want to know the way ahead ask those on the way back, the
Chinese say. This saying serves well as guidance on the possible
future for Somalia.
months ago the country appeared to be working itself out of
the endless violence that has lasted for 16 years. In a split
moment it has taken a plunge back into its past.
in Mogadishu are overflowing with people injured in fights
between Ethiopian soldiers and forces loyal to the ousted
Islamic Courts Union.
international high profile meeting was held in Nairobi last
month there was hope that a stabilization force would be deployed
soon by the African Union.
then was that the AU would take over from the Ethiopians and
situation has since changed after the US bombed villages in
Agency for Development (IGAD) which was to marshal the 8000
soldiers recommend by the United Nations already has egg on
its face after the US air strikes -and the whole plan
may just become a cropper.
is willing to send its soldiers into harms way.
countries like Nigeria may also be out of the question given
the experience they had in Somalia during the failed UN intervention
in the 90s.
has offered 1000 soldiers and that was a promise it made before
the current situation arose.
has just made a difficult situation more complicated by showing
its overt involvement in the current military conflict.
Secretary for African Affairs, Jendayi Frazer, had told the
meeting in Nairobi that her country would not interfere militarily
but hardly a week after she left Nairobi the bombs fell on
US government can send its Under Secretary here to tell the
region that its forces would stay out and it turns out to
be a lie, how can Africa trust its soldiers in Somalia with
the possibility that the US may spoil it for them.
at Somalia now and you will see Afghanistan five years ago.
was supposed to have won the war against the Taliban five
years ago but the war is not yet over.
talking of many more years before any sense of normality is
as strong as ever are giving the Nato force there
a rough time.
Karzais government is yet to make its presence felt
even with all the military support from Nato.
to peace is still as distant as it has ever been in Somalia.
Compare it with the situation in Afghanistan and you will
see the similarity.
the AU sends troops, there will be no surety that the US would
not spoil their chances of success by dropping bombs and flattening
entire villages just to kill one person alleged to have terror
were tied to the deployment of the AU force but the prospect
of that happening have now become dim.
in the country went up when the overt American involvement
goodwill that Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf would have
built for himself withered when he claimed that he was happy
with the US strikes, which are reported to have killed innocent
villagers and their livestock.
villages have been flattened and many killed by American bombs
ostensibly to kill a few suspects allegedly linked to the
Al Qaeda network, who again mysteriously escaped.
weekend, heavily armed men attacked the presidential palace
in Mogadishu where the leader of the transitional government
gunman fired at an Ethiopian military convoy passing near
a market and the troops fired at the people in the market
killing four and injuring seven.
tank crushed a pickup car packed near the market and flattened
a sign of what to expect in a country whose people may only
be having memories of what others call peace.
time, if a quick solution will not be found to pacify the
country, the conflict will be worse than the nation has ever
reason is that those who were born during the conflict and
who have never known law and order would be fighting this
time and one can only imagine what it would translate into.
an issue Abdullahi Yusuf and Prime Minister Ali Gedi do not
want to care about as they point fingers at others and call
could do to Somalia what Adnan Bachachi did to Iraq.
was a dissident who had been telling the world that Saddam
had developed weapons of mass destruction.
used his information as evidence that Saddam should be stopped.
came out of the claims; Iraq is no more and Bachachi fell
out with his ally.
there is a danger that the Government may actually be dragging
their nation down the drain rather than out of destruction.
the country came to peace was when the Islamic Courts Union
threw out the warlords who also doubled up as government
ministers from the capital and pacified large parts
of the country.
dialogue was given a chance then the scene would be different
portion of the blame for the failure in exploiting negotiations
to bring together the ICU and the Transitional Government
lies with the president and the prime minister.
all along known of the Ethiopian plan to intervene on their
side and did not want to give a chance to the people they
called Jihadists a chance to bring to the table
what good plans they had for the country.
instructive to note that the ICU had achieved in a few weeks
what the Transitional Government had failed to achieve in
two years; restore order.
the warlords who held the country at ransom for the last two
plan was snuffed with the swift deployment of forces from
Ethiopia with Abdullahi Yusuf and Prime Minister Ali Gedi
pointing and shouting Jihadist at every one who
country is under martial law and it would be hard to justify
that as a recipe for peace rather than for more conflict.
country that has been without a government for two decades,
martial law would make no difference because that is what
they have been living under all along.
is muddled when one looks at how the two neighbors Kenya
and Ethiopia are involved in the conflict.
had its own selfish strategic reasons to send tens of thousands
of troops to bolster Yusufs government.
appears to be playing in a game it has not planned for and
may not event know what it will gain at the end.
looking at the kind of approach Kenya has taken one would
be tempted to think that it must have made a deal with the
US, which is making the game plans.
weeks before the Ethiopian invasion of the country, Kenya
was talking to the ICU, with its leader, Sheikh Shariff visiting
Nairobi the month preceding the deployment of the troops.
has changed and the ICU is being treated like they have committed
crimes that they should be punished for without getting their
weekend Kenya deported 30 people suspected to have been sympathizers
of the ICU back to the Mogadishu.
deportation was conducted begs more questions than can be
answered by Kenyan officials.
this people not taken to a court so that they are subjected
to the due process of law before being handed to a foreign
force that could do anything to them.
them, a Canadian of Somali origin, actually had a court order
stopping the Government from deporting him to Somalia.
to be deported to Canada were ignored and he was taken to
also said that the 30 people were blindfolded and handcuffed
while on the plane to Somalia.
going to have another Quantanamo Bay in the region?