Hope for Somalia

As a follow-up to the interesting discussion on the Maritime Security Review LinkedIn Group, ‘UK Conference on Somalia’, the present, taken from today’s Guardian, as an example of views and opinions from the Somali Diaspora.

How the London talks can give hope to Somalis

The Somalia London conference must take concrete action in key areas if the state’s spirit and prospects are to be revived

In a few days, there will be a gathering in London, hosted by the British government, to discuss the grim saga of Somalia. For the past two decades, the country has become the poster-child for wretchedness – with a loss of civic solidarity, the destruction of the national state and institutions, an absence of able and legitimate leadership, and violent foreign interventions or mediocre international succour.

To date, more than a dozen international conferences have been convened to address this condition. Despite noticeable contributions to assuage some of the calamities, such as the current famine, none of the meetings has amounted to more than contemptuous endorsements of stop-gap political dispensations. These affirmed the worst of an opportunistic Somali lumpen-elite: civic degeneration and a retribalisation of everything in pursuit of personal gain.

The test of the London conference is whether it will be more of the same or mark out a different approach. Many Somalis and their friends fear the signals are discouraging: the invited Somali “stakeholders” represent some of the same factions that have been responsible for blocking the resuscitation of a national spirit.

If the London meeting ends merely with……..[access full article]

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