Tag Archives: imperialism

Thomas C Mountain radio interview – UN responsible for Somali famine

An eye opening interview has been recorded with journalist Thomas C Mountain, one of the most prolific and widely circulated journalists who writes on Africa

In the interview, Mountain reveals the role the UN  have played in Somalia, and how they are responsible for literally thousands of deaths of people during the famine. It also discusses the myths surrounding the disaster, ‘aid’, and the role of Britain, US and the UN to show how they act purely in the interests of imperialism in East Africa.

http://scotthorton.org/2013/05/10/5713-thomas-c-mountain/

Its a must listen!!! We encourage all our supporters and followers to check it out and learn the facts.

More information can be found in the recent article posted on our blog 

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[Photos] Protest against British conference on Somalia – 7 May 2013

Hundreds gathered near Lancaster House on Tuesday to protest the second British conference held by David Cameron on Somalia.
Hands off Somalia, Fight Racism Fight Imperialism and a wide range of Somali groups based in Britain attended to make their voices heard about the pillaging of Somalia through proxy wars and exacerbation of tribal differences, the criminalisation of Somalis in Britain and the ever-growing hiest to snatch natural resources from across the region.
Hands off Somalia banner: NO TO BRITISH INTERVENTION IN AFRICA

Hands off Somalia banner alongside other protesting groups: NO TO BRITISH INTERVENTION IN AFRICA

Chants, music, dancing and contributions from protesters on Hands off Somalia’s open-mic made the protest lively and colourful.

People spoke about disgusting UKBA, the plight of Mahdi Hashi, the true agenda behind ‘aid’, the theft of Somalia’s resources by outside forces, and the need for self-determination without interference.

The message was clear- that imperialist hands should be kept off Somalia!

Other groups and speakers used the Hands off Somalia sound system

Other groups and speakers used the Hands off Somalia sound system

Hands off Somalia speakers

Hands off Somalia speakers

Hands off Somalia displayed Mahdi Hashi posters and told people about his struggle - I AM MAHDI HASHI!

Hands off Somalia displayed Mahdi Hashi posters and told people about his struggle – I AM MAHDI HASHI!

The protest had 2 sides but they were supportive of each other and called for unity between all Somali people

The protest had 2 sides but they were supportive of each other and called for unity between all Somali people

Loud music and dancing in the streets - always a good thing!

Loud music and dancing in the streets – always a good thing!

More dancing and songs

More dancing and songs from a group attending the protest

Supporter makes very good points that Britain is part of the robbery of Somalia's resources

Supporter makes very good points that Britain is part of the robbery of Somalia’s resources

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The UN and 250,000 Dead Somalis

The UN has announced that in 2010-2012, including the Great Horn of Africa Drought period, at least 250,000 Somalis starved to death.

Most of those who died from starvation were internally displaced persons, displaced in the main by the military invasion and occupation of southern Somalia by the UN backed Ethiopian Army and then the AU “peacekeepers”, today some 25,000 strong.

When I last wrote about starvation in Somalia I spoke of the UN budgeting 10 cents a day for food aid to feed each Somali refugee. Its called a “budget shortfall” as in “we want to help but we just don’t have the money”.

Yet during this period of mass starvation of the Somali people the UN and its western overlords spent over $1 billion funding its military “peacekeeping mission” in what’s left of the country.

$1 billion for war and 250,000 Somalis left to starve to death?

Maybe knowing that the head of the largest UN food aid “ngo” in Somalia, UNICEF, is Anthony “Tony” Lake, formerly National Security Advisor of the USA and once nominated to be Director of the CIA can help one understand why this happened.

Tony Lake is the one who so infamously stated he “regretted” not doing anything while knowing full well mass murder was going on in Rwanda on his watch as Bill Clinton’s right hand man in 1994. CIA to UNICEF? Should one be suprised to find mass starvation under his watch in Somalia?

Today, while the propaganda machines in the western media speak of “peace and democracy coming to Somalia for the first time in a generation” they some how forget how Somalis themselves brought peace to Mogadishu in 2006 only to see the UN backed Ethiopian invasion send it all up in smoke.

The television news channels may trot out a few tame Somalis to spout rhetoric about “Somalis running the show” behind the cameras stand “peacekeepers” armed to the teeth by the UN backed by the banktatorships in the west.

The fact is no power no matter how strong can bring peace to Somalia from without, only the Somali people, left alone to sort out their own problems can do so. In 2006 the Union of Islamic Courts succeeded for the first time in 15 years to no avail due to armed intervention ordered by the USA and its minions in the UN. This externally funded and directed armed conflict continues to drive hundreds of thousands of Somalis from their land and homes leaving them to starve on the UN’s bounty of 10 cents a day.

And all the while more arms pour into Somalia from the west with Pax Americana demanding that any and all paper restrictions on such be lifted, all in the name of the “war on terror”, really a “war of terror”, a war on the Somali people whose main misfortune turns out to be that they live smack in the middle of the Horn of Africa astride the “Gate of Tears”, Baab Al Mandeb, where the Indian Ocean meets the Red Sea through which the largest economies in the world depend on to ship their goods.

Writing about the enormous, inhuman crimes committed by the UN in the Horn of Africa has become almost to painful to continue to do. But when the UN sends its talking heads to tell the world that a quarter million more Somalis died these past two years, died by mass starvation what choice does one have but to once again raise a voice in protest for turning your head away from the television and pretending not to hear is simply not a decision I for one can live with.

Thomas C. Mountain is the most widely distributed independent journalist in Africa, living and reporting from Eritrea since 2006. He can be reached at thomascmountain_at_yahoo_dot_com.

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Ghost money bribes – what the British govt has in store for Somalia

The below article, posted today on The Guardian website, reveals that so-called British democracy and diplomacy boil down to little more than money stuffed in to suitcases and handed over to local actors to serve British interests.

Clearly British foreign policy takes the shape of an imperialist divide and rule strategy that takes no regard for a country’s self-determination.

In The Guardian article, “Ghost money” refers to the MI6 (and CIA) regular large cash payments to Hamid Karzai’s office with the aim of maintaining access to the Afghan leader and his top allies and officials.

The British payments have also been designed to bolster UK influence in Kabul, in what a source described as “an auction with each country trying to outbid the other” in the course of an often fraught relationship with the Karzai government.

This is what Britain has in store for its intervention in Somalia – bribes and backhanders which stoke existing sectarian tensions to deliver to the door of imperialism. Britain will exploit and cause further chaos in order to get access to Somalia’s resources for its own financial capitalist markets.

This is what we must work to expose. The British government clearly can play no progressive role in the development, democracy and liberation of Somalia.

A solid and real Somali state is a threat to imperialism, and that is why Britain will always seeks to undermine democracy and enable corruption.

If you agree – and support this sentimentjoin us to protest outside the British governments conference on Somalia on 7 May at Lancaster House in London.

Hands off Somalia

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CIA and MI6 ghost money may fuel Afghan corruption, say diplomats

Failure of peace initiatives raises questions over whether British eagerness for political settlement may have been exploited
Hamid Karzai with the Finnish prime minister, Jyrki Katainen, in Helsinki. Photograph: Lehtikuva/Reuters
The CIA and MI6 have regularly given large cash payments to Hamid Karzai’s office with the aim of maintaining access to the Afghan leader and his top allies and officials, but the attempt to buy influence has largely failed and may have backfired, former diplomats and policy analysts say.

The Guardian understands that the payments by British intelligence were on a smaller scale than the CIA’s cash handouts, reported in the New York Times to have been in the tens of millions, and much of the British money has gone towards attempts to finance peace initiatives, which have so far proved abortive.

That failure has raised questions among some British officials over whether British eagerness to promote a political settlement may have been exploited by Afghan officials and self-styled intermediaries for the Taliban alike.

Responding to the allegations while on a visit to Helsinki on Monday, Karzai said his national security council (NSC) had received support from the US government for the past 10 years, and the amounts involved were “not big” and were used for a variety of purposes including helping those wounded in the conflict.

“It’s multi-purpose assistance,” he said, without commenting on the allegations that the money was fuelling corruption.

Kabul sources told the Guardian that the key official involved in distributing the payments within the NSC was Ibrahim Spinzada, a close confidant of the president known as Engineer Ibrahim. There is, however, no evidence that Spinzada personally gained from the cash payments or that in distributing them among the president’s allies and sometimes his foes he was breaking Afghan law.

Officials say the payments, referred to in the New York Times report as “ghost money”, helped prop up warlords and corrupt officials, deepening Afghan popular mistrust of the Kabul government and its foreign backers, and thereby helped drive the insurgency.

The CIA money has sometimes caused divisions between the various branches of US government represented in Kabul, according to diplomats stationed in Kabul, particularly when it helped give the CIA chief of station in Kabul direct access to Karzai without the US ambassador’s knowledge or approval.

One former Afghan budgetary official told the Guardian: “On paper there was very little money that went to the National Directorate of Security [NDS, the Afghan intelligence service], but we knew they were taken care of separately by the CIA.

“The thing about US money is a lot of it goes outside the budget, directly through individuals and companies, and that opens the way for corruption.”

Khalil Roman, who served as Karzai’s deputy chief of staff from 2002 until 2005, told the New York Times: “We called it ‘ghost money’. It came in secret, and it left in secret.”

“The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,” one American official told the newspaper, “was the United States.”

Sources said the MI6 aid was on a smaller scale, and much of it was focused on trying to promote meetings between Karzai’s government and Taliban intermediaries, as was embarrassingly the case in 2010 when a recipient of a thousand of pounds of MI6 money turned out not to be the Taliban leader he claimed to be, but an impostor from the Pakistani city of Quetta.

The British payments have also been designed to bolster UK influence in Kabul, in what a source described as “an auction with each country trying to outbid the other” in the course of an often fraught relationship with the Karzai government.

Vali Nasr, a former US government adviser on Afghanistan said: “Karzai has been lashing out against American officials and generals, so if indeed there has been funding by the CIA, you have to ask to what effect has that money been paid. It hasn’t clearly has brought the sort of influence it was meant to.”

Nasr, now dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and author of a new book criticising US policy in Afghanistan, The Dispensable Nation, said: “If the terms of such payments are not clear, the question is how well to they tag with US policy … The CIA has a narrow, counter-terrorism purview that involved working with warlords, but that is quite a different agenda, on how we conduct the war or how we build a government.”

The CIA has also been heavily criticised for conducting drone attacks against suspected militants over the border in Pakistan and for calling in air strikes inside Afghanistan while on joint operations with NDS units, which led to civilian casualties.

A report on Monday by the Afghanistan Analysts Network, a thinktank in Kabul, said the latest such NDS-CIA operation, in Kunar province on 13 April, caused the deaths of 17 civilians.

Kate Clark, one of the network’s analysts, said: “It is one thing to conduct covert operations in a hostile country. I’m flabbergasted that the CIA is running these kind of covert operations in a friendly country. It runs counter to accountability, democracy and the rule of law, and damaging what the US is trying to do. The CIA puts certain things as a priority – whether someone is against al-Qaida, for example – and damn the rest.”

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Political Open Mic – 27 April – organising to protest on 7 May

POLITICAL OPEN MIC, DISCUSSION & PLANNING

27 April 2013 @ 2pm

HORN OF AFRICA COMMUNITY CENTRE,
LIME GROVE
SHEPHERDS BUSH MARKET, W12 8EE

Come and voice your political opinions and put them to use by helping with planning, banner making, and with promotion for 7 May protest

Come and organise with Hands off Somalia on 27 April 2013

Come and organise with Hands off Somalia on 27 April 2013

PROXY WAR IN SOMALIA – FUNDED BY BRITAIN

Britain’s support to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is funded from various British government bodies, including the Ministry of Defence. In 2011 alone, 48.2% of the total funds contributed to the AMISOM EU trust fund, amounting to £15m, came from Britain. Why is Britain funding a proxy war in Africa?

7 MAY 2013 CONFERENCE – IMPERIALISTS SCRAMBLE FOR SOMALIA

Britain’s conference on Somalia in London on 7 May 2013 is purely to further the interests of British imperialism in the region, such as controlling the shipping lanes and natural resources like oil and gas. Britain, through the UN, is enforcing a new sectarian federal government model on to Somalia, to ensure it can divide and exploit the nation.

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PROTEST

BRITISH CONFERENCE ON SOMALIA

7 MAY 2013

LANCASTER HOUSE,

Cleveland Row, SW1A 1BB

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SOMALIA… LIBYA… MALI… WHERE NEXT?

In February 2013, it was announced British military ‘advisors’ will be sent to Somalia. Under Obama, the US also pledges to send new troops.In March 2013, British troops also entered Mali. The Secretary for Defence Philip Hammond said it was to counter ‘threats’ to British ‘national interests’, just as Cameron said in 2012 that Somalia ‘directly threatens British interests’ and increased AMISOM funding.

British military interventions in Africa since 1945 :

1948 Ghana (Gold Coast): suppression of riots
1948-49 Somalia: preventing re-unification of the country, keeping protectorate
1948-51 Eritrea: suppression of the Shifta revolt
1951-54 Suez: Canal Zone
1952-56 Kenya: suppression of Mau Mau revolt. 11,500 Mau Mau were killed
1954 Egypt: intervention on the Nile
1956 Egypt: Suez crisis and invasion
1958 Malawi (Nyasaland): suppression of riots
1960-61 Cameroon: aid to the government
1961 Tanzania (Zanzibar): suppression of revolt
1963 Swaziland: Reinforcements sent to cover period of strike
1963 Tanzania (Zanzibar): preparations for election
1964 Tanzania (Tanganyika): army mutiny
1964 Uganda: Army mutiny
1964 Kenya: Army mutiny
1965 Mauritius: Suppression of riots
1965 Botswana (Bechuanaland): guarding the BBC’s Francistown radio station
1967 Libya: Guarding oil installations and preventing coup against King Idris
1973 Egypt: RAF moves UN troops after Yom Kippur war
1995 Angola: Operation Chantress with UN after civil war
1997 Congo: Operation Determinate
1998 Congo: Operation Ladbrook
2000 Sierra Leone: Intervention in civil war and attacks on Gambia
2003 Congo: Operation Coral
2003 Sierra Leone: Operation Keeling
2004 Cote D’Ivoire: Operation Phillis
2008-13 Somalia: Funding/training of AMISOM troops
2011 Libya: British backed NATO bombing
2013 Somalia: British military ‘advisors’ enter the country to ‘advise’
2013 Mali: British military troops enter alongside ex-colonisers France

DEMAND SELF-DETERMINATION

Britain has no record of ‘helping’ any country in the world using its military, or its multinational corporations. Britain’s pledge to spend 0.7% of gross-national income on ‘aid’ by 2013 is an insult to African people living in absolute poverty.

British ‘aid’ is largely being used to bribe and buy off regional actors who help imperialism, to rob the continent of its natural resources. Its no coincidence ‘aid’ for Somalia was increased 208% between 2010 and 2015, followed by Nigeria at 116% – these are both oil rich and geopolitically vital nations for imperialist plunder. Additionally, 40 percent of UK’s aid to Somalia will go to Somaliland, where Britain is building an regional enclave to serve its own interests.

We have to tell the British government that Somalia, and Africa, are not ‘for sale’.

African people demand self determination and development, not exploitation, poverty, war, racism, manipulation and plunder.

WHAT CAMERON WON’T BE TALKING ABOUT

The illegal abduction and torture of British Somali Mahdi Hashi. Racist UKBA deportation and detention of Somalis and Africans. The criminalisation of Somali people. Racist British media campaigns against Somali people. British terror and wars across the middle east and north Africa. Poverty in Britain and the cuts, forcing many Somali people into deep poverty

Come and support Hands off Somalia!

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UPCOMING EVENT: Fighting Racism in Britain -13 April @ 2pm LONDON

PUBLIC EVENT- DISCUSSION AND ORGANISING

WHEN: Saturday April 13 2013 @ 2pm

WHERE: Horn Of Africa Community Centre, Shepherds Bush, Lime Grove, W12 8EE

[Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/506934212698740/]

HOS 13 April event

Britain’s brutal imperialist oppression around the world finds its mirror in a vicious racism at home. Black and Muslim people in particular bear the brunt of police racism and state repression.

Hands of Somalia works with the Somali community and others in Britain to fight racism. We have been involved in anti-deportation campaigns (Free Said) and other work to expose the role of British security services (MI5) attempting to recruit Somalis to spy on their own communities on behalf of the British state.

Come to our meeting and find out about Mahdi Hashi, a Somali youth worker from Kentish Town in London who was tortured, stripped of his British citizenship and secretly sent to trial in the US because he refused to work for M15 as an informer.

Speakers include:

#Hands off Somalia

#Revolutionary Communist Group

#Somali immigration lawyer

#And more…

<< PLUS >>

Plenty of time for open discussion and debate

Organising and planning for 7 May protest in London

** ALL WELCOME | FREE ENTRY | DONATIONS WELCOME **

Get angry – get organised – get involved in the fight against racism and imperialism.

Join Hands off Somalia!

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British conference to cement carve-up of Somalia

Britain’s announcement in December 2011 of its intention to secure ‘British interests’ in the oil-rich and strategically important Horn of Africa, intensified the scramble by the imperialists and local powers to secure their own regional interests. Now another conference is to be held in London on 7 May 2013.

Ugandan, Burundian, Kenyan, Ethiopian, US, British and latterly French troops have entered Somalia. Britain, Japan and Turkey have given ‘aid’. Britain’s High Commissioner to Kenya admitted in February 2013 that Britain was part of Operation Linda Nchi, the Kenyan incursion into Somalia in October 2011. This operation was launched after the kidnapping of two female Spanish Médecins Sans Frontières aid-workers from Dadaab refugee camp, allegedly by Al Shabaab. However, WikiLeaks, The Guardian and SomaliaReport.com (14 November 2011) have revealed that Linda Nchi was planned in January 2010 (21 months earlier) at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, as a plot to annex Jubaland, a semi-autonomous region in southern Somalia.

It was finalised with the US, with Kenya using the kidnappings of foreign nationals as a pretext to launch a pre-planned operation. When US officials said ‘Kenyan officers had given their American counterparts “zero” information before the offensive started’, it was a barefaced lie, as usual (New York Times, 20 October 2011).

Somalia has been balkanised into south central Somalia, Jubaland, Galmudug, Mogadishu, Puntland and Somaliland, which Britain wants to control. Kenya has carved out Jubaland, to be run by a Kenyan-appointed puppet government and containing the lucrative port of Kismayo.

Kenya is a British military client. The British Army Training Unit in Kenya has undertaken ‘training’ in Kenya for decades and has a strong partnership with the Kenyan Defence Forces. Britain sent military advisers to Somalia in February 2013 and opened a ‘new defence section’ at its embassy in Mogadishu. In 2012, the first UK-Somaliland investment conference was held.

The corrupt Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was disbanded and a Somali Federal Government (SFG) created for the renamed Federal Republic of Somalia in August 2012.

Somalia’s carve-up is driven by imperialism’s need to exploit East Africa’s energy resources where the decade’s biggest natural gas discoveries have been made – off the coasts of Mozambique and Tanzania. British company Tullow has discovered oil in Kenya and Uganda. ‘Somalia, including Somaliland, can potentially be the Saudi Arabia of East Africa’, according to Osman Salad Hersi, associate geology professor at the University of Regina in Canada.

Chinese, Canadian, Australian, US, Anglo-Turkish and British oil companies have signed oil deals with the various Somali ‘governments’. Al Shabaab or any other effective opposition hinder oil or gas exploration and have to be removed.

The British government hosted a London conference on Somalia in February 2012 which terminated the TFG and expanded the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) occupation from 12,000 to 17,000 troops. Istanbul hosted a follow-up conference, which Turkey used to further its East African interests.

Britain and Somalia ‘will co-host an international conference on Somalia on 7 May [2013] in the UK’, to ‘help Somalia to reverse the underlying state failure… help to improve the security of the country, reduce the levels of piracy and terrorism, enable refugees to return home, and improve the lives of millions of Somalis.’ Oil is not mentioned as a possible motive. Britain wants to ‘rebuild [Somalia’s] armed forces, police, coastguard, justice and public financial management systems’ – not schools, hospitals or homes for refugees. Britain wants to wrest the initiative from Turkey and shape events to its benefit.

The British government states: ‘Somalia now has a new parliament…a new president elected by the parliament. As a result, Somalia has a more legitimate government than it has seen in many decades. In addition, the proscribed terrorist organisation Al Shabaab has been expelled from many of Somalia’s major towns and cities. Confidence is increasing and the diaspora is returning.’ The Conference will ‘engage with the diaspora around the conference’ – but they won’t be invited.

Al Shabaab has simply melted away to fight a guerrilla war and defend their 2006 and 2009-era strongholds; they still control Jubaland, despite Kenyan forces entering Kismayo in September 2012, almost a year after their invasion. Al Shabaab would not have grown if Ethiopia, with US and British support, had not invaded Somalia in 2006 and provoked the people’s anger. The SFG still has no control over districts of Mogadishu, let alone areas beyond the capital.

SFG soldiers have gang-raped women inside and outside refugee camps, and rape victims and journalists reporting this brutality have been gaoled. An estimated 1.5 million people remain displaced, with a further one million having fled the conflict and famine. The SFG has a deficit of political power and legitimacy and a surplus of international donor, mainly US, support.

Turkey and the EU compete for influence. The meddling in Somali internal affairs by Kenya and Ethiopia in particular, and the imperialist carve-up to grab Somali oil is fomenting future conflict – the SFG is backing former warlords against Kenyan-backed factions trying to form the Jubaland state, while Puntland supports those factions.

The TFG was an eight-year failure; it’s not rocket science to see what the SFG will be – another failure.

Imperialism out of Somalia!

by Charles Chinweizu

Originally printed in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 232 April/May 2013

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Mahdi Hashi and Britain’s intervention in Somalia

Written by Amina Cali for Hands off Somalia

As a Somali, I believe we have the freedom to chose, the freedom to elect our leaders and proudly watch our country prosper. We want to eliminate the root of corruption and the spread of hatred between clans. We want a united people and a united country. For too long, we have witnessed the bloodshed of our mothers and fathers; the list is endless.

Now it’s our time to manifest a government that will rule justly. Our history is deep, broad; we have the natural resources to rebuild our war-torn country. However, we can not be fooled by those who extend out one hand to ‘help’, whilst plotting to rob us of our resources with the other.

I was raised to believe that knowledge is the key to set your mind free. Indeed it is the next generation that can uphold the future. It is our duty to learn from the past so we can build a firm pillar for the present and invest in ourselves in order to excel. Anything is possible when we come under one banner. We should not forget it is for our own benefit when we compete with others.

Why Somalia?

Due to recent oil discoveries around the region of the east coast of Africa, western countries have had an immense urge to become involved with Somalia. China and Turkey have taken the initiative to help the war torn regent by supplying human aid, clean water etc, in order to build a relationship with its host for future businesses. “Why now?” is the question that keeps coming back to me, when the country was in turmoil for twenty-one years.

There were previous attempts on locating oil wells, without much prevail. It is now a stated fact that the information used previously was incorrect, hence the reason as to why the oil and other natural resources were never found.

Since the new discovery, countries involved have been all of a sudden eager to lend a helping hand, to supply Somalia with the means of constructing and extracting this black gold.

Many countries that have had oil for many years are now running low with supply. So the buyers plot to extend a business plan that is very much tempting on the outside, but in reality will benefit very few people in the country itself.

The leader of our country should by now be thinking purely of the well-being of our citizens to safeguard Somalia’s interests. A new light has been ignited for the Somali people and it shines brightly, so now is the time for our leaders to either lead or be led.

Mahdi Hashi

After many years of imperialism, Britain has the nerve to still dominate over the people they have long oppressed both abroad and at home. Mahdi Hashi is an example of this. He is a young Somali man, born in Somalia but raised in Britain, being treated unjustly. A promising student and youth worker, Mahdi has an exceptional reputation.

Whilst visiting Somalia and nearby Djibouti, Mahdi was detained on phoney ‘terrorism’ charges with the help of the British government who then revoked his British citizenship and helped render him to the US.

Camp Lemmonnier

Hashi was believed to be held for a time at America’s military base in Djibouti, Camp Lemonnier

The British government say Mahdi lost his rights to live in the UK because of the ‘public good’ with very little proof of what ‘bad’ Mahdi has ever committed.

In Britain the law of stripping someone’s citizenship is hardly even known about by the citizens themselves. Furthermore due to the recent discoveries in Somalia, foremost of which is oil, laws like this have intensified in order to criminalise the exact people (Somalis) that the British government has plans to further exploit and impoverish back home.

Mahdi has never been affiliated with any terrorist groups. That aside, the more likely explanation for Mahdi’s abduction is something more sinister.

We should ask how is it possible for these authorities to imprison a young man, in order to force him to ‘give’ information on certain organisations? It is a well known tactic to abduct a person, so they become scared into admitting something which they don’t know, by means of mental and physical torture. We know the British and US governments routinely use these tactics.

Intimidation and harassment

Since 2006 the British secret services and police, including MI5, had been intimidating and harassing Mahdi. In 2009 they attempted to obtain his services as a ‘snitch’ (informer) on his own community back in Britain. This was a plan that was never to be a success but ultimately mean Mahdi would pay the price for resisting this campaign of terror.

Mahdi and his father

Mahdi and his father

Then in 2012, the 23 year-old was abducted and tortured in a prison in Djibouti subsequently being handed over to US agents. In a recent interview with his lawyer, Mahdi Hashi explained his painful experience in the hands of the secret police in Djibouti where he was threatened with physical and sexual abuse.

Whilst in prison, Mahdi witnessed other detainees being tortured and explained that they were stripped and hung upside down. The following day Mahdi was cautioned to work with authorities or else he would be beaten and sexually abused like the other prisoners. This is how the US and Britain obtain so- called ‘information’ for their so-called ‘war on terror’.

Mahdi’s parents, who became worried sick after months of being unable to contact him, found out about his ordeal and are now having to deal with the thought of knowing that their son was tortured yet still unjustly detained by the US government where is now resides. Mahdi’s mother said “We will never give up our rights and our faith. If we die for life, we do not care”. Her will to fight is inspiring us all.

A more recent photograph of former Haverstock School pupil Mahdi Hashi

A more recent photograph of former Haverstock School pupil Mahdi Hashi

If it is now revealed that Mahdi is being held as a prisoner in the United States, why haven’t the British government gone to his aid? We know it’s because they are involved in his torture and unlawful detention. They speak of equality and freedom but so far Mahdi’s equality and freedom have been torn away quickly and easily because he would not join the British government to further criminalise his own community.

Mahdi should not be held in prison and his torture was unlawful. The fight for justice for Mahdi Hashi continues, as does the fight for justice for all Somalis demonised by imperialism.

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New report details imperialist rendition in Somalia

http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/reports/globalizing-torture-cia-secret-detention-and-extraordinary-rendition

globalizing-torture-featured-20120205Globalizing Torture details what was done internationally by CIA ‘extraordinary rendition’ programs to the 136 known victims, and lists the 54 foreign governments that participated in these operations. It shows that responsibility for the abuses lies not only with the United States but with dozens of foreign governments that were complicit (UK, Germany, Denmark, Italy, etc).

The report also lists renditions carried out in Somalia and Djibouti including that of Mahdi Hashi who was rendered by US operatives from their military base in Djibouti. Below is the section on Somalia from the report:

Somalia provided territory and guards for individuals subjected to secret CIA detention. From about 2002 onwards, U.S. counterterrorism efforts in Somalia required the cooperation of faction leaders and former military or police officers. The CIA hired Somali warlords to kidnap suspected militants, creating what the International Crisis Group termed “a small industry in abductions.” According to a Somali militia leader working closely with the United States, up to 17 suspects were apprehended in Mogadishu alone, all but three of them apparently innocent.

In 2003, Somali warlord Mohammed Dere and his team (working at the behest of the CIA) abducted and beat Suleiman Abdallah Salim in Mogadishu, breaking his fingers and teeth. Afterwards, Salim was “forcibly taken to a hospital, then blindfolded and taken to the airport, where he was flown to Nairobi.” In Nairobi, he was detained incommunicado in Kenyan custody for about eight days before being transferred to CIA custody.

The CIA flew him to Bosaso, Somalia, where he was detained in a boarding house surrounded by four armed Somali soldiers. He was then flown to Djibouti where he was held for a day before he was transferred to secret CIA detention in Afghanistan.

In addition, Somali warlord Mohamed Afrah Qanyare and his militia captured Mohammed Ali Isse, a Somali national, in a June 2004 “CIA-ordered” raid of a Mogadishu house. A U.S. military helicopter subsequently flew Isse, still bleeding, to an offshore U.S. Navy ship where he was interrogated for about a month before being transferred by the CIA to Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti and then on to Ethiopian custody.

In July 2011, the Nation reported that Kenyan officials had rendered individuals suspected of links to Al Shabaab (an Islamic militant group) to Mogadishu, where they remained imprisoned in the basement of Somalia’s National Security Agency headquarters.

Although Somali officials ran the prison, U.S. intelligence authorities reportedly paid their salaries and interrogated the detainees. “According to former detainees, the underground prison…consists of a long corridor lined with filthy small cells infested with bedbugs and mosquitoes…the cells [are] windowless and the air thick, moist and disgusting. Prisoners…are not allowed
outside.”

Some of the detainees had reportedly been held at the prison for a year or more. One of the detainees was Ahmed Abdullahi Hassan, a Kenyan national whose whereabouts had been unknown since July 2009. Hassan allegedly told a former detainee that he had been interrogated by both “Somali men and white men.”

A U.S. official interviewed for the Nation article denied the CIA had rendered Hassan, but stated that the United States had provided information which helped to get Hassan “off the street.” There have been no known judicial cases or investigations in Somalia relating to its participation in CIA secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations.

(see http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/reports/globalizing-torture-cia-secret-detention-and-extraordinary-rendition for more information)

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Britain’s quest to divide and rule Somalia

[Originally published in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 231 February-March 2013]

On 7 May 2013 the British government will host another conference in London to discuss the future of Somalia. Undoubtedly the new Somali Federal Republic model, chosen by the UN, will be hailed a ‘success’. The reality is it is fast becoming a sectarian nightmare for the Somali people who are forced to divide into smaller and smaller clan-based enclaves and ‘buffer-zones’, like the latest breakaway Jubaland, where foreign authorities, including Kenya and Ethiopia, seek proxies to control.

Britain holds its former protectorate Somaliland, in northern Somalia, as its big ‘success story’, keeping quiet about the brutal behaviour of President Ahmed Silanyo towards protests following municipal elections in November 2012. Ten people are said to have been murdered after protests spread across the region. On 6 December the Somaliland Police Special Protection Unit, an anti-terror unit trained and funded by the British MOD, is thought to have been involved in four murders in Hargeisa. At least nine other people were injured, some of them seriously, including a ten-year-old girl who was shot in the stomach. The government also attacked protesters in Zeila, Saylac (western Somaliland); videos posted online show government troops deliberately shooting and killing teenagers on a demonstration against the fraudulent election results.

Wikileaks confirmed to the public that Britain was funding and training Somaliland Special Police

Wikileaks confirmed to the public that Britain was funding and training Somaliland Special Police

On 10 January Somali President Hassan Mohamud met high-ranking World Bank officials, telling them: ‘Somalia needs to reinstate operations with the World Bank family…We believe the World Bank can play an important role in the reconstruction of Somalia.’ It was the World Bank and IMF that destroyed Somalia’s economy in the 1980s, leading up to the crumbling of the state and civil war.

Hassan Mohamud, a little too eager to meet Somalia's imperialist oppressor?

Hassan Mohamud, a little too eager to meet Somalia’s imperialist oppressor?

A week later, on 17 January, the US ‘recognised’ Somalia, after Mohamud met Hillary Clinton and promised that ‘Somalia will remain grateful to the unwavering support from the United States government in the last 22 years…and I say in front of you today, thank you, America.’ He did not question the many Somalis killed by US drones or demand the removal of US-backed AMISOM troops and military bases from the country.

The British government has funnelled £2.2m into the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s counter-piracy programme, to run prisons in Puntland and reinforce its police and maritime forces which will defend British interests in the region. On 6 January the first private British navy for the last 200 years was set up off Somali waters to defend private British interests and rake in massive shipping insurance contracts with Lloyds of London.

Glencore's Simon Murray

Glencore’s Simon Murray

The chairman of mining giant Glencore Simon Murray backs the company behind the venture, Typhon. The firm’s personnel include ex-Royal Marines, Legionnaires, NATO commanders, and a former chief of HSBC’s marine and insurance business. Typhon owner Anthony Sharp told the Daily Telegraph, ‘I had the idea for Typhon playing polo one afternoon, thinking about what my next business might be’. Britain is responsible for naval operations and judicial programmes for the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.

Anthony Rupert

Originally published in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 231 February-March 2013

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