Leaders from countries around the world and humanitarian organisations will be gathering today in the British capital city, London to discuss the future of Somalia abandoned and ruined by wars for two decades.
The longed-for London conference will provide a forum for the invited head of states and influential economic and political pundits to debate and set aside strategic policies to rebuild Somalia again from its ashes and rubbles.
Although the cries and agonies of the Somali people could be said to have finally been heard, the need to fight world terrorism; tackle piracy and to provide food and shelter to the thousands of victims of drought in Somalia cannot be underestimated.
Declared a “failed State” since 1991 with no central government that has control and authority over the whole country, Somalia had disintegrated then fragmented into almost irreparable pieces along clan lineages.
Some regions like Somaliland went back to its original status and declared itself to be an independent state.
Puntland became a semi-autonomous state, and the rest of the southern region very fertile and considered the breadbasket of Somalia became the battlefield before being seized by Al Shabab said to be affiliated to Al Qaeda.
No time to delay again
Participants in today’s conference would not only look at new methods to help the UN and AU backed Somali government confined only to Mogadishu become fully operational, but equally to revise the other strategies that have repeatedly failed to yield fruits of peace.
However, the misunderstanding and killing which forced the US and the UN to finally withdraw from Somalia in March 1995, leaving Somalis only with anger and contempt should not be push under the carpets.
Almost twenty years seems a very long time, but the Somalis divided and left in the wilderness still need to be convinced that any reconstruction and reconciliation plans have the people at hearts.
The crisis or conflicts in Somalia did not just started after General Mohammed Siyad Barre was chased from Mogadishu in January 1991 but rooted in the colonisation scramble, and has remained very complicated to resolve.
Although the pitiless Siyad who started all the troubles finally went to exile in 1992, he left behind a region, southern Somalia after the breakaway of Somaliland and Puntland, wracked by famine and starvation.
Today’s meeting might not answer or provide all the solutions to the future of a New Somalia, but at least would lay the foundation for more talks and raise the current crises of hunger, poverty and unemployment.