“Prime Minister Theresa May gave a speech to support President Farmajo in building a secure , stable and prosperous future for the people of Somalia” . So says the FCO . This being said (by the FCO) can we point to something solid that would justify all the glorified terms of such a speech ? Hardly . Why ? Because the so-called “security Pact” which has been brandished as “New Measure of the Year” , is not in fact anything new . It is basically a recycling of the old idea of creating a national Somali Army while sponsoring the “development of an inclusive and federal democratic state”. The content of this “new partnership for Somalia” simply means we carry on the old partnership for Somalia . So what does it mean in terms of cash ? £110m emergency food assistance and £21m over two years (!) for the Army . Not quite the price of a luxury apartment in London . All in all , that is not taking us very far . The emergency food deliveries is essential , given the present catastrophic drought situation . The cattle is dying all over the place and even if this is not what the “Special Somalia Conference” was supposed to be about , it has to look into taht gaping maw . Death is in the air and it cannot be neglected even if this has very little to do with nation (re)building . It is bare survival . But if we want to really look at Somalia , look structurally , the main problem is not food aid , necessary as it may be . The question is political and territorial organization . Somalia is a nation in search of a state and if it can’t find one , it might be better to settle for several . Was it better to have a united Yugoslavia dripping with blood or are we better off with small , more peaceful , more balanced , inheritor states ? Somalia has always had a hard time surviving in a harsh natural environment and it has to make the best use it can from its few limited positive assets : the commercial genius of its population , its coastline , its unexplored oil resources . This is what a real “national” conference would have had to do about the territory :
- What does “federalism” mean in the present context ?
- Is it conceivable to negotiate a peace agreement with the Shebaab ?
- What should the future tax system be ?
- What about organizing referendums in both Somaliland and Puntland and decide to accept the result , no matter what discordant screams are heard in Mogadishu ?
In reality the “New Partnership” is just a way of trying to dump the Somali question overboard . Let AMISOM go and try to plug the security gap left behind by the troubled Burundians , the too eager Ugandans and the otherwise engaged Ethiopians . Hoping to foot the bill with £10m/year price tag and a prayer for the Shebab’s slow motion death (an unlikely development) . Poor Somalia ! Betrayed by the Russians , manipulated by the Italians , falling from a mad military dictatorship into an absence of state , invaded by the Americans and finally left to the absent-minded care of the politically-correct international community (these days Great Britain since it seems to have nothing better to do after Brexit) . A monument should be erected in Somalia’s name on the UN esplanade in New-York , where the bronze pistol with the twisted barrel glorifies the impotence of world watchers .