Daring Guerilla Attack against U.S. Army Base and EU Military Convoy
Emergency Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 30 September 2019, www.thecommunists.net
1. Today Somali resistance forces have launched two strikes against the occupation forces. According to reports from Al Jazeera and Reuters, mujahideen from Al-Shabaab attacked a military base in Baledogle which is run by U.S. Special Forces. This base is used both for launching drone strikes against insurgents as well as for training of Somali and Ugandan soldiers. At the same time, another attack was launched in Mogadishu against an Italian military convoy. The Italians are part of a European Union mission training Somali forces. According to an Al Jazeera correspondent, the convoy might have been related to a high-level meeting at the UN headquarters in Mogadishu which has taken place at that time. While there have been no announcements about causalities until now, the well-coordinated attacks demonstrate the resilience of the popular insurgency against the occupation forces.
2. Somalia has been invaded by the so-called African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in 2007. Since then, the country has been occupied by a military force of about 20,000 African troops (consisting mostly of Ethiopian but also Ugandan, Burundi, Kenyan, Djiboutian and Sierra Leone contingents). Many thousands have been killed since then. While AMISOM has been formally operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations Security Council, it is in fact led and controlled by Western military forces. According to official figures from the U.S. AFRICOM, there are currently about 500 U.S. elite troops in Somalia – the real number is probably higher. Add to this a number of French and other European troops. The leading role of the U.S. forces in all operations of the African forces is admitted by the Pentagon itself. An official, quoted by CNN, said earlier this year: "We're still involved in every single operation." (Ryan Browne: US military mission in Somalia could take seven years to complete, CNN, 13 April 2019). In other words, the AMISOM troops act as imperialist proxies. In addition, the navies of the EU, China, India, and other powers are patrolling off the coast of the Horn of Africa, effectively controlling the waters of Somalia.
3. There can be no doubt that this is an imperialist occupation in order to control Somalia. While the majority of occupation forces are from African countries, it is evident that they operate under the command of Western imperialist forces. Furthermore, they serve not only the interests of the reactionary rulers in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and other countries but also those of the Great Powers. Somalia is strategically located on the Horn of Africa along the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which links the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean. It is crucial to control access to the Suez Canal. It is hardly surprising that U.S. imperialism has invested substantial resources to gain control of Somalia already since the early 1990s. The U.S. Administration has repeatedly extended a presidential declaration of a national emergency concerning Somalia. According to a Pentagon official the US military expects to stay for another seven years in Somalia (quoted in the CNN report above).
4. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) strongly denounces the presence of AMISOM as well as imperialist forces in Somalia. We call for their immediate withdrawal and the closure of all their military bases. We consider the popular insurgency against these occupation forces as legitimate.
5. The popular insurgency is led by Al-Shabaab. This is a petty-bourgeois Islamist force which combines a reactionary social agenda with support for poor peasants as well a legitimate national liberation struggle. The latter has enabled them to gain strong roots among the masses and to keep control of parts of the country despite the overwhelming military forces of the imperialist invaders. So while Al-Shabaab objectively plays a leading role in the legitimate struggle against the imperialist-led occupation, its backward program makes it imperative to build a socialist alternative in order to replace them as a leading force.
6. The RCIT calls for the defeat of the imperialist forces and their proxies and for the military victory of the insurgents without lending any political support to Al-Shabaab. Revolutionaries must support all efforts to organize the working class, the peasants, and the poor independently of the all (petty-)bourgeois and reactionary forces to prepare them for the struggle for socialism.
7. It is a shame that most of the so-called left and the international workers movement either ignore the anti-imperialist struggle in Somalia or even denounce it as a “reactionary Islamist plot.” However, one should not be surprised about this as most of these “left-wing” forces are strongly dominated by social democracy and Stalinism. Such forces are usually characterized by various forms of pro-imperialist and Islamophobic positions (like e.g. their denunciation of the Syrian Revolution as “reactionary”).
8. We call the mass organizations of the working class and popular masses around the world to stand in solidarity with the resistance struggle of the Somali people against the imperialist invaders and their lackeys. They must put pressure on the governments – both in the Western as well as African countries involved in the occupation – to immediately withdraw all their troops as well as their war ships patrolling at the coast. They must demand an immediate end of the deadly drone attacks as well as the withdrawal of the navies of the Great Powers.
International Bureau of the RCIT
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We refer readers also to the following documents of our tendency:
RCIT: Manifesto for the Revolutionary Liberation of Black Africa. Economic Freedom and Political Power for the Workers and Oppressed through Socialist Revolution! Adopted by the 2nd Congress of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), Lusaka (Zambia), November 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/manifesto-for-the-revolutionary-liberation-of-black-africa/
Warmongering in the Middle East: Down with all Imperialist Great Powers and Capitalist Dictatorships! Joint Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), Alkebulan School of Black Studies (Kenya), Pacesetters Movement (Nigeria), Pan-Afrikan Consciousness Renaissance (Nigeria), Marxist Group ‘Class Politics’ (Russia), and Sınıf Savaşı (Turkey), 13 May 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/joint-statement-warmongering-in-the-middle-east/
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