The late Somali President Siad Barre explaining why Somalia had failed to receive the backing of many African countries

First published on on Friday, 06 June 2014 06:41


There was an African leader, whose country recently received independence and was a good friend of mine. When he was an independence activist, I supported him wholeheartedly in his struggle for his country’s independence. In one of OAU’s regular sessions, I requested a meeting with him and he blatantly refused.

Whilst the session was in progress, I managed to bump in to him outside the chamber. I grabbed him by his arm and took him to a corner and asked him, perplexingly, why he refused to meet me. He looked at me anxiously, with sweat dripping down his face, and answered:

"You know that my country is heavily depended on aid. Therefore, I have been forbidden to talk to you or work with your country by my sponsors. I cannot jeopardize the foreign aid that my country receives from these foreign powers."

This reveals that many African countries haven’t left the clutch of colonialism. Many of them who have received independence are still controlled indirectly [neo-colonialism]. Because of that, not a single country in Africa has supported Somalia’s decolonization policies. Now they have distanced themselves [from us]… because some of the developed countries demanded it. (I Somalia, Bo Bjelfvenstam, 1982. p. 141)