Somalia The Endless Search for Peace
"Somalia, and Mogadishu in particular, has been aptly described as “the Hell on Earth.” This description is based on the level of destruction and human suffering that has been going on since 1991. There is no respite in sight despite the endless negotiations between the various factions, warlords and clans. In fact, the situation is getting worse by the day. All indications are that not everybody wants peace in Somalia. Those who are benefiting from the war economy and the aid economy, the warlords and sea pirates who are cashing in millions of dollars from hijacked ships and illegal trade, do not want peace. These are often referred to as spoilers. Besides, the clan politics, on which most of the peace negotiations are based, act as an impediment to peace in that they are based on future gains stemming from the control of the central government, hence the zero sum calculations of clans and sub clans. Equally, not all external actors in the Somali conflict are searching for peace. Most of these are just promoting their particular interests. This is more so for both Ethiopia and the USA, the principle external actors. The constant questions being asked are whether there is a way out of the current impasse in Somalia?; and in whose interest will it be? One can only hazard an answer to these questions after outlining the basic current realities of Somalia."