Last week, international dignitaries converged on London to talk about Somalia. David Cameron declared the conference a “turning point.” As the FT reports,
Mr Cameron described Somalia as a ‘complex jigsaw puzzle’ and warned there was ‘no single solution’ for restoring stability. But he said the talks were the next stage in a ‘long journey’ that provided a ‘very real opportunity’ for securing change.
Hillary Clinton said “attempts to obstruct progress will not be tolerated.” Somalia, Western leaders would have us believe, is changing.It’s a familiar pattern. The international community convenes world leaders, and everyone agrees that, yes, Somalia is in a rut. Dignitaries declare progress is coming slowly but steadily. Promises are made. A new, “permanent”, “stable” government is forming. Threats are issued to groups who might oppose the West’s favored politicians.Soon, elections. They will surely be “free” and “fair”, “democratic” and “representative.” NGO-types will swarm the country, development and democracy monitors will assist balloting. Yet another formerly war-torn African “state” will become “democratic.”A government will be formed. Critics silenced. Riots? Suppressed. IMF loans will be issued. Maybe oil will be found offshore.Thank goodness for these conferences. Ordinary Somalians must already be able to see bright changes on the horizon.