I just read a BBC piece that the Islamist terrorists in Somalia are threatening to attack Kenya if it goes ahead with plans to train about 10,000 Somali soldiers. Really? Seriously? Are we supposed to be scared by this?
Somalia has been a mess since Siad Barre was deposed in the early 90s. Thugs and war lords have made normal life impossible for millions of Somali from all walks of life. For well over a decade the country has not had a functional government. While I opposed the Somali invasion to ged rid of the Islamic Courts union government, I think that that is all water under the bridge now. And quite frankly in retrospect that might have been a good idea. There is heavy Western investment in Kenya and the last thing we needed was a government that pals around with terrorists, to borrow from that now famous Alaskan.
Training these soldiers, is a good idea. It is time Somalia had a government to impose peace and stability. Due to the rampant clanism in the country, democracy will not work. At least not in the short term. The best thing to do is have a functional government that is moderately legitimate and have it use all human-rights-respecting means to quell the violence and bring some order and civility to Somali life.
Now, these thugs might carry out their threat and kill Kenyans. And I would find it hard to justify sacrificing Kenyan lives on behalf of Somalis – or vise versa. But sometimes we have to stand up for what is right. Kenya should not feel threatened by pirates and common thugs with kalashnikovs. We are stronger and braver than that. I say let’s go ahead and train these Somalis and if these thugs attack us we shall take it to them. We can do it.