Is the London Somalia Conference 2017 another imperialist deja vu? By Bashir Goth, Special to Gulf News

Waxa Daabacay on May 8th, 2017 and filed under Daily Somali News, Editorial, OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Somalis see no reason to trust this week’s conference in London after similar initiatives in the past did little to address the core issues
In a deja vu situation that does not excite many Somalis, the United Kingdom announced that it will host a major international conference in London on Thursday, “to accelerate progress on security sector reform and agree the new international partnership needed to keep Somalia on course for increased peace and prosperity by 2020”.

It was in 2012 when the first London Conference on Somalia was held with the declared intention of helping Somalia to transform from a failed state to a stable nation with functioning government institutions. Somalia’s partners pledged millions of dollars for the beleaguered country’s reconstruction, including $77 million (Dh283.2 million) earmarked for rebuilding Somalia’s security forces. A year later, the European Union (EU) also pledged $2.4 billion at a conference in Brussels to enable the conflict-ridden Horn of African nation to stand on its feet.

At the time, the stubborn extremist group, Al Shabab, was quoted to have branded the EU pledges as “Belgian Waffles: Sweet on the outside, but really has not much substance to it”. They also predicted that the funds would remain an unpaid hollow promise or would be lost in corruption.

Almost five years after, it seems Al Shabab’s ominous prediction has unfortunately become a reality as what was dubbed as the New Deal ended up as ‘No deal’ and the millions of dollars pledged either never arrived or were used as a slush fund by the previous political leaders and their international cronies.

Instead of building government institutions, Somalia’s western partners and the country’s African neighbours contributed to the country’s disintegration into tribal enclaves and instead of rebuilding Somalia’s national army, the friendly countries’ geopolitical goals had become detrimental not only to the need of Somalia to have its own army but also to the real sovereignty of the Somali nation.

Since the last conference, Somalia’s break-up into bantustan-like enclaves had taken momentum with the help and encouragement of the international community. It is no wonder that Somalis, as most of Africa, see colonialism as a living reality and not a period in a bygone era.

 

Yet more imperialist hogwash over Somalia

 


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/ Ahmedweli Goth by Awdalpress