Will A Change of Contractors Make A Change?
edited: Saturday, March 20, 2010
By Abdi-Noor Haji Mohamed (Eagle Of Hope)
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Saturday, March 20, 2010
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The World Food Programme in Somalia(WFP) has been accused of hiring contractors who pass money and weapons to the Islamic insurgents of Al-Shabaab who have been implicated by the US of having links with terrorism. I try to trace the somali situation within the context of food distribution and warring factions from as early as 1990 to present while trying to propose possible solutions to solving the seemingly unsolvable somali crisis. Thanks. NB: TFG stands for Transitional Federal Government (Somalia)
Was it a fault to overthrow a dictator without coming up with a system or structure to replace it? I say yes and I hope you would agree with me. When you say no to a system you must come up with another to replace it. But if you kick out one and fail to bring another to fill the vacuum then you are killing the nation. It is bad to have a dictator as a president who rules the nation with an iron thumb but it is worse to overthrow him without having a plan to install a government. That has brought much harm to us than good as Somalia is now plunged in a sea of blood exasperated by anarchy and tribal conflict.
Somalia today is a nation without a nation as it is nation in shock, fading into a horizon of terror, thawing in the heat of its own horror, weeping without shedding tears, but never allowing to submit to evil, always lifting its head above the sand no matter how its people and the world over have let it down.
Its problems are further complicated by famine as a result of seasonal failures, recurrent droughts and a total lack of a most important commodity: PEACE. In addition to that, food deliveries in Al-shabaab controlled areas have been suspended letting hundreds of thousands of people, mainly women and children, to starve to death. This is depressingly painful. Can we forge any solution for this problem? Can we come up with any alternative to save the dying masses in those areas and in the entire regions of the country?
Twenty years have elapsed since the war started in Somalia and from the early nineties when the war started in Somalia till today there were warlords who claimed to be in-charge of pieces of lands from time to time. Food delivery has been a challenge to the international community and the only way to feed the starving masses was to find someone who could transport food to destinations blocked by warlords from being accessed by humanitarian agencies. We all know that anyone with a capability to deliver food to an area controlled by a warlord or religious insurgents must be a mini-warlord himself and more importantly must belong to the same tribe the warlord is hailing from.
These are two important pre-requisites, though not a necessary condition, to win the UN bid to transport food. After winning the bid offered by the UN agency in this case, WFP, the contractor immediately starts arranging his cards properly to play both ends against the middle. In the old days before the Al-shabaab was born, some food trickled down to the target areas controlled by now defunct warlords and in that case some of the children had a chance to eat at least one time a day and maybe twice if they were lucky.
Now a new report by the UN Monitoring Group came up with findings of corruption and arms smuggling to the Al-shabaab groups in South Somalia. On the basis of this investigation there must be some changes in the entire operation of WFP Somalia and its contractors but the question is "Will change of contractors bring any change?" I think no.
So long as there is an armed opposition controlling some parts of the country, there will always be a need to hire contractors transporting food to the insurgent zones and these contractors will obviously be as much armed as those being evicted now. That is Back to Square One! Is it not? Then what is the solution? Getting rid of armed opposition forces and making Somalia an insurgent-free country is an option worth thinking of, though it must be weighed carefully before endorsing it a s a final decision. Ending the TFG- Insurgent war by any means possible will restore peace and stability in Somalia. The dismantled state institutions will be revitalized. The government will take charge of all the country and shall be accountable for any loss, theft or diversion of food items to locations not planned or otherwise not intended to be the agreed destination of food aid. But again that would demand so much of military engagement to dislocate insurgents from their areas. That option is not advisable at the moment. Somalia has had its own fill of war and hardly can it afford to shed more blood unnecessarily. Then what is the solution, I repeat?
Dialogue is the best option to curb the mess. True. But the question is: Will the insurgents accept reconciliation? Though they have experienced a severe blow of disintegration over the past few months insurgents still contemplate that they are close to victory. They think Villa Somalia is just within their reach and that there is no need for them to negotiate for a piece of the national cake while they can get all of it for themselves.
Let us assume that TFG and the opposition groups have shown leniency towards holding peace talks at a specified venue and date with an intermediary third party. Will they agree a common ground on the interpretation of Sharia Law as to how it could be implemented without going to Jihad? And finally will they sit opposite to each other with different flags as if they are representing two different states or the insurgents restrain from showing the one inscribed with the Shahada?
Suppose all the above have gone well in accordance with the way we predicted and the insurgents have accepted dialogue. Would you think America will forego its accusations of implicating Al-shabaab with terrorism? Will America accept to remove the names of such well known radicals such as Dahir Aweys from the list of terrorists? If not I wonder how we can have a dream of reconciliation in Somalia because any dialogue that undermines such leaders will only take us back to war and bloodshed. On the other hand if America softens its present position or even abandons that list, will those insurgents cease to be part of a global Jihadi network? Will they be willing to focus on Somalia and live in peace with the neighbouring countries and the world at large?
If we get a handful of “yes”answers, for these questions we can expect to have Somalia back to our hands, we can expect somalia to be a safe place to live in, a place where we need not worry about feeding our children because of food diversion by contractors and suspension of food aid delivery by insurgents as well as corrupt officials from aid agencies.
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|Reviewed by M.Bennett Hooper (Mikii)
|Dearest Brother Abdi-Noor somehow war and lords is a misnomer thieves and robbers seem to be universally located throughout the world. When will mankind learn that they are destroying our mother earth each time it's people are sacrificed upon an altar fueled by greed. Peace, love, and blessings young Brother. Grangran & Baba.|
|Reviewed by Georg Mateos
|When you find that the people supposed to be helping are corrupt as well, that when 50% of food and medicines aid never reach the people, then, you can wonder if the Somali war lords are the only ones guilty.