|2/15/2012 10:51:00 AM|
Somalia needs governance, bishop says
Catholic News Service photo
Internally displaced Somalis stand in a line waiting for relief food in Mogadishu. Pope Benedict asked the international community to continue aid to the drought- and famine-stricken Horn of Africa and asked individuals to offer prayers and d onate money to help save the millions facing death.
Catholic News Service
The international community must contribute to reconstructing a “functioning authority” in Somalia, says a bishop who serves as administrator of the country’s only Catholic diocese.
After 21 years of “practically anarchy,” Somalia “has become a failed state, a black hole,” said Bishop Giorgio Bertin of Djibouti, who took over as administrator of the diocese in neighboring Somalia in 1989, when the bishop of Mogadishu was killed.
Referring to the ongoing problem of Somali pirates on shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean and the military costs of patrolling those waters, the bishop said “The solution is not simply on the sea, but the solution comes on the land.”
While he does not deny the need to protect ships or limit the use of force on land, “the military aspect should not be the first approach.” The international community must use a multifaceted approach: military, human and political, he said.
Somalia’s “so-called leaders” have “taken hostage their own people,” Bishop Bertin said, noting that 98 percent of the people of Somalia “just want to live in peace.”
Although Somalia’s population is more than 98 percent Muslim, the church sees the governance issue as a moral responsibility, the bishop added.