Monday, August 20, 2012

ICG and Somali Transition Process

The International Crisis Group (ICG) in a brief commentary on 20 August 2012 titled "Somalia: From Troubled Transition to a Tarnished Transition?" excoriated the ongoing process to establish a replacement government for the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG).

The ICG said "the current process has been as undemocratic as the one it seeks to replace, with unprecedented levels of political interference, corruption and intimidation." The ICG added that "the extremist Islamist movement Al-Shabaab is down but not out, and it is evolving, and plots to take advantage of the resulting chaos to regain power." The ICG even criticized the process of selecting elders as some were uneducated and objectionable individuals, some sold seats to the highest bidders and others nominated their own family members.

In my view, it is difficult to be optimistic about this flawed process. The only hope is that the new leadership, many of whom will be familiar faces, has had an epiphany and agrees to work on behalf of most Somalis without resorting to corruption. Until there is a government that is widely respected by most Somalis, it will be impossible to reconstitute an effective national government and probably not possible to end the threat from al-Shabaab.

Click here to read the ICG commentary.

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