Introductory Note on Somalia. Its Relevance to Haiti
One year of the war between Somalia and Ethiopia (1977-78) was enough to destroy an entire country and spread instability across the region.
After the 1991 coup that toppled general Mohamed Siad Barre from power, conflict was inevitable. A long overdue civil war broke out, ignited by Ethiopia. The government financed many small groups of armed thugs to destabilize the populace, and Somalia abruptly stopped being a state, let alone a government. Somalia no longer fit the United Nations’ definition of a “Group of people which have acquired international recognition as an independent country and which have a population, a common language and a defined a distinct territory”. In effect, the government and state of Somalia had ceased to exist. Therefore, it became impossible for the specialists of international law to approve Somalia as a state.
Somalia was run by 5 gangs that divided the country between warlords. The concept of a central government was replaced by a cadre of armed thugs. Every 25 miles, there was a warlord taking actions in the sole interest of his gang, which integrated into a bigger group.
The consequences didn’t take long to explode in the face of the world. In 1992, after the report of 300,000 deaths, the United Nations, supported by the US. government, had to take action to stop the madness. They created the “United Nations Operation in Somalia; UNOSOM I. The goal of this mission was to facilitate humanitarian aid and to make sure a cease-fire would endure.
Before that, the war-lords diverted humanitarian aid, shelled it out to their partisans, and traded with neighboring countries for guns and ammunition. They used the aid to maintain a solid relationship between the local population and their cause. This created a favorable precondition for the warlords in the field when they declared UN soldiers “Persona Non-Grata” under heavy fire in Mogadishu.
The civil war killed more than 500,000 Somalians, more than 2 million refugees, 2 U.S. black-hawk helicopters went down, and the United States lost 18 soldiers. Pakistan and India lost soldiers as well.
In 2018, Somalia remains on the brink. Mogadishu, the capital, is still under heavy fire. On October 14th, 2018, “A bomb-laden truck in central Mogadishu killed at least 358 people.” Unfortunately, the Somali people are still living in distress and the United Nations is failing to bring peace and stability to the 15 million men, women, and children whose fate is tied to Somalia. Haiti, is also moving quickly into chaos to become the next Somalia of America. No one is taking notice.
“Somalisation”, The Destruction of Haiti
Whether you like or hate Jean Bertrand Aristide, he spared Haiti from the process of ‘somalisation’ that destroyed so many countries in Africa: Liberia, Chad, Libya, and Sudan, by agreeing to withdraw himself from power on February 29th, 2004. When Guy Philippe, former chief of police, [supported by the CIA] led an armed rebellion to overthrow him from power in 2003, it marked the beginning of the destruction of Haiti.
In the Wake of the 2010 Earthquake
Immediately after the earthquake that claimed more than 300,000 lives in 2010, another opportunity for ‘somalization’ presented itself. The country was in total disarray, the capital was 40 % destroyed, and more than 1 million people were displaced or lived under tents in very difficult conditions. The international community, specifically the United Nations and the United States, pushed the government toward organizing elections. In that chaotic situation, the least qualified presidential candidate, Michel Martelly, was handpicked and parachuted to power by the Clinton’s, Hillary and Bill.
It was well known that putting an inexperienced man such as Martelly in power would create high tensions. Today, here is the reality: a country is on the verge of a breakdown, both social and economic. Civil war is upon us.
Port-Au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, is similar to Mogadishu in 1991. Here is the configuration of the new “Wild Wild West,’’ in the heart of the Americas. The south side of the capital is run by 3 great warlords: Bougoy in “Gran Ravine,’’ “Baz Pilat” in the middle, and Arnel in the northwest of the city.
The north is under control of “Tijunior,’’ “Ti ougan,’’ “Barbecue” (a former cop), and southwest by a young man called “Tije”.
A few weeks ago, one of the warlords, Arnel, made an audacious move by creating another branch of his criminal organization in the department of “Artibonite,” in the north of the country. The plan is to expand his grip to a larger territory outside of the capital. At the beginning of the month the national police force tried to apprehend him, and that was a catastrophe. Arnel and his armed men kicked PNH out of the area, got inside of the headquarters of the police, vandalized it, stole everything then could, burned police cars, and demolished a local store for DIGICEL, the largest phone company in Haiti. Since then, an area that is inhabited by 155,272 people is under control of the warlord Arnel.
The parallel is obvious. The gangs are better equipped than the national police forces. They have the best weapons (M-16, Galil, Kalashnikov, T-65), many trucks and cars, and some of them are new. It’s not a secret to anybody that the government is providing guns, ammunition, and money to those armed groups. They openly admitted it. There is a radio station called “Radio Mega,’’ and Luco Desir, a very popular anchor who from time to time interviewed Arnel Joseph. He admitted that he got support from some officials of the government. On April 24th, a former prosecutor in the capital, Danton Leger, declared that the president of Haiti, Mr. Jovenel Moise, sent $100,000 to Arnel via an active senator, Gracia Delva.
The chairman of the commission of justice and security in the Senate, the senator Jean Renel Senatus, provided information to the press on May 23rd, 2019, that after an investigation by his commission, they found the phone number of senator Gracia Delva listed in Arnel’s Phone. And they spoke frequently, 24 times from February 7th to 17th. Of course, the senator denied it.
The capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince is devoid of people after 6 at night. The population is being held hostage in their own homes. If there is an emergency in the middle of the night, no one will take the chance to drive to the hospital because the gangs take over each night.
An independent and well respected Haitian journalist from “Nouvelliste,’’ Robenson Geffrard, tweeted:
“the armed gang led by the warlord Arnel Joseph, wanted by the police, and the gang of “Savien,’’ are raping people. They intercepted a bus filled with missionaries at “L’estere” (an area in the department of “Artibonite”), and they raped all the women found in the bus.’’
On November 13th, 2018, a massacre took place in a slum area called “Lasaline.’’ RNDDH, a human rights organization, published an investigative report which said 70 people were killed, and many houses burned down. Videos were posted on social media showing animals eating the bodies of people in “Lasaline”. The United Nations was forced to investigate the matter and corroborated the results of the human right organizations. The armed groups used guns and machetes to attack people and burned down their houses. Some of the attackers were dressed in national police uniforms.
Some people believe that gangs are a tool used by the government to intimidate and repress people. Specifically, the armed men create a situation of permanent tension in the main shantytowns of the country by constantly firing guns into the air. Sometimes, they kill inhabitants just to dissuade them from taking part in the electoral process. Those favoring the government are provided free transportation to the polls.
The population of Haiti is living in horrendous social and economic conditions. With less than $2 a day, no electricity, no clean water, no jobs, no health system; they are living with practically nothing. The corrupt government is making it worse for the people when they decide to use warlords to intimidate and kill them. Far away from the international press, the population is silently ingesting their misery. Because Haiti is not Venezuela, the American administration is currently supporting the process of “Somalization” of Haiti by vowing their support to a corrupt government that is terrorizing its own population. The chaos continues. The process of Somalization of Haiti is in rapid development.
On May 25th 2019, a group of armed men attacked a group of people in the streets of the capital around 8 at night. 8 people were reported killed and many injured. Yvenson Destine, journalist of radio zenith, went in the area the next day morning to acquire information about the carnage. He was assaulted by the same group of bandits, one person was killed, and the journalist was in hiding for many hours until police came. Here is the volatile reality of Haiti, where armed groups have control some parts of the capital.
June 9th 2019, more than 1 million people were on the street asking peacefully “Kote Kob Petwokaribe a” (where is the Petrocaribe money). Police forces step in killing 7 people and injuring 147, 70 were arrested. The chaos is continuing!
Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.