Op-Ed:KENYA MUST NOT PLAY WITH SOMALI FIRE
Long before Restore Hope, the joint UN and USA humanitarian campaign in Somalia in early 1990s, a consultant to the UNO on Somalia, advised the USA administration to attempt everything else but not war with Somalis, in his opinion; war is the thing Somalis know best. The USA did not heed to that precious advice and we all remember the way that campaign went wrong – it ended with the famous Black hawk down and that was the last USA chapter of waging war in Somalia – at least an open and all out ground war. That UNO consultant is called Mr. John Drysdale. He knew the closing stages of the campaign even before it was waged. He was not a fortune teller; Mr. Drysdale was some one who had first hand experience of what Somalis are capable to accomplishing in the war field. He was the British administrator of Somaliland more than four decades prior to the debut of that campaign.
The Ethiopians were not dissuaded by the USA experience in Somalia. They did not either learn much from their centuries-old wars with Somalis and with the help of the USA air power, they too attacked and captured Mogadishu, but their victory did not last for too long and they were also compelled to a humiliating withdrawal after Somalis taught them a lesson in urban and guerrilla warfare.
Now it appears that the Kenyans did not learn much about the history of Somali warfare. In my opinion they too have made very bad miscalculations and do not understand that all Somalis are not the murderous Al-shabaab group and the Transitional Federal government. The Somali population is not the weak and famine-devastated thousands that live in refugee camps in the Northern Frontier district (NFD), which it self is a Somali region given to Kenya in the early sixties, after Kenya gained its independence from Britain. NFD is one of the five Somali territories represented in the star on the Somalia flag. Besides NFD, the other four Somali territories are Somalia, The Republic of Djibouti, The self administered Somali region in Ethiopia and the Republic of Somaliland.
The Kenyans fancy to believe that they could win a war and defeat Somalis, it is passable for them to accept as true what they believe, but the truth of the matter is they are playing with inextinguishable fire – a greater Somali fire. By starting a war in this region can easily instigating Somalis to reclaim their Northern Frontier District (NFD). Therefore, I brotherly advise the Kenyans to withdraw immediately before Somalis beat the drums of war, believe me that will not be a good sign for the Kenyans. To give you an example of what that could mean; the recent Kenyan civil unrest will feel just like a picnic in warm summer day on Mount Kilimanjaro.
Since its independence from Italy, Somalia is wounded by civil war, famine, terrorism and corrupt incompetent consecutive regimes, but Somalis are far from death and are strong enough to inflict an ever lasting damage to an aggressor. They are also blessed with Muslim and Arab brethren, who will not hesitate to assist them to rebel all enemies from all Somali territories.
Kenyans have no business crossing the borders to Somalia; it is illegal under International law and it is morally wrong. If they have beef with Al-Shabaab then they must fight them in their own territory and not inside Somalia. Kenyans must not arrogantly over estimate their economic and military power and must keep in mind, that only Somalis are capable of defeating Somalis and no body else. They must bear in mind that their country is very easily susceptible to be fractured through ethnic and tribal lines. By starting a war with Somalis Kenyan economy and tourist industry can be devastated within hours. It must realize that it can not win the wars lost by super powers. Kenya must not be fooled by the guys who call themselves the TFG of Somalia; these guys lack morality, education, experience and live their lives under the protection of the Ugandan forces tanks in their home – Mogadishu. They can be bought and sold in a junk yard. If the Kenyans trust the strategic analysis of these TFG guys then they are deficient in judgement.
Somalis know too well the illegal Somalia territorial water’s concession made to Kenya by the illegal and morally corrupt TFG. Somalis are aware of the Azania project that is established by Kenyans through a mercenary force headed by Mr. Gandi, a power Hungary opportunist. Somalis quite appreciate Kenya’s geopolitical ambitions, both short and long term strategies. By looking at realities on the ground, these Kenyan dreams are far from becoming true. Kenyans politicians must clear their heads of the myths and wrong assumptions. They are not able to conquer more territories from Somalis, but instead the Northern Frontier District might go back to hands of Somalis.
In recent years Kenya was enrich with not only the looting of the Somalia’s International assistance through the NGOs operated mafia that consider the humanitarian assistance, war and drought confounded Somalis as their personal spoils of war. Not only that, but Kenya is also benefiting from Somalis who bring with them capital, technical and business expertise to that corruption riddle East African country. Somalis have both directly & indirectly created jobs for millions of Kenyans. Thus, Kenya benefited from Somalia more than any country in the world. For those simple reasons, Kenyans should be grateful to the Somalis and must not try to slaughter the goose that laid the golden eggs. Kenyans and for that matter any other neighbouring country must think twice before they venture to play with Somali fire; it will never die very easily. Somalis might consider moving their businesses and investments from Kenya to neighbouring Republic of Somaliland and The Republic of Djibouti. Both Somaliland and Djibouti are eager to receive their Somali brethren and their investments with open hearts. The United Nations and the donor countries might also consider moving their offices to the more peaceful and politically stable Somaliland, since Kenya is not able to provide security to the foreign diplomats, expatriates and tourists in its country.
Yusuf Dirir Ali
Views expressed in the opinion articles are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of Somalilandpress editorial.