Somali people everywhere across Somalia and the diaspora are aware the Kenyan government has instituted a series of political and diplomatic action/moves aimed at destabilising the current Somali government, our fragile politics and businesses. Our people and the international community can see this with their open eyes.
All these dubious actions by Kenya are intended to compel Somalia to settle the “maritime dispute” outside the jurisdiction of ICJ. Kenya has been blowing the trumpet for over six months to bully, compel and destabilise Somali politics locally and internationally. Their greed driven efforts/actions has been fruitless and as the ICJ’s decision on the “maritime dispute” is expected early September 2019, Kenya’s government has become desperate. To this end, they have recently applied to the UN Security Council to enlist Alshabaab as a terrorist organisation under UN resolution 1267 with far-reaching consequences for our society, businesses and day to day survival for our internally displaced refugees in Somalia.
While our number enemy remains Alshabaab, this was not about preventing/fighting terrorism, but a legal pretext that would have given Kenyan authorities international approval to arrest, seize assets and harass innocent Somali citizens for their own political ends. At the basic level, the implications of this move would have prevented any Somali, in Somalia or otherwise, sending financial support to their families who are living in places under the control of A/S. This would have indiscriminately criminalised large number of innocent Somali/foreign citizens, businesses and humanitarian aid agencies.
It is with great pride and appreciation that the UN Security Council has this morning formally rejected the dubious ill-conceived request of the Kenyan government.
The message was loud and clear from the international community. “As a Kenyan government, you do not need further legal instruments to fight terrorism. You have all you need; you just need to stop your troops selling/buying charcoal to /from Alshabaab.
The Somali people everywhere appreciate and applaud the action of the international community. By calling Kenyan’s bluff, they have shown commitment to international justice and proportionality – as we are all too aware the issue of terrorism has been/could be abused by States for political ends.
I would like to give a special congratulation and mention to our outstanding Somali Permanent Representative to the UN, AMB Abukar Osman who has worked tirelessly/diplomatically over the past months to stifle Kenya’s disproportionate and unwarranted actions. His stewardship, capacity and share diplomatic skills to thwarts these misguided efforts through lobbying/careful diplomacy has been exemplary to see and a worthy of statesmanlike. We owe great debt to this remarkable diplomat, the Somali Foreign Ministry, and by extension our political leaders for making our future easier and less troublesome.
It is these valuable diplomatic measures behind the scenes that count for our everyday lives/needs. It will no doubt prove a vital step for humanitarian aid, our human rights as citizens for our place in the world and beyond. Make no mistake. Today
is a watershed moment for our people to live, travel and engage in business in a dignified way without fear of being labelled Alshabaab unjustly in these precarious times in our history.
Our Somali media/journalist everywhere should recognise these efforts in unified way – because ultimately, such measures/efforts are also intended to protect their own rights as media professionals and citizens.
AMB Abukar Osman, we appreciate your valuable contribution and enhancement of Somali diplomacy. These steps may not seem important to others, but their immediate impact will be felt everywhere by our people, businesses and international humanitarian aid agencies.
One key step for Somalia, but a blue-print for justice and dignity for all. It is also re-assuring the UN Security Council is tune with reality in Somalia and its challenges.
By Abdihafid Mahamud Jama