n African Renaissance - Somalia and the American embrace

Volume 4 Number 3-4
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


The Somalis, unlike other member nations of the one hundred and ninety-one members of the United Nations, are increasingly familiar to Americans because of events of the last forty years. In retrospect, one can trace Somali-American relations to the Cold War when the Soviet Union and the United States (U.S.) were fighting for allies. Besides the dangers and benefits of the Cold War, many Somalis felt that their security or insecurity within the American embrace was tied to their political destiny.

The collapse of the Somali state during the last days of President Siad Barre created room for a U.S. penetration into Somali life and culture. While President Barre was firmly secured as a ruler, his country's relationship would change with America or Russia just like the political climate of the Cold War changed. In his last days, the Somali state disintegrated and the people witnessed radical transformations that now affect their lives. However, Somalis made Barre's presidential powers a laughing stock around the world due to the unwinding events that was taking place in that country. In the end he desperately tried to hold on to the sinking city of Mogadishu.

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