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Tuesday, 25 April, 2000, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
Somalia: Should foreign countries broker peace?
Since the fall of the former dictator Siad Barre in 1991 Somalia has been riven by ethnic conflict between competing clans.
The Djibouti government is in the process of organising its third attempt to broker peace in Somalia but several factions and self-declared autonomous regions are refusing to attend.
Should Djibouti bother to try to bring peace to Somalia? Should Somalis be left to sort out their own problems? Is interference by foreign countries in the internal conflict of another nation ever justified? Or does the international community have a moral duty to try to bring peace?
A selection of your emails will be broadcast on Focus on Africa during the 1705 edition on Saturday.
Certainly, the involvement of Djibouti to bring peace to Somalia is a laudable one. That said personally, I do not subscribe to the International countries brokering peace in Somalia as antecedents would show. The last time the world (USA) tried to enforce peace in that war-torn country their sons were senselessly killed by the various warlords/factions. Hence, let foreign countries give Somalia and its warlords a wide berth for once bitten twice shy. It is an internal matter and it should be so solved.
So, telling Somalis to sort out their problems is like telling a group of passengers kept hostage in a plane by a group of armed men and we tell the passengers, "Guys, you and the armed group are in a similar situation, so sort out your problems. We will not interfere"
Dr Hussein Mursal, Rwanda
Djibouti is playing an important role in bringing Somali people together. This is what we are expecting from our brothers, they know where the problem lies since we share the same language. I would like to add that the international community should support the Djibouti's plan of peace for Somalia.
The problems in Somalia are partly the result of some countries in Africa which do not want to see a strong and prosperous Somalia. It is well known that these countries have played an active role in starting the tribal war in Somalia and this trend is still continuing.
The Djibouti Plan is a very valid one and an absolute necessity. The Warlords destroyed the country and continue to stifle any efforts to reconcile and patch the government for fear of losing their power grip.
David Halligan, USA
In my opinion, I don't think that the Somalis are ready to perform any kind of a central government for now.
It's not easy to reveal peace into Somalia for a several reasons.
First, the tension between clans is high, people who have murdered their beloved ones in front of their eyes will not forget in an easy way. Nobody will compensate them for their pain and sorrow.
A A ALI, Finland
No interference is necessary. Any foreign assistance should be limited in two basic efforts:
To my point of view one should not turn a blind eye to what could turn out to be a major humanitarian disaster. The world should help the starving anywhere and anytime.
Engagement would lead to co-operation with those willing to rebuild their country. Also, isolate those who are intent on perpetuating the war and civilian suffering.
For Djibouti and other IGAD members the situation in Somalia poses a real danger. Regional leaders would be wise to act now. The alternative could be a potential regional disaster that engulfs everybody.
Liban Mahamed, Somalia, (in USA)
I'm very glad to hear the voice of Somalis, what they need is to get peace and government, although the warlords have rejected that. But now we Somalis know who are our enemy is and who created the hostility among the people.
In my opinion, the international community have a moral obligation to bring peace and dignity for Somali's people.
Our brothers and sisters in the great land of Somalia should and must work their differences out largely on their own, if not for the sake of Somali, for the sake of their children. If any outsider gets involved it should be the African nations that have borders with Somali. But I do not believe either Ethiopians or our brothers in Djibouti should mediate because both of these countries seem to have an invested interest rendering it difficult to find a true and lasting solution.
I'm very happy to hear that Djibouti is trying to bring peace to Somalia. It's a good idea and I hope this will work and end the conflict between those groups who are claiming to be presidents.
Abdi D Gammadid New Zealand
As a Somali Citizen
I feel that Somalia
has paid the cost of
the civil war. Now Somalia should be left alone to solve their own problems
and they should learn that no one else can solve their problem but themselves. Because
International intervention has failed over and over and did not produce any peace.
Therefore, please leave the Somali problems for the Somali
people to solve.
I believe Somalia's neighbours including Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya as well as the OAU should work hard in bringing peace in Somalia.
Would Somalia, like Bosnia, be abandoned to its fate if it were not an African state? Whilst the rebels who bring shame to their people elsewhere face War Crimes Tribunals, those of Africa are urged on - in the interest of the trade in weapons and natural resources - to aspire to be Presidents.
Nasir H. Omer, Canada
If a situation is catastrophic as in Somalia, who could object to foreign powers trying to negotiate a settlement? But one shouldn't expect to much. One of the fundamental assumptions of a negotiated settlement is that both/all sides want peace. And this is clearly not the case in countries like Somalia, Angola and DR Congo. One should expect too much from diplomacy, though that shouldn't preclude the attempt.
I believe that peace in Somalia will only be achieved by the people of Somalia. The Djibouti peace plan might not bring peace to Somalia, but it might be a wake up call for the people of Somalia and the evil warlords. The warlords will see that Somalia wants peace back and the people of Somalia will start to realise how bad they want peace in Somalia back.
14 Apr 00 | Africa
Somalia braced for emergency
27 Mar 00 | From Our Own Correspondent
Mogadishu: Law but not much order
18 Mar 00 | Africa
Somali reunification talks postponed
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