Somalia

Amid Growing International Pressure, Somalia's President Resigns - Christian Science Monitor

Date: 
Dec 29, 2008
Author: 
Jonathan Adams

Widely considered an obstacle to peace, Abdullahi Yusuf announced his resignation on Monday.

Christian Science Monitor, December 29, 2008

Editorial: Still Sinking, Somalia Goes From Bad to Worse - Washington Post

Date: 
Dec 26, 2008

The Bush administration is trying to head off another disaster in Somalia, a failed state that has confounded three successive U.S. administrations. The administration won't succeed.

Washington Post, December 26, 2008

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Somalia displacement

15 Years After Black Hawk Down: Somalia's Chance? (Strategy Paper)

It has been almost 15 years since Somali militias shot down two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters over the capital Mogadishu and killed 18 American servicemen in a battle that also killed more than 1,000 Somalis. Since that fateful day in 1993, which had followed decades of American involvement that contributed directly to Somalia’s brokenness, the United States has largely turned its back on the fate of the Somali people. U.S. involvement has been rooted in counter-terrorism efforts in which the suffering of the Somali people has barely been factored beyond the sending of humanitarian band-aids to cover gaping human rights wounds.

Somalia: A Country in Peril, a Policy Nightmare

This is the first of two Enough strategy papers on Somalia by Ken Menkhaus, a professor at Davidson College and a specialist on the Horn of Africa. Based on recent field research, the first half of this report provides an analysis of the current crisis in Somalia. The second half critically examines why international policies toward Somalia have produced disastrously unintended results, and makes an urgent case for a review of those policies. A follow-up report will explore options and make recommendations for a new, more effective, international approach to Somalia.

Press Release: Somalia: A Country in Peril, A Policy Nightmare

Date: 
Aug 29, 2008


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Eileen White Read (ENOUGH Project), 202-741-6376
eread@enoughproject.org

 

 

Woodrow Wilson International Center Enough Project Logo

 

 

 
Somalia: A Country in Peril, A Policy Nightmare
 
 
 

WHAT: Release of ENOUGH Project report on Somalia: A Country in Peril, A Policy Nightmare

WHO: Howard Wolpe, Director, Africa Program, Wilson Center

------- Ken Menkhaus, Ph.D, professor of Political Science, Davidson College

------- Chris Albin-Lackey, Senior Researcher, Africa Division of Human Rights Watch

WHEN: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 10:00 to 11:30AM

WHERE: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 5th Floor Auditorium, Ronald Reagan Building, One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC

The Wilson Center's Africa Program and the Enough Project of the Center for American Progress invite you to a panel discussion and release of a new report, “Somalia: A Country in Peril, A Policy Nightmare," written by Ken Menkhaus, an expert on the Horn of Africa, former political advisor to the UN Operation in Somalia and, since 1991, Professor of Political Science at Davidson College, Davidson, N.C.

The report presents the current humanitarian and political crisis in Somalia, in the context of its almost two-decade-long crisis, and the complex patterns of international, regional and local dynamics that have contributed to and sustained it. Mr. Menkhaus will lead a discussion of the global significance of this crisis, and the implications of the current political, social and security changes that are occurring in Somalia.

Joining Mr. Menkhaus will be Chris Albin-Lackey, a Senior Researcher in the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, where he covers the Horn of Africa and conducts research on documenting patterns of human rights abuse associated with all sides to the ongoing conflict in Somalia.

The panel will be moderated by Howard Wolpe, Director of the Wilson Center's Africa Program. Ambassador Wolpe is a former seven-term Member of Congress and a former Presidential Special Envoy to Africa's Great Lakes Region.

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About the ENOUGH Project – ENOUGH is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. With an initial focus on the crises in Darfur, Chad, eastern Congo, and northern Uganda, ENOUGH’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. ENOUGH works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. To learn more about ENOUGH and what you can do to help, go to www.enoughproject.org.

 

Press Release: Somalia: A Country in Peril, A Policy Nightmare

Date: 
Sep 3, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Eileen White Read (ENOUGH Project), 202-741-6376
eread@enoughproject.org

 

 

Enough Project Logo

 

 

 
COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF POLICY TOWARD CRISIS-PLAGUED SOMALIA IS SOUGHT IN ENOUGH PROJECT POLICY PAPER

 

Washington, D.C. (September 3, 2008) — Political and humanitarian crises in Somalia are worsening and taking on a global significance the international community must address, argues a strategy paper, Somalia: A Country in Peril, A Policy Nightmare, released today by the Enough Project.

Ken Menkhaus, Davidson College (N.C.) professor and author of the report, argues that Somalia’s bloody 18 year conflict is worsening due to seismic political, social, and security changes are occurring in the country. The report analyzes the international policy failures at every level—in state-building, reconciliation, political transition, economic recovery, humanitarian access, and counter-terrorism efforts to combat radicalization—and argues for nothing short of a complete review of what Menkhaus terms “shipwrecked” international policies..“Given the severity of the crises in Somalia and the extraordinary level of failure”, Menkhaus says, “the burden of proof must fall squarely on the shoulders of those advocating a ‘stay the course’ approach, not on those calling for change.”

"It would be a dangerous error of judgment to brush off Somalia’s current crisis as more of the same," said Enough Project Policy Advisor Colin Thomas-Jensen in releasing the report at a panel discussion on Somalia’s crisis. “With 3.5 million Somalis at risk of famine,” Thomas-Jensen continued, “the human cost of continued failure is escalating by the day."

Joining Mr. Menkhaus, an expert in the Horn of Africa and former political advisor to the UN Operation in Somalia, on the panel were Chris Albin-Lackey, Senior Researcher in the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, and Howard Wolpe, Director of Africa Programs at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., where the panel discussion took place.

Read the report here

 

 

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About the ENOUGH Project – ENOUGH is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. With an initial focus on the crises in Darfur, Chad, eastern Congo, and northern Uganda, ENOUGH’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. ENOUGH works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. To learn more about ENOUGH and what you can do to help, go to www.enoughproject.org.

 

Press Release: Enough Project Releases Policy Statement on Bush Administration’s ‘Transition Land Mines’ in Somalia

Date: 
Dec 10, 2008


Contact:
Media Contact: Eileen White Read, 202-741-6376
eread@enoughproject.org

 

 

Enough Project Releases Policy Statement on Bush Administration’s ‘Transition Land Mines’ in Somalia

 
 
 


WASHINGTON D.C. – The Enough Project at the Center for American Progress issued the following statement today regarding the growing crisis in Somalia:

As the Bush administration prepares to leave office, it is taking three ill-considered actions that threaten to exacerbate the already catastrophic situation in Somalia and tie the hands of the incoming Obama Administration. The Bush administration is: 1) urging Ethiopia to keep its armed forces in Somalia until after the administration leaves office; 2) pushing for authorization of a U.N. peacekeeping mission to protect the fractious and impotent Transitional Federal Government after Ethiopia’s departure; and 3) moving to place Ethiopia’s arch-rival Eritrea on the U.S. State Department’s State Sponsors of Terrorism list. There is little indication that the Bush Administration has thought through the implications of these major steps that would not only prolong the violence on the ground, but would hijack the incoming Obama Administration’s policy prerogatives while leaving it with an even more intractable crisis in the troubled Horn of Africa.

“These eleventh hour shifts in policy will only create more blowback for the United States in the region, and serve as a de facto recruiting tool for the hard-line Islamist militia, or shabaab, that is wrapping itself in a mantle of Somali nationalism fighting foreign forces,” said Enough Project adviser, and long-time Somalia expert, Ken Menkhaus, an Associate Professor of Political Science at Davidson College.

Ethiopia is currently scheduled to withdraw its forces from Somalia by the end of 2008 as part of the fragile U.N.-led Djibouti peace process. The two-year Ethiopian occupation of southern Somalia has been a magnet for violence and a growing insurgency in Somalia. By urging Ethiopia to maintain its presence in the capital, Mogadishu, the Bush administration is handing the shabaab a recruitment bonanza while undermining the credibility of moderate Somalis seeking to advance the Djibouti process.

“The Bush administration policy in Somalia has not only been ineffective, it has made the situation on the ground considerably worse,” said Enough Project co-Chair John Prendergast. “It is not too much to ask that the Bush team practice the maxim of ‘first, do no harm’ before they depart. The incoming Obama administration should have the chance to rethink Somalia policy, including its counter-terrorism dimensions, without having to react to a firestorm of bad ideas weeks before the inauguration.”

The Bush Administration is also pushing for a U.N. Security Council resolution to authorize a U.N. stabilization force for Somalia to replace departing Ethiopian troops. This is a bad idea on a number of fronts, and there is zero indication that the administration or the U.N. is serious about putting in place a genuinely credible force. There is no thirst among member states to contribute troops in Somalia at the current moment, and whatever U.N. forces could be scraped together would surely become the main target of insurgent attacks. In short, the Administration is pushing the United Nations to authorize a force that is designed to fail. This policy is the worst of both worlds: U.N. forces would be unlikely to create political or military stability in Somalia while giving shabaab militias a new foreign occupying force to attack.

Finally, by placing Eritrea on the U.S. State Department’s State Sponsors of Terrorism list, the Bush administration would push Eritrea into a corner precisely at a time when they are willing to demonstrate some flexibility. There may or may not be sufficient evidence to make the case against Eritrea, but such a strategically significant determination should not be made by a lame duck administration. This determination has the potential to spoil U.S. peacemaking efforts in Sudan and Somalia, and could deepen the crisis in the Horn of Africa by fueling already intense antipathies between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Designating Eritrea as a State Sponsor of Terrorism would have no purpose other than to shrink the Obama administration’s diplomatic room for maneuver in the region while possibly making the very real counter terrorism imperatives in Somalia more difficult to achieve.

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Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, Chad, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, Somalia, and Zimbabwe. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. ENOUGH works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. To learn more about ENOUGH and what you can do to help, go to www.enoughproject.org.

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