Newly elected President William Ruto has his work cut out crafting a coherent political strategy to address the crises bedevilling the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa.
Ten years after Kenya’s military foray into Somalia began, what have been the significant achievements of the intervention?
Gains made could be lost unless Somalis themselves rethink the trajectory and the formula for peace in Somalia.
Somalia’s prospects for holding an election based on universal suffrage remain a distant dream because of the fundamental flaws of its political system and a political class bent on retaining power at all costs.
The Borana were at the forefront of the Oromo national liberation struggle and tens of thousands paid the ultimate prize while many others were arrested, liquidated, maimed, or displaced throughout Oromia.
Calls for economic sanctions to be imposed on Ethiopia fail to recognise that they have had not had the intended impact elsewhere in the region, only increasing the hardship of ordinary citizens.
The government’s decision to withdraw all non-local teachers has played into al-Shabaab’s hands and consigned the region’s youth to a life of poverty.
Failed government leadership, the lack of accountable partnerships between aid partners and the government, rampant corruption, and psychological dependence on aid have kept Somalis on life support.
The Somali political space is a marketplace that does not allow for free and fair elections and diminishes the credibility and legitimacy of the electoral process, hindering the emergence of democracy in Somalia.
The Federal Government of Somalia has spent the past four years waging a war on federalism, on political pluralism and on democratic norms, but not on Al-Shabaab.
The peace and safety that were the raison d’être of the Kenya Defence Forces’ incursion into Somalia are nowhere in sight a decade after the first boots marched in.
Somali refugees in Kenya should not be held hostage by political disagreements between Mogadishu and Nairobi but must continue to enjoy Kenya’s protection as provided for under international law.