“Kenya and Ethiopia treat state-building in Somalia with a lot of scepticism and instead prefer building buffer zones in Somalia,” Ms Felbab-Brown said, citing the creation in 2013 in the country’s south of the semi-autonomous Jubaland opposed to Mogadishu.

525279-01-02_JPG“Kenya and Ethiopia treat state-building in Somalia with a lot of scepticism and instead prefer building buffer zones in Somalia,” Ms Felbab-Brown said, citing the creation in 2013 in the country’s south of the semi-autonomous Jubaland opposed to Mogadishu.

She said she discovered during a trip to Somalia in March that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud “doesn’t control [security] forces” and remains beholden to clan-based politics.

According to her, the rush for “quick money” has fanned rivalry and hostility among local businesses, which al-Shabaab exploits. And decentralisation is replicating the central government’s problems of favouritism and corruption that it was designed to cure.

Ms Felbab-Brown presented her grim assessment on Thursday in a talk titled “Counterterrorism and state-building in Somalia: Progress or more of the same?” at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC

Friction among regional powers and commercialisation of the conflict in Somalia have stalled progress in the ongoing military offensive against Al-Shabaab in the country, a US-based security expert has said.

Vanda Felbab-Brown, a Brookings Institution senior fellow who analyses international and internal conflicts, said countries that contribute troops to the African Union Mission to Somalia operate independent of — and often at odds with — each other and without accountability to their joint command.SOURCE DAILY NATION BY BASHIR HASHI YUSSUF

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