Pan-Somali Council for Peace and Democracy (ISRAACA)
4668 Crystal Lake Drive, Hilliard, Ohio 43026

For Immediate Release

Neutral Peacekeepers Should Be Sent to Somalia

Date: February 22, 2005

Columbus - ISRAAC, The Pan-Somali Council for Peace and Democracy is the largest organization for Somali professionals and intellectuals. The primary goal of ISRAACA is to search for peaceful mechanisms for ending the protracted Somali civil war in a negotiated settlement.

The Council condemns in the strongest terms the African Union's Peace and Security Council decision that authorizes Somalia's hostile neighbours to send their troops to Somalia.

Therefore, we categorically reject sending Ethiopian or Kenyan troops to Somalia for the following reasons:

1. Historically, these two countries, particularly Ethiopia, have had hostile relations with the Somali nation and its people. Ethiopia was one of the colonial countries which participated in the partitioning of Somalia. Currently, both Ethiopia and Kenya control Somali regions. 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.

2. Ethiopia has 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) confirms that Ethiopia has been sending weapons to Somalia. Ethiopia has also invaded Somali border towns on numerous occasions. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, Ethiopia has been the chief obstacle to the formation of a Somali national government free and independent of Ethiopian hegemony.

The Pan-Somali Council for Peace and Democracy urges the international community to consider sending neutral peacekeepers from countries outside the region only under the following conditions:
a) The Somali people must have a say on which countries are allowed to participate;
b) The United Nations must lead the mission;
c) The operation must be limited in scope and have a clear mandate;
d) Disarmament, if part of the mandate, must be applied fairly across the entire country;
e) Forces from bordering states must not be included at all;
f) Peacekeeping troops should be educated on Islamic morals and values, and screened for communicable diseases, such as AIDS;
g) All major Somali groups must accept the arrangement by which foreign troops are to operate;
h) Peacekeeping troops should not engage in any activity that can jeopardize the reconciliation spirit.

The Pan-Somali Council for Peace and Democracy calls upon Somali organizations and individuals in North America, Europe and anywhere in the world to take an active role in the fate of Somalia; to globally raise the profile of this issue; to advocate for a peaceful political engagement; and to restore credibility of the Somali nation. To this end, we should contact our Senators, Congressmen/women, Members of Parliament (MPs) and peace lovers in the world over to inform them as well as enlist their assistance in order to save Somalia from Ethiopian occupation.
Finally, we emphasize that, should Ethiopian troops enter Somalia, it might lead to a renewed full-scale civil war among Somali clans or it might result a direct military confrontation between Somali groups and the Ethiopian forces.

The Board of Directors,
Zainab Hassan, Chair of the Board
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