Reigning consensus is that the Somali state is about as dysfunctional as dysfunctional gets. Somali president Sharif Ahmed acknowledges this popular conception, but argues in the Guardian that Somalia is not, in fact, a "'failed' state." Rather, he says, violence in Somalia is not so much a matter of all-pervading disorder as one of extremists attacking everything that Somalia stands for. What's more, the Somali government could defeat these extremists "relatively easily" with international help.
How? Ahmed thinks the international community needs to change in two ways:
First, it must abandon the defeatist notion that Somalia's problems are insuperable, because this becomes a self-fulfilling expectation. Second, it must rid itself of the dangerous delusion that Somalia has no relevance to the rest of the world.
To summarize, he thinks the current support is inadequate, and calls on the international community to "match the resolve of the Somali people" by delivering on promised troops and increasing funding. Somalia is not a failed state, he says--but he suggests that, without international help, it might become one.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.