Somali Congress for Liberation and Reconstitution Opens in Asmara
Sep 6, 2007, 17:16
Asmara, 6 September 2007 – The Somali Congress for Liberation and Reconstitution opened in Asmara today. More than 350 people representing different social groups of Somali society, including leaders of the Union of Islamic Courts, clan heads, intellectuals, community elders and religious leaders are taking part in the Congress.
The Preparatory Committee expressed gratitude to the people and Government of Eritrea under the leadership of President Isaias Afwerki for creating the opportunity for the Somali people to discuss, in a round table, the liberation and reconstitution of their country.
Speaking on behalf of the Committee, Sheik Abdulahi indicated that the Congress is aimed at forming an organization that represents the entire Somali people and serves their interests, liberating Somalia from the current invasion and ensuring its reconstitution, as well as organizing a forum of national reconciliation, security and stability, among others. He further expressed conviction that the Congress would create a reliable ground for the Somali people to work hand-in-hand to liberate their country from invasion.
Also speaking at the Congress, the Chairman of the Union of Islamic Courts, Sheik Sherif Sheik Ahmed, expressed his appreciation to the people and Government of Eritrea who stood alongside the Somali people in times of adversity. He further pointed out that Somalia had fell victim to Meles regime’s invasion due to international conspiracy, and that all acts of defamation on the part of enemies and their collaborators, designed to tarnish Somalia’s image under the pretext of terrorism, are baseless. Sheik Sherif Sheik Ahmed went on to underline that such acts are aimed at preventing the reconstitution of a sovereign Somali nation and exposes its people to lead a life of disintegration.
Addressing the Congress on behalf of the people and Government of Eritrea, as well as the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), Mr. Al-Amin Mohammed Seid, Secretary of the Front, congratulated the Somali people inside the country and abroad on the holding of the Congress, and noted that relations between the people of Eritrea and Somalia date back to the early 19th century and, as such, Eritrean-Somali relations is historic.
The PFDJ official indicated that the brotherly people of Somalia had not only stood on the side of the just struggle of the Eritrean people for independence but also extended support. Stating that such all-round support occupies a special chapter in the history of the Eritrean people, Mr. Al-Amin explained that the indiscriminate and genuine support which the people and Government of Eritrea extend to the Somali people emanates from this historical background, and is a historical and moral obligation.
Mr. Al-Amin indicated that following the 16-year long civil war and a period dominated of war lords, the Somali people through their own initiative managed to create peace and stability in 2006. Despite this, however, such developments that indeed deserved the support of all peace-loving forces was crippled by the open invasion of the Meles regime with the collaboration of the US Administration, he elaborated. The PFDJ Secretary further expressed goodwill that the holding of the Congress in Asmara by Somali brothers would attain the set objectives.
During the opening session of the Congress that was attended by Eritrean government and PFDJ officials, as well as diplomats accredited here, prominent Somali members of parliament, ministers and intellectuals, including Hussein Mohammed Farah Aideed and Sherif Hassen Sheik Adem, Chairman of the Independent Somali Parliament, delivered speeches. In their speeches, they pointed out that the United States is the one that assigned and provided all-round support to the Meles regime to invade Somalia. The aforementioned Somali personalities further underlined that it is high time for the Somali people to avoid differences and drive out the invading force which is presently exploiting their resources and raping Somali women.
Speech Delivered by Mr. Al-Amin Mohammed Seid, Head of Organizational Affairs for the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) To The Congress for the Liberation and Reconstitution of Somalia
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Participants and invited guests to the Somali Congress for Liberation and Reconciliation,
Allow me to welcome you and congratulate you on organizing this Congress.
I feel proud to present at this crucial and historic moment friendly greetings to the Somali people in Somalia and all over the world, on behalf of the people, the Front, and the Government of Eritrea.
The historic relation between the peoples of Somalia and Eritrea has its beginning at the start of the spread of colonialism in the Horn of Africa in the 19th century. There won’t be any need for further analysis as this relationship is recorded in history.
During the first half of the 20th century, especially after the Second World War, the people of Somalia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia, instead of gaining their independence and establishing harmony and cooperation based on their own decision, they were pushed into crises and conflicts as a result of the then superpowers.
Although the Ethiopian people were able to win independence after a brief period of colonialism, the regime that came to power with the aid of the superpowers, instead of respecting the rights and the unity of Ethiopians and playing a constructive regional role, it supported foreign interest and remained a source of crisis and conflicts in the Horn region.
While the Somali people in the North and South were able to gain independence in 1960 and establish a sovereign state, the Eritrean people, by the choice of the then superpowers, were denied their independence and tied up to an agent of colonialism and were therefore compelled to pursue a political and military struggle for independence.
The Somali people, due to their historic relations with the Eritrean people, stood along the Eritrean struggle against the unjust decision. Subsequent Somali governments since independence in 1960, representing the choice and wishes of the Somali people, gave unparalleled support to the Eritrean cause in spite of all the inconsistent regional and international situations.
During the Eritrean war for liberation, the Somali people gave unmatched political material and military aid to the people of Eritrea, and this is an unforgettable historical fact.
The people and government of Somalia gave their support not only to the struggle of the people of Eritrea, but also to the struggle of the people’s of Ethiopia, including the present ruling clique—Woyane.
Although historians may look at this from different angles, there is however, an undeniable and incontestable historical truth: the common and indivisible wishes of the peoples of Eritrea, Somalia, and Ethiopia for independence, mutual respect, and friendship. This historical truth, although foreign interests try to undermine it through different interventions, is nevertheless unalterable.
The friendship of the people and the Government of Eritrea and the people of Somalia is therefore based on this historical background, unchangeable with time, and aims for mutual interest and regional stability.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
By some historical coincidence, without going into detail, Eritrea became a sovereign state in 1991; the people of Ethiopia were liberated form a succession of oppressive regimes in 1991; the government of Somalia collapsed in 1990 and the end of the Cold War also occurred during the same period.
Undeniable, all these historical coincidences provided new historical opportunities, individually or collectively, to Somalia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. But unfortunately, the developments during the last sixteen years did not meet the expectations of the peoples.
When the people of Somalia tried to rectify the damage caused by foreign interference and administrative weakness, it was frustrated by warlords and complicated by continued foreign intervention. The people of Somalia, during the last seventeen years, ended in a quagmire; and the destruction of the country and the decimation of the Somali people is truly a sad and horrifying situation.
In Ethiopia, the Woyane (TPLF), who claimed to struggle for the liberation of the people of Ethiopia and regional harmony, having distanced itself from its original promise, is using Ethiopia for the benefit of its own narrow interests. Having marginalized the broad masses of Ethiopia and creating conflict among them, it has now found itself in a self-made quagmire. Thinking that it would extricate itself from its own self-made quagmire, the TPLF has chosen to look for external sacrificial lambs and ties with foreign powers to serve as their agent. Woyane tried to correct an error with another error.
But what is both sad and astonishing, is that it chose the people of Eritrea as it sacrificial lamb. It provoked the border conflict followed by death and destruction which was followed by the use of the Somali people as another sacrificial lamb. Here also is a case of history repeating itself. Having identified those who can serve its strategic interests and having chosen the TPLF as the first of its assets, the USA, at the cost of the peace and tranquility of the people of Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, regards the TPLF as its primary tool and the principle actor in the conflict in this region. And this is a dangerous development and a cause for concern.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The people of Somalia, after 16 years of conflict, having freed itself from the era of the warlords and foreign intervention and having chosen to follow the path of peace and stability, in 2006, relative peace prevailed around the Mogadishu area. And this fact was confirmed by the world and our regions as well as by the UN. The role of the Union of Islamic Courts, the UIC, during the time of relative peace cannot be underestimated. But the development did not occur by the magic wand of the UIC only, but because it was the choice and wish of the Somali people as well.
The tendency towards stabilization was clearly the beginning and not the end. It was an event that had the support of all those who have the good will of the Somalia. What is unfortunate is that, as I have already stated, the development was not to the satisfaction of the ‘agenda’ of the ‘Strategic Interests of the USA.’ And because the TPLF, due to reasons already mentioned, wanted to exploit the situation, both the US and the TPLF decided to take steps which would frustrate the promising developments. A naked invasion was, therefore, launched. The invasion was not only against the decision of the Security Council, but it was also against the wish of the Somali people and was in violation of the rule of law and has raised the situation of our region to a dangerous level.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
How can this invasion, which is conducted against the rule of law, be neutralized? During the last few years what has become the fashion and is being discussed widely is the war against terror. During the past 16 years, it is an uncontestable fact that many forces have tried to exploit the situation created in Somalia. It is also not surprising to find, in the current global situation, a few highly fundamentalist tendencies. Classifying the entire people of Somalia and the struggle of the Somali people as ‘terrorists’ and identifying the stability and consciousness of the Somali people that started to take shape in 2006 as a result of terrorism is a baseless argument and fabrication. In order to free itself from past tensions there would be no reason for the people of Somalia to seek ‘terrorism’ as the appropriate method. It is also not possible for the people of this region, who seek peace and stability, to choose ‘terrorism’ as a means towards this end.
But because those who protested were ignored, and the concern for ‘terrorism’ was widely publicized, an invasion took place: the progress of the Somali people towards peace and stability was interrupted; more than a million people were displaced; killing and plundering and robbing because everyday occurrences and the Somali people became victims of political domination and suffering. That the Somali people, in its entirety, was compelled to resist the invasion and choose to continue to fight for justice and stability6 is a natural reaction which shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
For the people and Government of Eritrea, as I have already briefly stated, to stand by the side of the Somali people and its struggle is both a historic and moral obligation. This should not surprise any party. To regard the stand of the people and the Government of Eritrea as something based on narrow and temporary tactical interests or as a reaction against TPLF is a shameful attitude which is calculated to confuse and pervert the truth.
What is worse is the defamation that is being attempted to present the friendship between the people of Eritrea and the people of Somalia as providing support to terrorism. The main purpose of this defamation is to cover the failure and crimes of the TPLF and the Americans. Defaming any party that supports the Somali people and opposes foreign intervention and supports those who struggle for peace and justice is labeling these forces as ‘terrorists’ has become a common practice of our time. This is also intended to frighten the Somali people, to isolate them and thus crush them, as everybody can easily see.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is not only the people of Eritrea, who support the just struggle of the Somali people, but also the people of Ethiopia and the people of our region as do all justice loving people of the entire world. The struggle of the people of Somalia is part and parcel of the struggle of the entire people of our region for peace, justice, freedom, and tranquility.
The friendship and cooperation among the peoples of our region is not only for today and tomorrow but something which would go on for generations and for which we shoulder the obligation and the responsibility. And in spite of all the interventions and obstacles, it is a historical necessity that justice and the wish of the people will finally triumph.
Your congress marks an important chapter in the process leading to independence and the reconstitution of Somalia. I wish this Congress success in attaining its objectives and n the name of the people of Eritrea, I again express my best wishes.
Long live the friendship of the people of Somalia and Eritrea.
Victory to the people of Somalia
Victory to the Masses
06 September 2007