Sep 15, 2006

African Troops and Corporate Bust in Somalia

The African Union approved a peacekeeping mission to Somalia to be deployed end of this month, and for the force to come from IGAD (Somalia’s neighbors).

The AU’s decision contradicts the - already pointless - agreement between the Transitional Government and UIC in Sudan which avoided discussion on anything important and agreed on all the things that didn’t really matter. While peacekeeping troops can help in southern Somalia, having these troops from the neighbors is bound to create new set of problems. Neighboring countries have their own agenda and that’s true pretty much everywhere, Afghanis for example refused any regional troops. The UIC is still opposes any foreign troops. The Somalis (just like the Afghans) don’t want troops from their neighbors. Ethiopia is a whole different category, one point most Somalis agree on is that there can be no Ethiopian troops in Somalia. It will be a disaster if Ethiopian troops set foot in Somalia, instead of bringing peace the conflict might even widen to include Ogaden.

On another note, Dalsan, a Somali wire-transfer business went bust few months ago, this a first in Somali business. It was primarily owned by two men but sold shares to hundreds of Somalis in Africa, US, Europe and Australia. Apparently, the operating funds of the business disappeared because of a dispute between the two owners. Because Somali business is mostly based on trust and involves no formal contracts, there little investors can do. I’ll update you on this later.

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