Somalia Better Off under Islamists?

27.09.07

Categorie: Africa, Diplomacy |

Somali“Somalia was named and shamed Tuesday as the worst-governed country in sub-Saharan Africa in a survey of political performance across the continent,” AFP reports:

The inaugural annual Ibrahim Index of African Governance, published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, ranks 48 countries against 58 individual measures. The foundation uses those measures to rank countries on five factors: safety and security; rule of law, transparency and corruption; participation and human rights; sustainable economic opportunity; and human development. The bottom five were Guinea-Bissau (42.7), Sudan (40.0), Chad (38.8), the Democratic Republic of Congo (38.6) and Somalia (28.1).
Somalia’s problems? A lot like Iraq’s, in fact: a growing Islamic insurgency and a government that lacks consensus. With Mogadishu still wracked by violence 10 months after the fall of the hardline Islamic Courts regime, some observers wonder if the country wasn’t better off under the extremists. One pro-Courts news service touted the benefits of security just a month before the U.S.-backed Ethiopian invasion that toppled the Islamic government:
A prevailing sense of peace and security felt in many parts of the once lawless Somalia since the rise of the Supreme Islamic Council of Somalia (SICS) is increasingly attracting foreign investors back to the Horn of African country. … [F]oreign investors are able to move in the Mogadishu streets without the help of gunmen. The SICS has also re-opened Mogadishu’s port and airport, where a “Let us build Somalia together” sign hangs high. Both had been closed for over a decade. Since the SICS started issuing visas, flights to and from Kenya and Dubai have been full of curious investors and returning refugees.

“The best antidote to terrorism, according to Horn of Africa analysts, is stability in Somalia, which the Islamic Courts had provided,” according to one Nairobi paper:

As in other Muslim-Western conflicts, the world undoubtedly needs to engage with the Islamists to secure peace. … The objective for the United States … is simply to prevent Somalia from being an unwilling haven for terrorist groups linked to Al-Qaeda. To pursue that objective, the United States is handicapped by the fact that state authority is limited to only portions of the country. The United States has everything to gain from the formation of a broad-based all inclusive government and a stable Somalia.

But that means negotiating with extremists. And we don’t do that, do we?

|

One Response to “Somalia Better Off under Islamists?”

  1. [...] Somalia Better Off under Islamists?Somalia’s problems? A lot like Iraq’s, in fact: a growing Islamic insurgency and a government that lacks consensus. With Mogadishu still wracked by violence 10 months after the fall of the hardline Islamic Courts regime, some observers … [...]

Leave a Reply