By actors, I mean those state and non-state stakeholders, who have immediate and direct interests in the future and fate of Somalia as to whether that nation may rise up again as a nation-state, or doomed for ever as a “bunch of tribes”, to borrow Emperor Haile-Selassie ‘s characterization of Somalia’s aspiration for a statehood.
A few years ago I authored an article called Somalia, Foreign Aid and International Conspiracy. The article, published in Wardheernews, reflected on my personal experience.
Since then, Somalia, or rather the failed state of Somalia and observers alike have been watching tremendous number of entities of international actors involved in the affairs of that country and acting as centrifugal and centripetal forces as Somalia turns round one curve to the other. These foreign actors helped form one Somali government after the other without much guidance and leaving each one to its own device, leading each time to a “New Roadmap”.
Yes, I get it; one would ask the question: wouldn’t the Somalis have to rely solely on themselves in re-building their nation? This question, how valid it may appear to one, is one of the fallacies of the Post-Civil War Somalia. Who would let a vulnerable country of such strategic important off the hook to sort out its own problems? How does globalization impact Somalia? What about the historical burden between Somalia and its neighbours? Would ” a bunch of tribes” be left alone to continue to own the longest coastline in Africa, while bigger and more populous countries are land-locked? If the miracles happen and Somalia rises up again, who would be left behind to cut the most profitable business deals and concessions first with the New Somalia?
These questions reflect on the realities of what was happening to Somalia for the past two centuries. Lack of mass awareness due to under-development in education, brain – drain and brain-wash of the few educated Somalis are some of the critical contributing factors in Somalia’s predicament for centuries.
Moreover, and in reality, these “bunch of tribes” have never been free in recent history to deliberate on their own destiny. Somalia’s independence of 1956-1960 was only nominal and scandalously false. Mal-administration, dictatorship and civil wars are the results and legacy of this historical falsehood imposed on Somalia by colonial powers.
How many actors involved in now, though?
2. Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Eritrea, Uganda, the Sudan, Egypt and Gulf States (Qatar, UAE, KUWAIT and SAUDI ARABIA).
3. EUROPE and USA.
7. International NGOs and their local partners.
8. International Organizations of EU, USA and UN.
9. International militants and their local partners.
10. Unscrupulous business communities, specially in Mogadishu.
11. . Islamic charity organizations.
12. Arab League and Islamic Conference.
These are the most visible forces. In turn, they had created a network of proxy agents including business and political opportunists and corrupt personalities in the country.
It is tough to revive a failed state, for it creates profitable opportunities for outsiders, local business sharks and a unique chance and ambitious desires for those who pursue vital national interests in a given country.
By Ismail H. WARSAME