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Press Release: Beyond Piracy: Next Steps to Stabilize Somalia

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Press Release: Beyond Piracy: Next Steps to Stabilize Somalia

Posted by Enough Team on May 8, 2009

 

 
For Immediate Release
 
Contact
Eileen White Read, 202.741.6376
eread@enoughproject.org
STRATEGY PAPER: Beyond Piracy: Next Steps to Stabilize Somalia
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – For the first time in a long time, Americans are paying attention to what their government does in Somalia, notes a strategy paper released today by the Enough Project at the Center for American progress.
 
Following last month’s hostage drama off the coast of Somalia, President Barack Obama is under increasing political pressure to address the threat of piracy in the Gulf of Aden. Yet, while short-term measures to curb pirate attacks are certainly necessary, the Obama administration must not allow the politics of the piracy problem to distract it from putting in place a long-term strategy to help Somalis forge a state that, with measured external support, can fight piracy, promote peace and reconciliation, and combat terrorism.
 
The strategy paper analyzes the current situation in Somalia and provides recommendations for how the United States and others can help Somalis address multiple security threats. “For state-building efforts to succeed, the Obama administration must privilege long-term political solutions over short-term military responses to the threats of piracy and terrorism in Somalia and chart a new course that privileges Somali-driven political processes, prioritizes inclusive governance, and respects Somali preferences,” said Ken Menkhaus, one of the paper’s co-authors. Mr. Menkhaus, a noted Somalia expert, is a professor of political science at Davidson College, Davidson, N.C.
 
“The election of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and the establishment of a moderate Islamist government under his authority are potentially the best chance Somalia has had to pull itself out of nearly two decades of state collapse,” said the Enough Project’s Co-founder and co-author of the strategy paper, John Prendergast. "In fighting terrorism on land and piracy at sea, U.S. national security interests will be better secured if we align ourselves more with the interest of most Somalis in better security and effective governance."
 
Enough’s Policy Advisor Colin Thomas-Jensen, also a co-author, added: “The immediate challenges for the United States and other external actors are helping to ensure that the transitional Somali government pays its security forces, providing training and non-lethal equipment conditioned on their improved conduct, and establishing oversight mechanisms to ensure that funding does not support abusive forces or political score-settling.”
 
READ the strategy paper.
 
Visit the Enough Project’s blog, Enough Said, for updates on this issue.
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The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in Sudan, Chad, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, Somalia, and Zimbabwe. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises.
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