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MAWO Statement


No foreign troops in Somalia!
US hands off Somalia!
Self-determination for Somalia!

Jan 13, 2007

Issued by Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO)

In the last week of December 2006, after a month of cross border military conflicts, Somalia was invaded by Ethiopia with the justification of supporting the interim Somali government against the widely supported Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) government. By the time of invasion, the Ethiopian-backed interim Somali government had little support in Somalia and was isolated to the north of the country. The government was limited to being a “government” of a number of warlords and was absolutely isolated from the majority of the Somali masses. The illegal and criminal invasion by Ethiopia has been fully backed with US military support and intelligence and therefore was a complete joint military operation by the Ethiopian and US governments.

Even before Ethiopia began air strikes and stepped up troop deployments to Somalia, the US had stationed a fleet of war-ships off the coast of Somalia. On January 8th, the US backed proxy-war by Ethiopia received the direct military support of the United States through US air strikes across southern Somalia killing hundreds of Somalis and destroying villages. This massacre was carried out with the excuse of hunting down and killing a handful of “terrorists” targeted by the US.

The US has attempted to justify the massive killing of Somalis as the “collateral damage” in their “War on Terror” – the same justification they used in the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Somalis understand that this war is not part of the “War on Terrorism” or a war for liberation. The Washington Post on January 10th 2007 quoted Somali biology teacher Ahmed Weli Mohammed, “I am very, very angry… Even if there are terrorists, there are maybe two or three people, but hundreds of people are killed. Is this logical? It is inhumanity… Americans don’t respect us as humans.”

Prior to Ethiopian and US intervention into Somalia, just a couple of weeks before the invasion, on November 30th the Ethiopian parliament approved the invasion of Somalia, and subsequently on December 6th the UN Security Council passed resolution 1725 authorizing the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and member states of the African Union (AU) to establish a mission in Somalia. For this mission in defense of the interim Somali government, the UN is responsible for mobilizing resources and logistics.

In the past week tens of thousands of Somalis have been rallying in Mogadishu and throughout the country demanding the immediate withdrawal of Ethiopian invasion forces. Demonstrations have also been protesting the US air strikes and further US threats to Somalia. The message from Somalis is that they do not see the invasion by Ethiopia as a source of stability acting in their favour. Somalis, such as Ahmed Weli Mohammed, rightfully consider the Ethiopian troops an occupier, not a liberation force.

Alongside diplomatic and political preparation for military intervention in Sudan, the invasion of Somalia is another arm for opening the era of war and occupation into Africa. The invasion of Somalia has begun after 2 years of fierce campaigning by the US government to “Save Darfur” – paving the road for invasion and occupation of Sudan. The US government - the government of corporations and capital - is expanding its wars and occupations to Africa in order to plunder the continent and consolidate its hegemony over rival imperialists of Europe and Japan.

Today it is clear more than ever the world understands that the US “War on Terrorism” is nothing but a war on the sovereignty and self-determination of oppressed nations. Do we need more lies and deception like the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to believe the US is helping the Somali people?

Vancouver’s antiwar coalition, Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO) stands beside the Somali people’s demand against the presence of all foreign troops in Somalia. We demand: No foreign troops in Somalia! US hands off Somalia! Ethiopian army out of Somalia immediately! No UN troops in Somalia! Self-determination for Somalia!

Shannon Bundock & Kira Koshelanyk
Co-Chairs of Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO)
P. 604 322 1764
F. 604 322 1763