Laura Clarke is an International Relations graduate living in London. She enjoys writing, talking and, thankfully, quite likes rain too.
Human Rights – Global leaders met this week to discuss the future of Somalia, one of the world’s most unstable nations. Following the overthrow of President Mohamed Barre in 1991, Somalia has been a country in flux, dominated by the in-fighting of warlords and the violence of Islamist group al-Shabab.
The international community has given increased focus to the country in recent years, with concerns that it could serve as a training location for foreign terrorists. The plague of piracy off of Somalian shores has also resulted in calls for action, from both the West and others in Africa.
The London conference, attended by U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon among others, has seen leaders step-up their game in the fight for stability in Somalia. As well as pledges for increased aid, countries have promised to assist in the training of soldiers and promote greater cooperation in the fight against terrorist activities. Pressure to bring an end to the operations of the terrorist group al-Shabab has grown more urgent following an announcement of the groups formalised relations with al Qaeda.
Despite criticisms of the conference as a by-product of Western imperialism, the event has undoubtedly given needed attention to the critical situation facing Somalia. Coming mostly in the forms of financial aid, however, the cooperation promised by the international community will likely be ineffective. The world is notoriously reluctant to be seen intervening in Africa, leaving aid as the main political tool wielded by the West. In Somalia, aid has had little effect; the country lacks both the government and the will to use it. It is, therefore, right to be worried that this conference represents little more than a promise and a prayer.
Read more at AP.