Peace operations can restore order in Somalia..

Somali hardline Islamist militant

Halkaan ka akhri

THE term conflict connotes a clash, discontent and disharmony. In this context, conflict refers to a disagreement through which the parties involved perceive a threat to their needs, interests or concerns.

Conflict is not exclusively an African phenomenon, neither is it endemic in the Great Lakes Region. Although recent years have seen many regions of Africa involved in war and external or internal conflict, we should not accept the prevailing view that Africa is conflict-centric. The conflicts experienced in this region are a manifestation of serious structural weaknesses. Their underlying causes have internal as well as external components.

Peace and peacemaking in Africa emerges as one of the critical issues of great importance in global politics.

In the most extreme cases, Africa’s insecurity has been reflected by the traumatic episodes of collapsed and collapsing states. As is expected, collapsed states in Africa have had harmful spillover effects on neighbouring countries.

Since the end of the Cold War, Somalia has experienced almost complete anarchy. Much of the country remains ungovernable.

Until recently, there has never been a popular support for radical Islamism or Islamic-style governance in Somalia, despite an overwhelming Muslim majority. Historically, the rule of law in Somalia has been based on clannism and not religion.

In early 2006, after nearly 15 years of skirmishing between the Islamists and the warlords, the numerous Islamist groups united and formed a consortium called the Union of Islamic Courts Council (UICC). The emergence of the UICC changed the conflict equation in Somalia.

During the turmoil of the 1990s, Somali people desired a strong autocratic leader of a group, which could restore order, stability and safeguard the Somali way of life. The UICC represented that image, ruthless as they were they attained the apparent peaceful period.

For a war-torn people whose lives are in constant danger, security is paramount, and the population will welcome whoever brings it, regardless of how it is achieved.

Many Somalis appear willing to trade a modern society for a backward one, as long as the latter can deliver security. Thus, in light of the prolonged anarchy, it will not be difficult for the average Somali to tolerate the imposing restrictions that come with Islamism and trust the UICC, to return law and order.

The broad concept of security recognises that human security, and empowering people, at the individual and community levels — is essential to national and international security.

Many factors from inter-ethnic conflicts, regional instability, terrorist attacks, poverty and disease shape the meaning and content of security.

The financial, personnel, and timing pressure on UN to undertake these massive short-term stabilising actions impaired its overall ability to ensure timely and effective intervention measures. There are increased worries about the Security Council’s ability to address serious threats to international peace and security.

In recent years, a new international security management paradigm seems to be emerging. It consists essentially of regions and sub-regions accepting co-responsibility and sharing the burden to police themselves.

Consequently, there is a dilution of the central responsibility that UN would play in this regard. Peace Support Operations (PSO) in the maintenance of international peace and security involve things like; peace keeping, enforcement and preventive diplomacy.

Support operations also involve, peace making and peace building. In the words of the AMISOM force commander, there is a new term; peace courting which the men and women from Burundi and Uganda are doing. AMISOM has proved that Somalia conflict is surmountable.

Source: New Vision

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