Commentary by Nuradin Dirie on Kenya’s invasion in Somalia
20 October 2011.
There is a Somali proverb that says ‘If you are going to hell, better be fully submerged in it’. For the first time since the collapse of the Somali State, Kenya is militarily intervening in neighbouring Somalia. It is also the first experience of Kenyan military of any war save some internal security operations, United Nations peace keeping functions and numerous war simulation exercises.
For the last 48 years of its creation, Kenya turned out to be a lot smarter than its neighbours because it managed to stay peaceful in a very unstable region. It succeeded to present a smooth face in the midst of a very rough neighbourhood. It successfully saved itself from a long list of wars that engulfed the region such as wars between; Uganda-Tanzania, Ethiopia-Eretria, Ethiopia-Somalia, and Chad-Sudan. Kenya also protected itself from overspills of rich internal civil strives and crises that East Africa was cursed with in the last 4 decades. From Ugandan bush wars to the conflicts in the great lakes; the continuing war against Lord’s resistance army to the crises in the democratic republic of Congo. Let us also not forget the Ethiopian civil wars, Rwandan ethnic cleansing, multiple hostilities in Sudan and massacres in Burundi. Continue reading Kenya’s innocence hanging on a thread? – 20/10/2011
Could Turkey Succeed in Somalia Where the Rest Have Failed?
Turkish Weekly: Monday, 17 October 2011
By Nuradin Dirie
In an article this week in the American Foreign Policy magazine, the Turkish Prime Minister urged the world to follow Turkey’s example in ending the suffering of the Somali people. Indeed, Turkey is putting its money where its mouth is. After a massive suicide bombing in Mogadishu last week killing as many as 70 innocent civilians and seriously wounding more than 100, the Turkish government immediately responded by sending huge medical planes to take the wounded to be cared for in modern hospitals in Turkey. This generous move was the latest in a series of initiatives to provide assistance by the Turkish government that can potentially bring Somalia back from the brink.
In August 19 of this year for example, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had already made history by becoming the only government leader who had visited Somalia with his family since 1991, when the Somali state collapsed. The Prime Minister was joined in the streets of Mogadishu by his wife, his children, and an entourage of cabinet ministers and their families. He ushered in hundreds of millions of dollars of humanitarian assistance from Turkey and the Muslim world in what is now known as a new strategy for Islamic humanitarian diplomacy. He also brought with him Turkish teams of relief and reconstruction experts, the Turkish ambassador to Mogadishu, and serious pledges to help Somalia. Soon, hundreds of university scholarships followed as well as the buildings of schools, hospitals, water systems, roads, and garbage trucks that are clearing the streets of Mogadishu.
Innovative ways of providing humanitarian aid to Somalia
Speech by: Nuradin Dirie. The Houses of Parliament, Committee room 12.
Wednesday 7 September 2011
I am speaking to you today as someone who worked on both sides of the humanitarian / development and political divide in Somalia. As a humanitarian worker for local and international NGOs as well as the United nations, but also as a former official who represented Somali authorities receiving and coordinating aid for the people of Somalia. More importantly, I am speaking to you as a Somali who receives many early morning phone calls from Somalia asking for help and someone who as many Somalis who live in the Diaspora continuously donate significant part of their earnings every month for the last 20 years.
Working with the international community, I came to appreciate the Institutional interests and procedures humanitarian workers have to work under. I have also seen firsthand how donors are driven by internal processes and increasingly by globally decontextualised agenda. They are cautious and want to ensure their funds are not used to support terrorists or warlords to oppress the people. But these concerns, though legitimate they are, are in danger of making aid programmes not specific, less relevant and locally insensitive. Continue reading Innovative Ways of Providing Humanitarian Aid to Somalia – 07/09/2011