US MILITARY BASES IN SOMALIA: How Status of Force Agreement (SoFA) Enslaves Countries

US MILITARY BASES IN SOMALIA: How Status of Force Agreement (SoFA) Enslaves Countries

Foreign military bases are sharply increasing around the world and host nations hastily sign bilateral agreements with the expectation of security improvement. In this article we will focus on the purpose of the foreign military bases and their potential uses, associated human rights abuses, environmental catastrophe they entail and their legal, social and economic impact of the host nation as well as the agreement that compromises sovereignty and facilitate exploitation of the natural resources of the host nation.

Is Somalia a sovereign state?  Yes, Somalia is a recognized nation with land, people and government that has sovereignty over its territory.  This means it has the supreme authority over its territory to the exclusion of other states and should be responsible for the control of all activities in the territory over which it has sovereignty.  If Somalia agrees to SoFA (Status of Force Agreement), it compromises the sovereignty of its territory.  How SoFA compromises Somalia’s territorial sovereignty can be demonstrated through the provisions of SoFA agreement itself. The following are the provisions that SoFA agreement may contain:

  • Status of Force Agreement provides diplomatic immunity to the foreign military and their contractors at the base similar to the privileges, exemptions, immunities equivalent to those accorded to a staff of diplomatic mission under Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961.  This puts foreign military and contractors in Somalia above the law.
  • Status of Force agreements includes provisions that Somalia recognizes that it does not have criminal jurisdiction over the actions of the military base personnel (military or civilian contractor) that happen in Somalia.  This means that Military Base personnel who commit crime in Somalia will not be taken to a Somali court.  With this handover, can Somalia be responsible for all activities in its territory?
  • The agreement allows the importation and exportation that are exempt of any inspections, custom duties, taxes, restrictions.  The host nation is not allowed to inspect the vessels of the Country that owns the military base.  The exemption of any inspection gives green light to illegal exportation of natural resources (crude oil, minerals), human trafficking and importation of nuclear waste;

Under SoFA agreement, the host nation waives any claims of damages, loss, destruction of property, injury and death arising the performance of the duties of the personnel of the Country that owns the military base.  The agreement further states that claims by third parties shall be according to the law of the Military Base owner.  This means that military personnel can destroy whole cities and not answerable to the law of the land.  SoFA is designed to protect military base personnel and take away the sovereignty of the host nation.

There is no military base in the history that had a positive effect on the host nation. Let’s start with one of the worst military base related history in the World. In 1965, three years before Mauritius gained its independence from United Kingdom, the British severed Chagos Islands from the rest of Mauritius and named it British Indian Ocean Territory to lease Diego Garcia island to the United States as a Military Base. The UK falsely declared that Chagos Islands had no permanent Population. The entire population of Chagos Islands were forcibly removed from their homeland to make way for the military base in Diego Garcia, the biggest of the Chagos Islands.

Now, the UK is financing the establishment of marines in a country that is landlocked, Uganda.  Reservist Sam Dwyer, of RMR Merseyside, said: “We have been training the 10th marine battalion of the Uganda’s People Defence Force for mission specific pre-deployment training before they go to Somalia.” Perhaps the UK is planning another Chagos in the Somali Peninsula.

The military base in Diego Garcia was used to launch aerial bombings of Pakistan. The one in Manta, Ecuador was used to organize covert military operations in Colombia. The facilities in Turkey was used as intelligence gathering center against Iran and Syria. Hence the primary purpose of Foreign Military bases is preparation of war, intelligence gathering or organizing covert military operations against a neighboring country often without the approval of the host nation.

Once the Status of Force Agreement is signed, military activities in the base does not require the consent of the host nation whether it is related to nuclear weapons storage, testing or using against another country making the host nation a target in the event of a nuclear war.

Foreign military bases are used for aerial bombing without the permission of the host nation putting the communities near the base at risk for a retaliatory action against the bombed country.

Foreign military bases are used for the coordination of covert action against a neighboring countries. They are used for imprisonment, torturing and committing extra-judicial transfer of individuals to other countries.

Foreign military bases are used to pressure the host nation at the negotiation table.

Even when they are closed, military bases leave environmental pollution that renders the area of the base an inhabitable.  Industrial solvents, firefighting foams and weapons testing destroy the local ecosystem and cleaning up of their pollution is not in their budget.

Areas near foreign military bases often experience higher than the average national inflation rate forcing the local people to resort to immoral activities such as prostitution.  There is a direct link between foreign military base and prostitution.  When these immoral activities increase, STD’s including AIDS increase among the population of the host nation.

Currently, the US is seeking to establish multiple military bases in Somalia.  Having multiple military bases in Somalia does not give the US a strategic military advantage since it already has a military base in Ballidoogle as well as in two of Somalia’s neighbors. It seems that the US objective of seeking multiple military bases all over Somalia is to exploit, dominate and colonize Somalia.

Finally, it is true that foreign military bases are expected to provide security to the host nation, but it is not worth surrendering your countries territorial sovereignty over false sense of security. Signing SoFA agreement without any restrictions will make Somalia a colony of the United States.

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free,” J. W. von Goethe.

BY: Sumayya Duale Warsame | Samiya Duale Warsame | Sakina Duale Warsame | Email: [email protected]


Proposed Standard Proportion of the Somali Flag Based on 1/x-x=1 in Nomograph


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