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Somalia: the reality of “humanitarian intervention"

By: 
Hanan Jibril

June 29, 2013

To understand so-called “humanitarian intervention," one must look at Somalia--a land rich with minerals, livestock and most importantly oil.
 
Somalia has a history of colonization. The British first extracted oil with the assistance of Italy. Exploitation by foreign countries did not cease. In fact for decades to come there would be extraction of oil. The nation courageously and tragically struggled through famine and war.  
 
Ever since the Somali civil war the nation has been exploited by the West under the sugar-coated banner of “peace keeping” and “Restoring hope” and all under the false claim of trying to offer to rebuild or restore the nation. Somalia has always been an object of scorn and ridicule with certain terms like “radical Islamists” thrown into the picture by Western media. It has been the subject of scrutiny and often referred to as a “failed state” by the Western media but there are always two sides to a story.
 
The United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, France all signed oil treaties and got exploration rights from the transitional government. For six months in 2011 the nation saw a glimpse of peace and stability under the Union Of Islamic Courts (UIC): warlords were overpowered, roadblocks were removed, the capital's airport Mogadishu Airport was reopened and also the seaport. However stability was short lived when the United States backed and pressured Ethiopia to invade Somalia, klling 20,000 people and displacing 2 million.
 
Grave violations 
With so called “humanitarian intervention" from the West, harm has been inflicted upon to the nation that was supposed to be protected by the people who posed to be “saviours.” The concept that Somalis can’t help themselves but have to be helped by the West, i.e. white male, is very racist.
 
The Somalis could never forget the crimes committed by members of the "peace keeping" forces. In the 1990s, Somalis witnessed horrific violations. Belgian troops tortured and murdered a Somali boy, raped and murdered Somali people. The Canadian military intervention to save a “failed state” came only to rape the Somali boys and shoot two unarmed Somalis to death; Canadian soldiers tortured teenager Shidane Arone to death and took photos posing with his body. Not to forget the Italian military: gruesome photographs were published in a Milan magazine of Italian soldiers torturing a young Somali youth, and abusing and raping a young Somali girl. An Italian paratrooper said "what’s the big deal? They are just niggers anyway.” Peacekeeping has a whole new brutal meaning to Somalis all over the globe.
 
No to imperial intervention 
Imperial intervention has turned Somalia into an unsafe country with frequent deadly bomb attacks, armed conflicts, human rights violations, famine, drought, and a destroyed economy. The West then uses this as justification for repeated interventions. 
 
While there are calls for the West to intervene in Syria, the aftermath of imperialist intervention in Somalia must not be forgotten. “Humanitarian intervention" is a myth created to exploit lands and serve the capitalist economic and political interests. Solidarity with the people of Somalia or Syria means opposing the imperial interventions of our own government.

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