By The East African (Nairobi)
PEACE TALKS ON SOMALIA SHOULD not be allowed to collapse.
The alternative is a vicious and senseless war involving
up to 12 countries in the region and the Gulf.
Khartoum talks - meant to bring about an understanding
between the Union of Islamic Courts and the Transitional
Federal Government based in Baidoa - collapsed last
week mainly because the Courts insisted that they
could not talk till Ethiopia had withdrawn its troops
from Somali soil.
their demand that Kenya should not chair the talks
because it favours the deployment of peacekeeping
troops in the lawless country is outright mischievous.
raises serious doubts about the Courts' declared intention
of being a viable alternative to the warlords who
have inflicted pain and suffering on Somalia for the
past 16 years. They must understand that they cannot
hold the region to ransom.
must also not be allowed to get away with its unilateral
interventions in Somalia. It must withdraw its 8,000-odd
troops from Somalia, if the region is to avoid a prolonged
and costly war.