In the fog of international headlines on finding a financial bail-out in Washington, a rag-tag army of 50 semi-naked men on rickety boats captured a ship carrying 33 T-72 tanks, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft guns off the coast of Somalia.
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.
Since 1960, the country has been a lawless state that is a haven for terrorists and pirates. The pirates have told us the destination of the captured weaponry causing tension and panic in Washington, Nairobi and Khartoum.
If it is true that the final consignee was the government of Southern Sudan, as they allege, I will be on the same page with the Kibaki government for the first time.
I am a fervent supporter of a strategic foreign policy even if it attracts us enemies of such malevolent and despotic regimes as that of Khartoum.
Supporting the Southern Sudan government is in our long-term strategic interest and we should not shy from it. The truth of the matter is that as a Western ally, Kenya is an existential enemy of Arab countries, Sudan included.
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 in world maps. It is a classic case of a failed state. It is a state dismembered into as many independent units as there are sub-clans. Its 90-strong cabinet is emblematic of the actual number of units.
The Horn of Africa country has no functioning government. The so-called transitional federal government, led by Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, is confined to a shell-shocked presidential compound.
There is no standing or even sitting army or judicial systems. By all accounts, Somalia is a black hole in international law. Together with Afghanistan and Pakistan they are known as the training grounds and refuge for international terrorism.
Kenya has been a victim of such terrorism, leading to near-destruction of its tourism industry. We cannot afford another such attack. 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 a non-state.
Somalia neighbours Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Of these, it is only Ethiopia and Kenya that have strategic interest in Somalia. Djibouti is a primitive entrepot that can’t even supply water to its 600,000 people, who are forced to drink that imported from France or Coca Cola. Therefore, Djibouti is out in the quest for the final solution to the Somali puzzle.
Kenya and Ethiopia must and ought to dismember Somalia and divide it between themselves along the 4 degrees latitude, each taking all the land below and above the line.
The division will make both countries extend their territories by roughly 300,000sq km and additional populations of about five million.
By: DONALD KIPKORIR,