Whose conference was it anyway? Somalia meeting disappoints

And so we have another commitment from world leaders to help rebuild Somalia and assist its transition to a moderate democracy. Apparently this means a pirate taskforce (link is here but behind a paywall). Perhaps when you hold a conference so far away from Somalia then discussion is not about Somalia’s problems, but about our problems… UK security, the piracy threat to trade and so on. In this dispatch from Tabda, Jeffrey Gettleman points out the flaw:

“Another conference?” asked Ahmed Madobe, an Islamist warlord who is the de facto power in this area. “Every day you call a conference, and what’s been done? You need to involve the people on the ground, those who have suffered, to rebuild this country from scratch.”

You don’t need to know much about Somalia to know that just as its complex clan structure has made for years of conflict. When solutions are found they will undoubtedly be “bottom-up” fixes. And while that may have been one of the buzz phrases of the London conference, it’s difficult to see how that influenced any of its thinking.

Anyway, this Storyful takedown sums up the general disappointment, tempered perhaps only by the fact that David Cameron wore a tie in “Somali blue”.

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