The announcement that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is travelling to Ethiopia to discuss the possible dispatch of peacekeeping troops to Somalia is greeted with concern in a discussion forum on a Ugandan press website.
Such a deployment is seen as irresponsible and beyond Uganda's means, considering the problems it has within its own borders.
Papers in Ethiopia and Kenya urge the international community to support the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) quickly before chaos takes over again in Somalia.
MIKE AZIZ ON UGANDA'S NEW VISION DISCUSSION FORUM
The pathetic part is, all these African leaders sit on their butt, and do nothing... Sending troops now will be irresponsible, considering our situation at home. Having said that, I also believe that Uganda has a responsibility as member of the world, African community to try its best to intervene to save lives. We first have to look at our capability, how we can respond and get out ASAP.
ABURA VINCENT ON UGANDA'S NEW VISION DISCUSSION FORUM
The Somalia war is not just a simple war per se. The Somalia issue is a global and a regional dynamic, which I think those who want to get involved should analyse thoroughly before burning our own hands... Why can't Uganda first re-organise its own house before pretending to settle the mess in another one's house?
GODFREY IGA ON UGANDA'S NEW VISION DISCUSSION FORUM
Since the aim of the exercise is for some big fellow to eat big, why not send in private armies like our private security firms and pay them directly from the West, then the public will not have to lose any money it can ill afford and the private companies can take the responsibility and be answerable to the families of their employees?
There are a lot of tasks ahead to bring the country to a normal state. The international community has a moral responsibility to back the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to exercise full leadership so as to extricate the country from the upheaval of several years. At the turn of 2007 the Somalis put much hope in the transitional government to reconstruct their country and put an end to conflicts and bloodshed.
Can the transitional government survive and stamp its authority on the capital and country? It is a tough call, but one that the government must overcome if it is to be relevant and if the Islamists and other ragtag armies that cause terror and disruption to daily lives are to be defeated and contained... But the huge task of stabilising Somalia cannot be left solely to Ethiopia. The African Union should come in and help the transition government entrench itself and save the region from the twin challenges of influx of refugees and small arms.
KENYA'S EAST AFRICAN
It will be unpardonable, even criminal, if the Meles Zenawi regime sends the Islamists packing only to leave a vacuum for the warlords, waiting in the wings, to fill. Equally, the international community... must assist the TFG to spread its control beyond Mogadishu and Baidoa by going beyond providing peacekeepers. Infrastructure development, civic authorities - security, public service, immigration - and the general structures of a modern functioning state, however rudimentary, must be put in place.
The danger that lies ahead and what threatens to overturn the Somali government and its allies... is the notion that theirs is a government imposed on the people. If the public sympathy swayed against the TFG, then the marauding militias will simply mutate into new forms of resistance and Somalia would sink into further chaos. It is not too late to engage the militia in peace negotiations to secure a permanent solution to the conflict in Somalia.
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