n Africa Insight - The reasons for failures in the reunification of Somalia

Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


Somalia is one of the countries in Africa that is known to have collapsed as a nation state. Political power in Somalia has been splintered and ferociously contested between the various clans and sub-clans. In the past ten years Somalia has witnessed intense power struggles between different factions, leading to the death of thousands and the subsequent displacement of three-quarters of the population to neighbouring countries. This paper analyses the situation in Somalia during the Said Barre regime and the subsequent collapse of the nation state. It will also look into the reasons for the failures in reunification and restoration of legitimate government in Somalia to date, and trace the involvement of the international community, especially the United Nations. It is argued that the problem in Somalia is not directly caused by clan conflict, but rather the politicised ethnicity that was propagated by the Siad Barre regime.

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