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TALKING POINT : AN OPEN LETTER TO MR. KOFI ANNAN
TAKING POINT BY
M.M. AFRAH
Toronto (Canada)

1, Sep. 2003

AN OPEN LETTER TO MR. KOFI ANNAN
Email: afrah95@hotmail.com
M. M. Afrah

THIS IS ENOUGH!

Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

It is often said human rights and justice is the right of every human being on earth. In practice human rights advocates must be independent of power politics. It is intended to help secure impartiality; their interpretation must be made in the light of assumption and aspirations of the society in which they live in or pay visit and accurately report all human rights abuses committed by a bunch of dirty-minded vultures around the Third World.

A visitor from another Galaxy will clearly and quickly expose that these dirty-minded vultures had no qualm about massacring thousands of innocent civilians and in the process destroyed a country once known as " The Pearl of the Indian Ocean."

In Imbagathi, the warlords strongly believe that if they stay put and keep their noses into the grindstone, they could be at the top of the heap when the mess they created is over. Whoever said there is honour among thieves knew what he was talking about. For one thing the warlords have only one thing in common, to cling to power at all costs.

Mr. Annan, let me make clear the charges against the warlords. When the military dictator was toppled in 1991 by ragtag militia gunmen, the peoples' hopes for peace, democracy, respect for human rights and a better future have been dashed and the country went belly up, because the warlords, most of them former army generals and colonels who left their ranks, uniform and pride behind, enlisted their respective clans to turn their guns on each other for the control of the capital, while others were slogan-hurling Revolutionary Party bigwigs. The result was wholesale massacre, doom and destruction unprecedented in the history of Somalia.

The UN Security Council have taken lightly the severity of the Somali holocaust for a very long time and you only sent Dr. Ghanim Najjar, a UN-appointed independent expert on human rights on 11-day visit as recently as two weeks ago to monitor the human rights abuses in Somalia, a country the UN had abandoned in 1994. It is too little and too late, Mr. Annan.

I am still curious why Mr. Najjar abstained from contacting Somali human rights groups, such as Dr.Ismail Jumaale and Elman human rights organizations in Mogadishu? These organizations have meticulously kept impeccable human rights records as well as the names of the people who committed them during the last 12 years.

Mr. Annan, this is not an anger or rage, it is something beyond that, an impassionate and deeply felt desire to see that justice is done in a country where laughing or even smile are commodities in short supply. Only daily mourning, screaming, weeping and heartbreak are common occurrences, the sound of the apocalypse!

If an individual, who is suffering from continuing abuse, mentally and physically, finds that the international organs of law and order fail to act in his defense, what is he supposed to do? Even more, if some of the organs, which meant to protect him, appear to be helping the criminal instead, what must his reaction be? He will say, and he will be entitled to say: "This is enough. I will have nothing more to do with you unless and until you demonstrate that you propose doing something effective against those who continue to wrong me." Meaning no more empty words and "encouraging" reports that will eventually end up on UN shelves in New York, gathering dusty.

"Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized."
Article 28
of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

As you are fully aware the world maintains that Somalia is a failed state at present, as there's no central government worth mentioning here, and ultimate responsibility for events that reside there, in consequence, lies with the world body. If the Security Council of the United Nations disagrees with what is being done, or is not being done by those to whom it entrusted the responsibility, then it must replace those people. If some power hungry, gun-slinging war criminals try to derail peace talks, as they did on a number of occasions in the past, including the present parley in Mbagathi, the world body must reassert its mandate and get rid of those individuals.

Needless to say, Mr. Annan, the world body is the right place to go to for redress. It is obvious for every right thinking person that the warlords/faction leaders have not shown serious determination to settle their long simmering disputes over power sharing and it is only appropriate to replace them with a civil society and traditional leaders, with the assistance of the world community in the form of a UN Trusteeship Council until Somalia could stand its own feet again.

There is no need for me to dwell on the failure of UNOSOM II in Somalia in 1993/94. It is sufficient to remember that the chain of command between the United Nations officials and the American military brass in Mogadishu had eroded beyond remedy, which complicated the original aim of feeding the hungry and restore peace. Even more tormenting for the law abiding ordinary Somali was that the humanitarian mission was turned into the hunt for one man in the smoking ruins of the capital Hundreds had died just to try to bring in one man, ignoring the bombed-out capital, the deplorable living conditions of the population, the madness of the militia gunmen and the degradation of the people.

It is amazing how the people survived as long as they did in those mind-numbing conditions. But now they are at the end of their tether.

With new approach and determination, and with Chapter Seven of the United Nations Rules of Engagement in place, I am sure UNOSOM III will be success this time. After all Somalia's independence was chiefly through the UN Trusteeship Council in the 1950s. Even the colour of the national flag was borrowed from the UN flag.

Over to you, Mr. Annan.


By M. M. Afrah©2003,
Email: afrah95@hotmail.com

 


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