Tag Archives: somalia

Ghost money bribes – what the British govt has in store for Somalia

The below article, posted today on The Guardian website, reveals that so-called British democracy and diplomacy boil down to little more than money stuffed in to suitcases and handed over to local actors to serve British interests.

Clearly British foreign policy takes the shape of an imperialist divide and rule strategy that takes no regard for a country’s self-determination.

In The Guardian article, “Ghost money” refers to the MI6 (and CIA) regular large cash payments to Hamid Karzai’s office with the aim of maintaining access to the Afghan leader and his top allies and officials.

The British payments have also been designed to bolster UK influence in Kabul, in what a source described as “an auction with each country trying to outbid the other” in the course of an often fraught relationship with the Karzai government.

This is what Britain has in store for its intervention in Somalia – bribes and backhanders which stoke existing sectarian tensions to deliver to the door of imperialism. Britain will exploit and cause further chaos in order to get access to Somalia’s resources for its own financial capitalist markets.

This is what we must work to expose. The British government clearly can play no progressive role in the development, democracy and liberation of Somalia.

A solid and real Somali state is a threat to imperialism, and that is why Britain will always seeks to undermine democracy and enable corruption.

If you agree – and support this sentimentjoin us to protest outside the British governments conference on Somalia on 7 May at Lancaster House in London.

Hands off Somalia

CIA and MI6 ghost money may fuel Afghan corruption, say diplomats

Failure of peace initiatives raises questions over whether British eagerness for political settlement may have been exploited
Hamid Karzai with the Finnish prime minister, Jyrki Katainen, in Helsinki. Photograph: Lehtikuva/Reuters
The CIA and MI6 have regularly given large cash payments to Hamid Karzai’s office with the aim of maintaining access to the Afghan leader and his top allies and officials, but the attempt to buy influence has largely failed and may have backfired, former diplomats and policy analysts say.

The Guardian understands that the payments by British intelligence were on a smaller scale than the CIA’s cash handouts, reported in the New York Times to have been in the tens of millions, and much of the British money has gone towards attempts to finance peace initiatives, which have so far proved abortive.

That failure has raised questions among some British officials over whether British eagerness to promote a political settlement may have been exploited by Afghan officials and self-styled intermediaries for the Taliban alike.

Responding to the allegations while on a visit to Helsinki on Monday, Karzai said his national security council (NSC) had received support from the US government for the past 10 years, and the amounts involved were “not big” and were used for a variety of purposes including helping those wounded in the conflict.

“It’s multi-purpose assistance,” he said, without commenting on the allegations that the money was fuelling corruption.

Kabul sources told the Guardian that the key official involved in distributing the payments within the NSC was Ibrahim Spinzada, a close confidant of the president known as Engineer Ibrahim. There is, however, no evidence that Spinzada personally gained from the cash payments or that in distributing them among the president’s allies and sometimes his foes he was breaking Afghan law.

Officials say the payments, referred to in the New York Times report as “ghost money”, helped prop up warlords and corrupt officials, deepening Afghan popular mistrust of the Kabul government and its foreign backers, and thereby helped drive the insurgency.

The CIA money has sometimes caused divisions between the various branches of US government represented in Kabul, according to diplomats stationed in Kabul, particularly when it helped give the CIA chief of station in Kabul direct access to Karzai without the US ambassador’s knowledge or approval.

One former Afghan budgetary official told the Guardian: “On paper there was very little money that went to the National Directorate of Security [NDS, the Afghan intelligence service], but we knew they were taken care of separately by the CIA.

“The thing about US money is a lot of it goes outside the budget, directly through individuals and companies, and that opens the way for corruption.”

Khalil Roman, who served as Karzai’s deputy chief of staff from 2002 until 2005, told the New York Times: “We called it ‘ghost money’. It came in secret, and it left in secret.”

“The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,” one American official told the newspaper, “was the United States.”

Sources said the MI6 aid was on a smaller scale, and much of it was focused on trying to promote meetings between Karzai’s government and Taliban intermediaries, as was embarrassingly the case in 2010 when a recipient of a thousand of pounds of MI6 money turned out not to be the Taliban leader he claimed to be, but an impostor from the Pakistani city of Quetta.

The British payments have also been designed to bolster UK influence in Kabul, in what a source described as “an auction with each country trying to outbid the other” in the course of an often fraught relationship with the Karzai government.

Vali Nasr, a former US government adviser on Afghanistan said: “Karzai has been lashing out against American officials and generals, so if indeed there has been funding by the CIA, you have to ask to what effect has that money been paid. It hasn’t clearly has brought the sort of influence it was meant to.”

Nasr, now dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and author of a new book criticising US policy in Afghanistan, The Dispensable Nation, said: “If the terms of such payments are not clear, the question is how well to they tag with US policy … The CIA has a narrow, counter-terrorism purview that involved working with warlords, but that is quite a different agenda, on how we conduct the war or how we build a government.”

The CIA has also been heavily criticised for conducting drone attacks against suspected militants over the border in Pakistan and for calling in air strikes inside Afghanistan while on joint operations with NDS units, which led to civilian casualties.

A report on Monday by the Afghanistan Analysts Network, a thinktank in Kabul, said the latest such NDS-CIA operation, in Kunar province on 13 April, caused the deaths of 17 civilians.

Kate Clark, one of the network’s analysts, said: “It is one thing to conduct covert operations in a hostile country. I’m flabbergasted that the CIA is running these kind of covert operations in a friendly country. It runs counter to accountability, democracy and the rule of law, and damaging what the US is trying to do. The CIA puts certain things as a priority – whether someone is against al-Qaida, for example – and damn the rest.”

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

British conference to cement carve-up of Somalia

Britain’s announcement in December 2011 of its intention to secure ‘British interests’ in the oil-rich and strategically important Horn of Africa, intensified the scramble by the imperialists and local powers to secure their own regional interests. Now another conference is to be held in London on 7 May 2013.

Ugandan, Burundian, Kenyan, Ethiopian, US, British and latterly French troops have entered Somalia. Britain, Japan and Turkey have given ‘aid’. Britain’s High Commissioner to Kenya admitted in February 2013 that Britain was part of Operation Linda Nchi, the Kenyan incursion into Somalia in October 2011. This operation was launched after the kidnapping of two female Spanish Médecins Sans Frontières aid-workers from Dadaab refugee camp, allegedly by Al Shabaab. However, WikiLeaks, The Guardian and SomaliaReport.com (14 November 2011) have revealed that Linda Nchi was planned in January 2010 (21 months earlier) at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, as a plot to annex Jubaland, a semi-autonomous region in southern Somalia.

It was finalised with the US, with Kenya using the kidnappings of foreign nationals as a pretext to launch a pre-planned operation. When US officials said ‘Kenyan officers had given their American counterparts “zero” information before the offensive started’, it was a barefaced lie, as usual (New York Times, 20 October 2011).

Somalia has been balkanised into south central Somalia, Jubaland, Galmudug, Mogadishu, Puntland and Somaliland, which Britain wants to control. Kenya has carved out Jubaland, to be run by a Kenyan-appointed puppet government and containing the lucrative port of Kismayo.

Kenya is a British military client. The British Army Training Unit in Kenya has undertaken ‘training’ in Kenya for decades and has a strong partnership with the Kenyan Defence Forces. Britain sent military advisers to Somalia in February 2013 and opened a ‘new defence section’ at its embassy in Mogadishu. In 2012, the first UK-Somaliland investment conference was held.

The corrupt Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was disbanded and a Somali Federal Government (SFG) created for the renamed Federal Republic of Somalia in August 2012.

Somalia’s carve-up is driven by imperialism’s need to exploit East Africa’s energy resources where the decade’s biggest natural gas discoveries have been made – off the coasts of Mozambique and Tanzania. British company Tullow has discovered oil in Kenya and Uganda. ‘Somalia, including Somaliland, can potentially be the Saudi Arabia of East Africa’, according to Osman Salad Hersi, associate geology professor at the University of Regina in Canada.

Chinese, Canadian, Australian, US, Anglo-Turkish and British oil companies have signed oil deals with the various Somali ‘governments’. Al Shabaab or any other effective opposition hinder oil or gas exploration and have to be removed.

The British government hosted a London conference on Somalia in February 2012 which terminated the TFG and expanded the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) occupation from 12,000 to 17,000 troops. Istanbul hosted a follow-up conference, which Turkey used to further its East African interests.

Britain and Somalia ‘will co-host an international conference on Somalia on 7 May [2013] in the UK’, to ‘help Somalia to reverse the underlying state failure… help to improve the security of the country, reduce the levels of piracy and terrorism, enable refugees to return home, and improve the lives of millions of Somalis.’ Oil is not mentioned as a possible motive. Britain wants to ‘rebuild [Somalia’s] armed forces, police, coastguard, justice and public financial management systems’ – not schools, hospitals or homes for refugees. Britain wants to wrest the initiative from Turkey and shape events to its benefit.

The British government states: ‘Somalia now has a new parliament…a new president elected by the parliament. As a result, Somalia has a more legitimate government than it has seen in many decades. In addition, the proscribed terrorist organisation Al Shabaab has been expelled from many of Somalia’s major towns and cities. Confidence is increasing and the diaspora is returning.’ The Conference will ‘engage with the diaspora around the conference’ – but they won’t be invited.

Al Shabaab has simply melted away to fight a guerrilla war and defend their 2006 and 2009-era strongholds; they still control Jubaland, despite Kenyan forces entering Kismayo in September 2012, almost a year after their invasion. Al Shabaab would not have grown if Ethiopia, with US and British support, had not invaded Somalia in 2006 and provoked the people’s anger. The SFG still has no control over districts of Mogadishu, let alone areas beyond the capital.

SFG soldiers have gang-raped women inside and outside refugee camps, and rape victims and journalists reporting this brutality have been gaoled. An estimated 1.5 million people remain displaced, with a further one million having fled the conflict and famine. The SFG has a deficit of political power and legitimacy and a surplus of international donor, mainly US, support.

Turkey and the EU compete for influence. The meddling in Somali internal affairs by Kenya and Ethiopia in particular, and the imperialist carve-up to grab Somali oil is fomenting future conflict – the SFG is backing former warlords against Kenyan-backed factions trying to form the Jubaland state, while Puntland supports those factions.

The TFG was an eight-year failure; it’s not rocket science to see what the SFG will be – another failure.

Imperialism out of Somalia!

by Charles Chinweizu

Originally printed in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 232 April/May 2013

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Said Kasim in CRITICAL condition due to hunger strike – please help him!!

this post is updated regularly with new telephone numbers etc.

thanks for everyone who has called UKBA and Colnbrook – KEEP IT UP! FREE SAID!

Dear Everyone,

Said Kasim seriously needs some help – just 5 minutes of your time – anything you can do to raise alarm will be appreciated by Said.

Said has been on hunger strike 22 days but ignored by SERCO and UKBA. He had not been seen by a doctor until last night when he was moved to the healthcare unit. Said now has signs of kidney and liver failure, SERCO are refusing responsibility. Said is still refusing to go to a hospital until UKBA release him or make an intervention to such effect.

Text message received just now from Said:

“Doctor came im room with UKBA doctor told me found out my one kidney it doesin’t working and liver problem, so told me to take me to hospital i refuse to go i told them i need a letter release then i’ll go, then doctor asked me some quetion about treatment from them, drid tablets and some food but i refuse all then doctor give to me a form to sign then doctor said from now finished dealing with me but now anything wrong happen to ukba only but not healthcare department because they are already give to ukba my result. Anthony i am in very hard situation even my urine blood inside”

Said Kasim Mohamed

Said Kasim Mohamed

Said was not taken off his cocktail of medicines for hypertension and depression by SERCO staff despite eating no food for 22 days. Likely this is the cause of his now severe condition.

As you can see SERCO are now backing down and blaming UKBA – now is the time to strike Colnbrook IRC – UKBA – the lot of them.

Said is demanding to be released out of the detention centre which is killing him. Bail, UKBA release, whatever – just out of the prison (i.e. Said told us he doesn’t want to go to the hospital then back to the prison again – we know UKBA do that).

Said has not committed any crimes and never absconded or broken terms laid down by UKBA.

We know 2 Algerian men just got out of Colnbrook IRC after 15 days of hunger strike and have not come back to Colnbrook.

We recommend you ring Colnbrook healthcare now and we have provided some questions you can ask below

Name: Said Kasim Mohamed (referred to as ‘Eddy Issa’ by UKBA, incase they ask or deny knowing who Said is)
HO Ref: M1382343
CID: 7236534

CALL COLNBROOK NOW:

  1. Ring 0208 607 5200
  2. then press OPTION 1
  3. THEN PRESS 310 (Healthcare)

Or instead, try:

  1. Ring 0208 607 5200
  2. press OPTION 1
  3. THEN PRESS 354 (UKBA staff in Colnbrook)

or Fax Colnbrook 0208 759 7996 (attn: UKBA centre manager and SERCO healthcare unit)

and/or Fax UKBA in Colnbrook 0208 990 1092 (Attn: UKBA contract manager, deputy manager)

Demand Said’s immediate release and ask the following questions:

  • Ask why SERCO staff only put Said in the healthcare unit last night after literally ignoring him for 20 days and not letting him be seen by a doctor once. They are responsible for his health

  • Ask why Said is on hunger strike – why would someone have to take this measure?

  • Ask why UKBA refuse to give Said a proper interview with the Tanzanian embassy to ‘prove’ he has a connection with that country?

  • Ask why UKBA were still feeding Said a cocktail of medicines for hypertension and depression despite the fact that he has not had food in 20 days?

  • Ask why SERCO nurses kept hiding Said’s blood sugar level readings from him

  • Ask why UKBA are holding Said in detention prison when they are not deporting him

  • Ask why Said’s judicial review was thrown out in 10 minutes despite him not having access to a proper translator (they got a Swahili one when he speaks Kibajuni – a Somali dialect).

  • WHERE IS THE JUSTICE in this?

Other things you can do:

Call UKBA switchboard (9am-445pm)

Telephone: 0870 606 7766

Call the Ministry of Justice (in charge of prisons etc)

Telephone: 020 3334 3555 (open 9am-430pm)

Ring the Home Office (immigration) to report a hunger strike protest and ask the above questions

Telephone: 020 7035 4848
Fax: 020 7035 4745
Email: public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Contact local MP John Mcdonnell to inform him about Said’s hunger strike and critical condition (he has intervened before)

Email: mcdonnellj@parliament.uk

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/johnmcdonnellMP

Alert journalists

Zoe Williams, Twitter – @zoesqwilliams. She is a journalist for the Guardian who has written recently about asylum seekers on section 4.

The Independent
Phone: 020 7005 2000
Email: c.hamilton@independent.co.uk, newseditor@independent.co.uk, foreigneditor@independent.co.uk, letters@independent.co.uk

The Guardian
Phone: 020 3353 2000
Email: owen.bowcott@guardian.co.uk, sam.jones@guardian.co.uk, national@guardian.co.uk, news@observer.co.uk

The Telegraph
Phone: 020 7931 2000
Email: rosa.silverman@telegraph.co.uk, dtnews@telegraph.co.uk, stnews@telegraph.co.uk

Metro
Phone: 020 3615 0600
Email: joel.taylor@ukmetro.co.uk, news.london@ukmetro.co.uk

In Said’s own words:

“I better off die than to be locked inside like this… I am not a terrorist and I’m not a danger to the public. In short, I’m not going to stop my hunger strike until I die”

UKBA wrongly accuse Said of being from Tanzania, a country he has no connection with and they have not proven his identity other than a flawed SPRAKAB test – a corrupt testing system UKBA dropped because it was not reliable enough. Said is from the persecuted Bajuni ethnic minority, from the island of Koyama (Bajuni Islands) in Somalia.

Said was beaten up by UKBA contracted Reliance security staff during his removal in September 2012 and despite recently applying for judicial review against the government (representing himself in court due to no legal aid available) has not had any luck getting justice.

JUSTICE FOR SAID!

FREE HIM NOW!

Tagged , , , , , ,

Said Kasim Mohamed – urgent action needed!

Thanks to NCADC for this publicity
http://ncadc.org.uk/campaigns/saidkasim/

Said

Said Kasim Mohammed, a Somali national, came to the UK after suffering systematic persecution due to his ethnicity. He escaped from Somalia to Europe after an attempt to force him into slavery. Denied protection, he has been made repeatedly destitute in the UK. Despite his ill health he is now in detention and has removal directions for 29 January to Tanzania. Said is not from Tanzania and has no connections there. Although he does not feel Somalia is safe for him as he could be once again forced into hard labour, his experience of destitution and detention in the UK has made him desperate and he is simply asking that he is not deported to Tanzania.

Minority clan persecution in Somalia
Part of the Bajuni tribe, a minority group in Somalia, Said has suffered abuse and a denial of his basic rights. After the homes in his street were completely burnt by members of the majority clans, he narrowly escaped capture and the prospect of forced slavery. Throughout the Bajuni Island and the coastal areas many members of the Bajuni tribe have been forced to leave their homes. Young Bajuni men have been forced into slavery, the men often beaten, the women raped and their property looted.

The Home Office Operational Guidance Notes on Somalia states that minority groups ‘often lacking armed militias, continued to be disproportionately subject to killings, torture, rape, kidnapping for ransom, and looting of land and property with impunity by faction militias…..Bajuni clan residents are liable to suffer persecution at the hands of the majority clans’.

Minority Rights Group’s report, No Redress: Somalia’s Forgotten Minorities, documents how ‘Somali minorities collectively- and minority members individually- suffer denial and abuse of the whole range of basic human rights set out in international and regional conventions……the struggle for minority rights in Somalia takes place in a context where the abuse of human rights in general has persisted for decades, from widespread torture [to] political oppression’.

Detention and destitution in the UK
After claiming asylum in the UK, Said was detained and attempts were made to remove him to Luxembourg under the Dublin convention. After spending two months in detention Said was released after the Home Office stated that it would not be possible to send him there. His case was heard in the UK but his claim was refused. Soon after this he was evicted from his accommodation. He had no food, no roof over his head, no access to healthcare, and no money for travel – Said was made destitute.

Said Kasim in now being held in detention, his health is deteriorating. Unable to breath properly in the cells, Said’s doctor has written to the Home Office stating that he ‘desperately needs fresh air and should be released’. The Home Office has refused.

During one of seven attempts to remove Said Kasim, Said was assaulted by Home Office contracted escorts.

Despite having no passport or travel documents the Home Office was still attempting to deport me, this is illegal. The immigration guards came for me at around 7.30pm on the 30th September; they handcuffed me and put me in leg chains. They put me in the van where five officers manhandled me, pressing down on my chest. My hands and arms have swollen up because the handcuffs were so tight and I was being pulled by them. They put me on an airplane as part of a commercial flight….. I started shouting. The five immigration police tried to hide the handcuffs so the passengers could not see I was a prisoner. The passengers complained, took photos and recordings, and said that it was unsafe to fly me and looked like they were trying to kill me. The passengers went to talk to the pilot who remained hidden throughout this. ~Said

The Home Office have now informed Said that they are going to remove him to Tanzania, a country with which he has no connection. Detainees in Morton Hall say that UKBA officials have been issuing travel documents to Somalia, allegedly from the Tanzanian High Commission, in order to deport Somalis to Tanzania. The determination of nationality within the asylum system is deeply flawed. Despite repeated criticism, unreliable language testing is accepted by UKBA and the courts as ‘proof’ of someone’s nationality. Equating language with nationality is highly problematic, particularly when the methods of identifying a ‘mother tongue’ are so questionable. You can read more about the legal context to this debate here.

Said Kasim has successfully challenged seven forced removal attempts. Despite his failing health he still remains in detention. He has now been given a new ticket for removal on the 29th January again to Tanzania and needs your support.

Take action

Contact Qatar Airlines and ask them not to carry Said Kasim Mohammed against his will. Read our guide to airline campaigning here.

The flight details are QR76 (to Dar Es Salaam via Doha) at 15:05 on 29 January 2013.

You can write to, fax or email using your own words, or the example letter here.

Qatar Airways
3rd Floor, Victoria Buildings, Albert Square
1-7 Princess Street, Manchester, M2 4DF

telephone: 0844 846 8380 or 020 7341 6031

fax: 0161 838 5398

email: tell-us@qatarairways.com and loncustomerrelations@uk.qatarairways.com

If you want to send a public message about their airline being used to remove someone against his will to a country he’s not even from, you can use:

Twitter
Facebook

Tagged , , , , , , ,

London Conference on Somalia cover for oil grab

Originally published in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism 226 April/May 2012 (see: London Conference on Somalia cover for oil grab)

Photo by Aimee Valinski

The London Conference on Somalia on 23 February, convened and hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron, was the 15th attempt since 1993 to solve the ‘Somalia problem’, all of which have ended in failure. The Conference was a grubby cover to enable Britain and the US to bargain over Somalia’s oil resources. Its final communiqué stated that ‘decisions on Somalia’s future rest with the Somali people’, but like the final statement read by Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, it was written before the Conference. They agreed to ‘inject momentum into the political process, strengthen AMISOM [the African Union mission] and help Somalia develop security forces, build stability, and tackle pirates and terrorists’.

The presidents of autonomous Puntland, Somaliland and Galmudug and Islamist militia ASWJ attended the Conference along with three members of the TFG. Britain promised ‘humanitarian and security assistance’ to the respective autonomous regions in the country. United Nations Security Council Resolution 2036 was passed before the Conference to avoid it ‘dominating the agenda’: AMISOM will be increased from 12,000 to 17,731 police and troops, and equipment support increased, doubling the required UN budget to $500m annually. 4,600 Kenyan troops make up the bulk of the increase.

The London Communiqué proposes the TFG be dissolved, that elections take place when its mandate runs out in August 2012 and that a ‘representative government’ replace it. The TFG’s mandate actually ran out in 2011 but it was undemocratically extended by 12 months following pressure from Uganda, then the main contributor to AMISOM. Following a brawl in parliament in January, where the Speaker had to be removed, the TFG has been in paralysis. Gelled by personal greed, it has been characterised since 2004 by a power struggle between the President and the Speaker of the parliament, who both try to use the Prime Minister as their dummy. The TFG has no legitimacy or support amongst Somali people, no money (97% of its funds are from international donors), no civil service, no troops and no sense of shame. It has been a monumental and expensive eight-year failure imposed on Somalia by US and British imperialism. There is no evidence that a new technocratic government will be any different.

As well as piously ‘condemn[ing] terrorism and violent extremism’ the London Communiqué proposed a Joint Financial Management Board (JFMB) ‘to increase transparency and accountability in the…use of public revenues, [and] international development aid.’ Essentially, this will be an international committee to oversee the Somali ‘government’ and contain its crude corruption. Just days before the Conference, the sacked head of the Public Finance Management Unit of the TFG, Abdirazak Fartaag, revealed that TFG top executives use the Somali Central Bank, the repository of all TFG revenues and ‘aid’, as personal bank accounts.

Al Shabaab, the Islamic militant organisation which was formed in response to the Ethiopian invasion of 2006, promised to ‘confront and counter, by any means possible, all the outcomes of the London Conference.’ Britain appointed itself (in the form of William Hague) to monitor implementation of the Conference dictats.

However, away from the fanfare of the London Conference on Somalia, secret talks were going on ‘between British officials and Somali counterparts over exploiting oil reserves that have been explored’ in Somalia (Observer, 25 February 2012). The Puntland minister for international cooperation admitted: ‘We have spoken to a number of UK officials; some have offered to help us with the future management of oil revenues.’ Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Ali said a share of natural resources would be offered in return for help with ‘reconstruction’: ‘What we need is capital from countries like the UK to invest.’ BP and Shell promised to support ‘job-creation projects’ in the coastal regions.

The potential for oil and natural gas off Somalia in the Indian Ocean is the big prize for imperialism. The entire East African coastline is teeming with international oil company exploration teams on land and offshore, and is expected to rival the massive oil fields of West Africa. Fields containing reserves estimated at 110 trillion cubic feet of gas have been found off Mozambique and Tanzania in recent months. Britain’s top priority in Africa is to secure access to its natural resources and it has rushed to get first dibs on Somali oil ahead of US and Chinese rivals. Al Shabaab has refused to recognise exploration licences issued by the regional authorities, and is apparently heading for Puntland to attack oil drilling there. It is unlikely that 17,700 AMISOM troops will succeed in defeating a more organised Al Shabaab, when 30,000 international UNOSOM troops failed to secure Somalia in the 1990s.

Charles Chinweizu

Originally published in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism 226 April/May 2012 (see: London Conference on Somalia cover for oil grab and www.revolutionarycommunist.org)

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Speech at a Stop the War Coalition conference

On 3 March, Hands Off Somalia campaign gave a speech at a Stop the War Coalition conference highlighting the issues in Somalia. Here’s the video of the full speech.

Here are some other videos taken on the day of the protest on 23 February

Interview with campaigner by Redefining Freedom:

Speech by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism– Let the women lead!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Condemn Britain’s imperialist plans for Somalia!

On 23 February, supporters of Hands Off Somalia!, Voice 4 Somalia, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and others demonstrated in opposition to the London Somalia Conference.

The conference was a high profile event, hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron, which boasted it would bring together representatives of 40 governments, as well as international organisations, to decide how best to tackle the ‘problem of Somalia’.

It ended with a communiqué http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=PressS&id=727627582which was written and widely leaked a month prior to the event, and a press conference, at which Cameron and other speakers made it clear that ‘targetted’ military intervention and air-strikes against Somalia are on the cards.

Hands Off Somalia! was set up before the conference and brought together a core group of activists from all backgrounds, who then met weekly to organise to demonstrate against Britain’s plans for increased intervention in the Horn of Africa, under the guise of fighting terrorism and piracy.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Hands off Somalia – welcome

Hello everyone,

Hands Off Somalia is a campaign organised to oppose the upcoming discussion of corporate, political and military intervention in Somalia by the British government at their conference on 23 February 2012 (see: www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/somalia-conference/)

The Agenda

Our aim is to create a new found awareness of the current situation in the horn of Africa; Somalia. The situation being a possible sanction of Somali land by British forces.Their justification is summed up in a statement given by David Cameron himself; ‘Somalia is a failed state that directly threatens British interests’. Cameron went on further to say ‘young British minds are poisoned by radicalism’. This poisonis defined as piracy and Islamic fundamentalism. So our job is to make aware the real threat here; western imperialism.

Their Incentive

Why would British forces go to Somalia if it was not to help people? Surely there is nothing of use over there? Wrong. Recently the Canadian gas and oil exploration company Africa Oil began drilling in the Puntland region of Somalia just south of the Gulf of Aden. The latter being a crucial segment of the Suez Canal; a shipping route which ships approximately 11% of the world’s sea-bound petroleum. Africa Oil expects to unearth up to 4 billion barrels of Oil, making Somalia backed up by a joint World Bank and UN report the second most important country of unexploited oil reserves after Libya. Of course we all know by now the situation in Libya. Other natural resources consist of Bauxite deposits, an aluminium ore, found in Mana Daimir; marble located north of Bur Acaba; sepiolite at El Bur in exploitable quantities; sulphur at Berber and titanium in the Giubi River with reserves estimated at 10 million metric tons. There are also uranium deposits in the Wabo region.

Why Now?

So, why now then? Well as we have seen over the past couple of months and years the Middle East and Africa have been subject to bombing raids and military intervention. Of course history tells us this is nothing new. There is clearly a hidden agenda. Killing thousands upon millions of people for the sake of it does not add up, regardless of how cold blooded someone can be and whatever justification they create. Therefore looking at the situation today in the EU and the global economy we can see how 1st world countries are struggling to find a solution for the crisis. It is this crisis and the administrative reaction to them that kick-started the occupy movement. Therefore since the government in Britain cannot seem to find a solution the best thing to do, just as history has taught, is to exploit less economically developed countries by stealing what real wealth they have left; the natural resources they  should have access and a right to; for themselves first.

Finally..

The exact date we are working towards is the 23rd of Februaury 2012. The British government is planning a conference with so called representative world leaders about the planned sanction and intervention in Somalia. These decisions will ultimately change everything about Somalia; even when it has its own problems such as clan/caste disputes, famine and those seeking for asylum internally. We plan to demonstrate on the 23rd and show our (and hopefully your) solidarity with Somalia. The exact location is yet to be confirmed and we will give you an update as the location of the conference has not been revealed yet.

It is both quite funny and sad that even as I am writing this my father is watching the Channel 4 news, and they are talking about giving ‘aid’ to India also. The representative of India present made a statement that ‘historically giving aid has meant, buying interest and gaining influence in a country’. This eerily resonates as truth with Somalia also. So let’s get this movement on the road peacefully and combine passion and knowledge with truth, and that really is the key point; we have truth by our side and no barrage of lies can live forever.

You can follow this new movement on twitter @HandsOffSomalia

and our Facebook page here

Also we recently had a conference of our own and filmed some videos:

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: