Africa
  World
  Islam
  Health
  Photos

World Islamic Prayer

Cimilada
VOA Somali
BBC Somali 14:00
BBC Somali 18:00
Deutsche Welle
BBC Radio
Voice of America
IRIN Radio
NPR Radio
Radio Netherland
Last Updated: Feb 11, 2014 - 5:11:05 AM
Editorial
The Djibouti Accord is a genuine chance for peace in Somalia

SUNDAY EDITORIAL | Somalia does not need another century of enmity with its Ethiopian neighbors, but Ethiopian troops must withdraw.

The numbers say it all: by the end of 2008, the United Nations estimates that 3.5 million people in Somalia will be in need of food assistance. This estimate is according to the UN's World Food Program, whose country director for Somalia, Mr. Peter Goossens, told reporters in London on July 18 that parts of Somalia "could be in the grips of disaster similar to the 1992-1993 famine" if sufficient humanitarian assistance is not delivered in the coming months.

There is no question that Somalia, in the conflict-ridden Horn of Africa region, is now facing what many have termed "the worst humanitarian crisis" on the entire continent. This miserable milestone has been reached due to a series of factors, one after the other, that have severely aggravated living conditions in Somalia and led to the massive upheaval of civilian populations, especially from the national capital Mogadishu. By any measure, the Ethiopian occupation – ostensibly at the behest of the UN-recognized Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia – has contributed to the mass exodus of civilians from Mogadishu and other centers of conflict, while global food prices have had a negative impact on the local economy and sparked protests.

Sadly, this is the current state of affairs in Somalia, where a relentless anti-Ethiopia insurgency has killed upwards of 8,500 people since early 2007, according to local human rights groups. However, an opportunity to stop the insurgency presented itself when, on June 9th, an Islamist-dominated opposition group known as the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) inked a peace pact with interim Somali Prime Minister Nur "Adde" Hassan Hussein. The Djibouti Peace Accord, as it were, gave the Islamists a timetable for the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Somalia – a key demand for participation at the UN-brokered peace talks. A major issue remains the possibility of replacing the withdrawing Ethiopian force with a UN peacekeeping mission, the government's only security guarantee under the peace deal.

The year 2009 will mark a historic crossroads for this war-ravaged country of nomads. If the Ethiopian-backed interim government and its Islamist rivals effectively implement a nation-wide ceasefire – as required under the agreement – then the need for the proposed UN peacekeeping force is greatly diminished, and daily violence is replaced by genuine cooperation among the Somali players. Already, Prime Minister Nur Adde has reiterated his noble position that, for the sake of peace, he is ' willing to resign'. For the sake of peace, are the Islamists willing to put down their guns and compete at national elections next year?

Certainly, this week's announcement that Islamist factions have agreed to ' acknowledge'  the Djibouti Peace Accord is a welcome sign that even some of the hardliners are beginning to accept the prospects of peace. Somalia does not need another century of enmity with its Ethiopian neighbors, but Ethiopian troops must withdraw so under-the-tree reconciliation can once again begin to heal a wounded nation.

Somalia needs a chance at lasting peace. This is a country that cannot afford another decade of conflict, with foreign powers practicing their long-discredited "war on terror" policies that are highly dependent on militarism, i.e. the unsuccessful occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. T he children of Somalia have not had proper schooling over the past two decades of conflict; in fact, many of today's youth who have only 'heard of' a government are eagerly joining al Shabaab's militant ideology.

The Djibouti Peace Accord is a chance for Somali leaders to save their troubled homeland from chaos and improve the living standard for the country's suffering masses. It is a genuine opportunity to end years of conflict and a historic opportunity to begin of a new era of governance, justice and economic development for Somalia's future generations.

Garowe Online Editorial, editorial@garoweonline.com

RELATED:
Somalia: Speaker’s election highlights political maturity in Puntland [Editorial]
Somalia: Puntland is stronger than the Dam Jadid Manifesto [Editorial]
Somalia: Constitutional crisis, another PM ousted, what next? [Editorial]


Advertisement
 

Vacancy Anouncment Legal Advisor for the Puntland House of Representatives

EDITORS PICK:

Somalia: Federal Govt troops foil attack on police station in central town

BELEDWEYNE, Somalia April 23, 2014 (Garowe Online)

Somalia: Night raid operation targets senior Al Shabaab officials

UN envoy to Somalia condemns MP, journalist murder in Mogadishu

Somalia: Burundi President arrives in Mogadishu on first visit

Somalia: Puntland Police arrest former Federal MP

Somalia: Former warlord refuses to lay down arms

Somalia: Bomb blast in Mogadishu kills Federal MP

Somalia's President stresses need for stability at National Conference on Security

Somalia: Khat plane veers off runway in central town

Somalia: Puntland Defence Forces urged to confront Somaliland, Al Shabaab

Somalia: Military in deadly battle with police in Middle Shabelle

Somalia: Al Shabaab fighters ambush Federal Govt troops in Bay, 6 militants killed

Somalia: Ugandan Guard Unit arrives in Mogadishu for UN personnel, bases protection

Somalia: Somaliland forces withdraw from historic town of Taleh

About Us | Disclaimer | Copyright | Contact Us