Somalia and Lebanon no doubt share the same features. Both are Muslim countries, both were former colonial nations, and both faced civil war. Well Somalia still goes through it today. The curse of civil war has been lifted from Lebanon, for now. Today Lebanon is a nation trying to heal its wounds it suffered in the devastating 16 year civil war. Lebanon has established a political system, security and openness. There is room for debate on how open and secure Lebanon is, but I believe it is better than the dark times it faced during the civil war. Today I search Somalia on Google news to discover nothing but awful news. “A suicide bomber kills soldiers in Somalia”, “Ethiopian Troops to leave Somalia” and so on.
Somalia has been plagued by violence for some 21 years. Yet what I’ve noticed between Lebanon and Somalia’s conflict is the underlying factor that foreign intervention has on the situation. Let me be clear I am not putting humanitarian intervention on this list, food assistance in the wake of the great famine. But I would put humanitarian intervention that was delivered in Libya on the list because it delivered something other than assistance, “forced regime change.” Maroun Kisirwani stated in The Journal of Contemporary History that “The Failure of the Lebanese to overcome their sectarian conflicts, and their failure to build up and solidarity against outside intervention, have frequently transformed Lebanon into a battlefield where Lebanese factions, often unknowingly, have fought the undeclared wars of other nations by proxy” I could not agree more with Maroun Kisirwani statement, which has a correlation with the situation in Somalia. Outside forces have an interest in Somalia, as they did in Lebanon during the civil war. The Arab League, Ethiopia, Kenya, Eretria, Turkey, Al Qaeda, and western powers all have an interest in Somalia.
I do not know if it’s just me but I have notice a stark relationship between foreign interference and the rise and prolonged conflict each case Somalia and Lebanon present. If we look at present day Somaliland we can see a stable region in which democracy has taken hold; which leaves me to the conclusion that when people are left alone that individuals can strive to build their nation, knowing that there isn't someone pulling the strings for their own interest above.
So what can Somalia learn from Lebanon? Somalia can learn that foreign intervention does not serve their interest, with Lebanon being a great example to learn from. Lebanon faced intervention after intervention, proxy wars were launched and a nation and its people have been devastated. Somalia need not look abroad for assistance for assistance brings more suffering and bloodshed.