Monday, December 18, 2006

Somalia, Another Hot Spot - Yet Again

Another clash in Somalia. Somalians are another long-suffering population, enduring over a decade of instability, lawlessness, an environment destructive to civil infrastructure and hope for the future. As in so much of Africa. It seems as though this treadmill of human misery will never end. So much for progress in the 21st century. Now Somalia faces the very real prospect of another war.

There's the determinedly-recalcitrant, U.S.-blessed "legal" government ensconced in Baidoa, encouraged, aided and supported by its neighbour Ethiopia. These are two countries which are generally diametrically opposed to one another, old foes. But the U.S.-sanctioned government in Baidoa is a completely discredited, corrupt regime, comprised of brutal war lords, whose governance the people of Somalia loathe and fear and wish to shed.

In favour of the Somali Islamic Courts Council. Oops, yes, guess they're kind of sort of like fundamentalist Muslims. Never mind that this is a Muslim country to begin with. That the population detests its U.S.-approved government. Somalians are prepared to welcome the governance of the Islamic Courts Council which promises to bring order and good government back to the people, from its current status as one of the world's most lawless and dangerous countries.

Ethiopia and other neighbours of Somalia view this state of affairs with extreme nervous anticipation, unwilling to have a Muslim-governed country in such close proximity. So close that their presence might destabilize the others through their own growing Muslim populations. The problems that beset the Western world, particularly in Europe, are reflected in Africa.

The people of Somalia will have their way. They are determined to shed the current warlord-led government for one that offers them hope and a future. Europe appears prepared to accept the presence and legitimacy of the new de facto Muslim government. The United States remains adamant in their belief that the new government will turn out to be yet another Taliban regime, with ties to al-Quada.

Mogadishu's imams, preparing their people to fight for their freedom from the warlords' governing council, deride this view and claim otherwise. Even Somali women, modestly garbed in niqabs, hold aloft AK-47s, determined to fight for their freedom from the oppression of the warlords and their ruinous rule which brought poverty and civil collapse to the country. Private businesses contribute funds for weapons' purchase.

On the face of it, it is troubling that a UN report alleges that fighters, weapons and trainers were streaming into Somalia from Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. That bodes ill for the future, since these regimes are fascistic Islamists. One wonders at their eagerness to spread Muslim rule in black African countries and the contrasting indifference to the fate of black Muslims in Sudan relentlessly preyed upon by Sudanese Arab Muslims. Clearly engaging in a relentless spread of Muslim rule uppermost in mind.

In the final analysis it is the Somali people who can, should and will determine their own governance. The rest of the world can do no other than sit back and await proceedings before coming to conclusions.
And hope that dire apprehensions don't materialize. And then what? Live with the consequences.

Hope in the end that the untrusting solitudes will learn to live together. In peace.

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