Somalia’s woes

THE series of explosions in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu yesterday are, if anything, indicative of the trouble in store for this hapless nation. Granted that many of the problems there are of its own making, there is no hiding the fact that external interference has further complicated the matters.

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Published: Tue 13 Feb 2007, 8:52 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:52 AM

The recent such intervention, in the form of a military offensive from neighbouring Ethiopia, was, prima facie, a success; a success to the extent that it achieved its objective of ousting the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) from the position of ‘command and control’. While this was clearly an operation at the behest of the United States, and part of the wider “war on terror”, many see this as an action also tantamount to fishing in troubled waters.

While the Islamists have retreated, obviously for tactical reasons, no one in their right senses could have hoped to see it as the end of the story. Rather, yesterday’s explosions, and the blasts during the weekend, show the real fight has just about begun. This, on the lines of the insurgency in Afghanistan against the American-led forces; and in Iraq thereafter. More fireworks are only to be expected in the days ahead, turning life more chaotic.

This is not to ignore the fact that the Ethiopian forces are getting ready to go back, to be replaced by contingents of the African Union peacekeeping force. On the one hand, however, AU has problem raising the troops; and, on the other, their effectiveness is a debatable point.

The fact also remains that a military solution, at the expense of a political solution, is not the right approach to neutralise militancy that has a mass base, be it in the shades of religion or nationalistic aspirations. The scene gets only complicated with external interferences of the kind that has happened in Somalia and elsewhere. There, obviously, is a replay of the same mistake. The bottom-line is that the people are not being benefited; and their sufferings have increased.

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