Monday, February 28, 2011

International crisis group report on Somalia

On Feb. 21, the International Crisis Group (ICG) finally released its report on Somalia. It is highly critical of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and President Sharif’s “weak leadership.”

It assigns blame for failure widely and argues “at the core of Somalia’s governance crisis is a deeply-flawed centralizing state mode.” The alternative, according to ICG, is a “more decentralized system of governance.”

It discusses the TFG’s “botched power-sharing agreement” with Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a and complains about significantly increased corruption in the TFG. It concludes that the TFG army is ineffectual and the TFG’s survival “is entirely dependent on some 8,000 troops of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).”

The report, written before the recent offensive against al-Shabaab launched by AMISOM and the TFG with help from Kenya and Ethiopia, suggests that the timing is good to pressure al-Shabaab.

On the other hand, it is not clear how much planning has been dedicated to developing a political strategy for holding and stabilizing areas that they might take from al-Shabaab.

The ICG praised the relative stability in Puntland and Somaliland and said the way forward is “a more devolved political and security structure and far greater international support for local administrations.”

You can access the entire report here.

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