by Dr. M. Omar Hashi
As Somalia prepares to elect a new national government in early January 2022, the country is at the crossroads of the emerging realignment global power with the waning influence of the United States-led Western bloc’s monopolization of geo-strategic control of the Horn of Africa. Certainly the US-EU powers still wield considerable and unconstitutional control over the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the political agenda of the Federal Member States (FMS).
The exclusive political, economic and military influence of the U.S. in Somalia is now being challenged not only by the involvement of Turkey but also China’s phenomenal rise to economic and strategic dominance in the Horn of Africa under President Xi Jinping.
In August 2021, China appointed a high-level delegation to Somalia under H.E. Mr. Fei Shengchao, the new Chinese Ambassador. China has stated its intention to assist in the National Development Plan for Somalia, specifically in setting up the extractive natural resource industries, mining and telecommunications. China, like Turkey, is playing a positive counterweight role to the Western powers by offering direct economic, military, cultural (educational scholarships) and technical assistance to Somalia’s reconstruction, especially natural resource extraction.
After 30 years of Western interference and destabilization in Somalia’s affairs, China is positioned to accelerate the post-war reconstruction and development of Somalia’s natural resources, market economy and state institutions. Unlike the West, China does not micromanage the national politics and economies of the developing world. Chinese investments have reduced poverty and led to unprecedented economic redevelopment of vast areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, the Asia Pacific and Middle East.
From 1975 to 1990, China and the Soviet Union invested heavily in Somalia under the Siad Barre regime. Chinese investments led to direct knowledge transfer in agricultural sciences, medical technologies and water filtration and waste management. Chinese engineers built Somalia’s vital infrastructure including national road connecting the southern and northern regions, governmental buildings, the national stadium and sports complex, hospitals, and military installations.
However, today there remain the unresolved matters with the Al-Shabaab-AlQaeda terrorist network which still threatens Somalia’s reconstruction, sovereignty and continues to massacre hundreds of thousands of Somali civilians.
In addition, the destabilizing role of Western intelligence apparatus led by the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) and its sprawling field office in the Mogadishu International Airport (MIA) – which now constitutes 60 % of the UN’s Halane complex and budget— has not been curbed.
More worrying for the future of Somalia and world peace, the CIA has surreptitiously formed a paramilitary force in Somalia in the last decade which is harbinger for more destabilization. The CIA paramilitary force in Somalia is wholly unlawful since the CIA is not a branch of the United States Armed Forces nor does the CIA paramilitary force have a mandate from the US Congress and Senate or even a Presidential Order. This CIA intends to use the paramilitary force in Somalia as a template for the new warfare it intends to carry out in the region.
Looking more broadly at recent developments in Ethiopia, the Western powers have engineered state collapse by abandoning the duly elected government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali. The US instead of working with the elected Federal Government of Ethiopia and President Abiy, has instead chosen the resuscitation of the vicious mass murdering TPLF minority junta.
Of course, the US turning on Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and supporting the TPLF rebels is to ensure the long-term balkanization and military occupation of the whole Horn of Africa region to prevent China and Russia from assisting these countries development and peace.
In fact, Retired United States Navy admiral James G. Stavridis in an recent Bloomberg news article titled “ Ethiopia’s Civil War Is a Problem US Troops Can Help Solve” ( https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-11-11/ethiopia-s-civil-war-is-a-problem-u-s-troops-can-help-solve) has publicly exposed the US Biden’s administration ongoing plans to currently build massive military bases in Ethiopia, specifically relocating AFRICOM from Germany to Northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
Long-term, the US also intends to reinforce its militarily occupation of Somalia (already the CIA maintains a paramilitary force, the only one of its kind in world at the Mogadishu airport complex).
Now, under a new so called AU-UN Hybrid Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia to replace AMISOM after the federal election in 2022, the US intends to redeploy its forces back into the country.
Predictably, the US Biden administration along with Italy has banned Turkey for joining the new UN-AU peacekeeping mission in Somalia. The US with the support of Italy and the EU is also working to prevent friendly nations like China and Russia from contributing to Somalia’s national development.
The Western opposition largely stems from the fact that Turkey along with China and Russia are successfully challenging the US control over Somalia’s national resources and political future. There is a strategic calculus for Somalia in Ethiopia’s crisis: If the Abiy government is able to hold off collapse and the US fails to relocate AFRICOM to Northern Ethiopia, there is hope for regional peace.
Consequently, the upcoming election of a new post-Farmaajo government in 2022 might surprise the US and Western bloc, specifically, they may well find themselves increasingly isolated and competing for attention in Somalia, Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa with Turkey, China and Russia more resurgent. This will hopefully be good news not only for Somalia but all peace-loving peoples in the Horn of Africa region!