On March 24, 2009, Professor Kenneth Menkhaus, Associate Professor of Political Science at Davidson College, and Mr. Jabril Ibrahim Abdulle, Director of the Mogadishu-based Centre for Research Dialogue, presented their views on the political and humanitarian challenges facing Somalia and the future prospects for peace in the country, during a lunchtime policy forum of academics, UN officials, diplomats, and NGO representatives.
IPI Senior Vice President and Director of Studies Dr. Edward C. Luck chaired the event.
Professor Menkhaus and Mr. Abdulle spoke in depth about the political dynamics in Somalia in light of recent events: the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops, the resignation of President Abdullahi Yusuf and his replacement by moderate Islamist Sheik Sharif Ahmed, and the establishment of a more broad-based parliament than had previously existed. The speakers also addressed a variety of other critical issues facing Somalia, ranging from the humanitarian crisis in the south and central parts of the country and the rise of piracy, to the influence of the Shabab and the role of the African Union mission in Mogadishu. Underpinning the discussion was a cautious optimism that Somalia may be on the road to peace after eighteen years of civil strife. Along these lines, the speakers offered suggestions for how the international community can best nurture the fragile Djibouti peace process.
Dr. Edward C. Luck,
Senior Vice President and Director of Studies, IPI
Prof. Ken Menkhaus,
Associate Professor of Political Science, Davidson College
Mr. Jabril Ibrahim Abdulle,
Director, Centre for Research and Dialogue, Mogadishu