Letter: Time to send UN troops to Somalia

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Your leader ('The harsh realities of trying to save others', 9 August) contained the most perceptive analysis of the Somali tragedy that I have read in the British press. Equally, your call for military intervention is not as far-fetched as some may think.

This 'hell on earth', as a visiting French minister described it, could continue indefinitely as there is no single movement strong enough militarily to impose its will upon the country. A United Nations Force will surely meet no serious resistance, the vociferous threats issued by eccentric war lords notwithstanding.

As you have rightly said: 'Somalia is the worst human tragedy.' The ideas of military intervention and a UN mandate for a period of two to three years to sort out the chaos represent the most practical proposals to save this member nation of the international community from self- annihilation.

Dr Hassan Ali Mirreh

Somali Salvation Democratic Front

Nairobi, Kenya