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The world must act to stem Somalia anarchy

ISSUE 270
Front Page
Index
Headlines

"We Will Be Treating Somaliland As A Self Governing Region," Swedish
Ambassador, Jen Olander

Human Rights Umbrella Concerned about Government's Human Rights Violations

Awdal Women Raise Funds For First Fistula Hospital In Somaliland, 2nd In Africa

Plane Aiding AU Peacekeepers Shot Down in Somalia

Somali Government Shuts Down Al-Jazeera Bureau

External Intervention Won't Help - EU

Eritrea Insists On UPDF Pullout

Somalia Tops Minority Report Danger List

Awdal Convention In North America To Be Held In June 2007

Mission Report on the Trial Observation of Detained Human Rights Defenders
in Somaliland

Regional Affairs

Horn Of Africa Fishermen Hope To Net Lucrative Western Markets

Rights Groups Accuse Kenya of Secret Deportations

Editorial
Special Report

International News

U.S.-led Terror War Victimizes World's Minorities

Kuwait bans import of live sheep from Somalia

Ban Ki-Moon Urges Immediate Cessation of Hostilities in Somalia

Horn of Africa much safer now: Premier

Remarks by Vice President Cheney to the Republican Jewish Coalition Leadership

China defends Darfur stance after French politician’s remarks

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

Eritrea Creates A Second Somalia Government In Eritrea

After 4 Years Of War, Congress Should Cut The Funds

Somalia/ Somaliland: Territory, State And Nation

The World Of Modern Child Slavery

Uganda Commander in Somalia Urges Speedy Deployment of More Troops

Food for thought

Opinions

Rayale’s Impeachment Is Inevitable

Mr. President, Back Off From Your Self-Defeating Mission: And Reform Your Leadership and Administration

Challenge In The Red Sea

Ungovernable Somalia and the imminent collision of hegemonic interests

My Response To The Gov. Response To Petition 'Somaliland'

Obstacles to peace in somalia- unchallencgeable certainties

A Reply to Cabdale Faarah Sigad's Report on the detained Haatuf Journalists

Petition For Impeachment Of Dahir Rayale Kahin

 

Editorial: Kenya Times 23 March 2007

A NEW vicious cycle of violence and blood letting is going on in that godforsaken Horn of Africa country called Somalia. It is amazing that humanity has the capacity for the depth and scope of brutality currently on display in that country.

When the rest of the world was about to come to terms with the heart -wrenching scenes which followed the downing of US Black Hawk in 1994, as a one off display of inhumanity, nobody for a moment imagined that there would be a repeat. Yet yesterday, Cable News Network, brought to living rooms, horrific footages of fallen soldiers being dragged along the streets of Magadishu before the bodies were set ablaze.

Somalia presents a unique challenge to the civilised world. For here is an entity which for 16 straight years has never had a central au­thority, the nation having fallen into hands of ruthless warlords whose world view is constricted to narrow clan interests and prosperity to thrive in chaos. As a neighbour and one with shared community, Kenya has spent fortunes, trying to get Somalia up on her feet both for the benefit of the long suffering population and also so that Kenya can stabilise and secure its common frontier.

Buttressed by the knowledge that peace in Somalia is a core asset for Kenya and with an eye on subsequent peace dividends, this country has spared no effort and no resources in trying to get Somali leaders to put their act together. Indeed, Kenyan leadership brought together clan leaders and other stakeholders and two years down the line managed to cobble together, the Transitional Federal Gov­ernment which was meant to put in place governance and other struc­tures that would ultimately see that country take her rightful place among civilised nations.

Admittedly the TFG which for months on end operated from Nairobi ultimately proved unable to exert authority over the country except for a provincial town called Baidoa upon relocation from Nairobi. This was the first troubling sign that all was not well. Then besides the fractious nature of the people and their deeply seated suspicions, there was external interests which set off competition for influence among neighbouring countries along religious and ethno-ideological lines. But the extended power vacuum also left Somalia susceptible to dangers of extremists, including of Al Qaeda variety. That the val­ues espoused by Al Qaeda are radically at variance with the secularism which the neighbouring countries including Kenya embrace can not be gainsaid.

The TFG may have been unable to exert authority over Somalia but at least it enjoyed legitimacy. The decision by Ethiopia to join forces with the TFG to drive away the Courts of Islamic Union was premised on an acclaimed sense of legitimacy and which is why the African Union authorised that peace keeping troops from willing African coun­tries be dispatched to help secure the TFG and Ethiopian troops hold on Somalia.

This week saw the intensification of brutal insurgency attacks on TFG troops and their Ethiopian supporters. The TV footages of dead troops being dragged along Mogadishu streets before being set ablaze is likely the handiwork of Islamists who have vowed to throw out Ethiopian troops charging that they are invaders. The questions that beg are many but most pressing among them must be :Should the world just watch as Somalia burns with the threat of the fire spreading throughout the Horn?

All the countries who had pledged to supply troops to prevent the resurgence of all-out anarchy should feel obliged to intervene. This will not be easy given the likely cost, including human toll. Everybody feeling they have a stake in this grave matter should rise up to be counted, including the US. Uganda and Ethiopia have shown the way, others must follow.

Source: Kenya Times


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