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The Road Ahead: Violence and Reconciliation in Somalia

Interviewees: Idd Beddel Mohamed
Abdi Samatar
Interviewer: Eben Kaplan
April 27, 2007

Idd Beddel Mohamed, Somalia’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, says recent violence in Mogadishu has been caused by warlords who seek to maintain the lawless status quo that has persisted in Somalia for the last sixteen years. Abdi Samatar, a Somalia scholar and professor of geography and global studies at the University of Minnesota, disagrees, saying some of the recent fighting came about as a result of local opposition to Ethiopia's occupation of the country.

Amid the violence, Somalia this month postponed its national reconciliation conference, which both men believe is vital to the country’s future. Samatar criticizes the government for trying to manipulate the reconciliation process, while Mohammed cites a lack of international funding as the reason for the delay.

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