Pan-Somali Council for Peace and Democracy (ISRAACA)
4668 Crystal Lake Drive, Hilliard, Ohio 43026
Email: contact@israac.net
www.israac.org

For Immediate Release

ISRAACA Welcomes the American Position on Troops from Frontline States
Date: March 14, 2005
Columbus - ISRAAC, The Pan-Somali Council for Peace and Democracy (ISRAACA) welcomes the decision of the United States Government that discourages sending troops from frontline states to Somalia. We share with the international community the concerns regarding the presence of the troops of Somalia's hostile neighbours in the country. We hope that the states involved, particularly, Ethiopia and Kenya would heed the United States' call and stop sending their troops to Somalia.
This message is particularly pertinent with respect to Ethiopia. For the past fourteen years, Ethiopia has been considered by many Somalis to have been the chief obstacle to the formation of a Somali national government free and independent of Ethiopian hegemony. We urge the United States to put diplomatic pressure on Ethiopia not to meddle with the Somali peace process. The United States government provides significant aid to Ethiopia and enjoys a certain degree of leverage with it.

The Pan-Somali Council for Peace and Democracy would like to take this opportunity to raise several important points that relate to the Somali-Ethiopian conflict. Historically, neighbouring countries, particularly Ethiopia, have had hostile relations with the Somali nation and its people. Many Somalis consider Ethiopia to have been one of the colonial countries which participated in the partitioning of Somalia. Currently, both Ethiopia and Kenya control Somali regions over which conventional cross-border wars were fought in a number of occasions. In that regard, and since Ethiopia and Kenya annexed Somali territories in the past, there is no guarantee they have no ulterior designs on the Republic of Somalia today.
Ethiopia has also been a principal party to the Somali conflict for a long time. It has armed and supported its proxy warlords. The Security Council's Expert Panel Report on Somalia (S/2003/223) confirmed that Ethiopia had been sending weapons to Somalia. Ethiopia has also invaded Somali border towns on numerous occasions and occupied large swathes of Somali territory in violation of Somalia's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Lastly, during the IGAD-sponsored two-year-long peace process, Ethiopia's manipulating hand was everywhere, taking sides openly, vetting committee membership lists and, in some instances, striking down the names of individuals it considered unfavourable to its agenda off the delegate's roster.
We strongly believe that the Somali peace process requires a balance of sustained pressure and support from the International Community. There is also a need for a well-intentioned, unbiased guarantor of the peace process that can assist the Somali groups to implement the peace accord. We believe the United Nations is the most appropriate body that can fill this role.

We urge the United States to help the United Nations take over the peace process. This, we believe, will enhance the likelihood of implementing the peace agreement while taking into account the interest of the Somali people and the security of the region in general. The Pan-Somali Council for Peace and Democracy calls for the United States to give serious consideration to Ethiopia's negative role and potential destructive consequences of its unwelcome interference in the Somali conflict. The government of the United States can help in influencing the Security Council to establish, at an appropriate time in the future, an international war crimes tribunal for Somalia.

The Pan-Somali Council for Peace and Democracy warns against rewarding violence and the use of force as a means to achieving political ends. The international community should not allow the survival and peaceful development of the Somali people to become subservient to personal aspirations and group interests. Thus, we call upon the Security Council and the International Community to send a strong message to that effect to the participants. Human rights abuses by warlords, militias and any other group or groups should not be overlooked.

Finally, the Pan-Somali Council for Peace and Democracy pledges to work with the Somali people as well as others involved in the process in their endeavour to find a lasting peaceful and negotiated settlement.


The Board of Directors,
Zainab Hassan, Chair of the Board can be contacted at ssirad@yahoo.com
For Information, please send your e-mails to contact@israac.net or visit www.israac.net