On March 21, hundreds of Somalis dragged the bodies of Transitional Federal Government and Ethiopian occupation soldiers through the streets of Mogadishu, the country’s capital. They shouted, “You and Ethiopians will die,” and, “Down, down with Somali troops!”
The soldiers were killed by anti-occupation fighters. Ethiopia has occupied the country since December 2006 when
The TFG is a creation of the U.S. imperialists and the United Nations. It has no support in Somalia. The majority of Somalis saw in the UIC the chance to restore national unity.
The invading Ethiopian troops were given the green light by U.S. generals. Ethiopia is a principal ally in the U.S. “war on terror” in Africa.
At the time of the Ethiopian invasion, the UIC was the functioning government for most of Somalia. The UIC, with wide popular support, was on the verge of uniting the country. Somalia has had no central government since 1991.
U.S. AC130 Gunships joined the December invasion, destroying entire villages in southern Somalia. U.S. warships continue to patrol Somalia’s coastline.
Currently, U.S. troops are on the ground in Somalia managing the occupation of the country by Ethiopia’s military. Ethiopian troops have faced daily military attacks.
And 1,500 Ugandan troops, under the pretext of a misnamed “peacekeeping” mission, have also joined the occupation forces. They have faced stiff resistance and a regular barrage of mortar attacks.
Resistance to the occupation is widespread and well coordinated. Dozens of TFG troops have abandoned their posts, and Somali liberation fighters control large areas of Mogadishu and Kismayo, a southern port town.
On March 23, a transport aircraft being used to transport Ugandan occupation troops was destroyed by a missile attack.
The very next day, the Somali Liberation Front issued a statement broadcast by Al Jazeera: “We call on the Arab and Muslim countries to adhere to their responsibilities towards Somalis and to stand by their brethrens in their efforts to liberate their country. We call on the African countries to refrain from sending troops to Somalia, as by doing this they legalize the Ethiopian occupation.”
On March 29, Ethiopian troops stormed the city center of Mogadishu. They were met by heavy resistance fire. According to Agence France-Presse, seven Ethiopian soldiers were killed; more were wounded.
U.S. creates refugee crisis, tortures Somalis
U.S. imperialism’s aggression against Somalia is not limited to its desire to control the country with the puppet TFG and compliant regimes in Ethiopia and Uganda. The imperialists want to stamp out all resistance and terrorize the population.
To this end, the U.S. government—with the help of neighboring countries—has sealed off all of Somalia’s borders, prohibiting Somalis from fleeing the fighting.
Tens of thousands of Somalis have tried to flee the country. On March 20, 90 Somalis drowned when smugglers forced them overboard in an attempt to flee Yemeni security forces.
The Kenya National Human Rights Commission has reported that the U.S. government is holding at least 150 people in underground prisons in Somalia. The commission also reported that U.S. and British forces are “interrogating” the prisoners.
The Bush administration claims it is backing the occupation to “fight terrorism.” This is simply imperialist double-speak and an excuse for continued aggression against the Somali people. The occupation is an expansion of the U.S. war for global domination.
Why is the U.S. perpetrating this act of aggression against the Somali people—a poor country of 9 million people with a life expectancy of 49 years and a literacy rate of fewer than 40 percent?
For the United States, Somalia is of key geo-political importance. It lies at a commercial crossroads between the Middle East and Asia. A large portion of the world’s oil tankers, particularly European and Chinese, pass along its coast.
The U.S. government fears China’s growing economic partnerships with countries in Africa. Defeating competitors for access to newly discovered oil in Africa is a primary objective of U.S. imperialism. The United States currently gets 10 percent of its oil from Africa. This percentage is expected to expand in the coming years.
Control of world trade, especially oil, provides a primary impetus for U.S. imperialist strategy in Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and the entire Middle East and East Africa.
Washington has sought to control Somalia for decades.
In 1992, the U.S. military invaded the country under the pretext of a humanitarian mission. U.S. forces suffered significant losses at the hands of Somali fighters and subsequently withdrew from the country in defeat.
Any country or force that maintains even the slightest independence from U.S. plans in the larger region remains a target. In Somalia, as elsewhere, the U.S. fears political movements that rally the people on the basis of genuine national unity and independent development.
Somalis surely will continue to join the ranks of liberation fighters to continue the struggle against the U.S.-sponsored occupation of their country.