Nuruddin Farah , a Somali author, most recently of the novel “Knots,” tackles the subject of bringing peace to Somala with insight into the most recent attempts at peace and the role Farah played. The article “My life as a diplomat” appears on Somali news site Saylac. Originally it appeared in the New York Times.
Watching from afar, people find it difficult to understand the intractability of the conflict in Somalia. The cycle of violence, almost mysteriously, remains uninterrupted. Peace breaks out. Victory is declared, as it was a couple of weeks ago when President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed’s Transitional Federal Government declared its triumph over the rival Islamic Courts Union and the clan-based militia fighting alongside it. And then the violence quickly erupts again.
In Somalia, it has been clan versus clan, Muslim Somalis versus Christian Ethiopians, for as long as anyone can remember. A recent United Nations report asserted that a dozen or so countries — Egypt, Eritrea and Iran among them — are engaged in trying to destabilize Somalia.
Why can’t Somalia arrest its downward spiral?