The following column recently appeared in a Kenyan newspaper:
Not very long ago, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, the world's foremost investment banks, went bankrupt and we witnessed the the beginning of the financial chaos now affecting us all.
A month later, down the page from news on the Wall Street bail-out, we read about a rag-tag army of 50 semi-naked men on rickety boats capturing a ship off the coast of Somalia with a cargo of Russian-made tanks, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft guns.
The capture of MV Faina and the stalemated talks amid the surrounding American and Russian warships made me think that maybe this is the time to find a final solution to the Somali problem. Maybe this is the time to consider annexation.
The pirates told us the destination of the captured weaponry on the MV Faina was the government of Southern Sudan. Southern Sudan is the rebel coalition fighting for freedom for Darfur. This news caused tension and panic in Washington, Nairobi and Khartoum.
I am a fervent supporter of a strategic foreign policy even if it attracts us the enmity of such malevolent and despotic regimes as that in Khartoum. Supporting the Southern Sudan government is in our long-term strategic interest and we should not shy from it.
Since 1960, Somalia has been a lawless state, a haven for pirates, bandits, murderers, thieves and troublemakers. Annexing Somalia is thus in our strategic interest and we must do it now as the financial meltdown continues to take away the attention of the world.
Somalia as a state exists only on maps. It is a classic failed state. It is a state dismembered into as many independent units as there are sub-clans. It has no functioning government. The so-called transitional federal government is confined to a shell-shocked presidential compound. There is no standing or even sitting army or judicial system. By all accounts, Somalia is a black hole in international law. No pun intended.
Kenya has been a victim of Somalia, leading to near-destruction of its tourism industry. We cannot afford this to continue. We have the potential to develop our tourism to compete with, if not outpace, Egypt and South Africa. But we cannot do so if Somalia continues to be our next door non-state.
Somalia borders Kenya and Ethiopia. Ethiopia and Kenya have strategic interest in Somalia and ought to dismember Somalia and divide it between themselves along the 4 degrees latitude line, each taking all the land below or above it.
The division will make both countries extend their territories by roughly 300,000 sq km and additional populations of about five million. Once Kenya and Ethiopia have sent their combined army to Somalia and declared the annexation, we will present to the world a fait accompli.
As an historical reference, in 1845, America annexed Texas from Mexico and forced the Texan legislature to pass a specific legislation stating that it accepted the annexation. The annexation has stood to date. For Kenya and Ethiopia, having the Somali legislature endorse the annexation would be a cake-walk. At any given time, most, if not all, Somali legislators are in Nairobi jamming our shopping malls and night clubs. We will simply have them convene in one of our hotels and to pass the appropriate statutes dividing their country in half right after afternoon tea and just before evening happy hour.
The cost of annexation would be settled by Mogadishu. Somalia is known to have huge deposits of oil, natural gas, uranium and iron ore. Immediately after the annexation, we'd invite our strategic foreign friends to come and exploit the resources.
International law forbids the use of force by states against the territorial integrity and political independence of others. Happily, Somalia has neither territorial integrity nor political independence. When you get right down to it, Somalia is dead in the water, all engines shut down and rusted beyond repair. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the average Somali lacks even a nail with which to scratch his stinkhole.
The law also recognises irreversible processes like the extinction of states such as in the USSR, emergence of new states from the former USSR and the former Yugoslavia, and annexations like that of Texas. International order hates reversing completed processes, more so if the world is made a better place. If Kenya and Ethiopia annex Somalia, the world would be ipso facto better. Guaranteed.
If we do not annex Somalia now, we will be a victim of its failed status and pulled down by it. We will not be able to achieve our strategic foreign policy in the region.
The time to annex and dismember Somalia is now. Washington and Moscow (and every country whose sailors are hostages of the pirates) will be grateful.
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