Thursday, December 18, 2008

Three recent interviews on U.S. policy in Africa and Somali pirates

Over the last few days, I was interviewed several times by Voice of America and BBC radio on issues relating to Africa, particularly Somalia. On December 15, I spoke with VOA's Joe de Capua and took a look ahead to the Obama Administration's policies on Africa and what might be carried over from the Bush Administration. I suggested there will be an approach to countering terrorism that relies more on solving root causes and less on a military response. I am told the interview will appear after New Years Day. I also spoke with BBC on the 16th and with VOA radio yesterday on the situation in Somalia. In both cases, I emphasized that the piracy problem will not be completely solved until there is a national government in Somalia that is widely accepted by the Somali people. I expressed doubt that much use will be made of the UN Security Council resolution that permits the international community to pursue pirates on land and suggested some tougher measures for dealing with pirates in the open seas. I also noted that it is important to end illegal fishing and toxic waste dumping in Somali waters by western and Asian ships. UPDATE: The interview with VOA's William Eagle appears here under the heading "Analyst Doubts Effectiveness of UN Crack Down on Somali Pirates."

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