More Peacekeepers for Somalia?
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in the midst of her stop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city, is urging for other nations to contribute peacekeeping forces for the mission in Somalia. She has also come out against any resumption of hostilities between Eritrea and Ethiopia. As reported by CNN:
“We do believe the Ethiopian forces should not have to stay in Somalia past a certain point, and that will require peacekeeping forces, very robust peacekeeping force, and so that will be part of my discussions here,” Rice said.
Where exactly these peacekeepers might come from is far from clear at this juncture. Those few peacekeepers currently in Somalia have suffered attacks. Uganda has a contingent in Somalia fewer than 2,000 strong, which Adan Hashi Ayro, leader of the Shabaab, the armed wing and youth movement of the Islamic Courts Union, has pledged to destroy. Rice also urged a halt to the violence:
“A cease-fire agreement with key stakeholders, such as clan and business leaders, would be an important step in helping to facilitate delivery of humanitarian assistance, and would reduce the level of violence and create the conditions for longer term security sector reform.”
With Ayro’s assertion and the deadly track record of peacekeepers in Somalia in the past, one wonders what country would be willing to insert its forces into the midst of an Iraq-style insurgency. Despite promises to the contrary from other nations, the Ugandans are likely to be alone for the foreseeable future.