Jeffrey Gettleman on the prospects for peace and stability in East Africa

Southern Sudan is just weeks away from officially declaring its independence from the north. They’ve been waiting for the day since they voted for independence in January.

If only it were that simple. Last weekend, northern Sudan sent armed forces into Abyei, a town in an oil-producing region that both northern and southern Sudan claim. Thousands have since fled their homes in a fight that could derail plans for peace and stability. And when you talk about “stability,” you have to be flexible about your definition of the word.

The New York Times’ East Africa Bureau Chief Jeffrey Gettleman does just that. This week, he talks to Alison Stewart about the 2008 Kenyan election, the cost of security in Rwanda, democracy in Uganda, how Africans view Moammar Gadhafi and the chances for a successful transition of power in Africa’s newest country, South Sudan.

 
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Comments

  • P. S.

    Interesting interview. Thanks a lot!

  • Asm

    I really enjoy his articles in the New York Times. Thank you for the interview and I hope there is more coverage of Africa to come.

  • Kebede mola

    i just look this program baout east africka . and i was supprise how he dont even sayed any thing about Ethiopia . the gust should know the Governmen tin Addis Abeba is evil 

  • Kebede mola

    i just look this program baout east africka . and i was supprise how he dont even sayed any thing about Ethiopia . the gust should know the Governmen tin Addis Abeba is evil 

  • Slwadani

    I really liked this
    program, and I am glad that you are finally talking about sub-Sahara Africa.
    You know Africa is not only North part, there are East, West and South areas.

          I agreed most of the analysis Mr.
    Gettleman made about most of the African countries. However, Mr Getteman and
    You (PBS Need to Know) did not mention that Somalia and Somaliland were two
    countries before. It sounds like that you were saying that Somaliland seceding from
    Somalia, and that is not true. Somaliland WITHDRAW FROM AN ILLEGAL UNION. So I
    would like to give you the introduction lesson of the history of Somaliland:

    ·        
    Great Britain established a Somaliland Protectorate
    in 1887 and by 1897. 

    ·        
    The United Kingdom granted independence to the
    people of Somaliland on 26 June 1960.

    ·        
    Somaliland was an independent country for five days.
    Some 35 states recognized independent Somaliland. The U.S. Secretary of State,
    Christian Herter, sent a congratulatory message.

    ·        
    The United Kingdom signed several bilateral
    agreements with Somaliland in Hargeisa (Somaliland) on 26 June 1960. At about
    the same time, Italy granted independence to former Italian Somalia on 1 July
    1960. 

    ·        
    For the sake of Somali unity, the new Somali
    governments in both Hargeisa (Somaliland) and Mogadishu (Somalia) agreed to
    merge into one nation.

    ·        
    The legislatures of both entities met in joint
    session in Mogadishu and agreed formally to join together as the Republic of
    Somalia effective 1 July 1960.

    ·        
    Somaliland became known as the Northern Regions and
    former Italian Somalia as the Southern Regions. There was never a referendum on
    the act of union. 

    ·        
    This referendum took place on 20 June 1961 and, in
    the case of Somaliland, served as a vote of confidence or lack thereof for
    unification with former Italian Somalia.

    ·        
    The leading political party in the Northern Regions
    boycotted the referendum. Just over 100,000 persons out of an estimated total
    population of 650,000 in the Northern Regions participated in the referendum,
    suggesting that at least half of the electorate boycotted the vote. Of those
    who did vote, about 60 percent opposed the constitution.

    ·        
    It is apparent that as early as 1961 a majority of
    Somalilanders were troubled by the decision to join the Somali Republic.

    ·        
    As if to underscore this unhappiness, there was an
    attempted military coup in Somaliland late in 1961. Although it failed, one of
    its goals was to secede from the Somali Republic and establish an independent
    government.

    ·        
    Even more significant for Somaliland, Article 4 of
    the Constitutive Act of the African Union signed on 12 June 2000 in Lome, Togo,
    states that the African Union shall function in accordance with the following
    principle: “respect of borders existing on achievement of independence.”

    ·        
    On the basis of its brief independence from 26 June
    until 1 July 1960, Somaliland would seem to meet the definition contained in
    the resolution passed in Cairo in 1964 and the more recent Constitutive Act of
    the African Union.

    ·        
    In 1969, a bodyguard assassinated the President of
    the Somali Republic, and several days later a group of army officers seized
    power and installed Major General Mohammed Siad Barre in power.

    ·        
    Barre’s rule rekindled discontent in the Northern
    Regions and by 1981 Somalilanders formed the Somali National Movement, which
    had the goal of toppling the Barre government.

    ·        
     By 1988 an
    all-out civil war developed and Somaliland experienced considerable devastation
    at the hands of government-sponsored forces.

    ·        
    The brutal repression resulted in more than
    50,000  killed and left a deep bitterness
    among Somalilanders. The war ended in January 1991 with the fall of the Barre
    government.

    ·        
    Great Britain established a Somaliland Protectorate
    in 1887 and by 1897. 

    ·        
    The United Kingdom granted independence to the
    people of Somaliland on 26 June 1960.

    ·        
    Somaliland was an independent country for five days.
    Some 35 states recognized independent Somaliland. The U.S. Secretary of State,
    Christian Herter, sent a congratulatory message.

    ·        
    The United Kingdom signed several bilateral
    agreements with Somaliland in Hargeisa (Somaliland) on 26 June 1960. At about
    the same time, Italy granted independence to former Italian Somalia on 1 July
    1960. 

    ·        
    For the sake of Somali unity, the new Somali
    governments in both Hargeisa (Somaliland) and Mogadishu (Somalia) agreed to
    merge into one nation.

    ·        
    The legislatures of both entities met in joint
    session in Mogadishu and agreed formally to join together as the Republic of
    Somalia effective 1 July 1960.

    ·        
    Somaliland became known as the Northern Regions and
    former Italian Somalia as the Southern Regions. There was never a referendum on
    the act of union. 

    ·        
    This referendum took place on 20 June 1961 and, in
    the case of Somaliland, served as a vote of confidence or lack thereof for
    unification with former Italian Somalia.

    ·        
    The leading political party in the Northern Regions
    boycotted the referendum. Just over 100,000 persons out of an estimated total
    population of 650,000 in the Northern Regions participated in the referendum,
    suggesting that at least half of the electorate boycotted the vote. Of those
    who did vote, about 60 percent opposed the constitution.

    ·        
    It is apparent that as early as 1961 a majority of
    Somalilanders were troubled by the decision to join the Somali Republic.

    ·        
    As if to underscore this unhappiness, there was an
    attempted military coup in Somaliland late in 1961. Although it failed, one of
    its goals was to secede from the Somali Republic and establish an independent
    government.

    ·        
    Even more significant for Somaliland, Article 4 of
    the Constitutive Act of the African Union signed on 12 June 2000 in Lome, Togo,
    states that the African Union shall function in accordance with the following
    principle: “respect of borders existing on achievement of independence.”

    ·        
    On the basis of its brief independence from 26 June
    until 1 July 1960, Somaliland would seem to meet the definition contained in
    the resolution passed in Cairo in 1964 and the more recent Constitutive Act of
    the African Union.

    ·        
    In 1969, a bodyguard assassinated the President of
    the Somali Republic, and several days later a group of army officers seized
    power and installed Major General Mohammed Siad Barre in power.

    ·        
    Barre’s rule rekindled discontent in the Northern
    Regions and by 1981 Somalilanders formed the Somali National Movement, which
    had the goal of toppling the Barre government.

    ·        
     By 1988 an
    all-out civil war developed and Somaliland experienced considerable devastation
    at the hands of government-sponsored forces.

    ·        
    The brutal repression resulted in more than
    50,000  killed and left a deep bitterness
    among Somalilanders. The war ended in January 1991 with the fall of the Barre
    government.

    ·        
    Great Britain established a Somaliland Protectorate
    in 1887 and by 1897. 

    ·        
    The United Kingdom granted independence to the
    people of Somaliland on 26 June 1960.

    ·        
    Somaliland was an independent country for five days.
    Some 35 states recognized independent Somaliland. The U.S. Secretary of State,
    Christian Herter, sent a congratulatory message.

    ·        
    The United Kingdom signed several bilateral
    agreements with Somaliland in Hargeisa (Somaliland) on 26 June 1960. At about
    the same time, Italy granted independence to former Italian Somalia on 1 July
    1960. 

    ·        
    For the sake of Somali unity, the new Somali
    governments in both Hargeisa (Somaliland) and Mogadishu (Somalia) agreed to
    merge into one nation.

    ·        
    The legislatures of both entities met in joint
    session in Mogadishu and agreed formally to join together as the Republic of
    Somalia effective 1 July 1960.

    ·        
    Somaliland became known as the Northern Regions and
    former Italian Somalia as the Southern Regions. There was never a referendum on
    the act of union. 

    ·        
    This referendum took place on 20 June 1961 and, in
    the case of Somaliland, served as a vote of confidence or lack thereof for
    unification with former Italian Somalia.

    ·        
    The leading political party in the Northern Regions
    boycotted the referendum. Just over 100,000 persons out of an estimated total
    population of 650,000 in the Northern Regions participated in the referendum,
    suggesting that at least half of the electorate boycotted the vote. Of those
    who did vote, about 60 percent opposed the constitution.

    ·        
    It is apparent that as early as 1961 a majority of
    Somalilanders were troubled by the decision to join the Somali Republic.

    ·        
    As if to underscore this unhappiness, there was an
    attempted military coup in Somaliland late in 1961. Although it failed, one of
    its goals was to secede from the Somali Republic and establish an independent
    government.

    ·        
    Even more significant for Somaliland, Article 4 of
    the Constitutive Act of the African Union signed on 12 June 2000 in Lome, Togo,
    states that the African Union shall function in accordance with the following
    principle: “respect of borders existing on achievement of independence.”

    ·        
    On the basis of its brief independence from 26 June
    until 1 July 1960, Somaliland would seem to meet the definition contained in
    the resolution passed in Cairo in 1964 and the more recent Constitutive Act of
    the African Union.

    ·        
    In 1969, a bodyguard assassinated the President of
    the Somali Republic, and several days later a group of army officers seized
    power and installed Major General Mohammed Siad Barre in power.

    ·        
    Barre’s rule rekindled discontent in the Northern
    Regions and by 1981 Somalilanders formed the Somali National Movement, which
    had the goal of toppling the Barre government.

    ·        
     By 1988 an
    all-out civil war developed and Somaliland experienced considerable devastation
    at the hands of government-sponsored forces.

    ·        
    The brutal repression resulted in more than
    50,000  killed and left a deep bitterness
    among Somalilanders. The war ended in January 1991 with the fall of the Barre
    government.

     

     

  • Slwadani

    I really liked this
    program, and I am glad that you are finally talking about sub-Sahara Africa.
    You know Africa is not only North part, there are East, West and South areas.

          I agreed most of the analysis Mr.
    Gettleman made about most of the African countries. However, Mr Getteman and
    You (PBS Need to Know) did not mention that Somalia and Somaliland were two
    countries before. It sounds like that you were saying that Somaliland seceding from
    Somalia, and that is not true. Somaliland WITHDRAW FROM AN ILLEGAL UNION. So I
    would like to give you the introduction lesson of the history of Somaliland:

    ·        
    Great Britain established a Somaliland Protectorate
    in 1887 and by 1897. 

    ·        
    The United Kingdom granted independence to the
    people of Somaliland on 26 June 1960.

    ·        
    Somaliland was an independent country for five days.
    Some 35 states recognized independent Somaliland. The U.S. Secretary of State,
    Christian Herter, sent a congratulatory message.

    ·        
    The United Kingdom signed several bilateral
    agreements with Somaliland in Hargeisa (Somaliland) on 26 June 1960. At about
    the same time, Italy granted independence to former Italian Somalia on 1 July
    1960. 

    ·        
    For the sake of Somali unity, the new Somali
    governments in both Hargeisa (Somaliland) and Mogadishu (Somalia) agreed to
    merge into one nation.

    ·        
    The legislatures of both entities met in joint
    session in Mogadishu and agreed formally to join together as the Republic of
    Somalia effective 1 July 1960.

    ·        
    Somaliland became known as the Northern Regions and
    former Italian Somalia as the Southern Regions. There was never a referendum on
    the act of union. 

    ·        
    This referendum took place on 20 June 1961 and, in
    the case of Somaliland, served as a vote of confidence or lack thereof for
    unification with former Italian Somalia.

    ·        
    The leading political party in the Northern Regions
    boycotted the referendum. Just over 100,000 persons out of an estimated total
    population of 650,000 in the Northern Regions participated in the referendum,
    suggesting that at least half of the electorate boycotted the vote. Of those
    who did vote, about 60 percent opposed the constitution.

    ·        
    It is apparent that as early as 1961 a majority of
    Somalilanders were troubled by the decision to join the Somali Republic.

    ·        
    As if to underscore this unhappiness, there was an
    attempted military coup in Somaliland late in 1961. Although it failed, one of
    its goals was to secede from the Somali Republic and establish an independent
    government.

    ·        
    Even more significant for Somaliland, Article 4 of
    the Constitutive Act of the African Union signed on 12 June 2000 in Lome, Togo,
    states that the African Union shall function in accordance with the following
    principle: “respect of borders existing on achievement of independence.”

    ·        
    On the basis of its brief independence from 26 June
    until 1 July 1960, Somaliland would seem to meet the definition contained in
    the resolution passed in Cairo in 1964 and the more recent Constitutive Act of
    the African Union.

    ·        
    In 1969, a bodyguard assassinated the President of
    the Somali Republic, and several days later a group of army officers seized
    power and installed Major General Mohammed Siad Barre in power.

    ·        
    Barre’s rule rekindled discontent in the Northern
    Regions and by 1981 Somalilanders formed the Somali National Movement, which
    had the goal of toppling the Barre government.

    ·        
     By 1988 an
    all-out civil war developed and Somaliland experienced considerable devastation
    at the hands of government-sponsored forces.

    ·        
    The brutal repression resulted in more than
    50,000  killed and left a deep bitterness
    among Somalilanders. The war ended in January 1991 with the fall of the Barre
    government.

    ·        
    Great Britain established a Somaliland Protectorate
    in 1887 and by 1897. 

    ·        
    The United Kingdom granted independence to the
    people of Somaliland on 26 June 1960.

    ·        
    Somaliland was an independent country for five days.
    Some 35 states recognized independent Somaliland. The U.S. Secretary of State,
    Christian Herter, sent a congratulatory message.

    ·        
    The United Kingdom signed several bilateral
    agreements with Somaliland in Hargeisa (Somaliland) on 26 June 1960. At about
    the same time, Italy granted independence to former Italian Somalia on 1 July
    1960. 

    ·        
    For the sake of Somali unity, the new Somali
    governments in both Hargeisa (Somaliland) and Mogadishu (Somalia) agreed to
    merge into one nation.

    ·        
    The legislatures of both entities met in joint
    session in Mogadishu and agreed formally to join together as the Republic of
    Somalia effective 1 July 1960.

    ·        
    Somaliland became known as the Northern Regions and
    former Italian Somalia as the Southern Regions. There was never a referendum on
    the act of union. 

    ·        
    This referendum took place on 20 June 1961 and, in
    the case of Somaliland, served as a vote of confidence or lack thereof for
    unification with former Italian Somalia.

    ·        
    The leading political party in the Northern Regions
    boycotted the referendum. Just over 100,000 persons out of an estimated total
    population of 650,000 in the Northern Regions participated in the referendum,
    suggesting that at least half of the electorate boycotted the vote. Of those
    who did vote, about 60 percent opposed the constitution.

    ·        
    It is apparent that as early as 1961 a majority of
    Somalilanders were troubled by the decision to join the Somali Republic.

    ·        
    As if to underscore this unhappiness, there was an
    attempted military coup in Somaliland late in 1961. Although it failed, one of
    its goals was to secede from the Somali Republic and establish an independent
    government.

    ·        
    Even more significant for Somaliland, Article 4 of
    the Constitutive Act of the African Union signed on 12 June 2000 in Lome, Togo,
    states that the African Union shall function in accordance with the following
    principle: “respect of borders existing on achievement of independence.”

    ·        
    On the basis of its brief independence from 26 June
    until 1 July 1960, Somaliland would seem to meet the definition contained in
    the resolution passed in Cairo in 1964 and the more recent Constitutive Act of
    the African Union.

    ·        
    In 1969, a bodyguard assassinated the President of
    the Somali Republic, and several days later a group of army officers seized
    power and installed Major General Mohammed Siad Barre in power.

    ·        
    Barre’s rule rekindled discontent in the Northern
    Regions and by 1981 Somalilanders formed the Somali National Movement, which
    had the goal of toppling the Barre government.

    ·        
     By 1988 an
    all-out civil war developed and Somaliland experienced considerable devastation
    at the hands of government-sponsored forces.

    ·        
    The brutal repression resulted in more than
    50,000  killed and left a deep bitterness
    among Somalilanders. The war ended in January 1991 with the fall of the Barre
    government.

    ·        
    Great Britain established a Somaliland Protectorate
    in 1887 and by 1897. 

    ·        
    The United Kingdom granted independence to the
    people of Somaliland on 26 June 1960.

    ·        
    Somaliland was an independent country for five days.
    Some 35 states recognized independent Somaliland. The U.S. Secretary of State,
    Christian Herter, sent a congratulatory message.

    ·        
    The United Kingdom signed several bilateral
    agreements with Somaliland in Hargeisa (Somaliland) on 26 June 1960. At about
    the same time, Italy granted independence to former Italian Somalia on 1 July
    1960. 

    ·        
    For the sake of Somali unity, the new Somali
    governments in both Hargeisa (Somaliland) and Mogadishu (Somalia) agreed to
    merge into one nation.

    ·        
    The legislatures of both entities met in joint
    session in Mogadishu and agreed formally to join together as the Republic of
    Somalia effective 1 July 1960.

    ·        
    Somaliland became known as the Northern Regions and
    former Italian Somalia as the Southern Regions. There was never a referendum on
    the act of union. 

    ·        
    This referendum took place on 20 June 1961 and, in
    the case of Somaliland, served as a vote of confidence or lack thereof for
    unification with former Italian Somalia.

    ·        
    The leading political party in the Northern Regions
    boycotted the referendum. Just over 100,000 persons out of an estimated total
    population of 650,000 in the Northern Regions participated in the referendum,
    suggesting that at least half of the electorate boycotted the vote. Of those
    who did vote, about 60 percent opposed the constitution.

    ·        
    It is apparent that as early as 1961 a majority of
    Somalilanders were troubled by the decision to join the Somali Republic.

    ·        
    As if to underscore this unhappiness, there was an
    attempted military coup in Somaliland late in 1961. Although it failed, one of
    its goals was to secede from the Somali Republic and establish an independent
    government.

    ·        
    Even more significant for Somaliland, Article 4 of
    the Constitutive Act of the African Union signed on 12 June 2000 in Lome, Togo,
    states that the African Union shall function in accordance with the following
    principle: “respect of borders existing on achievement of independence.”

    ·        
    On the basis of its brief independence from 26 June
    until 1 July 1960, Somaliland would seem to meet the definition contained in
    the resolution passed in Cairo in 1964 and the more recent Constitutive Act of
    the African Union.

    ·        
    In 1969, a bodyguard assassinated the President of
    the Somali Republic, and several days later a group of army officers seized
    power and installed Major General Mohammed Siad Barre in power.

    ·        
    Barre’s rule rekindled discontent in the Northern
    Regions and by 1981 Somalilanders formed the Somali National Movement, which
    had the goal of toppling the Barre government.

    ·        
     By 1988 an
    all-out civil war developed and Somaliland experienced considerable devastation
    at the hands of government-sponsored forces.

    ·        
    The brutal repression resulted in more than
    50,000  killed and left a deep bitterness
    among Somalilanders. The war ended in January 1991 with the fall of the Barre
    government.

     

     

  • Ash2010

    I was disappointed that Mr. Gettleman’s full comments on African view of Muamar Ghaddafi were edited out, It’s typical of hypocritical US media – even public broadcasting. If you are not going to have integrity in your public media institutions, can you expect it in your political ones? Pathetic.