Open political campaigns in the capital Mogadishu by presidential hopefuls, London 2012 Olympic Games representation, direct international flights to Aden Ade International airport in the capital and plans to set up interim stock exchange in Nairobi to help tap investors to the fast growing Somali business aimed at reviving the country’s economy is a sign of bright future towards stable and peaceful Somalia. The August 20th election is set to end the transitional period and start a new era for Somali people after almost two decades of civil war and instability. Mogadishu was a city of many battles. It is slowly shaking off the description as the most dangerous city in the world. For the first time ever the residents are enjoying a level of stability and getting services from local government including cleaning and renovation of major historical streets which were covers for militia groups before. Democracy is gaining new ground and acceptance as several presidential hopefuls including some from the diaspora community like the former head of BBC Somali section Yusuf Garad are set to challenge the incumbent President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and PM Prof. Abdiweli Mohamed Gas for the reigns of gearing the country to a greater future.
AMISOM, which has been rejuvenated by the integration of Kenya Defense Forces (KDF)and Djibouti Military supported by the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces is launching the largest military offensive for the strategic port city of Kismayu considered the last territory of the Al Shabab militia group. The rag-tag militia, feeling AMISOM’s heat, has turned to threats warning all presidential candidates to keep off from President Sheikh Sharif’s “Western allied government” with all confirming they have received death threats. However Yusuf Garad has termed the free space all candidates enjoy for their campaigns as “positive” and denounced the threats by the Al Shabab. The endorsement of the draft constitution by the Somali Council of Elders in Vela Somalia paved way for a referendum for the people of Somalia which has to take place before the elections. If passed, the constitution could create the first legitimate and democratic government in 40 years.
This will not only give Somalia a role in the African Union but will also ensure that peace exists in the whole region as the state restores order in whole country. After 20 years of lawlessness, efforts by United Nations, regional bodies like AU and IGAAD are beginning to bear fruits and Al Shabab militia is being phased out. The deployment of AMISOM troops back in 2006 to support the feeble TFG government and the incursion of KDF have been a turning point which may guarantee a brighter future to not only Somalia but also the larger horn of Africa. There are good signs from the ravaged country that they want to be as successful and peaceful as the rest of her neighbours.