During the course of this week, world leaders converged at the UN Headquarters in New York for the annual General Assembly where various issues affecting the globe were discussed.
Closer to home, one of the biggest challenges facing East Africa is the dire situation in the Horn of Africa. The disintegration of Somalia as a nation-state has affected not only its people but the entire region.
The threats currently posed by the Al-Qaeda-affiliated, al-Shabaab terrorists, who still control large parts of Somalia, despite being uprooted from the streets of Mogadishu, is perhaps one of the greatest threats to security in the region.
Of course, one of the effects of the failed Somali state is the issue of refugees and famine. The images of starved children and women is, to say the least, very disturbing if not appalling.
The tragedy in the Horn of Africa is a perfect case of negligent and failed leadership, not only at national levels but continental (African Union) and global (The UN system).
For now, I will ignore the failure of leadership at the AU levels and discuss the 66th session of the UN General Assembly.
At the meeting, leaders and experts discussed how the promise of sustainable development can be availed to the people of the world.
However, experts at the UN say that one cannot talk about sustainable development when ignoring critical issues such as the restoration of security and dignity of those affected
Leaders, among them President Paul Kagame, emphasized the need, by the summit, to offer unique solutions to such people.
Kagame advanced the thinking that the summit should consider crafting lasting solutions by focusing more on homegrown and people-centered approaches, rather than on solutions imposed by those not directly affected.
One can add that, Kagame spoke about such unique solutions based on what Rwanda endured at the height of the its crisis in the mid 1990s, especially events surrounding the occurrence and aftermath of Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994 and how the country has since moved on.
Kagame emphasized that youth ought to be placed at the fore front of bringing new measures to tackle challenges such as mediation of differences within conflict states, such as Somalia.
If anything, that is how Rwanda has managed to drag its people away from the deep mess that had previously served to divide its own people, prior to the Genocide.
Such unique solutions, one can say, offer the concrete building blocks that are needed before one can start talking seriously about sustainable development.
Along the way, security of the Somali people must be assured. Again, Africa needs to take a leadership role by filling the gaps existing within the Somali government’s security apparatus in order to tackle threats posed by groups such as the al-Shabaab.
From there, one can now start talking about how to plot for the reconstruction of Somalia, which is definitely going to be a big task for its people and will definitely take long.
In order to offer support, such process should bring together all representatives of the Somali society, as well as regional stakeholders, to give peace a chance and end the cycle of instability.
The author is an editor with The New Times