n African Renaissance - Somalia : state reconfiguration and the role of the diaspora and civil society : Somalia

Volume 2, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


Following decades of brutal dictatorship, internal conflict and oppression, the Somali military state finally collapsed in January 1991, leaving behind ruthless warlords that took over the streets of Mogadishu, from where they have, for more than 14 years been terrorizing their own people with robbery, daily intimidation, road blocks, and green lines within and between the dozens of warlord- proclaimed enclaves in the capital. The Somali tragedy became internationalised with the US intervention and its ill-planned Operation Restore Hope in 1992. Despite the state collapse and the predatory warlords and the increasingly disinterested and passive international community, many Somalis managed to survive. Certainly the Somalis are far from scoring high in human development statistics by the UN and other humanitarian agencies, but clearly with the absence of an oppressive state, civil society groups, both its modern and traditional versions, and Diaspora groups, assert major influence in improving the socio-political and economic situation of the horn of African nation. Import and export of goods, telecommunication and business entrepreneurships are booming. Somali business entrepreneurs recently established direct commercial links and cooperation with India, China, Malaysia and some European countries. Somalia for instance now offers the cheapest prices of mobile telecommunications and electronic goods for the whole of the African continent, and people have the opportunity to fly to almost all major cities in the country and from there connecting to Dubai, Nairobi and Djibouti for international flights. Under the dictator, national flights were restricted to military installations and major cities such as Mogadishu and Hargeysa.

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