Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Somali president resigns

The president of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia, Abdullahi Yusef Ahmed, yesterday resigned his post as the leader of the internationally-recognized entity that is supposed to govern the country. He led the TFG for the last four years, through a period in which Somalia spiraled ever lower into anarchy and lawlessness. Crime - including piracy - has grown immensely; internal strife with African Union forces and various militias has increased; and the humanitarian crises facing the people have reached dramatic proportions.

Abdullahi Yusef Ahmed (AFP photo)

Whether Yusef's departure will lead to any measurable or immediate solutions to the problems facing Somalia remains to be seen, though some in neighbouring Ethiopia feel his departure could be a good sign (see here).

2 comments:

Jennifer Jilks said...

Are there any solutions that you can foresee, Daniel? The poverty, the inequities and acts of inhumanity...

Is there anyone in the wings, ready to fly to the rescue ('scuse the pun)and take up the cause for the people of Somalia?

I first heard of the grief through K'Naan's videos, in my classroom in 2005. It really sets out the story of the people.

Daniel Sekulich said...

Jennifer,

I wish I could tell you that things will change soon - for the Somali people - but I'm afraid that's not likely to happen. The confusion within the TFG leadership coupled with the pull-out of Ethiopian troops happening as I write means that the vacuum of leadership ad security is apt to increase in Somalia (which doesn't say a lot about what things were like recently).

As I've written before, the only way to stop piracy off the Horn of Africa is to put in forces willing to engage the criminals while also doing something concrete about addressing the root causes ashore.

We've part of the solution out there already - naval forces - and no await someone to step up and take on the next, more dangerous, part of the problem.

As a teacher, though, one thing you can tell any of your students who may wonder about this is is that the international community is paying much more attention to Somalia today that they did a year or two ago. And that Canadians have taken a strong position, with men and women from our navy risking their lives to get food aid into the country.

Small steps lead to long journeys.

Happy New Year.