Commentary: Can AMISOM Protect Somalia’s Sovereignty?

May 9, 2012 by

For more than two decades, Somalia’s sovereignty has been in limbo- or in an utterly defunct status. Though there are many causes, a particular one stands out exponentially: volatile security. For no nation can claim, or (like in Somalia’s case) reclaim its sovereignty while dependent on another country, coalition, or a peace-building force for security. And though road-based security has been a top priority, it has been an objective made difficult by the many hurdles along the way!

Emerging Powers vie for Influence in Africa

May 4, 2012 by

The end of the Cold War resulted in the strategic disengagement of western countries, including the United States, from Africa. They continued their trade, aid and assistance relationship with Africa, but once the threat of communist expansion disappeared, the West interacted with the continent in a different way. This change permitted an opening for a variety of emerging countries to expand their ties with Africa.

YPIA Announces its 2012 Top 5 Young Hollywood Celebrities (Under 40) Helping Africa

April 24, 2012 by

YPIA is happy to announce its 2012 top five young Hollywood celebrities who take time out of their busy schedules to assist the African continent. This is an annual award and serves as a precursor to the May release of YPIA’s top 35 under 35 project. These under 40 years old ‘megastars’ often help shine light on topics that would otherwise go unnoticed by most of the general public. And for that, we thank you.

Commentary: Somali’s Compete for Foreign Domination

April 12, 2012 by

The 23 March 2012 death of Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed – former president of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) – sparked an intense debate about his political legacy. President Yusuf left an indelible mark on the history of Somalia. Some present him as a national hero and honest broker; others see him as a dictator, a corrupt politician, and a tribalist. These diametrically opposing views were the result of President Yusuf seeking military support from Ethiopia to establish his rule in south central Somalia. As a result, Ethiopia dominated the internal and external affairs of Somalia.

Assessing China’s Role and Influence in Africa

March 29, 2012 by

The most important difference between the United States and China is the very structure of the American and Chinese governments and the way their respective systems engage in Africa. American commercial activity (trade, investment and bidding on contracts) in Africa is conducted by private companies with limited involvement by the U.S. government. If two or more private U.S. companies are competing for the same project, the U.S. government must be impartial, providing essentially equal help to all U.S. interested parties. When this situation occurs, my experience was that the role of the U.S. government diminishes even further.

It is Crucial to “De-Nairobify” Somali Affairs

March 27, 2012 by

For a number of years, Nairobi (Kenya) has been the de facto capital of Somalia after the State has disintegrated into anarchy. It has been where Somalis sought refuge, re-started their lives, and networked with the rest of the world. By the same token, it has been where almost all of the eighteen or so failed “reconciliation” conferences were concocted, and Somalis found the funding and the nourishment for the indigenous political demons that kept them divided and at war with one another for over two decades.

Peace Corps Diary: Ethiopia 1962-1964 Part 9

March 25, 2012 by

Days after our arrival in Gondar we were approached by numerous students asking for employment in our house in exchange for a place to stay and a small stipend. While, as I’ve indicated in a previous chapter, we were reluctant to admit we needed help we were impressed by the story of one tenth grade student, Yimer Mekonnen.

Why Kony 2012 Fails

March 22, 2012 by

From Twitter trending to the front page of The New York Times to public statements by the White House and the Pentagon, the Kony 2012 campaign has shown the power of social media to affect U.S. public debate. But it has also demonstrated the dangers posed by oversimplification in an age when policy is made in the 24-hour news cycle. This has proven especially so on issues concerning Africa where, lacking historical context, over-simplistic media framing can quickly take root and lead to problematic policy “solutions.”

American Terrorists Abroad and Due Process

March 20, 2012 by

Imagine you are an American citizen overseas dedicated to recruiting terrorists, planning terrorist acts aimed at the United States, and publicly calling for jihad against America. This was the life of Anwar-al-Awlaki, an American terrorist overseas. To the Obama Administration, Anwar al-Awlaki was an illegal enemy combatant that was due no judicial hearing before the CIA targeted and killed him in Yemen in September 2011.

Somalia’s indivisibility, sovereignty and polity

March 5, 2012 by

The Communiqué coming out of the February 23 Conference on Somalia falls far short of all expectations. The promised new approach by the international community to tackle the root causes of insecurity and lack of a functional government responsible for Somalia’s inexorable decline over the past 20 years did not materialize.

Horn of Africa crisis is far from over

March 2, 2012 by

World Concern is expanding its drought response in the Horn of Africa into several new communities near the Kenya-Somalia border, reaching a larger number of displaced, hungry families and refugees who often travel through or settle in these towns. We’re providing vouchers for emergency food, supplies and access to water through repaired wells, rehabilitated water pans and construction of rainwater catchment systems in these unreached communities.

Somalia: With the transition ending, the fight for political power is in progress

March 1, 2012 by

The new political dispensation beyond August 2012 points to a positive ending of the transition in Mogadishu. However, a political squabble between President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali is likely, as both men will contend for the presidency once the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) term ends.

Somalia: The International Community can’t afford to get it wrong

February 28, 2012 by

In a February article published on International Policy Digest (IPD), Somalia’s Special Envoy to United States, Abukar Arman, wrote, “Since the collapse of the military government 21 years ago, Somalia went through various levels of problems perpetuated by clan militias, warlords, economic-lords, religious-lords, regional-lords, and a group that I would refer to as the Ghost-lords.”

The Enigma of the London Conference on Somalia

February 28, 2012 by

If there is any consensus on the nature and the outcome of the London Conference on Somalia - that brought together representatives of over 50 nations, including a number of Muslim nations, it must be the fact that it was a puzzling event that raised much speculation. Now that the fanfare has ended, it is time for an objective appraisal.

International Efforts to Counter Al-Shabaab

February 21, 2012 by

Since the al-Shabaab (The Youth) took control of most of south and central Somalia in 2007, no Somali force or coalition of forces has developed the capacity to counter the al-Qaeda affiliated organization. Militias under the control of Somali warlords were largely a spent force before al-Shabaab seized much of Somalia. The international community has trained a significant number of Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces, but they have not yet achieved the numbers, tenacity and ability on their own to challenge al-Shabaab.

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