hospital, SOS, wounding three people. Many dead bodies were later recovered from abandoned areas including some more of the previous two days bombardments. The BBC News reported the death toll reaching one hundred for the three days of the Ethiopian bombardments offensive. A fact finding international committee have prior to those three days offensive estimated the death toll at 8,000 since the beginning of the Ethiopian invasion-cum occupation. 

      A new displacement of further 170, 000 have been reported by Humanitarian Organization for those three-day offensives, in addition to the 750,000 that had already been registered by UN Humanitarian Office for Somalia, making the minimum internally displaced persons (IDP) 920,000 up to the November 10th, 2007, exclusive of the non-registered and others who sought refuge elsewhere. 

      Thousands of people have been rounded up and detained without any charges brought against them, many of them for the last ten months and only few were ever released. The detainees are constantly tortured and a good number of them are assumed dead. The chairman of the Somali elders in Mogadishu, Mr. Ahmed Diriye Ali for his outspoken critique, he was arrested and detained since 9 November 2007 along with others. While elderly women renowned for her courage throughout during the civil war even against the former warlords and thus nick-named ‘Madina General’ was deliberately shot by Ethiopian allied operatives and killed a few days ago while she was feeding displaced persons.  

      While the mayhem inflicted by those proxy forces has now become an acknowledged reality worldwide, nonetheless, some quarters still argue for a security vacuum if those forces of Ethiopian marauders were to leave Somalia, while the very opposite is the truth. First, those forces did not come for peace-keeping, but for a war of aggressive invasion and pillage of a country where peace and tranquility had prevailed. Secondly, they turned the country into a wreckage of ruins, mass graves and chaos by massacring its people, forcing the survivors into becoming displaced destitute after destroying their homes and looting their properties and possessions. Thirdly, neither the Ethiopian invasion nor their continued occupation was legally authorized by the United Nations. On the contrary, both these two acts are direct violations by the United States of UN Security Council resolution 1725 that prohibits forces of neighboring countries from entering and operating inside Somalia. The Bush Administration sanctioned Ethiopian forces of invasion to enter and occupy Somalia. Paradoxically, that resolution was sponsored by its lone violator, the United States of America! And fourthly, the mere continued presence of these proxy forces of marauders is itself a serious insecurity, rather than their leaving the country becoming a security vacuum.


Somali Version: HALKAN KA AKHRI | Minneapolis, MN | Nov 25, 2007


Kulaabo bogga