By Buri M. Hamza

Sunday, July 28, 2013

In March 2010 – then a Minister in the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia – I was chosen by the Prime Minister to present to the Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council in New York the Somali Government’s  reaction to the report of the UN Somalia Monitoring Group (SMG), which was released in 2010.

Likewise, in July 2012, I was a member of the Somali delegation that was dispatched to New York to present a rebuttal to the Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council on the report of Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG), released in 2012. Matt Bryden was then the Coordinator of the SEMG. His successor, Jarat Chopra, was a member of Bryden’s team. And prior to his nomination as the new Coordinator for the SEMG, he was an advisor for the Somalia and Eritrea Country Programmes of the World Bank.

In New York, in 2010 and 2012, during our meetings with the Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council, our initial reaction to the allegations of the SEMG reports included, inter alia, the following:

1.     The 2010 and 2012 reports were disclosed prematurely to the media and recklessly released to the different Somali internet websites prior to their presentation to the UN Security Council and to the Somali authorities. This had undermined the overall credibility and integrity of the process. This deliberate act by the SEMG  had been designed to create havoc and deviate the attention of the Somali people from the challenges of the Political Roadmap for ending transition. The idea was to jeopardize the progress that the Somali Transitional Federal Institutions were making and impede the noble tasks of the Somali Traditional Elders related to the adoption of the constitution and the selection of the new Federal Parliament of Somalia.

2.     The release of the 2012 SEMG report had occured only a few weeks before the end of the transition and when the Political Roadmap was in its final conclusion. The intention was obvious: to disrupt the process and discredit the progress made in the Somali constitution-making process, in the selection process of the members of the new Somali Federal Parliament, and the election of the leadership for post-transition Somalia. Our contention was that the release of the report at that juncture was politically motivated. The objective of the SEMG report was to support the country to make further headway in its peace and stability. However, the accusations depicted in the report had unequivocally aimed to derail the Political Roadmap and impede the completion of the transition.

3.     The Somali Armed Forces, alongside AMISOM,  were engaged in earnest and critical efforts to bring about security in the country and eliminate the menaces posed by Al Shabaab and other terrorists associated to Al Qaeda. They had succeeded in liberating many areas that were previously controlled by Al Shabaab. Serious efforts were then being made in those areas to establish civilian administrations, launch major relief operations such as the building of schools, hospitals and other vital infrastructures, and help the IDPs return to their homes to restart their farming and rebuild their lives. We were concerned that the SEMG report would undermine those efforts by failing to give sufficient consideration to the tense and complex environment within which the Transitional Federal Institutions and their leadership were operating.

4.     We were also concerned that the SEMG’s unsubstantiated allegations might have adversely impacted the peace dividends that had arisen following the defeat of Al Shabaab. Our determination to address our social ills in order to improve our security conditions and avert the re-occurrence of violence and the re-emergence of Al Shabaab could have also been seriously affected.

5.     The 2010 report had claimed that there was no real structure to the Transitional Federal Government’s security sector. The reality was that there had been a clear policy and organization supported by strong political will and determined leadership, as well as by effective international technical assistance. The Government had spent a high proportion of its limited resources throughout the transitional period rebuilding the security sector in Somalia and had received praise from many quarters in the country for its efforts.

6.     The 2010 report had also alleged that eighty percent of Transitional Federal Government personnel had defected to the extremists. This misguided and inflammatory claim was completely unsubstantiated and bore no correspondence to reality. It was deliberately designed to cause a reaction that would inevitably impede the significant progress made then by the Transitional Federal Government.

7.     The 2010 report allegation that the extremists had obtained their arms from the Transitional Federal Government’s military forces by seizure and purchase was also exaggerated to such a degree that it had called into question the motives inspiring the UN Somalia Monitoring Group. While there might have been isolated incidents of this nature, there was no such pattern and no basis for this destructively provocative claim.

8.     Allegations against some prominent business people in the 2010 report were refuted by the World Food Programme because the said allegations were based recklessly on unverifiable sources. And following the release of the 2010 Monitoring Group report, the level of humanitarian assistance to Somalia had significantly decreased. And according to a study commissioned and funded by the FAO, over 258,000 people died in southern and central Somalia between October 2010 and April 2012, including 133,000 children under the age of five.

9.     During our meeting with the Sanctions Committee, we had also expressed our concern over the neutrality of Matt Bryden whose political views on “Somaliland” and its ambition to secede are well doucmented. His insistence to tarnish the reputation of the leadership in the Transitional Federal Institutions and target all regions of Somalia with the exception of “Somaliland” is tantamount to his biases and his sheer predilection to the latter’s independence and its secession.

The Transitional Federal Government  had previously established a High Level Independent Commission to investigate allegations made by the Monitoring Group in its report released in 2010.  The Commission’s findings had confirmed that the report was “riddled with ambiguity, irrelevant and prejudicial information, inconsistency and untruth.” The Commission had also observed that the report “failed to provide any tangible or substantive evidence to back the allegations made against the Transitional Federal Government’s officials, Puntland authority, and prominent Somali businessmen. The report lacked credence and had little or no probative value.”  The report released in 2012 was found to be less credible and had also fallen seriously short of any rudimentary standards of evidence.

A quick look into the 2013 SEMG Report, it appears that many of the allegations made are based on unverifiable sources. The methodology employed in  the gathering of information  is not any different from the one pursued by the former Coordinator and his team. It is literally based on hearsay and on bits and pieces collected from sources that are unreliable. The current Federal Government of Somalia has every right to raise questions as to the credibility of the report and the veracity of the information contained.

My Advice to the Federal Government of Somalia

The Federal Government should ask to be given ample time to review and evaluate the content of the report very meticulously. This can be carried out by an Independent Commission, which will independently and promptly review all the claims reflected in the 2013 report and provide appropriate response for them. Members of the Commission should include a balanced selection of independent professionals of high integrity who can render an objective evaluation of the real issues. The government should be committed to undertaking appropriate action against any officials, individuals or organizations found to be engaged in criminal misconduct or other acts discrediting the government and people of Somalia.

The issue relating the alleged illegal export of charcoal from Jubaland and from Barawe in Lower Shabelle should also be investigated by the Commission. The SEMG’s accusation of Kenyan soldiers in the AMISOM of facilitating illegal charcoal exports from the port city of Kismayo is gravely serious and must be given further investigation to determine its truthfulness.

The UN Security Council banned the export of charcoal from Somalia in February 2012.  The reason was to cut off one of the main source of income for Al Shabaab and not necessarily to save the Somali trees and curb deforestation. Had the UN Security Council and the SEMG been more serious about the export of charcoal from Somalia, then they should have also warned the countries that import charcoal. The charcoal importing countries are not only violating the Security Council ban, they are also violating the provisions of the United Nations Multilateral Environmental Conventions, which prohibit the export and import of charcoal.

Moreover, the Federal Government of Somalia should endevaour to dispatch a high-level delegation to New York to meet with the Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council in order to register its objections to the allegations and  respectfully urge the Sanctions Committee to carefully review the findings of the SEMG report and test the reasonableness and accuracy of its findings.

If the Federal Government of Somalia and its different institutions opt to shrug off and silently reject and disregard the report’s findings, the unfounded allegations will certainly undermine the efforts and credibility of the nascent post-transition institutions and have a deleterious impact on the well-being of the people of Somalia.

The Government must officially request the Monitoring Group to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Somalia. Any attempts to micro-manage Somalia will certainly backfire and damage post-transition (re)construction and peace efforts. Notwithstanding, the leadership in the Federal Government of Somalia should reaffirm its determination to cooperate with the UN Security Council and its subordinate organs in a spirit of full transparency and mutual respect.




Hon. Buri M. Hamza is an MP in the House of the People of the Federal Republic of Somalia. He can be reached at


  1. The Somalia Sovereignty is up for scraps. Sadly enough no body knows who is in-Charge
    in the failed Somalia in the red Hell flames and ash. At least the old TFG used to move the
    legs under high rough polarized waters, but this new SFG..OMG, more clashing conflicts of
    interests are mounting up over a supposedly sinking ship sending distress signals SOS.
    Worst is the Jubaland-Kismayo-Arzania, KDF engaged in annexation buffer Zone by the Kenyan
    Govt and further supported by proxy Puntland. Just wonder, what powers the SFG has???

  2. What a ridiculous article. What sovereignty you are talking about. Walwayn has lay bear to what was left of the former Somali -Italiano. It is a joke to talk about a sovereignty of blocks laying in ruins Hassan Culsaw and his former Moryaan counterparts and contemporaries were all guarded by corrupt Adoon soldiers who has no clue about the art of warfare. Culsaw and his brain dead counterparts were hallucination for the last 30 years, telling the corrupt world they are in charge of a place that only exists as a geographical place period. These people will never became sovereign, they will be embroiled by self-generated conflict after conflict until they run the clock. .

  3. get lost. we are proud somalilanders, who unlike you ignorsnt and stupid Somalis, solve their own problems, and defended our sovereignity against scums like you and all foreign puppets. We are the great and noble nation of Somaliland, who won war against the faqash forces and militia of Somalia. We are the marvellous nattion, who established long lasting peace, democratic institutions, organized numerous fair and free election, we are the patriotic peole who firmly believe in ourselves and in our just cause of independence, national sovereignity, and international recognition. We will continue the struggle for those goals until we achieve them no matter how long that would take or what it will they will cost. tO US sOMALIS ARE THE ENEMY NUMBER ONE WHOM WE ALWAYS DEFEATED. LONG LIVE THE GREAT, PATRIOTIC NATION OF SOMALILAND REPUBLIC. LONG LIVE SNM, LONG LIVE ALL SOMALILANDERS.

  4. Typical opinion of Faqash and walanweyn Zoomalian who still.think Somaliland belong to Somalila. They even welcome in their own ground Habashi and Bantu soldier which.control somali region. Needless to add Djiboutian soldier traitor. Really Zoomalian are shameless and pitiful always running after Somaliland while their house.burn from all side.

  5. I am a Somalilander who is anxious to know the ever-deteriorating situation in Somalia. The dying people, the refugees, and the fighting factions in Somalia are after all Somalis. We Somalilanders are Somalis and will not gain anything from the contineous destruction being inflicted on the South, but we wish you to stop fighting and clean your house depending on your human capacity and not be the slaves of what is called the international community. Also, we like you to forget Somaliland because it is has never been your Somalia and it will never be part of it. For those southerners who are still dreaming of the subjugation of Somaliland , its our right to take our revenge from you, but we will not do it because it is not in our custom to commit the same crimes you did on us.

  6. kkkk…….kkkkkkkk
    Zoomalian = Zoomaliland

    labadaba waa daanyeero daba gaduudan kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk .kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

  7. Khalid,

    Let me tell you about the so called Somalia politicians and how their actions are incomprehensible to any right thinking person.

    1.Their government got recognition and the first they did was to ask for a war criminal to be pardoned.

    2.They have no army or country to control and they got involved in the problems between Ethiopia and Egypt and in the process antagonised the country whose army they were relying on in certain parts of the country.

    3.They signed an agreement with Somaliland on the joint control of the airspace of the former Somali Republic and before the ink dried their information minister says it was null and void. They are the last people on earth to expect them to honour anything or to have any trust in.

  8. I thought that there was a slim hope for me to see happier Somalia. But no way is there one. Somaliland is a reality, you will find out more about it if your read your books. Ups my fault you have burned your books and libraries… There is a solution… Checkout Wikipedia, its free by the way.

    Somaliland will always detest the south as long as you see the way you see it. You tried to destroy it, they build it from scratch.they even send you money during your drought, what a difference. You even swallowed their share of international grants and bids, newer mind, don't forget to say bismilah when you eat their food too.

    We the peaceful people Somalilanders pray that your country sees a better day. Unlike you we move forward with our rights, history and character.