Category: Abyi Ahmed
Travel by U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman
Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman has just completed his first visit to the region as U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, traveling to Egypt, Eritrea, Sudan, and Ethiopia from May 4 to 13, 2021.
The Horn of Africa is at an inflection point, and the decisions that are made in the weeks and months ahead will have significant implications for the people of the region as well as for U.S. interests. The United States is committed to addressing the interlinked regional crises and to supporting a prosperous and stable Horn of Africa in which its citizens have a voice in their governance and governments are accountable to their citizens.
A sovereign and united Ethiopia is integral to this vision. Yet we are deeply concerned about increasing political and ethnic polarization throughout the country. The atrocities being perpetrated in Tigray and the scale of the humanitarian emergency are unacceptable. The United States will work with our international allies and partners to secure a ceasefire, end this brutal conflict, provide the life-saving assistance that is so urgently needed, and hold those responsible for human rights abuses and violations accountable. The crisis in Tigray is also symptomatic of a broader set of national challenges that have imperiled meaningful reforms. As Special Envoy Feltman discussed with Prime Minister Abiy and other Ethiopian leaders, these challenges can most effectively be addressed through an inclusive effort to build national consensus on the country’s future that is based on respect for the human and political rights of all Ethiopians. The presence of Eritrean forces in Ethiopia is antithetical to these goals. In Asmara, Special Envoy Feltman underscored to President Isaias Afwerki the imperative that Eritrean troops withdraw from Ethiopia immediately.
The political transition in Sudan is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that can serve as an example for the region. As Special Envoy Feltman underscored to Sudan’s leadership, the United States will continue to support that country’s ongoing transition to democracy so that Sudan can claim its place as a responsible regional actor after three decades as a destabilizing force. We are also committed to working with international partners to facilitate resolution of regional flash points—such as the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and conflict on Sudan’s borders—so they do not undermine the fragile progress made since the revolution.
As Special Envoy Feltman discussed with leaders in Addis Ababa, Cairo, and Khartoum, Egypt and Sudan’s concerns over water security and the safety and operation of the dam can be reconciled with Ethiopia’s development needs through substantive and results-oriented negotiations among the parties under the leadership of the African Union, which must resume urgently. We believe that the 2015 Declaration of Principles signed by the parties and the July 2020 statement by the AU Bureau are important foundations for these negotiations, and the United States is committed to providing political and technical support to facilitate a successful outcome.
The Special Envoy will return to the region in short order to continue an intensive diplomatic effort on behalf of President Biden and Secretary Blinken.
FARMAAJO’S APOLOGY TO SOMALILAND IS BRUTALLY SELECTIVE
While all people of goodwill would welcome the President’s apology to Somaliland’s unilateral claim of atrocities by Barre’s Junta, he deliberately, or, naively ignores the war crimes and gross human rights violations committed by the regime in Mudugh and Kismaayo. Add to this, the banditry, plunder and robbery of Barre’s retreating and fleeing forces in Bay and Bakool regions in the last days of regime’s collapse.
If Farmaajo had had any common sense and any sort of what it takes a leader to address such an important issue, he would have apologized for all atrocities of Siyaad Barre’s Regime. By apologizing to Somaliland alone, on temporary political expediency, he has complicated the situation: Now, he is required to apologize to the residents of Mudugh for Barre’s mass incarceration, killing, maining of innocent citizens en masses, destruction and poisoning of nomads’s water-holes, rape and other human rights violations amounting to undoubtedly war crimes.
Make no mistake, any effort towards yet to be called for national reconciliation talks, those atrocities in Mudugh by Barre and his henchmen shall stand out, without which popular trust in national government and public institutions couldn’t be achieved.
Finally, it is my hope that the leaders and people of Somaliland would seize this opportunity by allowing President Farmaajo to visit Hargeisa without the entourage of Prime Minister Ethiopia, Abyi Ahmed Ali. People of Somaliland deserves better than that.
(Photo: The late politician from Mudugh, Yusuf Osman Samater, who had spent 18 years in Regime’s solitary confinement prison cell without charge).
ON THE HORN OF AFRICA CONFEDERARION
In November 14-15, 2002, an international conference on the Horn political and economic integration was held at Institute on Black Life in Tampa, Florida, USA. The Keynote Speaker was the former President of Zambia, Mr. Kenneth Kounda, a reknown Pan Africanist. Presenters were mostly academics of Ethiopian origin in the USA. There were negligible number of Somalis in the diaspora taking part. However, there were visible American personalities in USA government participating and facilitating the debate.
Since then, we hear constant talk or rumours about East African economic integration. This wind is always blowing from the Ethiopian side. We saw President Farmaajo’s frequent travels to Addis Ababa and Asmara, while the President is coy and deceptively silent about what was happening in his discussions with the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Somali public or their representatives in Federal Parliament are kept in the dark about the matters being discussed in these high-level talks. Normalization of Ethio-Eritrean relations is reportedly a part of the mix in these debates, for a presumely bigger political objectives for the Horn. President Farmaajo is numb about the subject of these East African Summits. Djibouti was projected to include in these secret discussions, but somehow is being excluded and sidelined altogether. Perhaps, she was found unfit because of its territorial dispute with Eritrea.
Occasionally, we hear press statements by Prime Abyi Ahmed of Ethiopia about Somalia and Ethiopia becoming one country one day. How soon that will happen, he wouldn’t say. He talks about Ethiopian intention and future plans to take advantage of Somali seaports for his land-locked country. He is also building a huge navy for his land-locked country.
Farmaajo is tight-lipped about Abyi’s claims and official statements. Pressed for comment on the issue, Farmaajo’s economic and political advisors seem resolved to keep their boss’ secrets closer to chest. It doesn’t sound well.
Paradoxically, President Farmaajo’s claim to be clean, patriotic and free from foreign influence is hard to maintain after his secret dealings in foreign lands with foreign actors, and those who bought his claims now have to listen to the music that he is reportedly a compromised figure by foreign actors, diplomats and countries. He is now in the open that whatever he had said, or says, is a lie and deception.
The eyes of the Somalis, though, are wide open now to monitor the activities of certain foreign diplomatic actors accredited to Somalia, and their agenda push with regards to this “East African Integration” at expense of Somalia’s sovereignty for the benefit of Ethiopian hegemony in the region.
BREAKING NEWS: SUSPICIOUS, IF NOT BREACH OF TRUST
October 18, 2019
ICJ HEARING OF SOMALIA-KENYA MARITIME DISPUTE DERAILED
The postponement of ICJ hearing of the case until June 2020 is at least suspicious, if not already a breach of public trust. I believe this is the 2nd ICJ postponement of the hearing. But, this time, the situation is different with a cloud of suspicion as what has transpired between Somalia and Kenya under the mediation efforts by the new Nobel Peace Laureate, Prime Minister Abyi Ahmed of Ethiopia.
It looks that a deal on the case has been struck to postpone the ICJ hearing to an unacceptable long period before its suspension and eventual withdrawal from the Court altogether.
President Farmaajo must go live urgently to address this issue and the subsrance of his latest interactions with President Uhuru of Kenya, IGAD Mediation Team and Prime Minister Abyi Ahmed of Ethiopia on the case. There is a rotten fish to smell, so to speak.
Somali people are stunned by the silence of President Farmajo on his multiple secret MoUs, agreements and treaties with Ethiopia. This is very discomforting.
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