There are any number of "crises" in the world today that seem to have established themselves as permanent features of the international landscape. Somalia's is one such phenomenon. At the time of writing, what is generally accounted the fourteenth attempt at "rebuilding the Somali state", appears again to risk frustration at the hands of men who wield the power of violent veto. Though theirs may not be the final say in matters, these warlords remind us of the fragility of agreements struck by peacemakers who lack the will or the means forcefully to defend the peace. <br>This paper analyses the current, intermittent round of negotiations that has been convened under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). This organisation's task has been a thankless one, hedged around with all manner of imposed limitations, not least of which has been the unpromising material composing the various Somali faction leaders, for whom the broader interests of Somalia and its people appear to rank low among their priorities.