UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI
FACULTY OF ARTS
DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY AND ARCHEOLOGY
AN ANALYSIS OF THE CHALLENGES FACING UNIFICATION OF SOMALIA IN POST SIAD BARRE REGIME
MAIMUNA SAIDI ALI
A RESEARCH PROPOSAL SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN ARMED CONFLICT AND PEACE STUDIES AT THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI
TOC o “1-3” h z u
LIST OF ACRONYMSAMISOM – African Unions Mission in Somalia
AU – African Union
GSL- Greater Somalia LeagueHOA –Horn of Africa
ICU-Islamic Courts Union
SDU-Somali Democratic Union
SNC-Somali National Congress
SRC-Supreme Revolutionary Council
SNL- Somali National LeagueSYL- Somali Youth LeagueTFG – Transitional Federal Government
UICs – Union of Islamic Courts
UN – United Nations
UNOSOM – United Nations Operation in SomaliaUSC –United Somali CongressUSP – United Somali Party ABSTRACT
The Somali Republic gained independence on 1 July 1960 from the former colonizers; Union of British and Italian. Although the sections were unified as a single nation at independence, the south and the north were, from an institutional outlook, two separate countries. After attaining independence from Italy and Britain in 1960, Somalia was regarded by Western leaders as a model democracy to be emulated across the continent, an era that was however short-lived. The general objective of this study was to analyze the challenges facing the unification of Somalia in post Siad Barre regime. The study majorly relied on secondary data for information. The study analyzed both the role of internal and external factors in unification of Somalia. The study concluded that the re-establishment of stability is a priority for Somali and for Somalia’s partners yet progress towards restoring national government continues to be slow and disappointing. The growth of sub-national entities in Somalia appears to offer an alternative route for achieving stability and development. After many years of endeavour, Somaliland and Puntland have developed state structures and established relatively competent governments in a way that has eluded attempts at the national level. Several more new entities have emerged and are seeking to emulate their success, but many of these have a narrow clan base and incorporate relatively small communities. On the other hand, the international actors face a policy dilemma. The extended absence of national government impinges heavily on neighbouring countries and has created serious regional insecurity. Somalia’s condition also poses a number of international threats, of which terrorist activity, piracy and uncontrolled migration are the most pressing and obvious. International actors want to help stabilize Somalia, but are uncertain of how to do so. Should they continue to back the TFG process and hope that a government acceptable to Somali will eventually emerge or should they focus instead on the various regional authorities that can demonstrate that stability and governance are sustainable with public support?
CHAPTER ONEINTRODUCTION1.1 Background of the StudyThe Somali Republic gained independence on 1 July 1960 from the former colonizers; Union of British and Italian. Although the sections were unified as a single nation at independence, the south and the north were, from an institutional outlook, two separate countries. Italy and Britain had left the two with separate administrative, legal, and education systems in which affairs were conducted according to different procedures and in different languages. Police, taxes, and the exchange rates of their respective currencies also differed. Consequently, the two regions’ educated elites had divergent interests, and economic contacts between the two regions were virtually nonexistent.
In 1960 the UN created the Consultative Commission for Integration, an international board headed by UN official Paolo Contini, to guide the gradual merger of the new country’s legal systems and institutions and to reconcile the differences between them. That was succeeded by the Consultative Commission for Legislation in 1964. Composed of Somalis, it took up its predecessor’s work under the chairmanship of Mariano. Despite this move, many southerners believed that, because of experience gained under the Italian trusteeship, theirs was the better prepared of the two regions for self-government. Northern political, administrative, and commercial elites were reluctant to recognize that they now had to deal with Mogadishu.
At the time of independence, the northern region had two functioning political parties: the Somali National League (SNL), representing the Isaaq clan-family that constituted a numerical majority there; and the USP, supported largely by the Dir and the Daarood. In a unified Somalia, however, the Isaaq were a small minority, whereas the northern Daarood joined members of their clan-family from the south in the Somali Youth League (SYL). The Dir, having few kinsmen in the south, were pulled on the one hand by traditional ties to the Hawiye and on the other hand by common regional sympathies to the Isaaq. The southern opposition party, the Greater Somalia League (GSL), pro-Arab and militantly panSomali, attracted the support of the SNL and the United Somali Party (USP) against the SYL, which had adopted a moderate stand before independence.
Northern reservations about being too tightly harnessed to the south were demonstrated by the voting pattern in the June 1961 referendum on the constitution, which was in effect Somalia’s first national election. Although the draft was overwhelmingly approved in the south, it was supported by less than 50 percent of the northern electorate.There was witnessed dissatisfaction at the distribution of power among the clan families and between the two regions which boiled over in December 1961, when a group of British-trained junior army officers in the north rebelled in reaction to the posting of higher ranking southern officers (who had been trained by the Italians for police duties) to command their units. The ringleaders urged a separation of north and south. Northern noncommissioned officers arrested the rebels, but discontent in the north persisted.
In early 1962, GSL leader Husseen, seeking in part to exploit northern dissatisfaction, attempted to form an amalgamated party, known as the Somali Democratic Union (SDU). It enrolled northern elements, some of which were displeased with the northern SNL representatives in the coalition government.Though Husseen’s attempt failed, in May 1962, Igaal and another northern SNL minister resigned from the cabinet and took many SNL followers with them into a new party, the Somali National Congress (SNC), which won widespread northern support. The new party also gained support in the south when it was joined by an SYL faction composed predominantly of Hawiye. This move gave the country three truly national political parties and further served to blur north-south differences.
Despite the difficulties encountered in integrating north and south, the most important political issue in post-independence Somali politics was the unification of all areas populated by Somalis into one country, a concept identified as pan-Somalism, or Greater Somalia. Politicians assumed that this issue dominated popular opinion and that any government would fall if it did not demonstrate a militant attitude toward neighboring countries occupying Somali territory.
Preoccupation with Greater Somalia shaped the character of the country’s newly formed institutions and led to the build-up of the Somali military and ultimately to the war with Ethiopia and fighting in the NFD in Kenya. By law the exact size of the National Assembly was not established in order to facilitate the inclusion of representatives of the contested areas after unification. The national flag featured a five-pointed star whose points represented those areas claimed as part of the Somali nation, the former Italian and British territories, the Ogaden, Djibouti, and the NFD. Moreover, the preamble to the constitution approved in 1961 included the statement, “The Somali Republic promotes by legal and peaceful means, the union of the territories.” The constitution also provided that all ethnic Somalis, no matter where they resided, were citizens of the republic. This statement went against the spirit and letter of the then OAU now AU Charter. The Somalis did not claim sovereignty over adjacent territories, but rather demanded that Somalis living in them be granted the right to self-determination. Somali leaders asserted that they would be satisfied only when their fellow Somalis outside the republic had the opportunity to decide for themselves what their status would be.
In 1991 when Mohammed Siyad Barre flew out of the country the state was swallowed by a virtual state of anarchy. After the collapse of the Somali government various entities decided to vie for control of Somalia resulting in chaos, clan warfare, and interclan fighting. Despite the fact that Somalia is not as lawless as it was at the time when Barre was overthrown, different Somali groups are in constant war over the control of the territory. Unlike other states in Africa, the Somali nation extends beyond its national borders. The Somali-populated region of the Horn of Africa stretches from the Gulf of Tadjoura in modern-day Djibouti through Dire Dawa, Ethiopia, and down to the coastal regions of southern Kenya. After gaining independence in 1960, the aim of Somali nationalism, also known as Pan-Somalism, has been the unification of all Somali populations, forming a Greater Somalia an issue which has been a major cause of past crises between Somalia and its neighbors – Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti.
Currently, about 60% of all Somalis are nomadic or semi-nomadic pastoralists who raise cattle, camels, sheep, and goats. Approximately 25% of the population practice farming and live mainly in the fertile agricultural zone between the Juba and Shabelle Rivers in southern Somalia. The remaining population (15%-20%) lives in urban areas. Sizable ethnic groups in the country include Bantu agricultural workers, several thousand Arabs and some hundreds of Indians and Pakistanis. Almost all inhabitants speak the Somali language, which was unwritten until October 1973, when the Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) proclaimed it the nation’s official language and decreed an orthography using Latin letters. Somali is now the language of instruction in schools, although Arabic, English, and Italian also are used extensively.
Somalia has been without a central government since President Siad Barre fled in 1991 hence the country has been at the mercy of its numerous warring factions and where clan or Islamic Shari’ah law rule. Due to ongoing unrest in the south, a central government is unlikely to evolve soon. A decentralized central federation of regional political entities has emerged, including the self-proclaimed but unrecognized Republic of Somaliland in the northwest, the self-proclaimed Puntland State in the northeast and Jubaland in the south near Kismayo.This study therefore sought to analyze the challenges facing the unification of Somalia in post Siad Barre regime.
Maps of the various areas inhabited by the Somali speaking peoples
1.2 Statement of the ProblemAfter attaining independence from Italy and Britain in 1960, Somalia was regarded by Western leaders as a model democracy to be emulated across the continent, an era that was short-lived, however. The coming to power by Siad Barre in a coup in 1969 saw a swift establishment of a single-party political system. The country struggled for more than 20 years under President Barre’s military regime, but it was the period subsequent to his overthrow, on 26 January 1991, that resulted in wider inter-clan fighting and provided the catalyst for Somalia’s trajectory towards fragmentation and state failure.
Although central and southern areas of Somalia have seen pockets of political stability since 1991, notably under the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), there has been little to no attempt at devising and implementing a countrywide, unifying mandate. In contrast to the Islamic Union that overthrew Barre, the expansion of the ICU across central and southern Somalia from the year 2000 onwards was met with far less domestic resistance.
By 2006, Government strongholds were under siege and many state troops were defecting to the ICU. In order to stop the loss of control, Ethiopia being supported by the United States (US), wrested control of Mogadishu, reversing nearly all of the ICU’s strategic gains. Yet then, as now, there was little in the way of a comprehensive plan to make the new Government sustainable, with the former head of the ICU’s executive council (and present transitional president), Sheikh Ahmed, calling for the onset of an insurgency. Out of this insurgency emerged the Islamist group, al-Shabaab. The group boycotted international conferences aimed at bringing peace to Somalia and condemned other alliances for failing to adopt a global jihadist ideology. As Ethiopian troops left the country in 2009, al-Shabaab was quick to fill the void, implementing Shariah in areas under its purview. Though today, al-Shabaab is not the force it was three years ago. However, the group still controls key areas of Somalia and for this reason; their presence cannot be overlooked when analyzing the process of constituting new political institutions in Somalia that is meant to bring unification of the region.
Today, Barre’s legacy continues to have a direct impact on the ambitions of the Government as it attempts transition. Created out of a reconciliation process in 2000, a TFG was given the mandate to re-establish centralized state apparatus and return Somalia to democracy. Despite successive incarnations, the TFG has never been able to exert influence across all of Somalia, to the extent that many elections for posts within the TFG have had to be held in neighbouring states. Somalia is a much divided nation that lacks any sense of cohesive government and therefore there is no real overall ideology of the country. Somalia is attempting to stabilize many of the internal conflicts that continue to prevail in the country along with attempting to create a political ideology and a foreign policy. However, the path to the unification of the region still seems rather cumbersome.
Scholars of Somali politics have only mentioned two occurrences as suggestion of the Somalis’ sectional nature despite the fact that they share a common language, culture, and religion. They assert that these occurrences are the Somalis’ recent hostility toward the state and nationalism, and the warlords’ success in carving up the country into fiefdoms. On the other hand, supporters of the clanist theory argue that a clan based federal dispensation is the only political formula that will reunite Somalia and assume that genealogical differences led to Somalia’s disintegration. Consequently, these scholars and the available literature have failed to consider other factors that might have played a significant role in the Somalia calamity such as state leaders’ failure to nurture shared cultural and social commonalties and sectarian entrepreneurs’ instrumentalist accentuation of social differences. The state’s credibility seems to have been destroyed because it failed to guard common interest and the erosion of social solidarity based on inclusive values making Somalia reconstruction an awesome task. Furthermore, the role of external actors in fuelling conflict in Somalia as well as the role they play in the state building needs to be investigated. The current study seeks to fill this knowledge gap.
1.3 Research Objectives1.3.1General Objective of the StudyThe general objective of this study was to analyze the challenges facing the unification of Somalia in post Siad-Barre regime.
1.3.2 Specific Objectives of the Study
To examine the underlying causes of the disintegration of Somalia in post Siad Barre period.
To investigate the role of internal factors that could promote the unification of Somalia.
To determine the role of international factors that could promote the unification of Somalia.
1.4 Justification of the StudyIn September 2011, Somali leaders gathered in Mogadishu to produce a document aimed at ending transition in Somalia and establishing legitimate and democratic institutions. This national reconciliation conference was the first political event of its kind in four years and aimed to recompose the splintered East African state, while placing Somalia on the road to peace and prosperity. In a bid to safeguard the gains made at this conference, a further meeting was convened in London on 23 February 2012, bringing together international actors and Somali politicians with the aim of stepping up the pressure on Somalia to complete the transition. Indeed, the months bridging 2011-12 represented the most sustained period of diplomacy between the United Kingdom (UK) and Somalia since the fall of the Barre regime. However, the TFG’s intransigence on many of the Roadmap’s originally agreed objectives meant that only an abridged version of the document could be agreed upon, which served to prompt frustrated international actors to push more firmly for an end to the fragile and fractious Transitional Federal Institutions. Ultimately, there is no clear idea of what Somalia’s political landscape will look like following the expiry of the TFG’s mandate, and this looming political uncertainty remains a concern for politicians – both internationally and within Somalia.) It is thus of great significance to ascertain the underlying causes of disintegration in post Siad Barre regime and then analyzing the role of internal and external factors on the effort of unification of Somalia.
1.5 Scope and Limitations of the studyThe study majorly relied on secondary data for information apart from the few questionnaires that were administered to officials in the ministry of foreign affairs since the researcher was unable to travel to collect primary data in the study region as a result of a number of factors. First, travelling to the area of study was hindered by lack of finance; second to this challenge is the issue of constant insecurity in the region hence made it difficult to access the area of study; and finally, the topic of study touches the sensitive political issues of a country that has been in political turmoil since independent hence any discussion surrounding such topics might not have been welcomed by people of high ranking who may be scared of anonymity of their involvement in the study. This study dwelled on the challenges facing the unification of Somalia by looking at the causes of the disintegration and the role of internal and external forces on the road to unification in post Siad Barre regime.
1.6 Literature ReviewBefore colonization the Somali lived in a stateless society, where the individual could only rely on kinship solidarity for help and security.As a result, loyalty was offered first to those with common ancestry, this was a major obligation uniting a single clan. Clan, based on patrilineal principles was the essential political entity, where ethnic origin determined political alliances. However, according to Issa-Salwe, these alliances were always unsolidified and the extent of the political community was defined through informal political-legal contracts, which were used to settle political and legal disputes, thus, reinforcing political loyalties.Moreover, within the community, political authority was shared and political control was not centralized. Therefore, clan leaders, lacking executive powers and right to rule presided over the assembly of elders, and where responsible for inter-clan relationships and all other clan affairs.
Furthermore, the societal concept of egalitarianism was fundamental whereby all adult males were allowed to have a say in the institutionalized shir and were empowered to direct the policies of the lineage through a contractual treaty. Pastoral democracy existed, where all had the right to participate and decisions were based on consensus.According to Schackt, the traditional Somali autonomic pastoral or agro-nomadic lifestyle was related to the nomadic people’s autonomic relationship to the state. However, Mahmood argued that the construct of clan as a shared identity became a power tool used by colonialists, whereby clan came to be the only legal identity the Somalis could have by which they could gain access to the state.
After a coup d’état in 1969 Gen. Mohamed Siyaad Barre’s military junta seized power in Somalia and implemented an ideology of “Scientific socialism”. Thus, a process of nationalizing crucial economic sectors began, and different national development projects were introduced. By early 1970s the regime organized a repressive statewide control apparatus. Gradually, power became more centralized around the president, as the regime appointed people to political posts based on clan. Helander however notes that the dictator gained popular support because of successful national development projects and an ambition to reunite the Somali territory including parts of Kenya Northern Frontier District) and Ethiopia (Ogaden) with a Somali populations.According to Samatar, the Somali nationalistic strife for territorial reunification, created strained relationships to both Ethiopia and Kenya and in 1977 the Ethiopian-Somalia War broke out. The Barre regime’s defeat against Ethiopia in 1978 was followed by a shift of ideology and alliances.The inflow of refugees to the country, the loss from the war and the downward spiraling economy, the antagonism against the regime was heightened. Subsequently, the Barre regime’s exercise of power changed character such that corruption and nepotism became rampant and people started fleeing the country on political grounds.
Kapteijns observed that in an effort to suppress political opponents and the public’s dissatisfaction, the regime implemented divide-and-rule policies, where feelings of clan affiliation were used to trigger and escalate competition, dissatisfaction and conflict among Somalis, thereby increasing people’s awareness of clan identity. Issa-Salwe noted that in early 1980s US supply of weapons, financial aid and generous loans were offered to the Barre’s regime because of it was interested in the strategically located naval base in Berbera.Helander argued that the American interest in the country also attracted other western supporters and the support continued in spite of offences against human rights and deep rooted corruption.Thus, Somalia became dependent on western aid as it was a major part of the economy. Consequently, neither did this aid noticeably fuel industrial development nor improve living standards for the population. The only road to prosperity for the “common man” during the 1980s was through relatives who had access to development agency funds, and for the majority of Somalis, “the State” was an abstract entity that they were not a part of.
Menkhaus observed that Somalia’s strategic importance reduced with the end of the Cold War and subsequently, the Barre regimes lost donated, financial capacity to uphold the state through patronage and coercion.In 1991 the dictatorial regime was overthrown by oppositional groupings, leaving a power vacuum making it possible for the United Somali Congress (USC), led by Gen. Mohammed Farah Aidid, to seize power, which resulted in a power struggle between opponent clans. Food became a weapon, as militias enforced a man-made famine by looting food convoys and threatening relief workers among other things. The oppositional groupings became another way to further clan interests with arms by employing the same political tactics as Barre regime.
According to Kapteijns, a “key shift” occurred, when political violence became communal violence. Through rationalized clan cleansing campaigns based on clan identity, people were turned against each other. In 1992 the situation deteriorated, as clan antagonism deepened and the famine reached horrendous proportions, whereby the United Nations (UN) implemented the peacekeeping operation UNOSOM to help restore the country’s nation state status. However, insecurity and continuous fighting hampered the relief efforts.
Consequently, the US government approved Operation Restore Hope, a massive military intervention with humanitarian overtones with the UN Security Councils authorization to use all necessary means to establish as soon as possible a secure environment for humanitarian relief. In 1993 a ceasefire was agreed upon between the Somali political movements, but it was not preserved and conflicts occurred between militiamen and UNOSOM. Subsequently, several countries withdrew in 1994 followed by an entire withdrawal of the UN operation in 1995. Simultaneously, as the country fell apart due to the intra-state conflict, the clans claimed different regions in the country. Somalis formed proto-state systems in Somaliland, Puntland and alternative forms of order exist in other parts of the country today, which lack juridical status in the international community.
Shinn noted that the international community showed restraint in their involvement in the country after the failed UN intervention.Meanwhile, the agenda of peace conferences, organized by international and regional actors, became dominated by warlords. However, in recent years the international and particularly American interest in Somalia was revitalized, as the country became a haven for al-Qaeda affiliated terrorism.
After a reconciliation conference in Kenya 2002-04, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was created, where the Ethiopian affiliated warlord triumphed. But, because political representation was built on genealogical formula, as the basis of power-sharing, it was endorsed by the international community.Yet, the TFG had difficulties gaining control over the Somali territory, while several parts of the country fell under the control of Union of Islamic Courts (UICs). Hostile statements made by leaders of the rising UICs, and their seizure of the capital Mogadishu led to a TFG supported Ethiopian intervention.
According to Brett Morash “the fall of Mogadishu to UIC was a serious issue in Washington and Addis Ababa as it meant to them that Somalia was preparing to become the next Talibanlike state, coupled with the risk of making a play for Ogaden as well. Even though the Ethiopian troops succeeded in retrieving the capital, groups like al-Shabaab still posed a threat to TFG. Therefore, the African Union (AU) launched the UN supported regional peacekeeping operation AMISOM in 2007, which aimed at stabilizing the situation in the country.
A report by AMISOM states that two main factors accelerated the disintegration of Somalia: the first was the offensive launched by the Somali National Movement (SNM) in 1988 in the northwest and secondly the collapse of USSR which ended super power support of even dictatorial regimes in pursuit of ideological positions. The dwindling super power support enabled the various rebel groups to launch a full scale civil war by late 1980’s mainly in the northern regions. The war then spread rapidly to the central and south. The national army finally began to disintegrate and some members defected and joined their respective clan militias. In early 1990 the rebels formed a united front against Siad Barre forces and as a result Barre called upon the Darood clan to massacre the opposition in Mogadishu. This led to more unity among the various militias that saw Aideed capture the capital, Mogadishu. On 26 Jan 1991 Siad Barre fled to his clans’ home base in Gedo region, in the country’s far south.
After capturing the capital, the rebels were unsuccessful to maintain their unity due to power greed and the old clan rivalry causing an outbreak of fighting amongst them leading to a near genocidal campaign. The chaotic state forced western donors to freeze aid, leading to more suffering. Due to the fighting, the rebel movements split even into further smaller forces depending on sub-clan interests and identities reducing their military capacity, making it impossible for any one of them to capture total power. This inability created a stalemate situation which has been witnessed by intermittent inter-clan fighting, resulting into several casualties.
The net result of the chaos was the complete failure of Somalia as a state as declared by the then UN Secretary General, Boutros Ghali, in 1992. Looting, rape and murder occurred indiscriminately while infrastructure was damaged and government property, archives and records looted. The judiciary and civil services became almost non-existence and the representation of the state at the international level vanished. All aspects of running the peoples affairs, from security to provision of essential services, were left at the hands of the warlords who however cared less about such things and their main driving force was personal enrichment through looting, imposition of illegal taxes, protection fees and gun running. The net effect has been the breaking of the very fibre of the Somali society.
The Somalia instability has been attributed to internationalization of the conflict by the Barre’s regime in its aim of achieving the Greater Somalia vision. The use of clanism as a clarion call to resistance failed with the defeat of the army in Ogaden, leading to the collapse of the state. The raise of the tribal warlords keeps on fuelling the conflict and complicating the peace process in the region. The immediate post independent era was marked by internal socio-political instability centred on the merger of the colonial territories and the support of irredentist conflict activities in the north-eastern Kenya and south-eastern Ethiopia. When Barre consolidated his power base he adopted a dreadful policy, which favoured his clan, and this led to disintegration of the Army that was formerly the central figure of his power structure. Consequently, the collapse of the state in 1991 left the country without a central government or viable infrastructures. Contrary to the common knowledge, the disaster in Somalia was not created by fighting alone, but rather by the massive, persistent and deliberate violations of human rights committed by all factions.
The collapse of the state has been followed by diverse mediation efforts ranging from regional bodies, UN, US and many others without success. The most recent and successful effort has been under the sponsorships of IGAD. The outcome of the 14th Somali Peace and Reconciliation Conference in Kenya led to a possible rebirth of the Republic of Somalia a conference which led to the election of 275 members of parliament and new president, Colonel Abudullahi Yusuf. However, the prospects look gloomy for the new government as it is faced with lawlessness and fears of growing terrorist groups. As a result of this, states that have suffered terrorist attacks like Kenya, a terrorist victim in 1998 and 2002 has been in the forefront to ensure that order, stability and security prevail in Somalia. The major challenge now is the repatriation of about three million refugees back into the country; who are spread in many parts of Kenya, Horn of Africa and the rest of the world. A reconciled Somalia will offer hope for security, stability and peace in the whole Horn of Africa.
1.7 Theoretical Framework- Contractual TheoryContractual theorist Rousseau asserts that when humans lack the power to overcome the obstacles of their preservation in the state of nature, the only means for survival is uniting their powers. However, Rousseau states that the difficulty is to find a form of association which will defend and protect with the whole common force the person and goods of each associate, and in which each, while uniting himself with all, may still obey himself alone, and remain as free as before.
The solution is the social contact, by which each individual unites himself and his power in command under the General Will, and in their shared capacity each member becomes an inseparable part of the whole. Moreover, the general will is based on common denominators of different interests, thus, society should be governed by the General Will. This contract creates a unified moral and collective body, with a common will. The public person, formed by the unification of people, constitutes the state.
Despite losing one’s natural freedom through contractual consolidation, the individual gains civil liberties, moral liberty and the proprietorship of his possessions. Through moral liberty i.e. obeying laws that he himself has prescribed, the individual acquires freedom within the state. Hence, the purpose of the social contract is the prosperity and preservation of its members. It can be seen as regulating the relationship between the state and its citizens.
In Rousseau’s conceptual frameworks, forces of power are highlighted in different ways. The states capacity to enforce order is based on its ability to monopolize force, which is dependent on its ability to gain obedience, and ultimately through legitimacy of authority it gains power through the members of the state. For Rousseau the social contract is a consolidation of power; the unification of each members force; thus the construction of a contract is built around the concept of power. Furthermore, within the state the general will, can be seen as holding power over the single individual, however, as he is a constituent of the public body, he gains power in the form of moral liberty. Thus, power relationships are illustrated through the social contract. Similarly, power plays a role within the state-building process in which power holder concentrate power over a territory, army and population.
Rousseau was an advocator for egalitarianism; i.e. the equality of humans; equal voting rights for all men (excluding women) and participatory democracy.22 Rousseau’s concept of social contract is seen as most applicable in the case of Somalia and thus in this study of unification of Somalia. To achieve a unified Somalia, the state will have to acquire the capacity to enforce order based on its ability to monopolize force, which is dependent on its ability to gain obedience, and ultimately through legitimacy of authority it gains power through the members of the state who are constituents of the public body and gain power in the form of moral liberty.
1.8 Hypothesis of the StudyInternal factors have played a role in the unification process of Somalia in post Siad Barre regime.
The international actors have contributed to the process of unification of Somalia in post Siad Barre regime.
1.9 Methodology of the StudyThis section outlines the methods of collecting, organizing and analyzing data. It is divided into research design, data collection and data analysis.
1.9.1 Research DesignThis study will use secondary data in examining the challenges facing unification of Somalia in post Siad Barre regime. Secondary data will be preferable since the researcher has time limitation to collect primary data from the study areas. Secondary data include data gathered from documents search such as media reports, analysis and review of published books, journals, papers, periodicals, and unpublished works as well as government’s official documents. The study will use secondary data in the form of documented information from libraries and other relevant institutions.
The findings from secondary data once collected will be analyzed through content analysis. Content analysis is any technique for making inferences by systematically and objectively identifying special characteristics of messages. In this context, the researcher scrutinize artifacts of social communication (artifacts are written or transcriptions of recorded communication.
1.10 Chapters Outline
CHAPTER ONE: Introduction to the Study
CHAPTER TWO: The historical background and the state development in Somalia
CHAPTER THREE: An overview of conflict and the Challenges of Unification in Somalia
CHAPTER FOUR: Internal and external efforts towards the unification of Somalia CHAPTER FIVE: Conclusion and Recommendations
CHAPTER TWOHISTORICAL BACKGROUND AND THE STATE DEVELOPMENT IN SOMALIA2.1 IntroductionThis chapter analyzes the historical background and the state development in Somalia particularly from the 1990s.
2.2 Development of Somalia StateThe development of the Somali state is traced to an Arab sultanate, which was founded in the seventh century A.D. by Koreishite immigrants from Yemen. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Portuguese traders landed in present Somali territory and ruled several coastal towns. The sultan of Oman and Zanzibar subsequently took control of these towns and their surrounding territory.
2.2.1 The Colonial HeritageSomalia was colonized by three European countries; Great Britain, France, and Italy.The two most influential colonial powers were Italy who occupied the South of Somalia from 1889 and Great Britain who controlled the North of Somalia from 1886. In 1950, Italy gained a trusteeship of South Somalia and agreed with the British who controlled the North (also known as British Somaliland) that the Somali people would gain their independence ten years later. Both countries kept their promise and in 1960 British Somaliland and South Somalia were successfully transferred to the Somali Republic under a then developed Somali political elite.
Somalia’s modern history began in the late 19th century, when various European powers began to trade and establish themselves in the area.It was the British East India Company’s desire for unrestricted harbor facilities that led to the establishment of treaties with the sultan of Tajura as early as 1840. However, the British gained control over northern Somalia in 1886 by signing treaties with various Somali chiefs who were guaranteed British protection. British goals focused on safeguarding trade links to the east and securing local sources of food and provisions for its coaling station in Aden.
The boundary between Ethiopia and British Somaliland was established in 1897 through treaty negotiations between British negotiators and King Menelik.However, during this period, British rule was challenged through persistent attacks by rebellions led by Mohamed Abdullah, known as the “Mad Mullah” by the British. A long series of intermittent engagements and truces ended in 1920 when British warplanes bombed Abdullah’s stronghold at Taleex. Although Abdullah was defeated as much by rival Somali factions as by British forces, he was lauded as a popular hero and stands as a major figure of national identity to many Somalis.
Italy gained commercial advantages in the area from the sultan of Zanzibar in 1885 and in 1889 concluded agreements with the sultans of Obbia and Aluula, who placed their territories under Italy’s protection. Between 1897 and 1908, Italy made agreements with the Ethiopians and the British that marked out the boundaries of Italian Somaliland. The Italian Government assumed direct administration, giving the territory colonial status. Italian occupation gradually extended inland. In 1924, the Jubaland Province of Kenya, including the town and port of Kismayo, was ceded to Italy by the United Kingdom. The conquest and occupation of the independent sultanates of Obbia and Mijertein, begun in 1925, were accomplished in 1927. In the late 1920s, Italian and Somali influence expanded into the Ogaden region of eastern Ethiopia. Continuing invasions climaxed in 1935 when Italian forces launched an offensive that led to the capture of Addis Ababa and the Italian annexation of Ethiopia in 1936.
The declaration of war on the United Kingdom in June 1940 by Italy saw the Italian troops invasion of British Somaliland and driving out the British garrison, but in 1941, British forces began operations against the Italian East African Empire and quickly brought the greater part of Italian Somaliland under British control. Between 1941 and 1950, Somalia was under British military administration, transition toward self-government begun through the establishment of local courts, planning committees, and the Protectorate Advisory Council. In 1948 Britain turned the Ogaden and neighboring Somali territories over to Ethiopia.
In Article 23 of the 1947 peace treaty, Italy renounced all rights and titles to Italian Somaliland. In accordance with treaty stipulations, on September 15, 1948, the Four Powers referred the question of disposal of former Italian colonies to the UN General Assembly. On November 21, 1949, the General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending that Italian Somaliland be placed under an international trusteeship system for 10 years, with Italy as the administering authority, followed by independence for Italian Somaliland. In 1959, at the request of the Somali Government, the UN General Assembly advanced the date of independence from December 2 to July 1, 1960.
Meanwhile, rapid progress toward self-government was being made in British Somaliland. Elections for the Legislative Assembly were held in February 1960, and one of the first acts of the new legislature was to request that the United Kingdom grant the area independence so that it could be united with Italian Somaliland when the latter became independent. The protectorate became independent on June 26, 1960; five days later, on July 1, it joined Italian Somaliland to form the Somali Republic.
In June 1961, Somalia adopted its first national constitution in a countrywide referendum, which provided for a democratic state with a parliamentary form of government based on European models. During the early post-independence period, political parties were a fluid concept, with one-person political parties forming before an election, only to defect to the winning party following the election. A constitutional conference in Mogadishu in April 1960, which made the system of government in the southern Somali trust territory the basis for the future government structure of the Somali Republic, resulted in the concentration of political power in the former Italian Somalia capital of Mogadishu and a southern-dominated central government, with most key government positions occupied by the southern Somali, producing increased disenchantment with the union in the former British-controlled north.
Pan-Somali nationalism, with the goal of uniting the Somali-populated regions of French Somaliland (Djibouti), Kenya and Ethiopia into a Greater Somalia, remained the driving political ideology in the initial post-independence period. Under the leadership of Mohamed Ibrahim Egal (prime minister from 1967 to 1969), however, Somalia renounced its claims to the Somali-populated regions of Ethiopia and Kenya, greatly improving its relations with both countries. Egal attempted a similar approach with Ethiopia, but the move towards reconciliation with Ethiopia, which had been a traditional enemy of Somalia since the 16th century, made many Somalis furious, including the army. Egal’s reconciliation effort toward Ethiopia is argued to be one of the principal factors that provoked a bloodless coup on October 21, 1969 and subsequent installation of Maj. Gen. Mohamed Siad Barre as president, bringing an abrupt end to the process of party-based constitutional democracy in Somalia.
The former democratically elected government had been pro-western and gained the support of the USA. However, Siyad Barre backed up by The Soviet Union introduced the “scientific socialism” claiming that a new era, without corruption or tribalism, would see the light of day. The war against Ethiopia between 1977 and 1978 rooted in the disputed Ogaden territory in Ethiopia, ended with Ethiopia defeating Somalia. This defeat had two implications: First, Ethiopia had been supported by Cuban troops, which meant that Siyad Barre in 1979 broke relations with the Soviet Union and Cuba, and shifted alliance to the USA. This meant that Somali now became dependent on a different kind of aid system. Secondly, having realized that he was facing a decrease in popular support, Siyad Barre felt pressured to start governing using tribalistic policies (also named MOD for the three subdivision of his clan the Darod, Marrehan, Ogaden and Dulbahante, along the line of which power was delegated). This lead to repression of other clans, and a national civil war broke out in 1988 between Siyad Barre’s regime and Somaliland’s Isaq Clansmen which lasted until 26th of January 1991 when Siyad Barre fled the country.
2.2.2 Fragmentation of the Somalia State.
Somalia held the last civilian elections in March 1969 in which 1002 candidates represented 62 parties who applied for state offices. These groups were mainly thinly disguised clan organizations clearly reflecting the Somali view of the state as a source of income rather than a workplace of civil service.President Shermarke won the elections but was assassinated by a bodyguard on the 15th of October 1969 and shortly after the 21st of October, the army calmly seized power and General Muhammad Siyad Barre took office .
Following the coup, executive and legislative power was vested in the 20-member Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC), headed by Barre. The SRC pursued a course of “scientific socialism” that reflected both ideological and economic dependence on the Soviet Union. The government instituted a national security service, centralized control over information, and initiated a number of grassroots development projects. Barre reduced political freedoms and used military force to seize and redistribute rich farmlands in the interriverine areas of southern Somalia, relying on the use of force and terror against the Somali population to consolidate his political power base. The SRC became increasingly radical in foreign affairs, and in 1974, Somalia and the Soviet Union concluded a treaty of friendship and cooperation. As early as 1972, tensions began increasing along the Somali-Ethiopian border; these tensions heightened after the accession to power in Ethiopia in 1973 of the Mengistu Haile Mariam regime, which turned increasingly toward the Soviet Union. In the mid-1970s, the Western Somali Liberation Front (WSLF) began guerrilla operations in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia.
Following the overthrow of the Ethiopian Emperor in 1975, Somalia invaded Ethiopia in 1977 in a second attempt to regain the Ogaden, and the second attempt initially appeared to be in Somalia’s favor. The SNA moved quickly toward Harer, Jijiga, and Dire Dawa, the principal cities of the region. However, with the Ethiopian revolution, the new Ethiopian government shifted its alliance from the West to the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union supplied Ethiopia with 10,000-15,000 Cuban troops and Soviet military advisors during the 1977-78 Ogaden war, shifting the advantage to Ethiopia and resulting in Somalia’s defeat. In November 1977, Barre expelled all Soviet advisers and abrogated the friendship agreement with the U.S.S.R. In March 1978, Somali forces retreated into Somalia; however, the WSLF continued to carry out sporadic but greatly reduced guerrilla activity in the Ogaden. Such activities also were subsequently undertaken by another dissident group, the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF).
With the 1977-1978 Ogaden war, desperate to find a strong external alliance to replace the Soviet Union, Somalia abandoned its Socialist ideology and turned to the West for international support, military equipment, and economic aid. In 1978, the United States reopened the U.S. Agency for International Development mission in Somalia. Two years later, an agreement was concluded that gave U.S. forces access to military facilities at the port of Berbera in northwestern Somalia. In the summer of 1982, Ethiopian forces invaded Somalia along the central border, and the United States provided two emergency airlifts to help Somalia defend its territorial integrity. From 1982 to 1988, the United States viewed Somalia as a partner in defense in the context of the Cold War. Somali officers of the National Armed Forces were trained in U.S. military schools in civilian as well as military subjects.
Following the Ogaden war, the Barre regime violently suppressed opposition movements and ethnic groups, particularly the Isaaq clan in the northern region, using the military and elite security forces to quash any hint of rebellion. By the 1980s, an all-out civil war developed in Somalia. Opposition groups began to form following the end of the Ogaden war, beginning in 1979 with a group of dissatisfied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF). In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre regime, the Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre regime. In January 1989, the United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome.
A military wing of the USC was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Mohamed Farah “Aideed,” a former political prisoner imprisoned by Barre from 1969-75.Aideed also formed alliances with other opposition groups, including the SNM and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Ogadeen sub-clan force under Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. In 1988, at the President’s order, aircraft from the Somali National Air Force bombed the city of Hargeisa in northwestern Somalia, the former capital of British Somaliland, killing nearly 10,000 civilians and insurgents. The warfare in the northwest sped up the decay already evident elsewhere in the republic. Economic crisis, brought on by the cost of anti-insurgency activities, caused further hardship as Siad Barre and his cronies looted the national treasury.
By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia.Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM forces advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed opposition factions drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government.
2.3 Dynamics in Somalia after 1990
There are distinguished three periods in the development of political Islam in Somalia after 1990:
2.3.1 Changes in religious practice, al Itihaad al Islaami and local Islamic courts (1991–96)
The period from January 1991 until December 1992 was characterized by large-scale civil war. This entailed very high levels of human insecurity, which as a new social reality also influenced the significance and form of religious practice. For instance, people read the Qur’an more often in quest of spiritual support. Identification with Islam also became a means to achieve physical security, e.g., against the mooryaan, groups of youth militias that avoided attacks on religious people for fear of God’s punishment. There was a great proliferation of factions during this period. Islamic groups that had been set up at the outset of the upheaval against the regime were neither very active nor visible in the period when the fighting was hardest.
Some political groups operated with an Islamic agenda and the most influential and the only one arming itself was al Itihaad al Islaami (AIAI). Its strategy of trying to assume power violently distinguished it from other Islamic groups. AIAI tried to occupy the cities of Merka, Kismaayo and Boosaaso, but was defeated by other factions, such as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front, which expelled AIAI from most of the northeastern regions (Puntland). AIAI settled itself in the Gedo region and established some kind of order in Luuq, a town near the Somali-Ethiopian border, with limited success until 1996.
Another group, al-Islaah, which was initially an Islamic NGO operated at the interface between Somalis and international Islamic NGOs. At the very beginning, its activities were modest and the projects it implemented demonstrated a real social commitment. Al-Islaah then developed a strong basis inside Bakaraha market in South Mogadishu. Through the external support it received, Al-Islaah was able to build a network across different groups of the population. For instance, it was very influential in the education sector.
One of the important elements during this period was the creation of Islamic courts in a few areas in Mogadishu and Middle Shabelle. These courts attempted to enforce Sharia law in order to exert control over large parts of these two centres. In North Mogadishu which was then under Ali Mahdi’s influence, Islamic courts achieved some levels of security. During that period, Sharia courts attempted to be seen as independent of all the politico-military factions that emerged from the civil war. The fact that they employed armed militias to enforce law proved that they were becoming leading actors in the political sphere. Their political ambitions largely explain why they were challenged and destroyed.
Islamic groups merging with communities (1996–2000)
This period was marked mostly by social assertion, in the sense that the Islamic and even the more militant groupings sought to work within communities, within clans and did not want to be as independent as in the preceding period with the logic of being different from previous attempts to influence political dynamics. Consequently, the groupings became very powerful actors with a geographical focus on South Mogadishu and the Lower Shabelle region. Their major achievement was to establish a considerable level of security. The years 2000 witnessed the climax and at the same time the end of their influence. It was the climax in the sense that the Islamic courts had to be considered to be the most influential political actors in south-central Somalia. It was seen as the end as a number of elements within the courts decided to align themselves with the newly formed Transitional National Government (TNG). The existing courts were split on that decision: some of their leaders such as Hassan Dahir Aweys refused to cooperate with the TNG and withdrew from the political realm. Most, however, supported the TNG and provided recruits for the police and the army.
The rise and fall of the Union of Islamic Courts: After 11 September 2001
The Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) became to be considered the leading political actors during this period. The victory of the Islamic courts resulted from the merging of several factors. First, there was a popular uprising against the factions, though the population was not unanimous. Second, the Islamic courts were in fact the only ones able to fill the gap after the factions fled Mogadishu, because neither clans nor businessmen that had been supporting the war effort were organized.
The political spectrum of the Islamic groups forming UIC was very broad. Though the Union of Islamic Courts has been criticized for a number of serious failings and measures taken, one striking element about their rise is their legitimacy. Over the last 17 years, it was considered an organization that was legitimate for most of the Somalis. The Courts were seen as legitimate, though not everything the Courts did was seen as positive. Though there were a lot of arguments against specific decisions or non-decisions, nevertheless for the first time people saw legitimacy of a de facto Somali authority that was deprived yet of a political programme.
2.3.4 The road to Autonomy: The Creation of Somaliland and Puntland
The north-western region of Somaliland unilaterally declared independence from Somalia in 1991 as a result of a home-grown, clan-based reconciliation process, culminating in the Boroma Conference of 1993, which elected Mahamed Haji Ibrahim Egal as President. The declaration of independence and the formation of an interim Government marked the end of a 10-year war by the Somali National Movement against the Government of Siad Barre. Somaliland is dominated by the Isaaq clan and comprises 5 of the 18 administrative regions of Somalia. Though internationally unrecognized, the Somaliland Government comprises an Executive President, a Cabinet and a bicameral Parliament composed of the House of Elders and the House of Representatives. A Constitution, adopted in 2001 through a public referendum, began the transformation of a ‘clan democracy’ system into a multi-party democracy. It establishes the judiciary as an independent branch of the Government, and stipulates the formation of regional and local governments. Somaliland has held a series of national democratic elections.
The north-eastern region of Puntland followed Somaliland’s example with the creation of the semiautonomous Puntland State of Somalia in August 1998. This was the outcome of a nearly three-month long consultative conference, involving both political and clan leaders. Constitutionally, Puntland is part of Somalia, and its Government is working towards rebuilding a unified Somali state. It has a Parliament; major political decisions are taken by clan representatives who are either members of Parliament or convene as traditional authorities. Home to the Darood/Majerteyn clan, Puntland comprises 3 of the 18 regions of Somalia, and contests control of two disputed regions, Sool and Sanaag, with neighbouring Somaliland. Unlike Somaliland, Puntland advocates for a federal Somalia and formally endorsed the transitional federal process; but has its own Constitution and armed forces, and conducts its own foreign and trade policies.
2.3.5 The Establishment of TFG and the rise of Al-ShabaabThe TFG was created in 2004 as a result of a two years internationally sponsored negotiation process between the warring factions in Nairobi. While being the sole internationally recognized interlocutor, the TFG lacks both capacity and legitimacy. Although it benefits from military and diplomatic support, it has failed to improve the general security situation, even in Mogadishu, as well as in providing basic services to the Somalis. Dysfunctional and politically isolated, the TFG has also been perceived as an Ethiopian proxy, further alienating support from large sections of the population. These shortfalls have not prevented a renewed support from international actors, for it was assumed that the TFG was the most viable option. Indeed, TFG is needed because it provides a legal framework for intervention and Western counterterrorist policies.
The TFG still has to accomplish many of the transitional tasks set out in the Transitional Federal Charter during its five-year tenure. Following the so-called power sharing formula with the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) in early 2009, known as the Djibouti Agreement, the TFG was reconstituted, and the Parliament expanded with the addition of 200 ARS and 75 civil society members. This new agreement prolonged the life of the TFG by extending its term, which was due to end in January 2009, for a further two-year period.
The rise of Al-Shabaab, which controls most of southern Somalia, limited the reach of the TFG, being confined to a few districts in Mogadishu. Formed from the merger of four Somali groups, Al-Shabaab has been supported by foreign Islamists, including those linked to Al-Qaeda. Starting as a nationalist fundamentalist Islamic group, Al-Shabaab originally focused on driving Ethiopian forces out of Somalia following their invasion in 2006 in response to the takeover of large parts of Somalia by the hard-line ICU. The movement has now changed its focus and is looking to promote global jihad, rather than just creating an Islamic caliphate in Somalia.
Over the past three years, Al-Shabaab has instituted many of the same harsh practices as the Afghan Taliban in the territories under its control. It enforces its rules by administrative methods and intimidation. In early 2008, the United States designated Al-Shabaab a foreign terrorist organization, meaning that it is believed to be involved in the planning and/or execution of acts of terrorism against US nationals or national security. Today, Al-Shabaab’s ideological commitment to global jihadism; its connections to Al-Qaeda; its military capabilities through the operation of terrorist training camps, with an exodus of young Somali men from Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, the United States and Europe; and its ability to capture and control territory suggest that it will continue to pose a strategic challenge to Somalia and neighbouring countries.
The strength of Al-Shabaab also lies in its ability to address the needs of certain groups, especially youth, who have been marginalized by both political processes and resource conflicts. Lost opportunities, unclear identity and a growing sense of marginalization among youth in an environment of state collapse, violent conflict and economic decline provide fertile ground for youth radicalization. The same reasons that have pushed young Somalis to join Al-Shabaab have also drawn them to join street gangs. Socioeconomic problems are not only the factors used by Al-Shabaab for recruitment, however; it also uses intimidation and force, along with jihadist indoctrination.
In June 2011, Al-Shabaab moved out of Mogadishu, thus providing the TFG with an opportunity to consolidate its position there. This has opened space for recovery and development. The TFG received a further extension for a year, and is working with the international community to implement the Mogadishu Stabilization Plan for the ravaged capital. Another positive development has been a consultative meeting on ending the transition in Somalia held in May 2011 and the adoption of a roadmap on 6 September 2011 for the remaining part of the TFG’s tenure, including the completion of a draft Constitution by 20 June 2012.
The TFG has limited public support. It has made limited progress in establishing itself as an effective authority. Like its predecessors, it has more opponents and internal spoilers than allies. For most Somalis, their only experience with the central Government is that of predation, and they fear that it will dominate and marginalize them. This underscores the limits of the TFG as a genuinely representative and inclusive government, which explains the recurrent tensions between it and self-governing enclaves. Some local and foreign observers have also expressed concern about corruption in the current Government. Its strength compared to previous governments may lie not in its legitimacy and support within Somalia, but in its recognition by the international community. An analysis of Somalia suggests that the political landscape is dominated by distinct but overlapping regional (border security) and international (piracy and counter-terrorism) security agendas. The security and stability of the Somali people themselves, the targets of so much of the violence, frequently gets overlooked.
2.4 Governance in SomaliaThere are multiple layers of government which vary in their effectiveness and capacity for service delivery with some recognized while some are no more than aspirational. Since work on the constitution still in progress, a TFG or national perspective is that all are operating in a constitutional and legal limbo.With the announcement of the US ‘dual-track’ strategy in 2010, there has been emergence of a large number of self-declared sub-national entities some of which are seen as no more than “briefcase entities”.The increase of international interventions have had a dramatic impact on local dynamics where some observers have mentioned that the proliferation of new entities is the latest opportunistic scramble to qualify as stakeholders in yet another externally designed political process.
The various entities have several qualitative differences between them and few possess the capacity for territorial control and service delivery of the governments of Puntland or Somaliland. At the same time, international actors cannot hope to fast-track the consolidation of new entities by their own support unless the groundwork of local political engagement has been done.
2.3.1 Categories of Governments in Somalia
National Level Government
The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) headed by Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed occupies the distinguished legal position as the internationally recognized government of Somalia. Its mandate is founded on the Charter agreed during the Somali National Peace Conference in 2004. Though the TFG claims authority over the whole territory of Somalia with the diplomatic support of the UN and other international partners, it has never managed to establish itself as a government with authority over a significant territory.The TFG has been depending onmilitary support and protection from the African Union (AU), and financial and political backing from the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), the AU, the US and others.
Despite recent military gains in Mogadishu, the TFG only directly controls a small part of the capital with its allies controlling more territory. The relationship between the TFG and these allies is seen as a complicated one. The TFG have suffered serious internal divisions. In June 2011 the intervention of Uganda was required to pepper over tensions between the Speaker of the Transitional Parliament, Sharif Hassan and President Sheikh Sharif. There have been three different Prime Ministers since 2009. The authorities in Somaliland present themselves as a national government, separated from the rest of the country. They regard their formal links with Somalia to have been severed in 1991, and their independence was confirmed in a popular referendum in 2001. However, Somaliland’s independence is not internationally recognized, despite its being the most effective and democratic system of government in Somalia. Somaliland perceives itself as separate from the Somalia discussion and does not participate in talks surrounding the future of the country. If sustainable peace begins to emerge in the rest of Somalia the question of relations with Somaliland will become urgent.
The aspirations of al Shabaab militants are national in scope. They have been in control of the larger part of south-central Somalia and are opposed to the existence of the TFG as well as the assorted sub-national entities. Although al Shabaab has suffered loss of territory and political and moral authority during the famine, it remains the best-organized military force in the south of the country. The al Shabaab has made little military progress in Puntland and Somaliland, but it has launched terrorist attacks in both territories in the past and is thought to have a foothold there.
The second category is that of state governments, which broadly conform to the principles of the Charter and exercise authority in specified territory. Puntland has been the most developed case with some other new entities seeking to emulate its example. Puntland has established a significant degree of control over territory encompassing several regions and multiple sub-clans.It has the capacity to perform functions of government such as law enforcement, excise collection and representation outside their territory. Puntland has been working towards becoming a federal state within a united Somalia hence has been fully engaged in consultations on ending the transition.
Regional or District Administrations
At a level below are the district administrations that control less than two regions but exercise some control over that territory. Galmudug is the best known in this category, and has been invited to take part in discussions and negotiations about the transition.
AhluSunnaWaJama’a (ASWJ): is a political grouping based on adherence to traditional Islamic practice and does not represent itself as a regional or district entity. However its support base is localized in terms of clan support and territorial control and in this sense it resembles other regional administrations. ASWJ has been an important ally for the TFG in the fight against al Shabaab but their relationship has often been strained. ASWJ is also involved in the post-transition talks.
Ximan and Xeeb: has started the process of establishing itself as a district administration and has some territorial control, but it has not yet been involved in high-level negotiations in the same way as Galmudug and ASWJ.
Some emerging (virtual) entities are currently attracting attention. Consequently, neighbouring countries are nurturing some, like Azania / Jubbaland, but their ability to claim local legitimacy independent of their military strength is unproven. Some Somali observers regard them as foreign constructs rather than efforts to provide community level governance. The Kenyan intervention that occurred in October 2011 after the meeting reinforced this perception. On the other hand, Ethiopia has supported local authority structures in South West Somalia in the past and some observers believe they would be ready to restore these if al Shabaab’s authority over that region could be removed or reduced.In addition to the entities backed by regional powers, there are a range of aspiring organizations which are often little more than a website or a diaspora pressure group. Often, very little is known about what the Somali communities think about the entities that are claiming to represent them and administer the territory. In some cases the administrations themselves seemed to have no clear picture of what they wanted to be, or how they would fit into the wider picture of governance. Therefore, before embracing the principle of engagement, the international community have the responsibility of making a careful assessment by considering the community perceptions of the legitimacy of these entities and what the administrations want: to be political entities, or service providers, or to have a monopoly on security.
The different influences of the two colonial powers on the traditional structures in Somalia are viewed as the main issue affecting the difference in stability. While in Somaliland, the British administered through a system of indirect rule bestowed new powers on lineage elder, in contrast, Italian colonial policy (in South Somalia) undermined lineage authority to facilitate land alienation for plantation agriculture. The different influences of the colonial powers have directly affected the stability in the two regions after the collapse of the Siyad Barre dictatorship.
The institution of elders in South Somalia was weakened leaving the traditional structures in South Somalia with less institutional capacity than those of Somaliland and Puntland where the institutions of elders were left untouched. In 1991, during the civil war, Somaliland in the North was established and is still today enjoying relative success due to the capability of the regional administration to hold democratic elections and ensure a minimum of accountability and security. Puntland has been often mentioned as a relatively stable region in Somalia but has yet to produce a similarly strong administration. Since 1991 the venue of the conflict has been in South Somalia. The traditional structures have their negative aspects. According to a report by the World Bank, (2007) most of the armed clashes since 1991 have been fought in the name of clan. Since 1991, the idea of a sovereign Somali state has existed only in the minds of the Somali people.
OVERVIEW OF CONFLICT CHALLENGES OF UNIFICATION IN SOMALIA
3.1 IntroductionThe nature of Somalia’s history of conflict has been termed as an intriguing paradox, i.e. many of the factors that drive armed conflict have also played a role in managing, ending, or preventing war. For instance, clannism and clan cleavages are a source of conflict that have been since used to divide Somalis, fuel endemic clashes over resources and power, used to mobilize militia, and make broad-based reconciliation very difficult to achieve. Consequently, most of Somalia’s armed clashes since 1991 have been fought in the name of clan, often as a result of political leaders manipulating clannism for their own purposes.Interestingly, the traditional clan elders have acted as the primary source of conflict mediation, clan-based customary law serves as the basis for negotiated settlements, and clan-based blood-payment groups serve as a deterrent to armed violence.
Similarly, the central state has been conventionally viewed as a potential source of rule of law and peaceful allocation of resources, but, at times in Somalia’s past, it was a source of violence and predation. Economic interests, too, have had an ambiguous relationship with conflict in Somalia. In some places, war economies have emerged that perpetuate violence and lawlessness, while in other instances business interests have been a driving force for peace, stability, and rule of law.The conflict analysis in the Somali context therefore faces a challenge in the understanding under what circumstances these and other variables serve as escalators or de-escalators of violence or both. This chapter presents a brief review of conflict trends in Somalia.
3.2 Armed Conflicts and the Seeds of Future Crises
3.2.1 Conflicts in Pre-1991 PeriodThe first 17 years of independence (1960–77) saw no significant armed conflict in Somalia. The first 10 years of independence were marked by vibrant but corrupt and eventually dysfunctional multiparty democracy.The coming to power by the military as a result of a coup in 1969 was received with broad popular support because of public dissatisfaction with the clannishness and gridlock that had plagued politics under civilian rule. In the context of the cold war, the regime, led by Siyad Barre, recast the coup as a socialist revolution and with funds from international partners built up one of the largest standing armies in sub-Saharan Africa.
Between 1977 and 1991, the country suffered three major armed conflicts. The first was the Ogaden War with Ethiopia in 1977–78, in which Somali forces intervened in support of Somali rebel fighters in a bid to liberate the Somali-inhabited region of the Ogaden. Somalia lost the war and suffered around 25,000 casualties.Those losses were considered as opportunities for the future internal conflicts as they prompted the rise of several Somali liberation movements determined to overthrow the military regime of Siyad Barre whom they held responsible for the catastrophe. The first of these movements was the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF), established in 1978 by Abdullahi Yusuf. This mainly Majerten clan movement engaged the regime in periodic skirmishes in the northeast of the country and was met with harsh repression.
The second major armed conflict occurred between the Somali military and the Somali National Movement (SNM) for control over northwest Somalia. The SNM was formed in 1981 by some members of the Isaaq clan following the Ogaden War. Isaaq protests developed over the course of the 1980s, when the Barre regime placed the northwest under military control and used the military administration to crack down on the Isaaq and dispossess them of their businesses. The SNM mounted civil war that began in May 1988 resulting in catastrophe. Government forces committed atrocities against civilians (an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 Somalis died, mostly members of the Isaaq clan, which was the core support for the SNM); aerial bombardments leveled the city of Hargeysa; and 400,000Somalis were forced to flee across the Ethiopian border as refugees, while another 400,000 were internally displaced.These atrocities fueled Isaaq demands for secession in what became the self-declared state of Somaliland in 1991.
The third armed conflict pocked embattled government forces against a growing number of clan-based liberation movements between 1989 and 1990. The strongest of these movements included the United Somali Congress, USC (Hawiye clan), the Somali Patriotic Movement (Ogadeni clan), and the Somali Salvation Democratic Movement (Majerten clan).This multi front war foreshadowed the predatory looting and banditry that characterized the warfare in 1991–92.
In addition to these wars, many other legacies of the Barre period resulted in conflict in contemporary Somalia. First, the state was oppressive and exploitative, and was used by some political leaders to dominate others, monopolize state resources, and appropriate valuable land and other assets. As a result, reconciliation and power-sharing discussions in Somalia became much complicated due to high levels of distrust and a “zero-sum game” mentality toward political power and the state.Second, the leadership skillfully manipulated and politicized clan identity over two decades of divide-and-rule politics, leaving a legacy of deep clan divisions and grievances.
Finally, since this period coincided with the height of Cold War competition in the Horn of Africa, it allowed the Barre regime to attract large quantities of military and economic aid. The end of Cold War meant the level of expenditure, especially to maintain the bloated bureaucracy, could not be sustainable and this precipitated the fall of the regime. As the Cold War waned in the late 1980s, Somalia’s strategic importance to the West diminished, enabling donors to place human rights conditions on aid to Somalia. Western donors froze aid to Somalia in response to the war with the SNM in the north.Lacking its main source of revenue, the Somali state shrank and eventually collapsed. An initiative by a group of eminent Somalis known as the “Manifesto Group” to broker reconciliation and establish a provisional post-Barre government was met with arrests by the Barre regime in April 1990.
3.2.2 State Collapse and Complex Political Emergency, 1991–9
The overthrow of the Barre regime was not welcomed by a new government but instead by a prolonged period of violent anarchy and warfare. Armed conflict fulminated across southern Somalia through 1991 and 1992, with clan-based militias against one another for control of valuable towns, seaports, and neighborhoods. The wars began as struggle for control of the government but quickly degenerated into greedy looting, banditry, and occupation of valuable real estate by conquering clan militias. Young gunmen fought principally to secure war booty, and were under only the loosest control of militia commanders. The influential merchants and warlords got involved in this war economy too. The primary targets of this violence were weak agricultural communities and coastal minority groups caught in the middle of the fighting.
The looting of all their belongings left the victims with a massive famine in late1991 and early 1992 which prompted large international relief operations. Consequently, the food aid swiftly developed as part of the war economy and became a commodity over which militias fought and the warlords diverted to fund the wars. The casualties as a result of this war and famine were estimated at 250,000 Somalis.Moreover, the war of 1991–92 also created a powerful array of interests in propagating lawlessness and violence and blocking reconciliation. Warlords’ power base depended on a chronic state of insecurity where their clan constituencies needed them for protection. On the other hand, illiterate gunmen saw war, plunder, and extortion as their only livelihood. Majority of influential businessmen got enriched by war-related criminal activities such as weapons sales, diversion of food aid, drug production, and exportation of scrap metal. Ultimately, whole clans found themselves in possession of valuable urban and riverine real estate won by conquest, which they stood to lose in a peace settlement.
The collapse of the central government did not agitate in the northwest and northeast the kind of warfare and plunder that devastated the south of Somalia. In Somaliland, interclan clashes did occur, including two serious wars in 1994 and 1996. Unlike in the South and due to a variety of reasons (more robust authority of traditional clan elders, greater political cohesion among the clans, more support from businessmen to support peace and subsidize demobilization, and more effective political leadership, to name a few) the fighting did not devolved into anarchy and generalized violence. Instead, the self-declared state of Somaliland gradually began to build a modest capacity to govern, and a national assembly of traditional clan elders helped to manage the peace and keep young gunmen under control. In the northeast, chronic interclan tensions were checked by traditional elders as well. In both regions, a modest economic recovery fueled by import-export activities through their seaports helped to divert energies toward commerce and away from warfare.
3.3 Challenges of Unification in Somalia
Uneven Power, Weak Institutions Somalia’s colonial experience led to the emergence of a nationalist Government with a centralized state system to control political power and economic resources. This produced an uneven distribution of political and economic power across the various clans, and fuelled the inter-clan hostility that has fed the Somali crisis. State failure has since destroyed any guarantees of group protection through political participation, and has resulted in the exclusion of youth, women and minority clans.
Somalia’s legacy of corrupt and abusive political leadership has prevented agreement on an inclusive government. Past experiences with the misuse of government and public resources, the political manipulation of clan identity, and the dependence of most Somali political and faction leaders on external support have upheld the belief that the Government only serves the interest of a select few, while remaining indifferent to the welfare of the majority of the people. The inability to provide basic services, including justice and security, to all its citizens further reduces state legitimacy and trust in state institutions, weakening or breaking the social contract. Violence is seen in part as a means to correct these grievances.
3.3.1 Under-development, Poverty and Youth Unemployment
Under-development and chronic poverty are major structural risk conditions for conflict, especially when linked to oppression. Somalia’s economy collapsed even before the civil war; it became one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world during the Barre regime. Further devastation came from the reduction of international aid during the 1980s, followed by the collapse of the state in 1991. The famine that gripped Somalia in 2011 has the potential for driving the country further into conflict if structural weaknesses are not addressed through long-term investments in food security and human development at large. Youth should be an urgent priority, because when their successful transition to adulthood is blocked by the lack of human development, one result is the intergenerational transmission of poverty and risky behaviours as potential drivers of conflict.
Inequalities between groups spur grievances that mobilize people to act, including through violence. In Somalia, this kind of inequality is widespread, with historical roots in both colonial and military regimes that patronized some clans over others. Somalia scores very high on horizontal inequality as measured by uneven economic development along group lines, the level of political mobilization based on group disparities, a legacy of vengeance-seeking based on group grievances and the rise of factionalized elites. Addressing inter-group inequality is vital to both development goals and conflict transformation. Competition for Resources Inter-group inequalities provoke competition over natural resources, including land, forests, water, energy and marine resources. Evidence from semi-arid countries in Sub-Saharan Africa shows that resource poor countries are more conflict prone. Even once they end, conflicts that have been associated with resource and environmental scarcities are twice as likely to relapse into violence.
Somalia’s demographic profile shows a pronounced ‘youth bulge’. This portion is unlikely to decline in the near future due to a high fertility rate. It has been and probably will continue to be a major source of conflict in Somalia, where two-thirds of youth are unemployed—one of the highest rates of joblessness in the world. This is among the factors fuelling Al-Shabaab’s appeal. A disproportionately large youth cohort can be a potent driver of conflict.
Countries in which young adults comprise more than 40 percent of the adult population are more than twice as likely to experience an outbreak of civil conflict as countries with lower proportions. In Somalia, young adults make up 57 percent of the adult population. While the presence of a demographic bulge is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for violence, youth bulges have been statistically linked to conflict when they are reinforced by factors such as poor governance, economic stagnation, poverty, unemployment and inequality. When a large pool of young people are uprooted, intolerant, jobless, and have few opportunities for positive engagement, they represent a ready pool of recruits for ethnic, religious, and political extremists seeking to mobilize violence. While both greed and grievance are voluntary reasons for joining violent groups, there are also involuntary reasons, including forced recruitment through physical abduction and indoctrination.
3.3.2 Weakened social institutions
There exist other resources that have provoked conflict and thus a deterrent to a unified Somalia comprise key cities (Mogadishu, Kismayo and Baidoa), ports and airstrips, important checkpoints and foreign aid. In the face of rising environmental scarcity and weakened social institutions, warlords are able to seize control of key resources by mobilizing alienated, unemployed youth. Historically, traditional leaders settled conflicts over resources using the widely accepted Somali traditional legal system. These settlement mechanisms have weakened, however, as political leaders realized that whoever controlled the state would control the nation’s resources.
Lawlessness and the unregulated war economy have created new economic incentives to profit from resources. Much of the conflict in contemporary Somalia is centred on the issue of landownership and land disputes. Various clans were marginalized first by an inappropriate land registration law, and later by a dictatorial regime that used their land to buy political loyalty. The civil war and state collapse accelerated this trend of appropriating land from weaker groups. Unravelling the thousands of land and property disputes emanating from the collapse of the state is a major challenge in reconciliation efforts and has been at the centre of nearly every peace process since 1991.
3.3.3 External Involvement
External actors and states have played important roles in Somalia’s ongoing conflict by allying with clans sympathetic to their aspirations and strategic interests. Incompatible regional interests have been critical in delaying national reconciliation and a political resolution. Involvement by external states is further complicated by cross-boundary clan relations. Three major reasons for the involvement of external actors in Somalia’s conflict are security concerns among some of Somalia’s neighbours, particularly Ethiopia; the power struggle among various countries for dominance in the Horn of Africa; and the war against terrorism.
Somalia is a member of the African Union and the League of Arab States, which have their own interests in the political arrangement in Somalia. Arab states have remained largely outside the discussion and efforts to coordinate policy in Nairobi, and yet remain active in Somali politics. They have consistently supported a more central state vision for Somalia and may be resistant to expanded support for sub-national regional administrations.
In conflict and peacebuilding, the Somali diaspora is a double-edged sword, contributing significantly to both. Financial obligations to assist the clan in times of conflict have endured. Yet diaspora support for local reconciliation and state-building has also been a key ingredient for success, notably in Somaliland and Puntland. Since 2000, the diaspora has been highly visible in the state institutions of Somalia, including Somaliland and Puntland, occupying top leadership positions in the state, political parties, cabinet, parliament and civil service.
Recent US concern in Somalia has stemmed from the war on terrorism. US policy has focused on alienating and delegitimizing Al-Shabaab, and not involving it in the ongoing peace initiatives. Given that the fight against terrorism continues to occupy an important place in US foreign policy, US support for peace in Somalia will likely depend upon the commitment of the unity Government to contain extremism, and of AlShabaab to renounce violence and cooperate with efforts to apprehend suspected terrorists.
Shortfalls in International Mediation
The primary goal of international engagement in Somalia since 1991 has been to end the civil war, to contain and resolve the political crisis, and to re-establish a sovereign government. Since 1991, 15 national reconciliation conferences have been convened, of which six were full-fledged national peace conferences. The Addis Ababa, Arta and Mbagathi peace processes are considered central among them. Although several were termed ‘reconciliation’ conferences, their primary focus has always been on securing power-sharing agreements rather than true reconciliation. Youth have been side-lined in these processes, with no political outlets to express their need and aspirations.
More recently, the London Conference on Somalia held on 23 February 2012 has underscored the centrality of Somali ownership of the peace process and the need for coordinated and scaled up international support. Unlike past initiatives that concentrated on foreign methods, operations, and interventions, this conference stressed the importance of indigenous approaches and decisions and included the various Somali regions, particularly the more stable northern regions of Puntland and Galmudug and the autonomous region of Somaliland, if not Al-Shabaab. It has urged the TFG to be prepared to relinquish its authority and power in order to allow the emergence of a true central government. This means that TFG’s mandate ends in August 2012, by which time it is expected to have enacted a new constitution and to have held a general election for a constituent assembly, the implementation of a new constitution, and the installation of a new president, executive, and legislature—a real pressure that had been largely absent from past conferences. It is yet to be seen how it will withstand the test of time to translate these decisions into concrete action.
Clearly, the Somali process can only be successful if all Somalis are included, or at least invited to be included, in order to become stakeholders in the country’s future. However, international mediation encounters a number of constraints in a situation where there is no state. Ensuring the real representation of all Somali people was a problem in all conferences. The multiplication of factions contributed to a persistent dilemma of how to determine legitimate and authoritative representation.
Other obstacles have come from the regional polities in Somaliland and Puntland, and the lack of consensus on the nature of a future Somali state, with debates swayed by Somali clan agendas, foreign security agendas and religious ideological agendas. Peace agreements have also fallen short in lacking implementation plans, necessary resources, and arbitration and monitoring mechanisms to ensure they were fully implemented. Despite these constraints, the lack of success of the peace processes can be attributed to the reliance on political mediation alone and top down, uniform application of conventional conflict management. This is based on a zero sum game, where win/lose power-sharing agreements and the revival of the state have dominated the agenda, while fundamental causes such as disputes over land and compensation for stolen property have been side-lined.
The consistent focus on state-building strategies has continued despite the reality that the average Somali would benefit more immediately from a state of peace than the revival of the central Government. The state-building imperative assumes that achieving nominal agreement on power-sharing, the revival of government institutions, and the establishment of security and law enforcement services are real measures of success, rather than reconciliation, good governance and welfare provisions. It also assumes that public support exists for a revived state, but many Somalis perceive a state over which they have no control as a potential threat. State-building and peace building are not synonymous. The former requires the consolidation of governmental authority; the latter involves reconciliation and consensus. In Somalia, neither process will be possible without the broad and inclusive engagement of the Somali people. This unresolved dispute over the nature of the state has continued to be a stumbling block in the creation of a unified state in Somalia.
The culture of militarization that began under Barre’s regime became widespread during the civil wars, when guns and military force no longer remained the domain of the ruling elite. State organs under Siyad Barre were highly militarized and frequently resorted to military power to enforce law and order and maintain legitimacy.Continued proliferation of small arms made minor conflicts more lethal. Lack of accountability created a culture of impunity. The complete breakdown of authority and the collapse of the Somali army led to the proliferation of militias and weapons. While militia leaders had loose control over their followers, the clan elders lost influence over their members. With weapons at their disposal and traditional power structures rendered irrelevant, militia members and young men used guns to loot, murder, and inflict horrific crimes on their fellow citizens.
The lack of accountability combined with easy access to weapons has prompted a culture of impunity, in which raiding, destruction of property, and rape became common place particularly in South-central Somalia. Small weapons flowed in from neighbouring states in the region. Regional actors and political leaders in violation of the Security Council Resolution for an arms restraint regularly supplied weapons and equipment, trained militia, and supported faction leaders.Child soldiering has since become routine, with militias recruiting young boys to fight. UNICEF report points out that income earnings, rather than belief in any social or political ideology, is the motivating factor for these young boys to join the militias as child soldiers.
With no local authorities to impose regulations, powerful clan militias forcefully have occupied valuable properties, making original residents homeless and, in some cases, even transforming them into forced labor. While human rights have faced regularly violated, the victims have little recourse to justice. Conflict also has caused immense displacement, with young and impoverished IDPs often being lured into militias, which promised quick rewards. The outcome is a militarized society in which violence is seen as the norm and guns an accepted form of conflict resolution.Warlords, armed traffickers, and militiamen continue to play important roles; however, political elites and businessmen, particularly in Somaliland, have recognized that their investments can be successful only if there is rule of law and relative stability in their area.
The regional administrations in Puntland and Somaliland and some local clan leaders in the south-central region have expressed an increasing concern in the importance of preventing the flow of weapons from neighboring countries, demobilizing militia members by providing opportunities and incentives for their disarmament and reintegration into society while punishing law violators by subjecting them to customary, Sharia, and secular law courts.This has not been an easy task given that an entire generation has not had access to proper education and is accustomed to seeing brute force used to address disputes. Human rights continue to be violated, with members of powerful clans escaping punishment and enjoying protection for their crimes.
Civilians have been in several occasions caught in the cross fire of opposing parties as well as suffering from the indiscriminate fighting. Groups determined to undermine the fragile peace and stability attack international aid workers, affecting normal assistance.In other instances, the regional administrations have employed force to deal with political opponents. The disjointing of the state and the subsequent militarization of society has had the most daring manifestations in South-central Somalia, where lack of a functioning government has enabled prowling armed militias to fight over resources and power, displace indigenes from their valuable property, and eliminate actors who challenged them. Though the intensity and scale of violent conflict may have lessened, the proliferation of weapons continues to be a serious problem.
The lack of a legitimate authority in South-central Somalia has strengthened the culture of impunity, with armed political faction leaders and war economy groups taking advantage of the situation. Consequently, the armed political faction leaders regularly form convenient alliances, raise armed militias, and provoke conflicts to establish a power base and advance their political agenda. Despite the fact that these leaders have repeatedly abused human rights, they have not been subject to the consequences of their actions. The war economy groups made huge profits in less than lawful ways after state collapse. Though some of these groups may have become involved in legitimate businesses, but they continue to make huge gains by profiting from localized conflicts and lawlessness.
In contrast, it has been observed that in Puntland there is a growing aversion to weapons and large groups are voluntarily demobilizing. Majority of political leaders have acknowledged that nurturing a militarized society and letting human rights abuses go unpunished will backfire, leading to dwindling support.Despite this move, a significant number of Somalis are not giving up their weapons. The Conflict Analysis Regional Report on Puntland claims that there are two primary reasons behind this phenomenon:First, given that conflict in Somalia has not been resolved yet, Puntland maintains security forces to averted potential threats. Second, the regional administration may attack human rights violations and put a premium on demilitarization, but it too has been responsible for excesses against opponents. A case in point is the 2002 killing of a prominent opposition leader, who was gunned down after his car was stopped by security forces.
The administration’s support of violence has made citizens feel that demilitarization is one-sided, with the regional administration only partially advocating for a weapons-free society while imposing severe restrictions on civil and political rights. Such use of intimidating measures has compelled citizens to form clan and sub-clan-based political groups and to possess weapons for self-defense. Somaliland has made some progress in demilitarizing society through systematic demobilization as compared with its neighboring regions. Somaliland suffered most under Siyad Barre’s regime and was viciously targeted from 1988 until state collapse. After it proclaimed its independence, the easy availability of weapons led to unchecked abuses in the fledging state for some time. However, in their determination to breakaway from the past and develop an accountable and democratic society, citizens seemed willing to forgive past abuses by the state or clans in the interest of reconciliation.
During the last 20 years, the international community’s many efforts to bring peace and stability to Somalia have included 15 reconciliation and peace efforts that were well intentioned, but nonetheless unsuccessful. Somaliland seceded from Somalia and declared independence, while Puntland became a semi-autonomous state. These two areas have established a semblance of stability primarily through traditional bottom-up reconciliation and peace processes. Nevertheless conflict has continued to be intractable in the south central part of the country. Why have reconciliation efforts failed mainly in the south?
The top-down and exclusionary approach that was adopted has some serious flaws. The preoccupation with state-building efforts in a country without a state has only contributed to the escalation of the conflict, due to their exclusionary nature and people’s suspicion of the state as a predator and oppressor. State building is important, but it cannot take root in an environment of distrust and wide-spread exclusion. It will continue to be futile unless the causes of conflict are tackled. The same can be said of the stark imbalances between short-term humanitarian aid and longer-term development assistance.
Understanding the nexus between conflict and development in Somalia is far from straightforward, given the complex dynamics and interactions across the diverse causes of violent conflict. Future interventions need to be informed by a better understanding of the political economy and the interactions of social and clan dynamics. This is important to improve the status of human development. Somalia’s Human Development Index (HDI) ranking is among the lowest in the world, and the erosion in the index due to inequality is extremely high at 42 percent. Gender inequality is extreme, and most of the Somali population struggles with multidimensional poverty.
The combination of conflict and negative development consequences has hit youth hard, with immediate consequences for them now and over the longer term through the intergenerational transmission of poverty. Unless their multiple exclusions are addressed and potentials for positive contributions harnessed—such as through opportunities to participate in reconciliation and peace building, in state-building and in development—they will increasingly be drawn into the conflict and become an important element in perpetuating and sustaining Somalia’s long drawn out conflict.
CHAPTER FOUR STATE BUILDING OF SOMALIA IN POST SIAD BARRE REGIME4.1 IntroductionIn an attempt to gain a fulfilling insight into the traditional structures contribution to state-building, this chapter discusses three subunits which represent various levels of state-building. South Somalia has been marked as the epicentre of the conflict in Somalia. Three different phases have been identified leading to the current situation in South Somalia.
4.2 Phases of State-Building in South Somalia4.2.1 Phase 1 (1991-2005)During this period there were two United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM)I and II, with the objective of stabilizing Somalia. They both failed in establishing a central state. These missions are considered to have been counter-productive, leaving Somalia worse off than before the external intervention.However, some analysts argued that the missions actually succeeded in stabilizing Somalia and that the conflict would have been devastating without external intervention.The argument is that the stability, which the missions succeeded accomplishing, remained even after the UN forces having been pulled out. Other positive trends in the period happened in 1995 when Somalia experienced a decrease in the intensity of violence and armed clashes became local instead of national.This was attributed to an increase in risk aversion from gunmen. Moreover, the localization of conflict made it easier for the traditional structures to identify perpetrators. The external state-building projects originating from the neighbouring countries Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti failed in establishing a central government.
Scholars have mentioned that one of the state-building projects with the potential to succeed was the peace plan developed in Djibouti in 2000 under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and with the endorsement of the EU, UN, US, Egypt, Italy, and Libya.This plan saw the establishment of a Transitional Federal Government (TFG) that was based on a “4.5 Formula” where the four major clans in Somalia, the Dir, Isaq, Hawiye and Darod, were given an equal number of seats in parliament while the minority clans were given the last 0.5 part of the seats.
The 4.5 formula recognizes the clan factor in Somali politics, but it was and still is mainly viewed by the people in South Somalia as being dominated by the Darod clan.This was most likely the main reason why the TFG never gained any strength and was completely scattered by 2002. Since 2005 South Somalia was left largely to itself and a resemblance of Evans (1989) term embedded autonomy emerged. The local governance structures were capable offending many of the local conflicts, and an informal bureaucratic apparatus with close links to civil society emerged.
4.2.2 Phase 2 (2005-2006)The inability of the TFG to govern created space for the local governance structures to operate in South Somalia and a somewhat rational relationship between businessmen and Islamic groups emerged. The business community wanted a more predictable environment than the one provided by the militias, and took advantage of clan relations and the Islamic groups to ensure this. The business community has been viewed as a progressive interest group in Somalia. This argument has been supported by research done by the World Bank, which states: “Business groups, impelled by profit considerations, see cooperation across clans as imperative because they need to operate across districts and regions of Somalia.” The relative peaceful period ended by the 20thof July 2006.
The USA became aware of the Islamic groups ability to consolidate power in South Somalia, which caused two wars. The first war occurred between The Alliance for The Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT) and the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC). The ARPCT tried to gain control of Mogadishu with the backing of the USA. The attempt of the ARPCT failed and left the UIC strengthen. The UIC was seen as a very chaotic organization consisting of various Islamic organizations including the Al-Shabab.
Al-Shabab was the military wing of the UIC.The ARPCT was defeated by the UIC, in what is known as the second battle of Mogadishu, after which the UIC seized control of Mogadishu and South Somalia, which lead to the second war.. In July 20th2006,U.S. backed Ethiopian troops attacked Somalia invited by the TFG (Transitional Federal Government) led by President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed. This provoked a bi-polar conflict between the US backed TFG and the Islamic insurgency.
4.2.3 Phase 3 (2006-present day)
From 2006, the military wing of the UIC called Al-Shabab has strengthened its control of South Somalia. Ethiopia withdrew its forces in the autumn of 2008 and ever since, the AU (African Union) has fielded a peacekeeping mission, AMISOM, where only Uganda and Burundi have provided forces.The TFG leadership has undergone some changes. President Ahmed Sharif Sheikh, former leader of the UIC, first replaced former president Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and Ahmed Sharif Sheikh has not been able to control more than a small part of Mogadishu mainly owing to the fact that Al-Shabab, after the Ethiopian invasion, has grown stronger and succeeded in branding the TFG as puppets of the two Christian nations USA and Ethiopia.
Secondly and more importantly is that the TFG do not enjoy enough raw-power and is barely capable of controlling even a very small area of Mogadishu with the help of the AU. The violence in South Somalia has only been escalating since 2006.This has been confirmed by constant presence of large numbers of Internally Displaced People (IDP) protected or assisted by the UNHCR. This implies that external military intervention leads to an escalation in the number of IDP.
4.3 Internal and External Efforts towards the Unification of SomaliaIn 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somali people suffering from the effects of dual catastrophies one man-made and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew.
The United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM)
UNOSOM was established to monitor the cease-fire in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, and to provide protection and security for United Nations personnel, equipment and supplies at the seaports and airports in Mogadishu and escort deliveries of humanitarian supplies from there to distribution centres in the city and its immediate environs. In August 1992, UNOSOM I’s mandate and strength were enlarged to enable it to protect humanitarian convoys and distribution centres throughout Somalia. In December 1992, after the situation in Somalia further deteriorated, the Security Council authorized Member States to form the Unified Task Force (UNITAF) to establish a safe environment for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. UNITAF worked in coordination with UNOSOM I to secure major population centres and ensure that humanitarian assistance was delivered and distributed.
The Unified Task Force (UNITAF)
On 3 December 1992, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 794(1992). The Council welcomed the United States offer to help create a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian aid in Somalia and authorized, under Chapter VII of the Charter, the use of “all necessary means” to do so. Resolution 794 asked States to provide military forces and to make contributions in cash or kind for the operation. Appropriate mechanisms for coordination between the United Nations and those military forces were also to be established by the Secretary-General and States participating in the operation.
Operation Restore Hope
United States President George Bush responded to Security Council resolution 794 (1992) with a decision on 4 December to initiate Operation Restore Hope, under which the United States would assume the unified command of the new operation in accordance with resolution 794(1992). The Secretary-General communicated to President Bush on 8 December his concept of a division of labour between the United Nations and the United States in the following terms: “The United States has undertaken to take the lead in creating the secure environment which is an inescapable condition for the United Nations to provide humanitarian relief and promote national reconciliation and economic reconstruction, objectives which have from the outset been included in the various Security Council resolutions on Somalia.”
4.3.1 Peace Processes
Following the collapse of the Barre regime in 1991, various groupings of Somali factions have since sought to control the national territory (or portions thereof) and fighting small wars with one another. Approximately 14 national reconciliation conferences have been convened over the succeeding decade. Efforts at mediation of the Somali internal dispute have also been undertaken by many regional states. In the mid-1990s, Ethiopia played host to several Somali peace conferences and initiated talks at the Ethiopian city of Sodere, which led to some degree of agreement between competing factions. The Governments of Egypt, Yemen, Kenya, and Italy also have attempted to bring the Somali factions together.
In 1997, the Organization of African Unity and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) gave Ethiopia the mandate to pursue Somali reconciliation. In 2000, Djibouti hosted a major reconciliation conference (the 13th such effort), which in August resulted in creation of the Transitional National Government (TNG), whose 3-year mandate expired in August 2003. The absence of a central government in Somalia also allowed outside forces to become more influential by supporting various groups and persons in Somalia, particularly Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Egypt, Yemen, and Libya, all of which have supported various Somali factions and transitional governments.
There has been 14 Somali reconciliation or peace conferences aimed at bring an end to the fighting and perhaps a united Somalia since the early 1990s. Some were held under the umbrellas of or were supported by the United Nations, or governments in the Horn of Africa. These efforts have mainly failed to bear any fruit in an effort to bring about lasting peace in Somalia. Moreover, competing efforts by international actors contributed to the failure of peace efforts in Somalia. In 1996, the government of Ethiopia convened a peace process in the resort town of Sodere, Ethiopia. Many political actors and armed factions participated, although a few boycotted the peace process. The Sodere process collapsed when the government of Egypt convened another meeting of the Somali groups in Cairo in 1997.
Subsequently, the Cairo initiative turned unsuccessful when yet another peace conference was convened by Somali factions in Bosaso, Somalia in 1998. In February 2000, IGAD approved a peace plan proposed by the government of Djibouti. In May 2000, the Somali Reconciliation Conference opened in Arta, Djibouti in which 400 delegates took part for several months of deliberation. The Arta process was boycotted by several powerful warlords, as well as the governments of Somaliland and Puntland. On August 13, 2000, participants agreed to the creation of a Transitional National Government (TNG) and a Transitional National Assembly (TNA). On August 26, 2000, participants nominated Abdulqassim Salad Hassan as president of the TNG.
In October 2002, the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development launched another peace process, led by the government of Kenya where an estimated 350 delegates from different regions of Somalia participated in the opening session of the conference in the Kenyan town of Eldoret. The government of Somaliland failed to attend the conference. In the first phase of the conference, the parties signed a temporary cease-fire, and agreed to respect and honor the outcome of the conference. The parties further agreed to establish a federal system of government and committed themselves to fight terrorism. In September 2003, the parties agreed on a Transitional National Charter, paving the way for a National Unity government.
In August 2004, a new Transitional Somali Parliament was inaugurated in Kenya where the 275-member parliament in attendance consisted of the major political factions and seems to represent all the major clans of Somalia. The Transitional Charter allocated 61 seats for the major four clans (the Hawiya, Rahanwein, Ishaak and Darod) and 31 seats for the small clans. The Charter also allocated 12% of the seats to women. The Charter accepted Islam as the national religion and agreed that Sharia law would be the basis of national legislation in accordance with the previous Somali constitutions which had similar provisions. In October 2004, the Somali Transitional Parliament elected Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed as the new president of Somalia where the swearing-in ceremony was attended by 11 heads of government from African countries and representatives from regional organizations and the United Nations.
In November 2004, President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed appointed Professor Ali Mohamed Gedi as prime minister. The transitional government faced opposition from the warlords in Mogadishu even though some of these warlords signed the agreement and were ministers in the government. As a result of this opposition, transitional government was not able to function effectively or move to Mogadishu in large part. The failure of the transitional government to institute an effective control allowed warlords and clan factions to dominate many parts of Somalia until late December 2006.
4.3.2 National Reconciliation Conference
Somalia’s recent peace effort, the National Reconciliation Congress was convened in the Shagaani district of Mogadishu on July 15, 2007 after being postponed twice for logistical and security reasons. The first phase of the conference ended on August 30, 2007. Somali Ambassador to Kenya Mohammed Ali Nur noted that he was pleased to announce the declaration of peace agreement between major clans who are participating in the congress. He indicated that the transitional government has done and was bound to continue doing its best to lead the process of reviving Somalia from the ashes of the vicious civil war. Whereas the first phase of the conference focused on the resolution of clan conflicts and disarmament, the second phase focused on issues such as power sharing, governance, sharing of natural resources, sea piracy, welfare, and internally displaced persons.
4.3.3 Ethiopia-Somalia Relations
For over four decades, relations between successive Ethiopian governments and Somalia have been poor. Somalia invaded Ethiopia twice in the 1960s under Emperor Haile Selassie and in 1976 during the Mengistu Haile Mariam military rule. In the first war, the Ethiopian military commander General Aman Andom overpowered Somali forces, though his mission to enter Somalia was rejected by the Emperor, and he was ordered to remain behind the border. The 1976 invasion of Ethiopia by Somali forces and the Western Somali Liberation Front (WSLF) initially succeeded, leading to the capture of many Ethiopian towns by Somali forces. Somali forces briefly captured the third-largest city, Dire Dawa, in Eastern Ethiopia. However, Ethiopian forces, with the support of Cuban and South Yemeni forces overturned the defeat by the Somali forces and only a few elements of the Somali rebel forces remained in control of remote areas in the largely Somali inhabited areas of Ethiopia.
Both Ethiopian and Somali governments intervened in the internal affairs of the two countries, and successive governments on both sides supported each other’s’ armed opposition groups. Ethiopia was also the principal backer of the Somali National Movement (SNM), the group that liberated the northwest region of Somalia, currently known as Somaliland. The change of government in Ethiopia did not end Ethiopia’s intervention in Somali affairs.
In 2004, the government of Ethiopia released a report, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s Foreign Policy, Security Policy and Strategy. The 158-page report covers a wide range of issues, including Ethiopia’s assessment of its relations with Somalia. The report states that Somalia attacked Ethiopia twice in pursuit of its Greater Somalia ambition. The report notes that “at this time the Greater Somalia agenda has failed.” Moreover, the Greater Somalia agenda no longer poses a serious threat to Ethiopia. The report contends that the fractionalization of Somalia has allowed anti-peace and extremists elements to become strong, posing a threat to Ethiopia.
In order to reduce the threat from some parts of Somalia, the Ethiopian government must pursue a policy of engagement and support to Puntland and Somaliland, according to the report. The report also recommends a policy of targeting those armed elements that threaten Ethiopian security. This report was released two years before the Islamic Courts emerged, although the report gave the same labels of extremist, terrorist, and anti-peace to groups that were dominant at that time.
4.3.4 Frameworks for a Unified Somalia VisionSince 2004, Somalia has been nominally governed by the TFG that was first led by President AbdulahiYusuf and in 2010 by President Sheikh Sharif. Throughout this time the TFG failed to establish itself either by political or military means as an effective power inside the country. President Yusuf was installed in Mogadishu by Ethiopian troops in 2006 while President Sharif owes his survival against al Shabaab to the protection of 10,000 African Union peacekeepers. The constitutional framework for the TFG is the Transitional Federal Charter, which was enacted in February 2004 in Nairobi. The Charter originally mandated a five-year transitional period, ending in 2009. During this time the TFG was expected to extend reconciliation and oversee the establishment of a new constitution under which elections would be held and a democratic government installed. The first 2-year extension of the transition was agreed in 2009 when President Sheikh Sharif replaced Abdulahi Yusuf.
The transitional tasks laid down in the Charter was not fulfilled at the end of the seven-year transition and the political and military situation offered little prospect of securing solutions before the mandate expired.However, a compromise deal was brokered by the Ugandan government, extending the terms of the TFG President, Speaker and Parliament until August 2012, during which time the constitution was to be finalized and elections held. Following this deal, a roadmap was signed on 6 September 2011 by the TFG, Puntland, Galmudug and ASWJ where all agreed to work towards establishing a new government and permanent constitution by August 2012.
4.3.5 Sub-National EntitiesSomalia’s future form of government is specified in the Charter which states that the Transitional Federal Government of the Somali Republic shall have a decentralized system of administration based on federalism.An independent federal commission was appointed within ninety days of the TFG assuming office which was tasked with developing a system of federalism. According to the original timetable, the Transitional Federal Government shall ensure that the process of federating Somalia shall take place within a period of two and a half years from the date that the Commission is established.Under Benchmark 2 of the roadmap, stakeholder meetings on federalism were to be held to inform the new constitution. Consequently, the TFG has done little to shape or give coherence to a future federal system and almost no effort to encourage the development of federal entities. Local efforts to build state or regional governments have happened largely without assistance or encouragement from Mogadishu or Somalia’s international partners.
The most successful entity subscribing to a united Somalia vision is Puntland which was established in 1998 before the Charter was drawn up. However, Somaliland was already in existence, but operating outside the framework of a united Somalia. The other entities have emerged more recently and in a variety of different contexts. Galmudug was established with the support of Puntland. Ethiopia has supported the emergence of the ASWJ (as a bulwark against al Shabaab) and Kenya supports Azania. While the TFG’s efforts focused on attempts to create a power centre, it has been absorbed by internal disputes over this centre and control of the external resources it has attracted. Despite a stated aim to federalize the country, efforts both internally and externally have focused only on central institutions.
4.3.6 Challenges of Sub-National Entities
Many Somali have expressed hostility towards sub-clan entities due to suspicion that they are primarily meant for encouraging clan interests rather than the community-level governance projects that they purport to be.The Somalis’ fear is that the growth of new and competing entities will cause Somali national identity to disintegrate into clanism. They blame clanism for not only responsible for much of the fighting over the last two decades but also see it as the main impediment to building any kind of sustainable national government. In this context, it appears an unsuitable template for rebuilding the country.
Critics have argued that a country established on clan entities cannot be stable because clan areas overlay each other, competition will be provoked and clan politics will obstruct national development and lead to incoherent and dangerous policies. Somaliland and Puntland though to some extent are clan-based entities; they have within them dominant clan groups. However both have achieved fairly complex political arrangements which incorporate different clans and sub-clans, and both make concessions through inclusive policies.Consequently, Puntland and Somaliland have developed unifying visions which go beyond narrow clan interests.
Some of the newer entities are considered to be far less diverse. Galmudug and Ximan and Xeeb represent only one sub-clan each, and some of the aspiring states appear to be clan interest groups rather than genuine regional collaborations. The example of the Sool, Sannag and Cayn (SSC) pressure group were raised as an illustration of how the recent wave of smaller sub-national entities can lead to further fragmentation. The SSC have rejected Somaliland’s independence and seeks to establish a mini-state in the eastern part of the territory in an area disputed between Somaliland and Puntland. The SSC group has sought its own entity within a united Somalia to represent its own sub-clan interests. This is seen as a trend that could result in every disgruntled interest or clan group seeking its own separate entity rather than acting within established channels to address grievances.
Another setback with the emerging entities is that many of them are seen as creations of foreign powers or are sustained by outside help. For instance, Azania/ Jubbaland and ASWJ rely on Kenyan and Ethiopian support respectively. This has raised questions over the authenticity of their claims to represent community interests and casts serious doubts over their legitimacy. This problem of legitimacy surrounded the TFG with accusation of acting on behalf of foreign rather than Somali national interest. The clumsy record of past external involvement in Somali political processes produced a corresponding risk that, in the hope of securing international assistance, new entities have fashioned themselves in the mould of what they think the international community wants to see rather than in response to local needs.
This comical approach have underestimated and potentially undermined the achievements of the established local entities. They have lacked the necessary factors (primarily to do with local ownership and control) that have made these entities successful. In the longer term, it has been argued that the entrenchment of outside interference in Somali politics seems unlikely to work for stability.Over the last twenty years such interventions have more often than not proven to obstruct local solutions to problems. There is a strong current of suspicion that the interests of powerful neighbours are best served by a divided Somalia and that the fragmentation inherent in the new entities have supported this agenda. Consequently, the new sub-national entities which are conceived of and funded by outsiders are likely to face exactly the same problems of legitimacy as the TFG.
Legitimacy has remained the fundamental challenge for the national government and for sub-national entities. Though those entities that have localized legitimacy have a chance of success, real questions remain over the validity of clan interests as a basis for administration. The very real concern of greater fragmentation of the Somali polity, leading to a permanently unstable situation therefore deserves careful consideration. National institutions and structures will be needed to ensure that local developments do not become cause for future problems.
4.3.7 Strengths of a Decentralized Approach
These concerns have been partially addressed with the examples of Somaliland and Puntland. Local communities have been seen to have built, over many years, relatively stable and functioning administrations. These administrations and the appetite for duplicating their models, demonstrate a real level of buy-in from Somali people for ‘bottom up’ governance structures. Such structures require widespread community engagement through elders, business leaders, religious figures and others and a corresponding deeper interaction with the broader community. This kind of consultation and conversation is considered to have not happened nationally and may not even be possible.
The missing ingredient for the TFG has been mentioned as popular legitimacy.This failure is argued by many Somalis is as a result the nature of the TFG’s evolution, designed outside Somalia and with considerable input from outsiders. With military support from the AU and financial support from a range of international actors, the TFG did not needed to prove itself through the delivery of services or results for the Somali community. Unlike the governments in Puntland and Somaliland, which must rely largely on revenues raised locally, the TFG receives a steady stream of money regardless of its performance. Governments in Somaliland and Puntland emerged through local processes and must continue to validate their legitimacy. This may be through democratic elections as in Somaliland, or through elite level negotiations as in Puntland, but a similar process of legitimization does not exist in Mogadishu.
While much international attention has been fixed on the re-establishment of a strong central government which has since demonstrated little concrete effect; in the north of Somalia, the largely indigenously developed administrations have been making progress.Though that progress has been incremental and not always smooth, it has responded to local pressures, adapted over time and shown that local democracy is a viable foundation for state building. The protagonists of the regional approach to restoring governance observed that in the former Somali state (which lasted until 1991) all the resources and development were concentrated in the capital and no government services were provided in the regions. This was a source of weakness, since when Mogadishu fell, the state itself collapsed.
The new approach of decentralization has shown over time the real possibilities for political and economic development in the regions based on consensual politics. This model has the potential to correct the mistakes of the past and offer, in the long run, ways to strengthen rather than weaken a future Somalia state. The advocates of the newer entities that represent limited clan or sub-clan interests argued that, although small, they still represent a genuine aspiration by the communities in these areas to administer their own affairs. The top down model of government has failed and there is an urge for self-management until such time as national government is formed. The model of Somaliland and Puntland had provided inspiration, people realized they could not wait for the TFG and would have to help themselves in creating security and developing basic services. The entities should not be dismissed as foreign agents though much of their support comes from their diaspora communities abroad. They see themselves as contributing to the reconstitution of the future Somalia state rather than its destruction.
There has been a dialogue of whether or how these smaller entities could be accommodated within a Charter framework that distinguished between state and regional or district administrations.While there is an agreement that some of the smaller entities could join to form larger state governments, thus acting as a path to reconstitution of the national state, however, without an accommodating and adaptive national framework, there are real dangers of fragmentation posed by these small entities. Another suggestion has been the consideration of regions currently under the control of al Shabaab to reconstitute themselves as regional administrations within a broader national project.
Although al Shabaab rejects clanism in principle, certain Shabaab commanders clearly have a clan base in parts of south-central Somalia, and their position relies on that local legitimacy as much as their position within al Shabaab. It may be possible for such regions eventually to find a place as accepted regional entities provided that there is scope for different areas to follow different approaches to their constitutional development. However, this is not an easy prospect since it will require an acceptance that elements of al-Shabaab could be accommodated within a loose federal system. As the prospects for a TFG military victory outside Mogadishu did not bear much fruit and the emergence of strong and legitimate local administration in opposition to al-Shabaab seems far off, an opportunity to bring the al-Shabaab leaders and their community on board might offer an avenue to achieving peace in south-central Somalia.
The decades of war and devastation in Somalia and the subsequent failure to restore central government strengthened the case for a flexible and differential approach to finding stability. The experience of Somaliland and Puntland is that locally led processes have a far better chance of success than those that are created by central government or outsiders.This may require waiting or indeed seeking to encourage the adaptation of existing power groups in the south into regional administrations. However, to make this route work would require a substantial attitude shift from both the internal and the international partners of Somalia.
The obligation of the central government to support the creation of federal entities or to work with those that exist has not been met. While at times the TFG has acted in a quite negative way towards the already existing entities, the coming together of the TFG, Puntland, ASWJ and Galmudug on a common platform to support the transitional roadmap was potentially a very significant shift that deserved strong support and encouragements. However, the process of outreach has thus far excluded a number of the newer emerging entities. It will be important to ensure that options for inclusion are preserved.
Somaliland rejected engagement with the wider Somalia peace process; it saw Somalia as a foreign affairs issue. However on 28 June 2012, President Ahmed Mohamoud signed a cooperation deal in Dubai with Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, President of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government. The agreement that was referred to as the ‘Dubai Charter’ called for greater coordination between Somalia’s various political units and is part of broader international reconciliation efforts among all Somali parties. This signing was also attended by the Presidents of the autonomous Puntland and Galmudug regions as well as the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.The reconciliation talks between the government in Mogadishu led by the Federal Government, and the regional authorities in Hargeisa resumed on 13 April 2013 which was organized by the government of Turkey in Ankara. The meeting ended with a signed agreement between the new Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Mohamoud agreeing to allocate fairly to the Somaliland region its portion of the development aid earmarked for Somalia as a whole and to cooperate on security.
4.3.8 The Role of AMISOM in Somalia Peace Process
AMISOM is a peace-enforcement mission that by October 2013 had troops drawn from Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Djibouti. To date, AMISOM has had significant, albeit limited, achievements in addressing insecurity in Somalia. Thus far, AMISOM has effectively evicted the militant and insurgent Al-Shabaab, credited with most of the insecurity in Somalia, from most major urban centers in southern Somalia, including the capital city Mogadishu. The Somali National Army (SNA), with the support of AMISOM, captured Mogadishu on 9 December 2012. Other liberated areas include Baidoa situated in South-Central Somalia, and the port cities of Marka and Kismayo.
Counter Offensive and Deterrent Measures to Minimize the Threat of Al-Shabaab
A turning point for AMISOM was in August 2011 when African troops together with TFG forces pushed al-Shabab out of the capital Mogadishu. A number of reasons account for this turnaround, including more troop contributions from member states (Kenya and Dibouti), greater coordination between AMISOM and TFG forces, and reported training of Somali intelligence operatives by the Central Intelligence Agency.
The first important success was when AMISOM together with the Somali forces pushed al-Shabaab out of the capital Mogadishu. Greater coordination among AMISOM forces and between AMISOM and Somali forces was observed. Since then, the coordination between AMISOM and Somalia Forces has continued to improve. The involvement of the Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF), which is well equipped and includes a large navy and air force, has greatly contributed to the achievements against Al-Shabaab. In addition, Ethiopia has redeployed troops into Somalia, capturing Beledwyne and has also moved into the central regions of Hiraan and Galgadud and further still into the Shabelle River Valley. The KDF has liberated Gedo, Juba, Kismayo, while AMISOM forces have pushed al-Shabaab from the capital, Mogadishu. Coordinated Efforts of Kenya, AMISOM, Ethiopia and Somalia have contributed greatly to ousting insurgents from most parts of Somalia.
Pursuance of and Consolidation of Political and Diplomatic Settlement of Armed Conflict
AMISOM political unit monitors, interprets and reports on political and other developments throughout Somalia, as well as providing advice on political processes. It is responsible for the implementation of political decisions on Somalia taken by the Africa Union Peace and Security Council and is helping build up the capacity of the nation’s public service. With the collaboration of AMISOM, the political situation in Somalia has continued to improve.
The Federal Government continued its efforts to implement its Six-Pillar plan. The Six Pillar strategy is a comprehensive policy framework outlined by the President of Somalia for the stabilization and reconstruction of Somalia, around which the AU and the international community should align its support: Full Stability – Supremacy of the law and good governance, that incorporates rule of law and security ; Economic Recovery – Livelihoods and economic infrastructure; Peace building-Social reconciliation through building bridges of trust; Service Delivery – Health, education and environment ; International Relations – Building collaborative relations and polishing the national image; The Unity and Integrity of the country – Striving together for a better future.
Supporting Dialogue and Reconciliation
AMISOM has continued to support dialogue and reconciliation efforts at local, regional and national levels. At local and regional levels, in areas recovered from Al-shabaab, AMISOM has mobilised clan elders, religious and political leaders including members of parliament to resolve political and other differences. At the national level, AMISOM has continued to support dialogue among various political actors in the country.
Providing Protection to the Somali Authorities and Key Infrastructure
The Military Component of the African Union Mission in Somalia is the biggest of the three components of the AU Mission in the country. The component provides protection to the country’s Federal Institutions as they carry out their functions and helps secure Somalia’s key infrastructure including its airports and seaports. All the troops are deployed in four sectors covering south and central Somalia.
The AMISOM military component has created a relatively secure environment which has allowed the Somali peace process to take root, allowed local population the opportunity to begin establishing accountable local governance institutions that can deliver services as well as rebuild the local economy and create linkages to the national economy and government.
Facilitation of the Implementation of the National Security and Stabilization Plan Somali Security forces capacity to do joint operations with AMISOM and their training have been augmented. Somali transitional government has been ended with the election of new Federal Government. Despite all these achievements, Al-Shabaab is sstill a threat in some of the recovered areas, and they still occupy some remaining pockets of Southern Somalia. To address those challenges, the new Federal Government of Somalia in close collaboration with AMISOM has come up with a policy plan which is centered on reconciliation and stabilization of the country. AMISOM has continuously offered support in various mediations undertaken, to build internal cohesion among members and in capacity building for the public sector institutions to enhance security and participate in the government stabilization plan.
In conclusion, the advent of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in 2007 has changed the security landscape significantly and the foundations for restoring peace in the country have progressively improved. Indeed, AMISOM has lend credence to the notion, envisaged by the architects of the Africa Union (AU) in 2002, that Africa should solve African Problems. Since 2007, AMISOM has been trying to stabilize Somalia against formidable odds – such as presence of transnational terrorists, lack of adequate personnel and equipments.
The dilemma in the efforts for a united Somalia is finding an approach that can bring the experience of Somaliland and its potential for positive influence on the wider Somalia issue into the peace process without compromising its achievements. It is inconceivable that Somaliland would accept such engagement without some tangible concessions in respect of its search for a recognized status. Somaliland lacks a clear path to international recognition, and, whatever the rights and wrongs, the international community will not recognize Somaliland until the AU or Somalia does so. A constitutional process which guarantees no erosion of Somaliland’s current status and gives Somaliland the right to choose to remain in Somalia or secede after a period of trying to live in the federation might be the kind of compromise that could help all sides. The prospects for such an approach remain slim given the highly allergic reaction of the dwellers of Somaliland to any perceived threat to their independence. However this kind of thinking might offer a solution to the ‘Somaliland Question’ and the Unification of the entire Somalia.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION5.1 IntroductionIn July 2011 Chatham House convened a meeting of opinion-formers from Somalia and its diaspora to discuss the country’s transition at the end of the Transitional Federal Government’s (TFG) mandate in August 2012. The meeting focused in particular on the emergence of sub-national entities1, both old and new. On the one hand, stabilization in Somalia appears to be succeeding on a piecemeal basis with a growing number of enclaves asserting their capacity to provide security and governance at community level. On the other hand, the main thrust of international policy remains the establishment of a single national government.
5.2 ConclusionSomaliland is considered the most stable region of Somalia. It held democratic election as late as June 2010, which was internationally recognized as being fair and free, especially compared to other Sub-Saharan countries. The success of Somaliland has been contributed to the different influences of the colonial powers on the traditional structures. In describing the list of principles that were agreed upon in a conference in Somaliland, Walls notes that the Central amongst these was the tenet that each clan must assume responsibility for actions taken in its own area. On this basis, clans were to ensure security and the provision of a basic administrative capacity in areas they traditionally occupied. From this point of view Somaliland is dominated by a consensus system, which is a form of majoritarianism. Therefore, the road to a predictable and stable form of system in Somaliland is seen to have been through some form of direct democracy, rather than the Western Weberian state which is based on in-direct democracy.
Puntland, which is situated south of Somaliland, has not experienced the same kind of administration. However, Puntland region is more stable than South Somalia and the seeds of an administration have been planted, but have yet to grow. The proximity to South Somalia is likely to have been a crucial factor in determining the different levels of success in establishing functioning administration in Somaliland and Puntland.
Consequently, the borderlands of Somalia have experienced a higher level of stability than South Somalia. The borderlands serve as the intermediary example of state-building. A briefing paper named “Livestock Trade in The Kenyan, Somali and Ethiopian Borderlands(2010)”reports that the cross-border clan relationships that always underpinned the trade are increasingly giving way to multiple clan business enterprises. These involve extensive networks of people and help to build trust and integration among them. The briefing paper serves as evidence of the institutional capacity of traditional structures and their resilience during extreme political instability and uncertainty.
The report concludes that Al-Shabab is promoting multi-clan cooperation and tolerance. It might be a strategy, which will enable them to gain legitimacy among livestock traders, because livestock traders seem willing to accept anybody who can ensure them a more predictable political situation. Somali Diaspora and scholars on Somalia have stressed that most Somalis are Sunni Muslims and have no wish to follow the Wahhabism practices of Islam introduced by foreign jihadi stand enacted by the Al-Shabab.However, Al-Shabab currently controls most of South Somalia and the organization is a political player, which cannot be ignored. The Al-Shabab ?s organization has the most raw-power in South Somalia, and it is accepted by the South Somali people mainly for lack of an alternative.
While the hard question is whether to deal with Al-Shabab or not, so far, only one path has been explored, which is confronting the organization with brute force. The path of diplomacy has not yet been tried..
The re-establishment of stability is a priority for Somalis and for Somalia’s partners yet progress towards restoring national government continues to be slow and disappointing. The growth of sub-national entities in Somalia appears to offer an alternative route for achieving stability and development. After many years of endeavour, Somaliland and Puntland have developed state structures and established relatively competent governments in a way that has eluded attempts at the national level. Several more new entities have emerged and are seeking to emulate their success, but many of these have a narrow clan base and incorporate relatively small communities. There are risks associated with this phenomenon. Many Somalis fear it will lead to the splintering of the country into small unsustainable fragments and delay the prospects for national recovery. There is a real danger that a proliferation of clan and sub-clan entities, each with its own militia, could take Somalia back to the highly destructive inter-clan violence of the early 1990s. An approach that inadvertently fostered more violence between multiple competing authorities would set back any hopes for restoring national government and would probably serve to make the harsh form of stability offered by al-Shabaab more attractive.
The Transitional Federal Charter offers a framework for Somalia that would maintain the coherence of the country while providing space for the emergence of sub-national entities. Yet the TFG has failed over the past seven years to make any material progress towards the realization of this vision. Several conferences have discussed the reasons for this and asked whether this failure necessitates new approaches to Somalia’s future. The answer lies partly in the gap between a nominal commitment to federalism and decentralization, as expressed in the Charter, and the reality of TFG and donor activity focusing exclusively (and unsuccessfully) on building central institutions. The potential federal territories that have emerged have done so at their own initiative and through processes of local reconciliation and peace building which are rooted in Somali practice. This has happened outside of any formal or informal constitutional process and has not made for an easy relationship with the TFG. The cultivation of external relationships with these entities has added a further layer of complexity.
International actors face a policy dilemma. The extended absence of national government impinges heavily on neighbouring countries and has created serious regional insecurity. Somalia’s condition also poses a number of international threats, of which terrorist activity, piracy and uncontrolled migration are the most pressing and obvious. International actors want to help stabilize Somalia, but are uncertain of how to do so. Should they continue to back the TFG process and hope that a government acceptable to Somali will eventually emerge or should they focus instead on the various regional authorities that can demonstrate that stability and governance are sustainable with public support? Is trying to do both – the dual track policy – inconsistent with or detrimental to the longer term goal of restoring both stability and government in Somalia?
How can (or should) the international communities encourage or engage with sub-national entities? There is a central and unresolved dilemma for the reconstitution of Somalia: what is the proper role of central government? Members of the TFG and some of its partners seem to view the federal government as the sole source of authority and the centre of administration for the entire country. Yet both the Charter signed in 2004 and the reality on the ground point to a very different role for central government, that would mainly involve coordinating activities between federal entities.
Somalia would not be unique if it were to develop a decentralized system where power is not so much devolved from the centre to the federal units, but instead involves the ceding of power from federal entities to the centre. Abandoning the aspiration for a unified and peaceful Somalia is not necessary, but expecting that unity and peace will emanate from a central authority dependent on external support is misguided. Sub-national entities committed to a federal Somalia and based on local legitimacy do offer an important prospect for positive developments. Indeed this process could be an important ingredient in Somalia’s re-emergence as a peaceful and significant member of the international community.
Somalis and their international partners need to recognize both the opportunities and the threats presented by sub-national entities and come to a considered view of how to engage with them. Not every entity that calls itself a regional or state government is equivalent to Puntland or Somaliland and engagement should be based on a proven record of achievement. The desire to support improvements in local security or for quick gains against al-Shabaab needs to be balanced against the potential for creating future antagonistic relationships that could impede Somalia’s long-term recovery.
Governments in Somalia, be they national or local, need to be accountable first and foremost to the people they claim to represent. If emerging entities have managed to build coalitions for peace and have begun to provide security for their people then carefully considered international support can be helpful. However, premature support to unproven entities outside a national framework could be counterproductive. There may be a role for civil society organizations to play in helping to ascertain the viability of the new entities. The establishment of sub-national entities is not necessarily contrary to the prospects of establishing national government, but fitting the two processes together requires a nuanced reading of the transitional Charter.
Emerging entities that can operate within a broad constitutional framework may well help towards building a viable federal government where authority is confirmed from established federal states and authorities. This means that a dual-track strategy needs to genuinely encourage and support both national and sub-national efforts to govern, and to recognize that both legitimized local governments and an accepted and functional national government are part of the solution.
As the constitutional review process and the implementation of the roadmap gets underway, it should not be forgotten that the Charter itself was the product of two years of intensive debate and discussion in which the roles and responsibilities of different levels of government were fully explored. Adjustments and refinements may well be necessary, but a long process of negotiation and debate will not necessarily be helpful. Likewise, a constitutional settlement that is inflexible and exclusionary could be damaging. The fluid political and security situation demands a framework that is broad, flexible and accommodating and does not exclude the possibility of new entities or ideas for resolving Somalia’s instability.
An externally driven approach that takes the creation of functioning central state structures as its starting point has not succeeded. The key reason for this is that authority and legitimacy must be earned. One powerful line of argument is that Somalia, like other countries in the world, such as the USA and Switzerland may be a place where the national government’s power is conferred from the federal territories to the centre, rather than the other way around.
The TFG relies on outside support for both its legitimacy and survival. The temptation for international partners of Somalia has sometimes been to place great faith in particular individuals as the best prospect for resolving Somalia’s problems. This focus on personality ignores the systemic nature of Somalia’s crisis. The likelihood is that Somalia will still face huge problems, and the TFG is unlikely to have established much more territorial control outside Mogadishu. International partners of Somalia need to be prepared for a long and variable journey to stability.
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