Mohammed Siad Barre came to power via a military coup in October 1969 scientific socialism as Somali state policy - Somali nationalism with the goal of uniting all Somali people under one flag. Once (1970s), the United State provided military and economic assistance to Somalia, and the U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu became one of the biggest American diplomatic missions in Africa. After being criticized by the world for providing military support to the Siad Barre regime, efforts in Congress to cut off military assistance to Somali finally succeeded in 1989.
Although we know that the present food and refugee emergency in Somalia is considered to be the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, placing millions at immediate risk via disease, drought and massive starvation, the Obama administration sent a U.S. Marine task force to the region instead of focusing on humanitarian aid and has escalated drone attacks in Somalia that contribute even more to the starvation and death of additional millions of Africans. For it is the administrations belief that the al-Shabab resistance is mostly responsible for the drought emergency.
Strange since the Obama administration has put in place policies to limit food aid to the region in an effort to starve out those who might be supporting the Shabab. Yes food as a weapon of war in Somalia. What we forget is that the problems of today can be connected to our action four yeas ago when we got the Ethiopian government to invade Somalia in an effort to overthrow an Islamist government that had established peace by ended street battles between warlords and militias via islamic fundamentalist law..
But what is more problematic for me as an African American who has lived in the region (Ethiopia in 1999) and visited Somalia, is the reckless manner in which we disrespect and lessen the value of lives there via the US policy of using drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to kill civilians in the hundreds daily. In addition, this is not even mentioned on the news nor is discussed openly by President Obama almost Bush-like. Maybe this is why the President is seeking to ban the access of international news agencies the likes of Press TV who reports such daily.
When I lived in Africa, Press TV, BBC, Der Welt Television (Germany) and Al-Jazerra were watched more than any American News outlet and to me are equal to ITN and PBS in their coverage of world news. Since I do not have cable television, I am left to reading the web sites of these respected news agencies. Case in point, the information I have found on the aforementioned in the past two weeks alone is startling and unbeknownst to most US citizens.
On Oct 14, 2001, an attack by a US UAV resulted in the killing of at least 78 people and injured 64 others in southern Somalia. The attack, which occurred near Qooqani town located in southern Somalia happened the same day another US drone attack killed 11 civilians and wounded 34 more in Hoosingow district in the south of the country. Oct 21, 2001 another attack by a US unmanned aerial vehicle killed at least 44 civilians and injured 63 others in southern Somalia near Ras Kamboni town in the Badhaadhe district of Lower Juba region near the border with Kenya. Several hours latter, a US done attack killed 22 in Kudhaa Island in southern Somalia near the border with Kenya.
Somali military officials reported an attack on Oct 22, 2011 near the town of Bilis Qooqani, an unmanned US drone strike killed at least 49 people in famine-stricken in southern Somalia, while injuring at least 68 others. The next day, Oct 23, 2011, US drones carried out attacks near the Bilis Qooqani districts in southern Somalia, leaving 9 dead and 14 others wounded.
The following day, On Oct 24, 2011, an attack took place in the Somali island of Kudhaa near the country's border with Kenya according to Somali army officer Colonel Aden Dheere in which killed at least 36 Somali people. Latter that day, another 59 people were killed and dozens more injured during French military attacks on Kudhaa.
In each case Washington claims the airstrikes target militants, though most such attacks have resulted in civilian casualties in Somalia. More recently representatives of the Obama administration have denied any “US involved or supported airstrikes in Somalia: a claim friends and associates of mine from my days living in the region contradict.
Whatever the case, the facts remain the same. First, Somalia strategic location in the horn of Africa and its vast natural resources cannot be questioned. Second, It is not implausible that the US would do anything to keep China, India and Russia out of the region. Third, the nation is a geopolitical prize that has brought about the United States via the Obama administration to use neocolonial approaches to develop a foothold in the nation as well as offers a reason to employ resources of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), to achieve any clandestine objectives, especially in the context of the Trans-Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP). Supported by the U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) and the Special Operations Command (SOCAFRICA). Not to mention they are involved with assisting the brother of President Yoweri Museveni in training troops for military efforts both in Somalia and Uganda. Strange since the Obama administration as recently as yesterday denied any involvement in arial strikes in Somalia. Like I said, very Bush-like.