Frontline states join Amisom to protect interests in Somalia
Posted Sunday, January 22 2012 at 16:18
The decision by Kenya to join African Union Mission in Somalia is an
opportunity for the frontline states to harmonise their disparate interests
Since the collapse of the Siad Barre government in 1991, the three frontline
states, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti, have tried to offer solutions on
Somalia individually depending on their national interests without much
Now that the African Union (AU) is playing a leading role in Somalia, the
question is whether Amisom can harmonise these divergent interests and
According to Kenya's Defence Minister, Yusuf Haji, there is an ongoing
effort to harmonise these interests with a common objective of a peaceful
Somalia and a secure East African region.
"Both the African Union and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development
(Igad) are there to ensure the harmonisitation of the Somalia intervention
by various countries. The paramount interests of every frontline country
is to protect their national security and stabilise Somalia," he said.
Still, the Somalia question has been interpreted differently by the three
frontline states depending on their narrow national interests. Kenya and
Ethiopia historically have taken the same position of the fear for the
pan-Somalia nationalisms. Both countries have substantial Somali population.
Kenya and Ethiopia involvement in Somalia has been driven by the issue of
insecurity emanating from Somalia and to some extent, the lingering fear
that a strong united Somalia will revive the pan-Somalia nationalism.
In recent interview, Kenya's Foreign Minister, Moses Wetangula, said that
Kenya has been assisting Somalia write a new constitution and was taking
keen interest in the contents since the initial draft had hinted at
"The OAU Charter and the Constitutive Act of the AU recognises as
sacrosanct, boundaries that were inherited from the colonial powers at
Independence. The writing of the Somalia constitution should be within the
current democratic process in the continent," he said.
The pan-Somalia nationalism, advocates that Somalia, Djibouti, North
Eastern Province in Kenya and Ogaden in eastern Ethiopia be brought together
to create a greater Somalia. In Kenya, this led to the Shifta War from
1963-1967 when then Northern Frontier District sought to secede.
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Received on Mon Jan 23 2012 - 18:04:25 EST