Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Can an African force "solve" Somalia?

Some seem to think so, see here:
While hosting an American delegation in Kampala 10 days ago, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda expressed confidence that Somalia can be stabilised by African forces. The president was hosting a team led by Maj Gen Timothy F. Gormley, commander of the combined joint task force in the Horn of Africa. Museveni urged Western powers, the United States in particular, to support the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) initiative on Somalia.
The fighting in Mogadishu has been very intense. The Islamists call their warlord foes "demons" and the warlords label the Islamists "terrorists" linked to Al-Qaeda. While they are fighting for control of the city, neither of the two groups wanted the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), which was established in Kenya a year and a half ago, to rule the capital.
Local media in Somalia recently reported that American officials have visited the headquarters of the European Union (EU) in Belgium to study the nature of the recently signed agreement between the EU and Somalia's TFG. "The US may attempt to block the most significant diplomatic breakthrough so far achieved by the TFG," remarked Ali Osman Moghow, a political activist in Baidoa. "We are confident that the EU will defend its support for the TFG, which stands for the best interests of the Somali people."

In these circumstances, the Somali people are inclined to view President Museveni as an African statesman with a viable solution for the Somali problem. His call for military intervention, mobilisation of local forces, the International Criminal Court indicting those opposing the stabilisation of the TFG plus financial and diplomatic support, are right on the mark. "Museveni should continue his crusade, shedding more light on the US's dubious policy on Somalia," remarked Kassim Ali alias Shombe, a Mogadishu resident.

"If IGAD, AU and EU are on the side of the TFG, Americans must be lured to support what is good for Somalia." What sends shivers down many peoples' spines is the TFG striving to stabilise the nation while the US pursues its own agenda to tackle pirates, recruit non-state mechanisms to confront suspected terrorists and cultivate a relationship with clan chiefs, sidelining President Abdullahi Yusuf.
Gee, I dunno, if an example of EU "success" in solving problems is Kosovo, the US may have the better idea...

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