According to recent media reports, the US administration of President Barack Obama is considering to use drone attacks as the least option to help the Transitional Government in Somalia to defeat the insurgency. However, attacking few foreign Jihadists is one thing but targeting a factional leader such as Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys will not help bring peace but make matters worse.
There is no doubt if drones are used to attack the insurgency in Somalia many innocent lives could be lost. Unlike ground operations, drone attacks cannot be too careful to limit the death of civilians.
The conflict in Somalia is different from the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan where drones have been deployed to target the insurgency or its leaders. Unlike in Pakistan and Afghanistan where drones scour the terrain to target individuals who may hold key to ending the conflict, in Somalia, there is no one or two individuals whose killing will end the insurgency or the insecurity in the country.
Somalia has many crises including insecurity in the country to tackle. Nevertheless, if the Transitional Government was not busy with matters unrelated to nation-building, it would have needed neither drones nor forces from other nations to help establish peace and security.
The Transitional Government does not seem to want to establish peace and security using the resources at its disposal and the funds it had received from around the world. Since its arrival at a time when global disgust with senseless fanaticism has been at its peek, the TG had never been lacking international support or funding which has been squandered. There are always things other countries can help a nation which has to rebuild itself from the calamity of civil war, but no government should look to other nations for everything.
Without doubt, a government’s affinity to its people is generated from its actions. Somalis everywhere are witnessing that the Transitional Government is adrift. It is manifesting greed, ineptness and increasingly inward looking. If the TG had sincerity or purposefulness it would have found the way out of its (the nation’s) crises. Other than its utter dependency on other nations, there were avenues open for the TG to pursue to establish peace and security.
The Somali people have ample reasons to be frustrated with the lack of progress and the ever deepening crises of our nation. Whatever transitional administration was the outcome of over a dozen peace meetings during the civil strife nothing is happening or improving for the nation and the politics had been same or similar.
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Somalis are from an open society where everything can be known sooner or later. For instance, within the TG, everybody knows who is doing what and who is pulling the strings. In the beginning many Somalis had high hopes that the Government of President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed could be different. They could not be more wrong. One year on the support of the TG has never been lower.
If the Transitional Government had endeavoured to gain the support of its people it would have needed neither drones nor forces of other nations to make or keep the peace and the TG has no one other than itself to blame. Not to mention, the contemplated use of drones to attack the insurgency is ill-advised. It may not help but damage the TG itself. It might precipitate its collapse.