n African Renaissance - Somalia : beyond the essentialist framework : from traditional qabiilah towards diasporic associations

Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


Within a few decades Somalia's political and military elites, more or less collectively, created a state of anarchy and destruction (Lewis, 1994, p. Vii). Tools applied in unleashing this catastrophe included extreme form of divisive qabiilah exacerbated by the involvement of external actors and superpower rivalry. The image of vicious qabiilah became globalized following the ill-advised American intervention in 1992. The international media opted to emphasise and disseminate Somali qabiilah divisions characterised by rivalry and violence (Economist, Dec. 2008). On their part international organizations uncritically adapted strategies to differentiate and interpret Somalis through qabiilah structures (World Bank report, 2005). The UN system remains the main sponsor of almost all so-called peace conferences as one of its senior UN officials ironically described such processes as an attempt to transform warlords to becoming peace lords (Marchal, 2007).

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