What should the world do about Somalia?

November 17, 2008

Islamist militants imposing a strict form of Islamic law are knocking on the doors of Somalia’s capital, the country’s president fears his government could collapse — and now pirates have seized a super-tanker laden with crude oil heading to the United States from Saudi Arabia.

Chaos, conflict and humanitarian crises in Somalia are hardly new. It’s a poor, dry nation where a million people live as refugees and 10,000 civilians have been killed in the Islamist-led insurgency of the last two years. A fledgling peace process looks fragile. Any hopes an international peacekeeping force will soon come to the rescue of a country that has become the epitome of anarchic violence are optimistic, at best.

But besides causing instability in the Horn of Africa, the turmoil onshore is spilling into the busy waters of the Gulf of Aden. The European Union and NATO have beefed up patrols of this key trade route linking Asia to Europe via the Suez Canal as more and more ships fall prey to piracy. Attacks off the coast of east Africa also threaten vital food aid deliveries to Somalia.

As insurance premiums for ships rocket and carriers start taking the long route from Asia to Europe around the Cape of Good Hope to avoid attack, the cost of manufactured goods and commodities such as oil is likely to rise — all at a time of global economic uncertainty and looming recession in major industrialised countries.

Yet many diplomats and analysts agree there can be no lasting solution to piracy unless there is an enduring political peace on the ground in Somalia. The hijackers are coining millions of dollars in ransoms and analysts fear the money may find its way into international terrorist networks.

What should the world do next?


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This is the kind of behavior that continues to damage people’s perception of Islam. These people pretend to be true followers of Islam yet they continue to show the world everything Islam teaches them about peace has no effect on them.

Posted by Jerose | Report as abusive

That sad life

As french a french of somali origins, im very saddened to see my homeland without hope and futur, but i realy do believe things will and can only get better, because first somalia is rich in mineral resource and also because somalia is very strategic. all the turmoil and troubles in somalia is fuelled by the west especially america. when there was chaos and anarchy in somalia, nobody cared. when those warlords and criminals were taking somalia on the brink of total instinction, they never tried to help. But the great people of somalia had enough and chose to go back to their roots and use their relegion as the only solution to get out of the hell in which they were living in. the islmaist came to power and cleaned the the whole south somalia in just 6 months, the country was the right track again. But as i said before, the west certainy dont want to see a strong and stable somalia for many reasons. especialy now that the country is chosing islamic conservatism. they would rather support brutal regimes like the one they put in place in ethiopia. The west needs to understand 1 thing, somalia is very different from most african countries. somalia wil never accept the modern colonialism that is imposed on most of our fellow africans. We only accept the destiny that god has for us. They never understood that during the colonial period. somalis are proud people they will never accept washington to meddle in their affairs and control somalia like they do troughout the world.somalia will stand up again and will be as powerfull as they were in the 70′s.

Posted by farhan | Report as abusive