Jan 16, 2009

Somalia – The End Game

"Re-establishing the State in Somalia & Securing the Horn of Africa", a report on the current situation in Somaliland by Ahmed M.I.Egal.

The following extract is taken from the introduction to the report.

To see the full report, please click here.

The present situation in Somalia appears to mark a new nadir in the recent history of this sorry country that has been the very definition of a failed state over the last eighteen years. The so-called government, the Ethiopian sponsored Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Abdillahi Yusuf, established in Embagathi in Kenya in 2004 by the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD), has collapsed for all intents and purposes. Yusuf’s recently announced dismissal of Hassan Nur Adde, the Hawiye Prime Minister, has effectively negated any role for Yusuf in the reconciliation process which is supported by Ethiopia, the AU, UN, EU and US. Yusuf seems determined to end the tenure of his TFG by removing himself as a positive figure in the search for peace and reconciliation. He has made it clear that, far from being an asset in the reconciliation process, he is actively engaged in derailing it in the interest of pursuing his deranged vision of personal power and Darod hegemony. Surely, this final act of political irresponsibility must sound the death knell on his continued leadership of the TFG and tenure as President.

The jihadist nihilists of Al-Shabaab under the leadership of Hassan Dahir Aweys, which is the Al-Qaeda franchise in the Horn of Africa, has captured much of the country and is on the rise against government and Ethiopian forces. Ethiopia has finally accepted the bitter truth that many Somalis and others had predicted, i.e. that Abdillahi Yusuf was an extremely poor choice as the leader to effect reconciliation and establish a government accepted by the broad majority of the Somali people. Finally, the international community has run out of ideas to resolve the Somalia tragedy and the impending, threatened withdrawal of Ethiopian troops promises increased anarchy and the possible accession to power of Al-Shabaab.

Notwithstanding this gloomy and dire picture, it is the thesis of this paper that the current situation presents a window of opportunity to establish a credible government in Somalia and decisively defeat both the jihadists of Al-Shabaab and the tribal supremacists of Abdillahi Yusuf. The principal reasons underlying our conviction that such a window exists are:

1. The political and military divisions within Somalia have coalesced into broader, clan-based groupings which are more amenable to indigenous political reconciliation efforts based upon cultural traditions.

2. The fatigue of the international community in cobbling together so-called governments for Somalia from warlords, their political cohorts, apologists and a sprinkling of token civil society representatives leaves it with no alternative but to seriously consider and support indigenous, grass-root initiatives proposed by Somalis themselves.

3. The recent attacks in Somaliland by Al-Shabaab has forced the people and authorities of that as yet unrecognised country to accept that they cannot continue to remain detached from the search for a solution to the crisis in Somalia.