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Dr. Roland Marchal Critiques ICC Decision for Gaddafi, Offers Insight on Somalia

Dr Roland Marchal, Senior Research Fellow at the National Centre for Scientific Research in Paris says International Criminal Courts decision to issues arrest warrant is making Gaddafi very confident that he hasn’t any other option except to fighting, a situation he says is the opposite of what Libyan population would like to witness.

In an interview with Harun Maruf of VOA Somali Service, Dr Marchal said the ICC's warrant is shutting the door to Gaddafi and amnesty which could lead to possible peaceful solution. Dr Marchal has just written a paper on Libya, Chad, and Sudan. Dr Marchal is also an expert on Somali politics. In the interview Maruf also sought Marchal’s opinion on the implications on Somalia of the ICC’s recent arrest warrant for Gaddafi.

Marchal believes that if the ICC and international community involved itself in the Somali situation in the same way that they have addressed the situation in Libya, the list of arrest warrants “may be quite long and may start with our good friends, not only our bad enemies.” Also, Marchal points out the role which other leaders in the region have played, stating that they could also be placed on the ICC’s criminal list. Marchal doubts that the international community is ready for such a vast commitment to the Somali cause.

Marchal hopes that in the future Somalis will realize the responsibility they have to end their own ongoing crisis. He believes that this realization will come only after Somalis are educated on the situation and are granted enough political space for debate, hopefully pushing the Somali population toward transitional justice.

According to Marchal, regional leaders have a large amount of leverage over Somalia, especially in terms of money and protection, from the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM). Marchal believes that Ugandan President Museveni ‘s power, in particular, became widely apparent during the creation of the Kampala Accords.

When asked if the situation was a stalemate between the TFG and Al Shabaab, Marchal dismissed this claim, predicting that the situation will change and Al Shabaab will weaken over the next six months.

However, Marchal believes that Al Shabaab has “already won the war.” Beginning with just “a few dozens of radical militants,” Al Shabaab has now grown to somewhere between ten and twelve thousand, has incorporated its Islamic values into Somali culture, and has radicalized the Somali political arena like no other faction has done before.

Marchal states that “What [Al Shabaab] has done over the past six or seven years is going to be felt for the next generation. This is politically what we call a success.”