Very keen to read Andrew Harding’s new book on Somalia, The Mayor of Mogadishu. There’s a fine review in The New York Times which finishes with some lines about the moral complexity of dealing with Somalia (much like other failed states)… As Harding’s fine book makes clear, morally compromised figures like Nur may be the … More Somali good enough
There was a time living in Kenya, when the more seasoned – or cynical – among us hacks would ponder what to do about Somalia. Eventually someone would say: “Brick it up. Last man standing is declared president.” They would say it half in jest. It was more an admission of Somalia’s unfixable status than … More Is it really time to brick up Somalia?
There’s a chicken and egg problem with this analysis and all failed states… Pouring foreign aid into Somalia without good accountability mechanisms in place will only worsen these negative dynamics, just like it did in Afghanistan. Yes, reconstruction is sorely required and in addition to improving security, the Somali government badly needs to start delivering … More The trouble with Somalia (pt 63)
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 … More Whose conference was it anyway? Somalia meeting disappoints
The House of Lords has published its report into Somali piracy, examining specifically the success of EU Operation Atalanta, and is available here. I find myself elsewhere these days so haven’t ploughed through its pages. I’m sure there’s some tasty nuggets in there. In the meantime the conclusions do seem to take a rather optimistic … More Beware Copy-Cat Piracy
Jeffrey Gettleman has an interesting dispatch from Mogadishu in The New York Times about how Somalis may be turning against the Shabaab – the militant Islamist movement that controls chunks of the country The best example of that backlash is already happening in Medina, a neighborhood a few miles from the center of Mogadishu. Just … More Shifting Sands in Somalia
In the annals of good ideas, Somalia’s plan to print money would be a conspicuous absentee. However, this appears to be exactly what the Transitional Federal Government – currently in control of two Mogadishu blocks, 300 camels and a Panamanian-registered tugboat (I made that up, but you get the picture) – is planning to do. … More A Mint Idea