Monday 19, 2024

By Deeq S Yusuf

The wording is disturbing and unacceptable. By stating “express deep concern over the ongoing tension….” this statement deliberately falls short of condemnation of Ethiopia.” Also by stating “reaffirms sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of all member states including that of Ethiopia and Somalia” this generalized statement ignores the urgency required of AU to solely reaffirm the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Somalia because in this case, no one has threatened the sovereignty of Ethiopia or that of any other African country.

It is solely Somalia whose sovereighty is being violated. The AU is deliberately trying to deflect attention from the real threat faced by Somalia. Simply put, the AU is insensitive to the threat posed to Somalia by the illegal MOU. Worse still, the AU is calling for both parties ” to de-escalate and engage in meaningful dialogue.” This is preposterous. How can an aggrieved country negotiate over its own sovereignty?

Like any other country, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia is sacrosanct and non-negotiable, and this principle is affirmed by international law, UN Charter and AU Charter. The AU is violating its own Charter over this illegal MOU. While it would readily affirm the principle of sovereignty for any other African state, the AU is applying the dubious principle of exceptionality in the case of Somalia.

Clearly, the AU is not a neutral actor in this case. It is tacitly taking the side of Ethiopia. Somalia should condemn this statement and consider suspending cooperation or even membership with AU till it retracts this statement and issues a stronger statement that outrightly condems Ethiopia. Since the days of OAU ( remember the Ogaden war) the AU has always sided with Ethiopia in its conflict with Somalia. The current conflict did not happen spontaneously, it was deliberately instigated by Ethiopia.

Therefore, the AU is ignoring and encouraging Ethiopian belligerence. Somalia should vigorously oppose this. It is not just Somalia, the AU has always sided with Ethiopia over its conflict with Eritrea. The AU is setting a dangerous precedent in the Horn of Africa and so this needs to be condemned by all peace loving Horn of African countries.

More to the point, if the AU continues to appease Ethiopia and ignore the threat it poses to Somalia, it would open a pandora box all over the continent. Secessionist forces all over Africa are watching the Somalia-Ethiopia case closely. If the AU does not put its act together, all hell will break lose, and we would see the complete and total Balkanization of Africa.

In actuality, Balkanization already started in Sudan which was broken up into north and south in 2011 and could be broken up further with Hemedti’s forces bent on declaring a new state in Darfur and parts of North Kordofan if they fail to defeat General Burhan and the current conflict ends in stalemate. Hemedti controls much of Darfur already and they are encroaching on north Kordofan.

I see imperialist hands over the illegal MOU saga. While they may say one thing in public, there is likelihood they are encouraging Ethiopia to annex a piece of Somali territory. After being seriously challenged in the Sahel West Africa and with BRICS wooing African countries and Russian and China gaining foothold in the continent, the imperialist powers want to redraw African borders by breaking up the continent into weak mini states where they can easily reassert their control. The clueless AU needs to wake up to this reality.

This MOU issue is much bigger than Somalia. For the AU, Somalia is the litmus test. If it gets it right, it would save the continent. If it fails, the entire Africa would crumble under imperialist backed secessionist forces.

Deeq S Yusuf