n Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor - Somalia's post-civil war renewal - : Africa-wide - featured analysis

Volume 2013, Issue 05
  • ISSN :


On 17 January 2013, the United States (US) Government recognised the Somali Government for the first time since 1991 when Somalia had erupted in civil war and its state apparatus disintegrated. The Somalis have not had an effective system of central governance in over two decades. Recognition from the US is a milestone not only for the Somalis, but also for the nations and international organisations that helped the Somalis succeed in their state-building endeavours.

In 2012, the Somalis held their first democratic elections in decades. They replaced their Islamist president with Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, a relatively unknown university professor and former consultant for the United Nations (UN). The al-Shabaab, a militant group with ties to al-Qaeda, has lost much of its grip over the country. So many property owners are returning from exile and rebuilding their seafront villas in Mogadishu, the nation's capital, that the city is experiencing a minor property boom. Meanwhile, piracy in the Indian Ocean has diminished, and the UN Security Council (UNSC) has voted unanimously to rescind part of a 21-year-old arms embargo on Somalia. These are all reasons for cautious optimism; Somalia's recent successes allow us to hope that the nation has turned a corner and that a new era of Somalia has arrived. But while the national government remains weak in its infantile state, the Somalis will continue to need international support.

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