Somalia has been in the news lately for a lot of the wrong reasons. Just this week Kenyan armed forces entered into Southern Somalia to try to restore order on the border between the two countries. This was done in response to the recent kidnappings in Kenyan hotels and resorts by Somalian Al-Shabaab soldiers. The Kenyan government has told tourists security it is safe to vacation in their country; but the numbers are going way down. So in response they took action and moved into Somalia and that move is being questioned by some.
Some have said the move by Kenya to invade Somalia and try to create a “buffer zone” is not a genuine one. According to an article on BBC News by Andrew Harding, “the theory goes that the recent kidnappings of foreigners in Kenya were merely a convenient pretext for the invasion.” I personally don’t know what the real reason for moving into Somalia was; but I do know, Somalia has many problems with a dysfunctional government. There has been no real and true government in Somalia since 1991 which brings me to my point of this post. The new conflict between Somalia’s Al-Shabaab and Kenya brings two things from our Political Theory class into play.
By following this story I have learned a lot about Somalia and Kenya. First of all I have found it unbelievable the amount of hardship and famine that happens in Somalia. It is depressing because countries like the U.S. and other developed countries send so much aid to help the Somalian people and it is not enough. The worst part is the aid sent to the Somalian population is often stolen by groups such as Al-Shabaab, these groups are trying to seize control of the government and thus gain power. I believe this relates to our class because of the Hobbesian State of Nature that is occurring in Somalia. There is no sense of government in the country and in turn nearly no order. Hobbes says there must be a strong “Leviathan” to instill order in the people of the country; and without that chaos and anarchy will result. The photos I have seen of Somalia lately most definitely show a state of nature.
The other country in this newly formed conflict is Kenya. Kenya had a thriving tourism industry which has been put into reverse because of the concern for safety. As I previously mentioned people have been questioning the true motives for the Kenyan intrusion into Somalia. I don’t know the real reason; but there are some interesting theories. One would be to create a “buffer” from the possible attacks, which is very likely. Another being Kenya wants to increase security for the previously thriving tourism industry in their country. The latter would be some sort of a Lockian argument. The intrusion could be for the protection of the property, such as the hotels, and in turn the tourism industry which employs countless people. Personally, I don’t think it matters why they moved in to Somalia. If people are disappearing and being kidnapped something must be done. If property is being protected, it’s just another byproduct of what is happening.
In conclusion, this newly formed conflict is something, I’m sure will be in the world news in the future. Hopefully it will be able to bring attention to a country that really needs help. I wonder if the country will ever be able to get a fully functional government and be able to give it’s citizens a good quality of life. What needs to be done to get Somalia out of it’s so called state of nature? Ideas?