Sometime soon, politicians are going to realise that Something Must Be Done.
The dictator Siad Barre was overthown in 1991, superseded by rule of the warlords. Eighteen years ago. Eighteen years of war, insecurity, and hardship for the people, made worse by an unprecedented drought, courtesy of Exxon Mobile associates (allegedly). Generally, the world has averted its gaze, apart from some decent diplomatic activity that set up the Transitional Federal Government, which has all the power and influence of a daddy long legs in a nightclub.
What to do? OK here's a few possibilities, off the top of my head:
- Set up a democratic panchayyat structure, based on traditional elders.
- Bring the non-Shabab part of the Islamic Courts Union into coalition with the TFG and other big players - on condition of no stoning and amputations, no oppression of women or gays. (The ICU are not all bad. We need a trial run for when the Taleban get to share power in Afghanistan).
- Clamp down on borders, confiscate all arms.
- Use sniffer dogs liberally, to find ammunition.
- Control the waters, with permission of the TFG
- Start work on reafforestation and water infrastructure.
- Stop overfishing Somali waters.
- &c. There are 500,000 civil servants in the FCO. They must have a few ideas among themselves. And they are paid to think. I'm just a jobbing blogger.