n African Renaissance - Foreign aid and extremism in the Horn of Africa s on developments in Somalia

Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


This paper discusses foreign aid complexities and understanding the war on terrorism. In the past decade the US strategically integrated foreign aid into the fight against extremism, particularly in war-torn regions like the Horn of Africa. In analysing the Somali case, the paper contends that the 9/11 terror attacks inaugurated new form of foreign aid explicitly focusing on security. The "statelessness" condition in Somalia intensified the intermingling of foreign aid with terrorism-combatting programs in the Horn of Africa. In addition the collapse of the Somali military regime in 1991 empowered non-state actors such as warlords, militias and religious extremists. Such fragmented conflicting factions - most of them without clear national vision and project - have since received external aid. By instrumentally focusing and dealing with such divisive elements, donor countries aimed and hoped for potentially favoured winners to reconstitute the collapsed state. This did not happen. Instead the number of clan militias, extremists and not-so-helpful external actors from neighbouring and distant countries increased.

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