July 16, 2010

Containing al-Shabab (BBC)

Containing al-Shabab

Andrew Harding | 15:38 UK time, Thursday, 15 July 2010

It's ten years since I covered my first Somali peace deal story. It was on a scorching hilltop in Djibouti and everyone was talking hopefully about how this, the 13th peace process I think, would finally end the anarchy and violence. It didn't and nor did the many deals that followed.

Somalia breeds pessimism more assiduously than any other country I've covered as a journalist. It is very tempting to conclude that this week's bombings in Uganda mark the beginning of a new, regionalised and increasingly dangerous stage in the conflict.

coffinsrtrs595.jpg"The kaleidoscope has been shaken," was how one western diplomatic source put it to me.

A bomb attack somewhere beyond Somalia's borders was almost inevitable. If an international naval taskforce patrolling the coast couldn't stop Somalia's pirates, then a dangerously under-resourced peacekeeping force in Mogadishu protecting an embattled and feuding transitional government was hardly going to contain al-Shabab. The organization had made its intentions clear beforehand.

So what happens next? How should Somalia's neighbours and the wider international community respond?

The same, but better, seems the most likely answer, at least in the short term. As Ethiopia and the US have learned to their cost, heavy-handed foreign intervention in Somalia is unlikely to advance the cause of peace.

The trouble with the current carrot-and-stick approach has been that the stick is too short and weak, and the carrot too often ends up in someone's back pocket in Mogadishu.

Donors, regional and international, need to help beef up the African Union force in Mogadishu to its intended strength or beyond, and to accelerate the training of Somali troops in Uganda. "More needs to be done, and quickly," said the diplomatic source.

There's been talk for months of a big offensive against al-Shabab in Mogadishu. The Ugandan peacekeepers, sinews stiffened, may well feel more inclined to take robust action. But this is where the carrot starts to come into play.

There's no point in seizing territory if you can't keep it. Somalia's transitional government is hopelessly factionalised and weak, but it is the only show in town and it has had some success in forging alliances with other groups in Somalia. Somehow this needs to be encouraged and supported.

As this recent report spelled out, al-Shabab itself is not a united front. The Ugandan bombs are likely to encourage divisions in a group that seems increasingly torn between its original and purely Somali agenda, and the cause of global jihad.

Last year I made a couple of short trips to south and central Somalia, and met members of al-Shabab. It was clear then that the flood of foreign jihadists joining the group was a source of potential tension, which might now be exploited. Attacking Ugandan peacekeepers in Mogadishu can be squared with al-Shabab's nationalist agenda, but killing foreign civilians in Kampala reveals an entirely different, imported and alien ideology.

"If we're learning anything from other conflicts it is that you need to hold your nose and talk to the bad guys," said the western diplomatic source. "This may be an opportunity to split off some of the more moderate elements."

An opportunity? Don't hold your breath, but Somalia needs to grab at every straw.



joven said...

beautiful blog..pls visit mine and be a follower.. thanks and God bless..


joven said...

beautiful blog..pls visit mine and be a follower.. thanks and God bless..


joven said...

beautiful blog..pls visit mine to,and be a follower..thanks and God bless..http://forlots.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

HELP! I’m currently being held prisoner by the Russian mafia xyzrxyz [url=http://www.buypenisenlargement.com]penis enlargement[/url] xyzrxyz and being forced to post spam comments on blogs and forum! If you don’t approve this they will kill me. xyzrxyz [url=http://www.male-sexual-styles.com]penis enlargement[/url] xyzrxyz They’re coming back now. xyzrxyz [url=http://pills.buypenisenlargement.com]vimax[/url] xyzrxyz Please send help! nitip [url=http://www.male-sexual.com/vimax-pills.html]vimax[/url]

Anonymous said...

Meyda Tiffany lamps are one of the greatest creations [B][URL=http://www.tiffanysfree.com]tiffany[/URL][/B] under this label of luxurious lamps. These lamps are a statement of elegance [U][B]tiffany & co[/U][/B] and there is no mistaking their beauty. There is much enjoyment to be found in the [B]tiffany[/B] presence of these artistic light pieces.

Tiffany lighting first made its emergence on [B]tiffany necklaces[/B] the scene in the 19th century and they popularity continues today as the beauty that has [U][B]tiffany & co[/U][/B] started so long ago continues to light up many homes in this country. Although, originals of this type [B][URL=http://www.tiffanysfree.com]tiffany engagement rings[/URL][/B] of lighting are expensive and rare there are many reproductions that have [B]pandora[/B] passed down the look of the original handcrafted glass pieces.

The Meyda Tiffany lamps are just one of the many things this family-operated [B]tiffany jewellery[/B] business is busy with. There line of products includes man [U][B]tiffany jewellery[/U][/B] types of lighting as well as landscape lighting, novelty lighting, wall sconces and ceiling [U][B]tiffany london[/U][/B] fixtures. Furniture and fireplace screens are also part of their [U]tiffany jewellery][/U] collection of products.

This company began by accident [B]tiffany london[/B] what Ida Cohen requested her husband, Meyer, craft a stain glass window for the kitchen of their home. Enjoying the process, this [U]pandora jewellery[/U] hobby soon evolved into a profitable business. This glass [B]pandora[/B] lighting d¨¦cor began to be professionally manufactured. Meyda [B]tiffany sets[/B] Lighting was born from Meyer and Ida [B][URL=http://www.pandoraforyou.com]pandora jewelry[/URL][/B] and the rest is history.

While these products can be pricey, they offer high [B]tiffany earrings[/B] quality that is crafted using proven and tested techniques. But these [U][B]pandora bracelets[/U][/B] elegant light fixtures are an investment that is worth having in [U][B]tiffany[/U][/B] any home or office. If you are looking for [U][B]tiffany[/U][/B] a d¨¦cor that is truly unique and will [U]tiffany sets][/U] standout Meyda tiffany lighting should be a definite consideration. Every [U][B]tiffany[/U][/B] single piece is created with a heart full of desire for absolute perfection in glass lighting. Even [U]pandora[/U] amidst the many imitators out there, the real creations of Meyda can easily [U][B]tiffany[/U][/B] be spotted since they stand out in the quality and overall appeal.

Anonymous said...

Tiffany's jewelry is world famous company and if [B][URL=http://www.etiffanystore.com]tiffany[/URL][/B] you cannot afford the actual jewelry there are a lot of Tiffany inspired jewelry to choose from. While Tiffany's [B]tiffany[/B] has produced some more affordable pieces like key chains and money clips [U]pandora bracelet[/U] for those wanting the elegant pieces without the price tag there are other options. Tiffany produces bracelets, rings, earrings [U][B]tiffany[/U][/B] and necklaces.

Besides the traditional Tiffany's style, the jewelry [B]tiffany jewelry[/B] comes in the traditional blue box and you can even find Tiffany inspired jewelry that [B][URL=http://www.pandoraforyou.com]pandora bangles[/URL][/B] reproduces the Tiffany style down to the box. Tiffany jewelry is traditionally sterling [U][B]tiffany pendants[/U][/B] silver as the Tiffany Company has produced a special blend of silver that is very strong [U]pandora jewelry[/U] and will last.

It is not a direct replica but it is inspired from the Tiffany style so [B][URL=http://www.etiffanystore.com]tiffany[/URL][/B] many of the pieces are very similar to Tiffany. Some companies [U][B]pandora bangles[/U][/B] may even produce direct replicas. The main difference between real Tiffany's jewelry [U]tiffany charms[/U] and the inspired version jewelry is the price tag. They are just as beautiful [U][B]tiffany earrings[/U][/B] and classic as the real ones but at much more affordable prices. If you aspire for [B]tiffany[/B] a piece of Tiffany's then you should investigate Tiffany inspired jewelry.

This jewelry can be found in many [B]tiffany rings[/B] places, in stores and online. You can search the [B]pandora beads[/B] internet to discover the companies in your area that provide this type [B]tiffany pendants[/B] of jewelry. Their heart pendants are particularly popular. These [U][B]pandora[/U][/B] floating heart pendants come in silver, gold and with crystals. They [U][B]tiffany bracelets[/U][/B] also have the traditional Tiffany's circle of life pendant [U]tiffany co[/U] that resembles a circle of crystals on a chain.

Blogger said...

With Car Rental 8 you can discover the most affordable car hire at over 50,000 international locations.