Skip to main content

tv   Future of Somalia  CSPAN  April 26, 2018 5:37pm-7:15pm EDT

5:37 pm
when she joined the organization there were only seven other employees she knew him better than anybody on the both the business and social side and she said there are two donald trumps, one is the one you see on tv. who makes these outrageous comments to get attention for his brand. and even if it create negative publicity he becomes the center of attention every day in conversation and the media. and there's the other donald trump, the one that insiders know, who is just the opposite. he's thoughtful. he listens. he's very careful about making decisions. >> watch after words sunday on c-span's book tv. the former u.s. ambassador to somalia was a speaker at a recent brookings institution event on the future of somalia. other spooem speakers discussed the current challenges in the region, including the presence of extremist group al shabab,
5:38 pm
division between political leaders and economic instability. this is an hour and a half. >> i'm michael hanlan, the foreign policy program and we're going to talk about somalia, with a particular eye on security conditions and political transitions. and ongoing challenges faced by that country of 11 million and the horn of africa and i've got a distinguished panel here. to inform us. and we'll go to you for the second half of the program for your questions. next to me is maps steven schwar schwartz, a retired u.s. ambassador foreign service officer who was the united states ambassador to somalia. through last fall. spanning both recent presidencies in somalia, as well as both recent presidencies in the united states. is he was also a foreign service officer and ambassador at number
5:39 pm
of other african countries. and i'm pleased to have him here and on a personal level like me he was a peace corps volunteer in africa in the early 1980s, in my case in drc. in his in cameroon. just to his left is my good friends and co-conspirator of on all things africa. who in addition to her recent book on wildlife trafficking has studied africa in many dimensions with her ongoing focus on transnational crime. insurgency and civil conflict and other related matters, one of the most distinguished and intrepid and brilliant researchers in this kind of work anywhere in the world and really a one of a kind scholar who i'm proud to be colleagues with and who has done field research again this year in somalia. that will inform many of her views. finally to her left is land landre senye. who is from cameroon and is currently a rubenstein fellow here at brookings. a two-year visiting fellowship
5:40 pm
in the global economy and development program. which is another one of the research programs at brookings, where the africa growth initiative is focused. and located and that initiative focuses on matters of development and economics and we're very happy to partner with them whenever we can in the foreign policy program. thinking about our africa security initiative. let me add a brief word of orientation and background and get to the experts who know this country much better than i. to give us updates on where things stand. as you're aware somalia remain as very troubled country. it's essentially been in one degree or another of chaos and civil war ever since the former president barre was no longer president and deposed from office in 1991 or ceased to function as president and since that time we've had of course, a great deal of challenge in this part of the world, including the tragic blackhawk down episode in 1993, early in bill clinton's presidency.
5:41 pm
that led to the withdrawal of american forces by 1994. there's been one degree or another of chaos and civil conflict since that time. but there are pockets of hopefulness as well. in some of the northern regions of somalia, there are autonomous regions, somaliland that is functioning as a mini state and there's tension them and mogadishu as to what their status is and who should be calling the shots. that's been one of the issues we've been reading about in recent years. also there is a government in mogadishu, run by the current president, mohammed, who succeeded the previous president, hassan sheikh mohammed so two president mohammeds, but they were chosen by a proper process, there was democratic transition. there's a lot of shady allegations in corruption and vote-buying and it was not a nationwide poll. it was essentially impossible to have such an election at a
5:42 pm
national level. because of security conditions. none of less, there were parliamentarians who had been chosen through various kinds of quasi-democratic processes who then selected the new president. and so there has been an element of hopefulness there as well. as you know there's a large african union deployment. a peace-keeping mission of some 20,000 soldiers, which as vonda has explained here previously at other asi events has its down sides and challenges and weaknesses, but continues to try to stabilize at least certain parts of the country. in many ways things are better and then the worst of the worst periods in the 1990s and thereafter. it's a troubled country, but a country with an amazing diaspora, somalis are everywhere it seems there are only 11 million of them in somalia. yet they are a powerful force on the face of the african continent and african politics.
5:43 pm
i find this part of the world, a tragic, yet hopeful part of the broader continent. without further ado let me turn things over to ambassador schwartz. i would like to begin with a broad question and invite to you give us background and tell us about your experience. i would like to in broad terms, hear about what you did over your tenure, how you saw the political transition in somalia and how you size things up today. >> thanks to all of you for coming. i think somalia deserves a good bit of attention in policy circles here. and we should be paying this kind of attention to the circumstances and what the u.s. could do. it was a real privilege to serve as u.s. ambassador, the first since 199 1. it signaled sort of continual in u.s. engagement with somalia consistent with i think the development of somali political
5:44 pm
authorities moving from transitional to a permanent government. the federal government of somalia. when i got there, somali government and society was a bit stuck, hassan sheikh had been in over three years, he was on his third prime minister. corruption is a huge problem. that's huge lack of social trust going back at least to the early '90s. beyond insecurity, of course is rife with government authorities controlling a minuscule portion of the country in reality. even that is only because of amazon's, the african union forces present and there was a very protracted and unprecedented sort of political electoral mechanism being put in place by the somalis, with a lot
5:45 pm
of help from the united nations. and the process that unfolded to elect the parliament was highly imperfect. but then the parliament itself acted very responsibly, they moved the location of the vote for president it was all live-streamed, no cell phones could be brought in the room and the 300 some of them voted individually, all on camera, and out of 22 candidates, they elected president mohammed. more populary known as formaggio. who many people thought was a very strong candidate. he had been prime minister, he had a reputation for getting some things done. when he was prime minister, with help from somali forces cleared shabab out of mogadishu. he was seen as a modest man. somebody who fought corruption.
5:46 pm
and he wasn't from the subclan that had been the last two presidents had been from that subclan. it signaled a dramatic shift and a very positive one for somalis. hassan sheikh was a candidate, he was the runner up. he ceded power peacefully as had his predecessor, sheikh sharif. and it doesn't happen everywhere, it's a heck of an achievement. i think that you know, that says a lot. as you pointed out, michael, the process itself was not comprehensive and universal although people from every part of the country were able to vote for parliament in some numbers. they did the best they could, i
5:47 pm
think. so not only, was he, is he i think fairly capable and attractive leader. the government in somalia, i think to this day is still seen as legitimate. by the people, more or less it's what they have. i think they think that it is their government. and it hasn't really performed for them. in any way, there's a huge lack of capacity. which can't be fixed overnight. not with foreign aid, not with anything, it's something that has to be built. they have no money. in 2016, the federal government spent i think it was $170 million. less than the salary cap for the washington nationals. you effectively have six city states. in mogadishu and the other regional capitals. it is what it is. and there's a photograph that doesn't look very good. if you do sort of look at it
5:48 pm
over time, over the last 15 years or last 30 years, there's clear progress. and the somali of today, is vastly better and more hopeful than the one of ten years ago or 20 years ago. i think that i really valued the chance to sort of lead the u.s. engagement with somalia. i think we achieved a good bit. we have the capacity to do even more. and i hope the u.s. does that. >> thank you for setting the scene so well and for your service there. and any hope that i think somalia now has is benefitted largely from what you've done and other, other americans and the african union mission and of course the somalis most of all themselves. vonda, i want to turn to you, i know you've been following somalia for a long time. you've been there many times, i admire your commitment and your bravery in doing so. i know you share some of the ambassador's views on the
5:49 pm
progress and also you're very concerned about the a number of the challenges today and potential for reversal, potential for things to go in the wrong direction. and in the best of all cases how would you see things, how would you set the scene for us, please? >> thank you, mike and thank you, ambassador, for your comments. let me perhaps focus where we are with the security situation today. some of the timelines that we are potentially quite soon coming up to and how it intermeshes with the political situation. as mike mentioned, i was there in december again. one of the reasons i went there, apart from regular updates, regular going there is a project for the united nations universities on amnesty and defectors program. this has a number of case studies, i'm writing the nigeria
5:50 pm
and somalia one. the papers will be public in may and will be later on a launch of some of the findings here at brookings. i want very much focus on those issues right now. at all that will be for the other event that i hope you'll attend. but it's what i want to focus on today. of course, depending on where one sets the baseline, one has a different assessment of where we are in the situation. compared to 2009, where shabaab was dominating -- or even compared to 2006, when ethiopian forces were waging a very brutal -- against the previously islamic -- the situation today is much better. both in terms of security and in terms of politics. however, just today, this
5:51 pm
morning, there were several attacks in mogadishu, including two bomb attacks. unfortunately, this time, they do not kill many people. very close to the international airport, with his -- which is where it's located. and where most of the government offices operate. they're very close to that area. these are not rare occurrences. some sort of military action in mogadishu takes place almost every day. often this is just assassination. when i say just got this would be of course very problematic and very disturbing. they are often alleged to be conducted by al-shabab. a lot of insecurity is conducted by other actors, often hired by economic interests as well as political actors. in order to eliminate
5:52 pm
their political rivals. al-shabab is only one of at least -- in somalia. and so somalia will not achieve peace unless it starts doing a bit -- better job. that, of course, very much intersects with the issue of state formation that the ambassador alluded to. let me just focus on shabaab. in practice, no one knows how many forces are there on unactionable day. -- on an actual day. and international partners. we have started seeing last year withdrawals of forces such as
5:53 pm
by ethiopia. and the moment the ethiopian forces withdrew, al-shabaab almost immediately took over those territories. never announces in advance. but what is happening for several months now is that when the population's see them packing their bags, they start fleeing. we are seeing new internal displacement. and this, of course, intersects with the food security crisis. fortunately, the worst of the famine was avoided. it could've been much worse. the is a national community and the somalia government deserve credit for that. al-shabab did not prevent food distribution in the same way they didn't in 10 and 2011. but somalia still has many
5:54 pm
large parts with very intense, very significant food security. when the forces lead shabaab immediately, they have started victimizing populations that have existed under -- it's existed around the areas. let me rephrase the sentence because the key problem for the somalia national armory is that they have absolutely no capacity. trading offensive operations since 2016 and much of the department remains with minimal interactions with local populations. nonetheless, even the presence has some the turns of al- shabaab. when it's eliminated, shabaab returns and brutal isis local
5:55 pm
populations. shabaab these numbers are estimated near the 3000. nonetheless, those numbers a very. we have seen it intensify, including legally and very sadly of children. but at the same time, shabaab has not experienced any inability to recruit or conduct operations. it regularly attacks the bases. the capacity, despite the fact the international community kids -- has funded it for multiple years now, it's absolutely minimal. not only does it have no offensive capacity. it has no holding capacity. it's barely capable of going on patrols. it frequently doesn't.
5:56 pm
normally, there are some 29,000 forces on the books. many of those are with the ghost soldiers. maybe there are some 12,000 soldiers that have some ammunition and some level of capacity to perform on the battlefield. in december, the united states sent its support for the generation of a lot of attention. that was, in my view, a good measure because of the level of corruption that surrounds the area. massive amounts of funding stolen. the seller has not paid for 6-8 months. they managed to reduce the level of debt. the police are
5:57 pm
pretty much in a similar situation. what it means in practice, the smalley forces as well as -- rely on militias for controlling populations. they are holding territories. now, one of somalia's key characteristics and key defining misfortunes is a level of hostility that dominate and are redefining characteristics of politics in the country. says -- since no one is paying the militias, they have their favorite top elements when they may be giving money. the militias essentially exist by predation on local communities, exploiting local communities. for money and also engaging in
5:58 pm
-- and this rivalry constantly creates entrenchment opportunities for al-shabab and reasons for why al-shabab is still around. because more than any other entity in somalia with the exceptional of previous iterations, shabaab has the capacity to be -- it inserted itself into grant rivalries. its membership is hardly predominantly. it has members from virtually every plan. -- clan. it makes some efforts to make disappointments on the basis of merit. i have asked my smalley friends
5:59 pm
for many years every time the same old question, why is it always the al-shabaab rising among politics, which so debilitate the functionality of government, which so debilitate the government and the somali parliament. i never heard a good answer. i have not been getting any answer other than, don't know. that's one of the issues that somalia needs to be dealing with , and how to overcome that issue. even over the past events, they've been unfolding in the political domain. typical tension between various key political events. it's not been between the prime minister and the president as is often been the case for
6:00 pm
years. this time, it's the speaker of the house and the president that almost resulted in small armed exchange that was averted. but yet, it's a symptom of the constant challenges and -- in how power is located. there are now states. one has been the formation of constitution, the constitution is not complete. many laws have been stuck in the parliament four months or years at this point. nonetheless, some drafting has taken place. some parts have been approved. the formal creation of hospitals. there are six states, but only two have been formalized. four are still not delete formalized. many disagreement exists as to how economic and armed resources will be divided.
6:01 pm
along the clan divisions are very much overlapping and intersection -- intersecting. key elites from the federal or state level are suggesting that mogadishu should not be the capitol. very many difficult issues pervade. the situation. what i think is, however, important over the past eight, nine months is that the old divisions between federal and sub federal level overpower delegations, who controls mogadishu? now intersects with the middle east division, middle east -- between qatar, saudi arabia, and its allies. they very much played out in the context of somalia.
6:02 pm
to the external -- which is never been benevolent for somalia. and somalia has -- to its neighbors. it's compounded by the middle eastern congregation as well. my final point is that we need to appreciate that al-shabab remains deeply entrenched because of the decisions of government and with that government in somalia. one is the persistent discrimination against minorities, exclusionary politics, politics that are deeply corrupt. often the purpose of achieving political power is to legally or externally -- extra legally gain resources for -- and al- shabab not only manages to rise
6:03 pm
above clan libraries but also delivers justice that is not corrupt, that might be harsh but nonetheless is predictable. and so there are repeated stories including those of police officials who work in mogadishu going to al-shabab -controlled areas, some of which are very close to mogadishu, the difference by these are less than some cases. shabaab deeply operates in mogadishu. including in mogadishu. they go to mogadishu courts for this resolution. these are police officials. no one trusts the additional courts that are dominated by purges up -- pretty killer plans and art corrupt. this despite the fact that al- shabab has brutalized women for
6:04 pm
adultery, many issues of liberties such as dress code. but in terms of property disputes because of the rulings. women don't have a representation. they cannot address clan elders. milk and inherent property. and delivering security such as for travel on roads. if you go from mogadishu to the border of kenya, you'll pay $1500. you issue a receipt that you have paid. women are not raped. carnot -- cargo is not stolen.
6:05 pm
you will pay up to $5000 for -- you'll pay multiple times. the risks of robbery and rape are prevalent. that means that crucial businesses, economic businesses that operate in mogadishu that are behind some of the very buildings that have gone up in the city are often using shabaab, often paying shabaab for the provisional securities. so understanding this economy as well as how it intersects with the war economy is very crucial for understanding conflict done and -- dynamic. and misty, governance issues are addressed in much better ways. we will see some versions, some iteration of al-shabab just as we have seen before and i see you. the crucial problem for the federal government is that it
6:06 pm
doesn't control -- that it doesn't have much capacity to collect taxes and it's a problem. when i spoke with businessmen in somalia about paying taxes, they would say, well, why should we pay taxes to mogadishu to the fellow government that doesn't provide to us protection, that doesn't provide education for the labor force, that doesn't provide -- infrastructure, and how could we do any of these things if we cannot collect taxes? but i want to add on a very discouraging note. i think it's a significant one. one of -- i mentioned i've been there multiple times. there's always some new ones. and one of them is something that distresses me. we were talking about where we are in the trajectory, the right expectations that people have
6:07 pm
to have. a very brave smalley and women who fought for women's rights. against shabaab. said, maybe at the end of the day, hmmm shabaab's president -- present is good. we will see the country once again this grin -- disintegrate into civil war. i found it to be a depressing comment. i said surely that's not the case. surely the horrors were so significant that it has to be avoided. everyone has to understand that. she said, no, i don't that the elite understand it. it's a fundamental problem. >> thank you. despite the
6:08 pm
discouraging conclusion. but still, very good history and explanation of where we are today. i want to ask you for your thoughts. let me give a couple more words about our distinguished colleague who's been there for a few months. he was educated in cameroon, france, and canada he's a prison president at the university of alaska. i'm not sure if you made much of an improvement in the weather. is also got -- he's also got compliments of the alaska base. he stuttered -- studied issues of the political economy. broader, regional, dynamics. i wanted to invite you to offer whatever comments you'd like to and of course, before i do, let me just say that one of the interesting dimensions, we've
6:09 pm
been referring to the african union military operation, which is, as rhonda said, not without its problems. but it's also been there for quite a while with 20,000 some troops from a half-dozen countries, including kenya, which is suffered a terrorist attack or two or three out of somalia. and yet, it's stuck with the mission. other neighboring states have stuck with the mission. and so it's a fascinating example of africans doing something to type -- try to help one of their travel -- fellow nations. maybe that is one aspect you want to comment on. let me just give the floor to you, my friend. >> thank you very much. hello, everyone. hello, everyone. so i would like to speak about somalia for second. compared to older african countries internationally from the political and economic
6:10 pm
perspective. so our stat with the nature of the political regime. according to freedom house, somalia ranks -- has seven out of seven in terms of civil liberties and political rights. which means the worst score that a given country can have. it translates the level of radical participation, political competition, constant station -- contestation. we are still very for our -- far from improvement and the score has not changed since 1999. so if we are also speaking about the liberties, for example , somalia has been from 2006
6:11 pm
-2012 the most fragile state in the world. and in 2012, south sudan became the weakest state. so the ability to highlight this point of the needed ability of the state to provide basic public services and goods to -- including security, health, education, and territorial integration. so also speaking about terrorists and the -- the country ranks seventh in terms of terrorism. not far from countries like iraq, afghanistan , syria. we still have critical
6:12 pm
challenges which need to be addressed. and of course, i think most of you would also consider the most corrupt country in the world has been the most -- so that challenges definitely at a very high level. one of the worst in a row. the law is there to serve a few instead of ensuring that things are working well for all the citizens. so i can is -- expand more on corruption. i think i will turn on economic perspective. perhaps we can see some signs
6:13 pm
of hope. for example, according to the world bank report, in 2017, the country's projected to have a nominal annual growth between five and 7% in the short or in the medium-term. with this, it has to be adjusted to inflation. it is still encouraging in the fact that the level of effectiveness is very slow. however, 70% of the population is under the age of 30. and 67% of the population is unemployed. those are easy targets for terrorist groups.
6:14 pm
you can provide some revenue to those people in order to cover for what the state cannot be doing. so the estimation is at 435 u.s. dollars, which is in the top five or six worst. globally. this is important to mention. and 50% of the population lives below the poverty line. so we are really coming up, although we have seen some improvement. the demonstration is still quite dramatic, challenging. let me put it that way. and overreliance of external
6:15 pm
funding and limited added value for the economy. the injury stroll bills -- industrial -- of course we have a dynamic -- the somali community is very dynamic. we are looking at the economic, -- however, things are quite challenging. so of course, many of the factors which affect the economy and security, capacity, we also spoke on the ability to collect taxes. so i would not be enthusiastic,
6:16 pm
although we are seeing signs of progress. so i hope my colleagues will have been extensively in the country much more than i have done, discussing some of the solutions to those challenges. so how will you -- when only focusing on somalia, we can see some progress. we can see that it still at the bottom. so how do we move from there? >> very good. thank you. a couple things. i would like to follow up with a couple of additional questions. i'm going to do a little bit of a different approach than i've often done. i want the first round of questions to be from somalis or somalian americans.
6:17 pm
be prepared with your question. maybe small thoughts or contributions in addition to questions. we will try to keep them brief in the first round before we come back to the panel. before i do that, i want to just make sure that for those in the room who are generalists or those watching television who don't know somali in detail, a few more basic facts and figures in the details. a lot of them have already been presented by these excellent remarks. investor shorts, if i can play a writing -- lightning round. the foundation consists primarily of six different countries. is that correct? five at this point. it's ethiopia, kenya, uganda -- >> grunty and djibouti. >> it used to have zambia also. >> gary lyons -- sarah lyons. >> 10 years? >> 10 years. >> is it authorized by the u.n.? >> it is a hybrid. it's authorized by the african union. but with logistical support provided by the united nations.
6:18 pm
there's no other model like it. >> shifting to somali politics and the six states that we've been hearing about, is one of those tamale and -- somaliland? or is it separate and distinct? >> there's five federal member states that i know. there's mogadishu and then there's somaliland as well. you could count seven if you wanted. >> well, mogadishu sees somaliland as one of the member states. somaliland six independence -- seeks independence. has not been successful. the panel with the speaker of the house and president and prime minister was triggered by actions of somaliland to lend support to uae with politicians in mogadishu rejecting the notion that somaliland or the
6:19 pm
real estate entity can make that move without approval of federal officials. and in fact, of the speaker went further and thought to pass a law that any foreign investment in any part of somalia would have to be authorized by the sub federal level without consulting the prime minister and president about that role. -- move. >> in the meantime, is it a separate entity altogether? >> they completely disregard mogadishu. although there are many citizens or people from somaliland who personally were from somaliland or who are members of parliament. there is a somaliland portion in the parliament. although nobody -- the somaliland government would never represent -- acknowledge
6:20 pm
the representation.. two other russians. and i think i'll cut myself off and go to you with my further thoughts subsequently. you both talked about plans. -- client. i think it's worth underscoring that there's one ethnic group, one main somali, you know, not just tribe for clan but broader community, which speaks smalley, which has quite a quiet -- quite a bit of homogeneity a -- and is there a way to understand the structure, or is it just so taxable and shifting that we can't really put our finger on that kind of a hierarchy or a daughter taxonomy? -- broader text omni -- taxonomy? >> a lot of it is the political definition of what it means.
6:21 pm
and there are some so does political scientist that would define it as ethnicity. the more relevant issue is the fact that identification with a clan and there are hundreds of clans and sub clans and sub sub clans in somalia. it's the -- for many people in somalia, it's the visible social -- social organization. also in the way that it's a very exclusionary. but generating a significant modularization and little ability to experience political and economic frame -- freedom. particularly a woman, the woman and her children don't have ability to obtain protection and obtain any -- so
6:22 pm
disregarding clan and elders breaking the clan, is enormously costly. even in major urban spaces, even in the capitals. that's the case. >> so -- go ahead. >> what i want to finish, though, by saying is that you have a set of clans that are considered dominant clans or dominant superclass under which there is a lot of politicking, a lot of subdivision. and often more dominant clans that might be quite reluctant in terms of standing against them and ask of political party and to resources. some of the clan identification gets very very complex. i often do not seek to engage with my -- on -- about the clan background but when it comes up in the conversation, sometimes people themselves are not sure
6:23 pm
how many of the there's of clans -- about them actually belong to the splitting with the differentiation. >> in the civil war scenario, that specter of complete breakdown, would it be largely fighting among the superclass or would it be more chaotic with dozens and hundreds of separate combatants, sort of more anarchy? >> it would be both. i mentioned that there are at least 60 armed actors in somalia. many of which are constituted along clans. between dominant clans. and al-shabab. we don't have the late 1990s, early 2000 like scenario. but nonetheless, they emphasize or deemphasize their identities.
6:24 pm
sometimes it can be multiple clan membership. depending on the basis -- the political convenience. so clan lines will play a significant line in that. it's still a very fractured like scenario. i hope that my interactive was wrong. that they've learned from the past horrors to have more responsibility. >> one last question from me. i think one more thing we need to get clear on the table before going to the audience discussion is the relationship between al-shabab and the broader al qaeda and isis movements around the world, or violent extremism. and we often hear discussion of linkages. we also know that al- shabaab really is largely a
6:25 pm
local actor that operates and succeeds often with its ability to understand clan politics and tamale society. how do you assess the al-shabab connection to the broader jihadist movement, whether it's called isis, al qaeda, or something else? >> thank you. al-shabab has maintained publicly in affiliation with al qaeda. there have been internal movements to try to affiliate with isis and they've been rejected and put down brutally in a sort of many -- mini purge against al-shabab within the last two or so year. there is a small isis element in somalia of improvement in the mountains. i don't know how successful it's been in growing out of the mountains. >> it hasn't expect it hasn't?
6:26 pm
>> or in expanding beyond essentially a sub sub sub clan. but it's there. and it can be attractive, the idea can be attractive to some of the shabbat members who might be effective for clan or pay or whatever it is. but shabaab itself is seen as a part of al qaeda even though i don't be -- believe the relationship is very intimate. >> i would like to go to you. let's take three or four jik russians, comments from somalis or somali americans. we definitely want to get your voices in. let's start here in the front row. and an icy actually three more. we will take all of you and then these three together before we come back to this panel. and then we will have another round. >> my name is abdullah. i was -- i would call myself an american somalia. so my
6:27 pm
question is actually very technical. somewhat poignant. it's to the ambassador. it seems you guys are talking much more about mogadishu and south-central. but 18 years ago, when -- there was something called peace dividend. a concept, a framework where they should be rewarded for the piece that they maintain. and clan is not necessarily a negative thing because those two entities -- don't mean to lecture you -- to bring people together and defeat terrorism and islamic. i would like to speak about that, please. >> great. and then there were three here on the right. and then after be, the gentleman right behind him and then the back row.
6:28 pm
>> my name is abdullah. i am founder and director of a group in washington, dc. i have three questions. >> how about one or two questions >> okay. my comment is, i think they need to -- peace. they need peaceful people. if you're prepared for whatever, you need peace. it is -- whenever an antelope, really small animal, sees me, it runs.
6:29 pm
said by one man who never hunts what i mean is that the so- called international position never ever learns from their mistake in somalia. my question is, why somalia? it has terrorism problems. today we are talking. somaliland is a success state with stability and good government based on elections and democratization. somaliland's success story is an example for africa. thank you. >> while you got that microphone, let me ask you a question. let's see how many people live in somaliland.
6:30 pm
>> 3.8 million to 4 million. >> almost half the population of the whole country. the gentleman behind you, please pick >> my name is hossein and and -- i am a retiree from the u.n.. my questions in quick succession . the event was called seeking solutions for somalia. would you suggest some solutions for the problems other than what you have described? the other question is about corruption. from the cameroon nation, that somalia ranks high in the list of countries of the world. i recently have seen a wikileaks report mentioning that one formal minister, 40 million.
6:31 pm
it's very crucial. about al-shabab, you ask a lot of somalis a question and they never answered you. but when you're speaking about al-shabab, he said that they have good justice. they improve security. and also, they collect taxes. doesn't this answer your question? >> thank you. >> and the last question -- >> three is enough three is enough. i got to put my foot down somewhere. thank you. that's a really good question. >> good morning. until last december, i was the national security director of somalia. i served in mogadishu i'm one of -- who served in the u.s. government previously until 2011, working with the nfc and
6:32 pm
also went back to somalia, working in somalia. i can give you a little bit about somalia. somalia has made a lot of progress. i'm going to be short. we made a lot of progress. there's a lot of investments. there's a lot of optimism. there's a lot of hope. there are problems in mogadishu. there are problems with terrorism. when i hear that al-shabaab is providing services, we never accepted them. we went to war with them. it when you talk about somalia, somaliland is the federal member state of somalia. let's be clear about this. this is a policy of the u.n.. this is the policy of the african union. there's no ambiguity about it. somalia is a state, from 1960 to 1961.
6:33 pm
there are states, federal member states that grow in economy. banks, financial institutions, schools operating. a lot of positive things in somalia. i hear a lot of sky is falling. i live in issue. yes, we survived terrorism. we survived ied attacks. but still, we are fighting. somalia's -- somalis are fighters. the u.s. embassy in somalia is at mogadishu airport. we transact in the sky. that tells you a lot about the footprint of the u.s. government. that tells you a lot about the footprint in the international community. a lot of it is fear. they do want to come out of the airport. that's the truth. somalia has an army that has been built over the last 20 years or whatever, 10+ years. a
6:34 pm
lot of it by the u.s. government. somalia has done operational ready assessment. police policy, somali has built three institutions. there are a lot of positive things happening. one thing i heard a -- about the president and the speaker of the parliament, that's part of the political discourse that occurs in somalia. effective leadership is quite -- required. that doesn't mean the state is filling. one less i want to say is about the so-called militias. name one that exists today in somalia. what we are talking about is regional approved delicious that are part of the reach, which is the local state security that is doing the work in combating shabbat in those areas. these are not militias. these are organizations that have been paid for by the local
6:35 pm
state. what i'm saying is somalia is making progress. somalia is improving. what used to happen is you cannot go back. you have to move forward. the only way to move forward is to combat terrorism. no other organization. legal problems. the city of politics. everybody is fighting the same thing is happening in somalia, but at a lower level. so thank you. >> what i would like to do is begin with landry on corruption and see if he wants to make any estimates about the size of that. of course, we have this ongoing debate about somaliland and the role in the future of somalia as -- and then also the broader question of even beyond the -- the gemma asked about what solutions we need about improvements in policy. i will make one observation before going to entry. which is in regards to the
6:36 pm
eloquent station -- comment we heard from the german in the back. i interviewed him during the african leader summit. we are delighted to be able to hear the conversation. we admired the transition process, even though it wasn't always smooth and easy along the way. i will point out that even in our country, 160 some years ago, or almost 160 years ago, we had a civil war because we didn't necessarily figure out how to agree about where different regions should have their autonomy and where they might not. so i think it's more complicated than just saying, it's all about al-shabab. as we've already heard some pretty passionate statements about somaliland's future role in this country. if there's not history on that, we better be nervous about the potential for fighting on that issue as well as other clan issues on the table.
6:37 pm
i've heard enough to be both encouraged and scared. i will ask the panelists to priest on -- respond, starting with landry. >> i have some estimates, over 300 million for al-shabab of innocent -- illicit trade of -- so that is one of the recent estimates. so i would like to discuss the solutions. one of my -- i think a question was asked about it. the solution can only be at the nexus of security, state capacity, domestic resource mobilization, and accountability. so when we speak about security, that is the primary function of
6:38 pm
a modern state. individuals except to restrict their freedom in order to receive protection from the state. so the social contract is to ensure safety of -- in terms of the capacity, we spoke about how weak the somalia state is. for tax collection and for order -- other actors, the government reforms are needed to ensure that effectiveness of the demonstration. and we can only be -- we have seen some countries which have made impressive progress.
6:39 pm
but most of the countries would rather be -- so it's important to take that into consideration. a third one is economic freedom. i think economic freedom is critical. what it does is make us able to invest in somalia and to be certain that there will not be danger or subject to terrorist actors. i want to speak perhaps about domestic organization. you cannot -- if you're not able to collect taxes. one important factor it's also the accountability that it creates. because once they pay taxes, it
6:40 pm
creates accountability for the decision-maker. -- this is makers. -- decision-makers. for me, the key to successful -- accountability means -- whether the country's those countries are democratic or not. the personal accountability delivers. they have to deliver. and the peer accountability. one of the fears of other leaders, to ensure that they are well served. then you have the elections and having elections, a fair level
6:41 pm
of political participation is critical. we have the checks and balances of how the parliament is ensuring the overseeing -- the executive, for example. finally, related to the question of your colleagues who are speaking about the peaceful people, we need also accountability, which is the vibrant, diverse society. without it, it is also difficult to have an effective state or deliver basic public services. >> thank you. rhonda, over to you. >> thank you. >> whichever russians you wish to take on. >> sure.
6:42 pm
the issue of how our national boundary are drawn is really not unique to somaliland. by the way, it has maintained for a number of years, especially during the al-shabab years -- that's not a part of the conversation. somaliland has sought independence. we see the same debates about catalonia. there's even a movement for greater autonomy around milan. there's unification and enlarging of territories and establishing safe political entities such as the european union. it might now be a
6:43 pm
different era. there's not been any international formation of somaliland, turkey, for a while. we tried to broker that and negotiate that. promised a lot to somaliland. promised a lot to mogadishu and did not achieve any resolution. i would just went out that although there has been much violence in both states, certainly in somaliland, neither state is free from clan problems and governance problems . elections have been delayed, presumably presidential elections will take place this year, but it's been delayed. somaliland also delayed its elections. and there are also sub plans. the isis component that you mentioned about his both a function of the tension within
6:44 pm
al-shabab and the leader who succeeded because of the tensions with al-shabab leadership. but it's also a functional tension. and they been distracted from dealing from isis, which is small but very clan oriented . refusing to accept the state information in that space. so hardly off the clan identities, clan conflict in either state. smalley -- somalia broadly has the capability to dissipate very effectively in international conversations and sign international declarations. the architecture was agreed in
6:45 pm
august of last year. often, there is very little capacity to translate those documents into any meaningful input it -- implementation on the ground. just speaking about the new security architecture, as of january, it has not even been submitted to the somali government for approval. other fundamental laws on counterterrorism, anticorruption, justice laws, have been in the parliament for a very long time. what is unique to somalia is the state of the government dysfunction and the estate of fighting that needs to be overcome. i do not ask my interlocutors, why is it that so bob -- bob is entrenched -- shabaab is
6:46 pm
entrenched? justice that's predictable, that is not corrupt, that is not corrupt particularly in comparison with the so-called justice delivered by the justice system. its rule is brutal. often they find protectable brutality easier to adjust to. that the very same reason why the taliban remains deeply, deeply entrenched despite much more massive international efforts to combat it and why it's such a potent entity. the question that i asked my interlocutors is why only al- shabab seems to only be able to do this, why only al-shabab seems to be able to overcome, at least to some extent, the clan divisions and other miss governance. the answer that i'm not hearing.
6:47 pm
that answer lies in the solution that people are asking for. the solutions need to be fundamental -- it's up to somali to answer, how will you ever come the case of exclusion and marginalizations? how will you overcome decades of clan divisions? and how are you going to overcome the basic info -- immunity in with those can massively violate justice? there are several processes underway. one of the processes is to significantly restrict impeachment capacity so that impeachment is not a constant gain for financial and political and resource payoff. much less -- so that there is actual for tonality of the executive and the legislation.
6:48 pm
yes, there are the capacities. really, there is no meaningful presence of life ministries. perhaps some residents in state capitals. the other motion that's the other mission efforts to overcome some of these dysfunctions and to move to some rater clan six is a new electoral rules that would demand the public -- political parties need to have representation in all regions, which at this point i would define as substate level. and they have to get signatures from people from different clan groups . we have political parties formation. it does not take place long clan lines only. we have let -- get to see how
6:49 pm
this gets adopted in a meaningful way. and to this dispute between the minister and the speaker, well, there is something different even about the dysfunction in politics in washington right now with both men showing up with armed forces that almost escalated into armed conflicts to the point that the african military members felt that they need to step in to prevent potential bloodshed inside the parliament building. with all the problems in washington, we have not seen that. and i very much hope we won't ever see that in this country. >> we saw it in the early 1800s a little bit. [ laughter ] >> let's not rewind back a century. >> exactly. >> boy, there's a lot to
6:50 pm
comment on. well, several people mentioned smalley land. yes, we only recognize the federal government in mogadishu. we in mogadishu. i met with government political civil society leaders. and we have a separate dialogue. we do have usaid programs up there. we contributed to the electoral process. so we're engaged. i think very usefully up there, and have a lot of respect for what the somali land people and authorities have achieved over the last 25 years. they're very much self-governing and they restored their democracy i think by holding these elections recently. but we still do treat it as part of the country at least from a legal or diplomatic standpoint.
6:51 pm
let me sketch out a few things that i think need to happen. and these are really low cost things there is only one of them that really costs any money at all. i think that the united states government should provide budget support to the federal government. its critical problem is that its bankrupt. they can't meet their salary payments every month, let alone provide public services. let alone do revenue sharing with the federal member states, three of which are completely bankrupt and two of which have a modest amount of money that they get from the pofrrts. $8 million a month would be plenty. less than $100 million a year. we just spent $300 million a year on humanitarian assistance. we're probably spending something similar on security assistance, our military costs. we spent $300 million a year in zambia just on pepfar, hiv/aids. $100 million, it's not a lot of money.
6:52 pm
and it would breathe a whole new life into what government could do. now that would need to be coupled with a robust public financial management system. but it could really jump-start things all across the board. this is really a governance problem. there is just an absence of governance into which these sort of nefarious entities shabab have filled space. and the government needs to the that shabab does provide this degree of predictable services that vanda described. they need to do at least that. and beyond that, they need to be providing education. they need to be providing some health care, infrastructure. and most of all, security and justice. it's just not happening. and it needs to happen. and there is a lot that needs to
6:53 pm
go into that, but you can't do it without any money. it's wishful thinking and not going to happen. reconciliation. it's a broken country in so many ways. i mean, there is political things there is somali land. there needs to be a dialogue there have been movements to have a dialogue which have been set now by this dispute over berbera. but the somalis need to resolve the status. vanda pointed out the gulf crisis has really been a body blow to somalia's progress. they were on the verge of getting a $50 million assistance package from the saudis. that was all put on hold. all sorts of assistance that could have come from a lot of the arab countries or turkey has been put on hold. they get some. but not what they could. and it's really debilitating.
6:54 pm
and there are a lot of pressure, particularly from uae. and it's tough. it's tough. the constitution. we've talked about a number of things, elections and the like. but they need to resolve. they need to finish the constitution process. they need to decide who is a somali. who can vote in a somali election. what are the authorities of the federal member states of the municipalities, of the federal government, of the parliament and the executive. and these are all unresolved, and creates a lot of drag on progress. and then i think in general, accountability, as landry said. when you have these tolls on roads all over the country run by soldiers who are completely unaccountable, it reflects badly on government.
6:55 pm
citizens would rather there be no somali national army if their only purpose is to punitively and selfishly tax vehicles and the population with no benefit at all to those people. so there is a lot that can be done, and really gets into sort of accountability, governance, and they need that revenue injection. >> thank you. we have time for a lightning round. and we've had really most of the big questions and big issues already addressed, the nature of the state, what solution we should have. so what i'm going to try to do now is take about six questions, and then ask each panelist to address no more than two of them in concluding. and we're going to do all that in ten minutes. so i'm going to start, let's see, how do i even begin there are about ten hands in the room. i think we'll begin with the woman in the fourth row, the woman in the sixth row, and then doug. and then i'll switch over to this side of the room in just a moment.
6:56 pm
>> thank you. my name is deirdra le pen. i'm on a number of activities in my professional life. i spent three and a half years in somalia before we were evacuated in 1990, working for the united nations. during that time, i became very embedded in the country. and the one thing that struck me the most given the fragility of the regime and its ability not to provide basic services to the country was the strength of the clans. and we historically talk of six chance -- clans in the country that coincide with the six states that are being proposed for the country, to some extent. i'm wondering if we couldn't think of the clans not as a source of weakness and conflict, but as the basis for the economic, social, and political capital, which the country needs to build upon? and what is needed is some kind of strength in the trust for a
6:57 pm
centralized state among those clans. if that can be achieved, i think somalia could work for the first time in its 4,000 year history as a country. >> thank you. >> woman in the red shirt, please. >> hi. i'm nicole slezak, africa security monitor. >> just one question per person, please. sorry. >> there has been a lot of reports in the media about defections from al shabaab. i'm just curious if that's the media talking these up, really if that's having an impact on al shabaab, and whether that's getting good intel to the sna? >> okay, doug? >> doug brooks, international stability operations association. great talk today. just a quick question on the status of the police on the training under who is doing the
6:58 pm
training on their legitimacy. and is there any movement in terms of creating a coast guard which would be a huge revenue earner for somalia? >> i'm going to take three from this side of the room. i'll begin with the gentleman here in the tan jacket, please, and then the woman three rows beyond. >> my name is -- i'm from sudan, but i spent ten years as a journalist in the region. including somalia, mogadishu and others. why instead of searching fresh solutions for somalia, listing down more than 20 failed solution and why they failed was it external factors or internal factors? i attended more than three conferences. it was brilliant opportunity for good solution, but it has been aborted regionally and internationally. >> thank you. thank you. and here in the sixth row or so. and then we'll finish up here with this gentleman. this will be the last question
6:59 pm
right over here. >> thank you. and thank you for this panel. my name is daphne i'm with amnesty international u.s. one thing that we haven't -- you haven't addressed is -- or talked about very much is u.s. policy toward somalians, particularly u.s. military policy. and one thing we do know is the u.s. has really stepped up the number of drone strikes and air strikes in somalia. it's not discussing what its purpose is. it says it kills militants or terrorists. it doesn't say what group they're with, what the goal is, apparently it says no civilians are killed. but there is really no information provided. and i wonder if you can comment on the effectiveness of this u.s. military policy towards somalia and how it's contributing or not contributing to what you think the country needs. >> great. and then finally here? and we'll go back to the panel, starting with you. here in the second row. sorry. >> yeah, hi my company's first
7:00 pm
hectares capital. i'm involved in infrastructure investment in africa, ghana, several other countries. about two years ago, i was invited to go to southwest state in somalia. i went to bedoa, spent some time there, spent i'm in mogadishu. my question really relates to the relationship between agriculture, economics, and security. what i've been really concentrating on is less the politics and more how do you create a coherent economic plan that then sets priorities for then security and the allocation of security resources and the deployment and focus of troops. as an agricultural investor, i'm obviously very focused on the river, the shabel river. i'm looking at the way that somalia used to be the top banana exporter from east africa for many, many years there is tremendous economic opportunity, especially in the most unstable
7:01 pm
areas. so i'm interested in the panel's views of the relationship between economic planning, coordination. just an observation as an investor, obviously i'm looking to work in public/private partnership. and my observation is there is 20 subagencies of the u.n. present in somalia. there is about 30 countries with sort of bilateral presence either in nairobi or somalia. there is about eight or nine developmental banks. so and then to ambassador schwartz's point about capacity, it's very difficult i think from a somali leadership perspective even to navigate all the u.n. agencies and all of the bilateral agencies to be able to develop a cohesive coordinated economic plan. so to me the economic planning and the security are two sides of the exact same coin. and as a private investor, i'm very curious and interested to see advancement on the economic
7:02 pm
side and the economic planning. thank you. >> thank you. so i'm going to give about two minutes to each panelist, starting with the ambassador, if i could, and then we'll wrap up, please. >> go in reverse order. >> just a couple of them per person. >> on the agriculture. it's much needed. i think there is a lot of -- and it was very, very productive, particularly in the river area. but there is a lot of big problems i think getting in now. security obviously. and this has changed and become more complicated over the last 25 years as land ownership -- a lot of subclans and others have moved in and taken land, stolen land shabab has displaced people. unfortunately it's the bantu population who has suffered the most in all of this. but getting it land ownership would be important. and then there are water issues that weren't as pronounced before. and the shabeli has dried up
7:03 pm
three times in the past few years. yeah, if you can make it work, great. but it's tough. on the u.s. military, i'm not privy to the last few months. i mean the purpose of the drone strikes is to support somali national forces to support amasom against shabab. and i believe the overwhelming majority have been against shabab, if not all of them. you know, that said, and i think that they can be effective in weakening shabab leadership and putting them on the back foot and removing particularly important leaders. but at the same time, as we've seen elsewhere in the world, it's not an end in itself. if that's all you're going to do, you're wasting your time. it needs to be coupled with a
7:04 pm
development program to build capacity, state capacity, to provide services. what you're fighting for is really the allegiance of the population. and who can do more for them. and the somali authorities are going to need to do that. we're just trying to help them. >> right. >> police, coast guard, we're doing some training for the police. but the europeans are doing a lot as well. on the coast guard, there is plan. i think it was in this new security architecture. it's there is also talk of a navy. personally, i don't think they need a navy. but they absolutely need a coast guard. they have a 2,000 mile coastline. they've got a lot of fish. they've got oil. they've got a lot of things. and they have absolutely no ability to patrol anything and put down piracy when that occurs. >> fantastic. thank you very much. vanda? a couple of the questions for you. >> i want to add one comment on the issue of agriculture. agriculture obviously is immediately source of employment for the vast predominant number of the population.
7:05 pm
but right now most people are employed or at least participate in armed conflict in one way or another, whether they are formally paid or not. that clearly needs to change if somalia is to move towards peace. so agriculture will be very important. however, i don't believe that kit be treated as a political technical exercise. agriculture permeates the difficult political divisions and contest stations crucially. and much of the fight, much of the clan discrimination, much of the displacement of clans has been over who controls the rivers. so the politics of accountability and inclusion deeply overlay and underpin any successful agricultural effort in my view. on the issues of strikes, the u.s. military needs to be given a lot of credit for being very cautious with airstrikes up until the summer when there were vast movements of people, huge internal displacement as a
7:06 pm
result of the food and security and famine. and africom was very cautious in not rushing into the expanded authorization from president trump to bomb. nonetheless, since the summer we have seen significant intensification of bombing that are widespre -- about the syria casualties this has caused. these allegations have been linked to subsequent terrorist attacks. the reality is that most of those area of the bombing takes place are completely unaccessible for any independent observer for foreign journalist, often for somali journalist. so they are enormously opaque. but i want to very much underscore to ambassador schwartz's point. what is the point of air strikes if there is no holding capacity on the ground. if it simply leads to a perhaps al shabaab being dispersed but the dominant clan moving in, oppressing minor clans, stealing
7:07 pm
land, taking properties, causing displacement, that's a prescription for drawing shall be -- shabab back later on. and on your issues about clans being the basic of organization, the strength of social capital. you know, i think that the question has become much more complicated than that. the clans right now are often a source of conflict by the repression of dominant clans toward minority clans. the clans are drivers of conflict in very fundamental ways very often. so the issue of clans once again needs to be overlaid by accountability. how are minority clans in power included. how are the rights protected, and how are dominant clans held accountable. also, the issue of women and clans. women do not have formal clan
7:08 pm
representation. often they are often very oppressed, very disempowered by clans. and that needs to be combatted. after all in my view, it is not the clans that are the biggest source of social capital in somalia, it is somali women whose resilience under in the most impossible of situations and under just most excruciating choices is often really absolutely remarkable. and on the issue of defection, i mentioned in my remarks that one of the reasons i was in somalia was for the u.n. university project about amnesty defections. that's what the paper is all about. i will not get into too many details. the paper will be public in may. we will be holding an event to discuss that paper and other case studies here. the defections program in my view is very crucial for what are called low-risk defectors. it's crucial to enable people who want to disengage from the battlefield to come out from the
7:09 pm
battlefield. vast improvements need to take place. i am very skeptical about the so-called high level defections without impunity. and other details in the paper publicly in may. >> excellent. it's always a good way to wrap up with an advertisement for another event which should be really good. landry, the final word. >> i will finish with the questions on clans. i think the democracy is possible which acknowledge differences. but for that to happen, the most powerful clans should also be able to respect the rights of the minorities. so solutions are possible. but, again, we come back to accountability, rule of law, civil rights, civil liberties and political rights. so on that note, not to finish
7:10 pm
negatively, i would say that i remain hopeful vanda, we are very much looking forward to your findings, which i'm certain will provide inciteful policy options. thank you. >> thank you all for being here. please join me in thanking the panel.
7:11 pm
tonight testimony from epa administrator scott pruitt on president trump's budget request for the epa. he spoke earlier today before a house energy and commerce subcommittee. we'll show that in its entirety at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. also tonight, the senate judiciary committee debates legislation that aims to provide protections for special counsels while setting requirements and limitations on their removal from office. that airs tonight at 9:00 eastern on c-span. friday morning we're in salt lake city, utah for the next stop on the 50 capitals tour. utah governor gary herbert will be our guest on the bus during "washington journal" starting at 9:45 a.m. eastern. and saturday, remarks from president trump at a campaign rally in macomb county, michigan. the event will take place around the same time as this year's white house correspondence
7:12 pm
dinner, which the president declined to attend for the second consecutive year. you can watch president trump's comments live saturday at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. after that, we'll have live coverage of this year's white house dinner from washington, d.c. the entertainment will be michelle wolf, a sandup comedian and correspondent with the daily show with trevor noah. you can watch saturday's correspondents' dinner 9:30 live on c-span. sunday on q&a. >> the news starts to spread through more papers around the country, and it seems to be swaying voters there is even a famous editorial cartoon that comes without a baby screaming, ma, ma, where is my pa? >> lillian cunningham post and creator of "the washington post's" presidential and constitutional podcasts. >> so the first few episodes are all in my head they all kind of hang around the concept of we the people.
7:13 pm
so it was an exploration of gender, race, nationality, ancestry. then we sort of move into the idea of more perfect union and there are a couple of episodes about justice and defense. and it ends sort of with a culmination with the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity. and what does that mean. >> lillian cunningham, sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. monday, on landmark cases, "new york times" very united states, better known as the pentagon papers case. in 1971, "the new york times" and "washington post" fought the nixon administration to publish a classified history of u.s. military activity in vietnam. the supreme court's decision restricted the government's power over the press and
7:14 pm
broadened journalists' first amendment protections. our guest to discuss this landmark case are floyd abrams, one of the top first amendment and media litigators. he represented the "new york times" in its case against the nixon administration. and ted olson, former solicitor general under president george w. bush. watch landmark cases monday at 9:00 eastern on c-span, and join the conversation. our #is landmarkcases. and follow us @c-span. and we have resources on our website for background on each case. the landmark cases companion book, a link to national constitution center's interactive constitution. and the landmark indicates podcast at on wednesday, french president emmanuel macron held a news conference at the conclusion of his official state visit to washington, d.c. he discussed u.s.-french relations. the


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on