n African Journal on Conflict Resolution - Cultural diversity and the Somali conflict : myth or reality?

Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-6997


The current conflict in Somalia has proven to be long and devastating to its people where thousands were killed, raped, robbed and made refugees or internally displaced. Despite its deadly impact, the conflict has defied all expectations both theoretical and practical. However, there are several studies that attempt to explain the conflict and its causes. These causes include the role of cultural diversity in both bringing and maintaining the conflict in Somalia and Africa in general. This article argues that despite the existence of many studies that emphasise this relationship, they remain empirically inconclusive. The Somali society consists of many communities that differ linguistically and socio-economically. Despite their differences, the conflict in Somalia and Sub-Saharan Africa in general stems primarily from inequality worsened by economic decline plus the easy availability of weapons that resulted from the massive sale of arms by members of the armed forces. The article concludes with several suggestions for bringing about resolution to this prolonged conflict in Somalia. One of the main suggestions would be an attempt to attract the vast wealth and brain power of the Diaspora communities.

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