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Can 2012 Offer a Happy Ending for Somalia?

Jamal Osman, Channel Four, October 10, 2012 – Think of Somalia as a child ruled by irresponsible parents, with the UN as its social services. Jamal Osman asks if the

strife-torn country can convince investors it is now ready to look after itself.
Since the beginning of the year, Somalis have been saying: “This is our year.”
They wanted a change, saw the chance, and overcame the first obstacle. With a new president, prime minister and parliament in place, the situation looks promising for the first time in over two decades.
Somalis are tired of the conflict and are generally willing to solve their differences peacefully. More importantly, the timing couldn’t be better.
For decades, with the help of the West, neighboring countries – especially Ethiopia and Kenya - have been working against the interest of the Somali people. After all, they funded, trained and armed the rebel groups that overthrew the last functioning government of Somalia, in 1991.
And they continue their obstruction by supporting various warlords and clan militias. Simply, they want a weak and divided nation, and to some extent have achieved that. You may ask yourself: why?
Legacy of European colonialism
It’s primarily a territorial dispute and the legacy of European colonialism. The artificial boundaries created by colonial rulers had a devastating impact on the region. The Somali territory was divided into different countries.
Apart from their current military presence in the country, Ethiopia and Kenya both “occupy Somali territories”. The Ogaden region of eastern Ethiopia is inhabited by Somalis. Equally, the north eastern province of Kenya is inhibited by Somalis.
It means members of the same family were kept apart by the border demarcations. And the natural struggle to bring the Somali society under the same flag has proved disastrous.
Somalia went to unsuccessful wars against the neighbors to reclaim the territories.
Read the complete story at Channel Four
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