International Crisis Group analyst Rashid Abdi said with so many in the south still at risk of starving, immediate intervention must be the priority, even if it means negotiating with Shabab leaders.
“It just makes moral sense. How many times have we negotiated with people we don’t like? History is replete with instances where we’ve negotiated with the Pol Pots of the world, to cut a deal, or to achieve some short-term objective,” said Abdi. “You can never have a global agreement with Shabab, something that’s binding. You cut local deals with key commanders in the field to allow humanitarian supplies. We just need to be circumspect.”
Winning the hearts and minds is critical. Whoever delivers the aid will win support and the Shabab is trying to fashion themselves as philanthropists — even dispatching an English-speaking emissary in October (sic) deliver aid as part of an “Al Qaeda campaign on behalf of Martyr (Osama) Bin Laden.”...That's the worst advice I've heard since "buy stocks in Atari; it's the coming thing."