By Amanuel Biedemariam
[Edited by YPFDJ-NY]
The history of the UN is one of corruption and ineffectiveness. During the Cold War, the US and the Soviet Union had competing global agendas and interests. As a result the UN was irrelevant; unable to pursue its stated purpose because it lacked the mandate, leadership, funding and principled organizational structure worthy to lead the billions of people inhabiting the earth.
Until 1993, the prevailing opinion in the US was that the UN is corrupt. Secretary General Kofi Anan was maligned, portrayed as inept and ineffective. The Rwanda Genocide of 1994 rightfully magnified that perception. Many called for his resignation then. In fact, many in the US wanted out of the UN altogether until it became clear that the UN was a great vehicle to forward US agendas. It was around that time that the New World Order George H.W. Bush professed started to take shape whereby, as the sole Super Power, the US dictating global terms and agendas. Russia was on weaker political, military and economic position to challenge the US and its Western allies giving the US room and opportunity necessary to remold UN in accordance with its agendas and exploit it. Thence, previously maligned Secretary General Anan became the star spokesperson of US/UN.
The US was very clear on how it wanted to use the United Nations. John Bolton former US ambassador to the UN described the mindset clearly and unambiguously when he spoke at an event called, “The Global Structures Convocation” held on February 3, 1994, in New York. John Bolton said,
“The point that I want to leave with you in this very brief presentation is where I started, is that there is no United Nations. There is an international community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world, and that’s the United States, when it suits our interest, and when we can get others to go along. And I think it would be a real mistake to count on the United Nations as if it is some disembodied entity out there that can function on its own.”
Concisely, this attitude is the framework the US uses in pursuit of its agendas through the UN. Since 1994, the US has been in control of the UN’s agendas, inner workings, personnel, governance-structures, the methodologies and the language by which the UN process flowed. The United Nations became a branch of the US government that works as extension to the State Department. The US assumed nearly complete control of the UN operations all over.
Under US control, the UN never changed its corrupt nature. The incompetence, ineffectiveness and the dysfunction continued. Abstractions of UN’s mandates, violations to UN’s own rules, disregard to international laws and norms became standard practices. Human rights violations perpetrated in the name of the UN are rampant. The UN of the last 18 years, 1994 – 2012, was completely US ruled. Hence, all the corruption and misdeeds were US sanctioned even if they had the UN cover. However, agendas that the US pursued using the UN are falling like the house of cards faster than any one can control to the detriment of US’s ill-conceived agendas as witnessed by the absence of Meles Zenawi.
The Horn of Africa represents a glaring example on how these corrupt inhuman practices played out. These decisions and roles contribute to the hardship and destruction of life and livelihood of the region. The people of Somalia are living in a chronic holocaust-like state directly because of ill-conceived US policies that tried to attain its geopolitical agendas using the UN at the expense of the Somalis and the entire Horn of Africa.
The history of foreign involvement in Somalia and the region is long and devastating. Since the fall of Siad Barre, the level and intensity of foreign intervention have increased. After September Eleven however, the War on Terror became a pretext to invade Somalia to the point that it is unrecognizable by design. The people of Somalia are denied a say on their rights and, forced to exist in constant violent interventions by the West and US sponsored military presence.
In 2006, relative peace reigned in Somalia after the Islamic Courts Union managed to control Somalia and bring about a sense of order. That was short lived because the same year in Christmas, the US and Ethiopia destroyed that very peace by invading a sovereign Somalia.
This proves the unity and stability of Somalia was never in their interest. In fact, both Ethiopia and the US believe that it is a threat.
Worse, they used Somalia to link Eritrea to push decision after decision in the Security Council using fabricated accusations to pursue an anti-Eritrea agenda that the US continued for over sixty years. In 2000, the US used its client state, Ethiopia, to wage a deadly war that took the lives of tens of thousands but failed to achieve its objectives of subjugating Eritrea. When that mission failed, a decision was made to link Eritrea to Somalia and use the UN to pass punitive measures in a vain attempt to bring down the Eritrean government.
In 2006, the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG), which was set up by the US, compiled a bogus report that falsely accused Eritrea of sending 2000 highly trained army personnel to Somalia to fight along the ICU in order to wage a proxy war against Ethiopia. That turned out to be a lie but there were no consequences for the libel.
Since then, in a bill sponsored by Edward Royce, the US tried to designate Eritrea as a nation that sponsors international terrorism but H. Res. 1708 failed to pass in the US Congress. The US then opted to use the political SEMG to accuse Eritrea and use yet another set of unsubstantiated lies to pass a sanction measure that denied Eritrea the right to self-defense by placing an arms embargo in 2009. Again, in 2011, using the most absurd allegations they tried to pass yet another sanction, Resolution 2023, that denied Eritrea the right to earnings by selling its resources, gold included. The original, more harshly worded bill was rejected but a watered down version of it passed anyway.
Unfortunately for the people of Eritrea, the US is still pursuing Eritrea using the UN with improvable fabricated allegations. In its latest report the SEMG forwarded allegations against the people and government of Eritrea based on questionable sources and innuendos led by a questionable character, Matt Bryden. The SEMG is a political group tasked to make recommendations to the UNSC based on facts and with neutrality. However, as is customary in the UN processes, according to Inner City Press,
“The coordinator of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, the Canadian Matt Bryden, openly leaked his Group’s report and was quoted about it by name, before it was given to Eritrea.”
“A Permanent Representative came out and told Inner City Press the problem with Bryden is speaking on his own for a ‘collective product.’ Others point at the report and wonder if it’s really in the SEMG’s mandate to analyze the Eritrean Air Force, down to the last spark plug. One wag asked.”
This is evidence that loose cannons of the UN, such as the corrupt Matt Bryden accused of “Angling for a book deal or a post with a group like HRW,” are using position of power for personal gains. These individuals with agendas that have nothing to do with peace nor the assignments they are tasked to perform are agents with a green light to put out documents towards achieving the stated goal, in this case, subjugating Eritrea and the partitioning of Somalia using the UN as a means.
The sole task of the Somali Eritrea Monitoring Group led by the corrupt Matt Bryden is to label accusations. These accusations that are presented as UN documents, are packaged, presented by the State Department as facts and then used as a platform to forward agendas that support it’s policy objectives. It is all intertwined. No rules apply; everything goes, as long as it could help their agendas.
Again, the corrupt Bryden is not the issue here. What Bryden is pursuing is US’ agenda. The report exonerated Eritrea of any involvement in Somalia. However, Bryden took the liberty to shift attention from Somalia and accused Eritrea; the victim of Ethiopia’s admitted aggressions, for trying to foment instability in Ethiopia. The rebellion in the Ogaden, Afar, Oromo and other parts of Ethiopia is a domestic matter. To the contrary, Ethiopia openly declared that it will work to change the Government of Eritrea and, advertised that it attacked Eritrea in June blatantly violating UN rules.
Matt Bryden did not limit himself to the fabrications he reported. He went out and conducted public campaigns against Eritrea through Western media with BBC, VOA and others for sanctions. This is outside the realm of his mandate, responsibilities and authority usurping UN member states responsibilities. This is a dangerous precedent when an individual with absolutely no title or responsibility could target sovereign nations, play accuser, prosecutor and judge without repercussion, shielded by UN immunity. This strategy is not limited to Eritrea it is a blue print for targeted nations.
This is not the first time nor will it be the last for UN employees to violate UN rules by working outside their mandates and responsibilities. It is a matter of record that UN peacekeepers and employees are accused and found guilty of all types of human rights violations including illegal arms-trade, smuggling and human trafficking while under the auspices of the UN. They can get away with anything as long as they are in pursuit of US and Western interests. In fact, they often violate UN protocols and rules without accountability and oversight.
In July 24 of 2012, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) released press statement stating, “The UN Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan” addressed a conference of a group that aims to topple the government of Eritrea in Awassa Ethiopia led by Ethiopian authorities. This Deputy Secretary General of the UN arrogantly campaigned against the government of Eritrea outside the scope of his duties while on UN’s mission. This UN employee is paid by the international community for one thing only: pursuing an unrelated personal agenda and the agenda of Ethiopia against another UN member state, Eritrea.
Violation of UN rules and commitments is across the board by many member states. The SEMG report accused several member states for violating Somalia’s maritime, land and air spaces in violation of the arms embargo. It implicated private US companies like Black Water operating under the name Saracen International for military involvements in Somalia in violation of international embargo. It remarked that the Puntland (Somalia) authorities refused to cooperate with the monitoring group. Furthermore, the LA Times and the BBC confirmed that the US and the UK are directly involved in Somalia militarily without international consent.
This is proof that the UN, as an organization, is confused, in disarray and operating outside the scope of the mission from which it is founded upon. It is an organization used as a destabilizing tool by those with access and the power to manipulate it. The UN has turned into one of the most dangerous organizations; a source of world chaos.
The world is changing from being a US dominated unipolar one into a multipolar one where many actors could take part in the global process. However, the entrenched permanent membership of the UN in the Security Council has become an impediment to any real reform that could benefit all members. The US, France and UK have pushed the envelope too far threatening the interest of the other members and as a result the Chinese and Russians are asserting their positions firmly as is happening in Syria, leading into a global uncertainty and instability. Democracy, freedom of press, human rights and humanitarian intervention are code words for illegal intervention by the West, NATO and the US. Recently the fissure of the permanent member states is becoming more evident because in a July 20, 2012 interview with RT, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said,
“You know, humanitarian intervention unfortunately only sounds humane, but the fact of the matter is that any military intervention for whatever reason is inevitably going to cause more bloodshed. And we know those greatest humanists in the world – US and UK – intervened in Iraq, for instance, citing all sorts of noble pretexts, in that particular case – non-existent weapons of mass destruction. What it caused – 150 thousand civilian deaths alone, to say nothing about millions of refugees, displaced persons and the whole dislocation in the country. So, don’t be duped by humanitarian rhetoric. There is much more geopolitics in their policy in Syria than humanism. Unfortunately, the practical consequences of their policies there is that the conflict and bloodshed is not abating.”
Unfortunately, the UN system is endangering small countries everywhere. The UN has become more of a threat to nations that pose no threat to the world. The real threat to global insecurity is coming from the permanent security member states. These nations are deliberately doing harm in the name of doing good and fighting terror, while pursue their interests.
The UN led international community has shown that it is not in a position to voice concerns or stand on behalf of member states for harms done by the powerful member states. The extrajudicial killing by US drones is an example of the world that has lost control and unable to police global matters. That is unsustainable.
This is more urgent and more threatening than climate change or any of the other perceived threats the world faces. Hence, it is up to all citizens of the world to act locally to save humanity from itself. There exists no international system with checks and balances to safeguard the interests of the people. For decades, the people of Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti and Eritrea have been through untold suffering directly as a result. To help stop the suffering of the millions, the only viable option is to act locally.
That is why it is critical for the people of the Horn of Africa to come together and campaign in the US and other elections to make their voice heard since that is the only way they can put fear into the hearts of the heartless!
To quote Sophia Tesfamariam, “The rule of law must prevail over the rule of the jungle!”
Awetnayu [at] hotmail.com