Somalia is one of the world’s poorest and most fragile countries. During the civil war, the state was unable to deliver basic services, such as health care, or maintain the country’s infrastructure.
Sad Story About War In Somalia
Armed conflicts and natural disasters have displaced more than one million Somalis within their own country. After more than 25 years of civil war, the election of the Federal Government of Somalia in 2012 marked the start of a new chapter in the country’s history. A year later, a total of 40 countries and organizations concluded an agreement with Somalia, known as the New Deal, in order to support its transition to peace and prosperity.
The country still faces major challenges in relation to health care and food security. The security situation remains critical in much of the country, especially in South and Central Somalia, greatly restricting international organizations’ access to many areas. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union, GIZ is currently coordinating six projects in Somalia.
One of these projects assists local road-building authorities to rebuild the main transport routes. GIZ is also working with various Somali authorities and institutions and with private sector partners on developing a sustainable strategy for the maintenance of the road network. Restoring the road network also builds Somalia’s economic capacities, enabling goods to reach their destination more quickly and reliably while also achieving substantial cost savings. A further project supported by GIZ aims to improve health care and advisory services for pregnant women, mothers, newborns, and young children by training Somalis as midwives, obstetricians and nutrition advisors.
The project also assists Somali health authorities to improve their efficiency and local coordination capacities. In the region of Somaliland, GIZ is working with KfW on expanding the water supply and sanitation system and introducing sustainable land management. In the Sahil region, GIZ is supporting efforts to modernize livestock husbandry and agriculture so that settled farmers and nomadic pastoralists are better protected from potential crises such as droughts. As part of a BMZ special initiative for refugees, GIZ is supporting the reintegration of returnees in their home communities and the integration of internally displaced persons in host communities in southern Somalia. Since 2017, a project implemented under the One World – No Hunger Initiative has been promoting fish consumption in Kismayo in order to improve local food and nutrition security.
Al Shabaab With The Military Pressure
As well as political weakness, al Shabaab is under military pressure. In addition to the Kenyan challenge, it is being squeezed by the Ethiopians on its western border. Furthermore, it was forced to retreat from Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, in August following an offensive by troops from the 9,000-strong African Union peacekeeping mission. It has since retaliated with a string of suicide bombings, but this move to asymmetrical warfare has been interpreted by military analysts as a sign of weakness and desperation. Read Nuclear Safety and Security.
Until now, al Shabaab has been fairly robust financially. It has made a lot of money from taxes, port revenues, and exports of charcoal. For this reason, it will be interesting to see what happens if Kenyan troops are able to secure the coastal city of Kismayo, an al Shabaab stronghold. Control of Kismayo port is a significant revenue stream for al Shabaab, and if they lost it, they would suffer a big hit financially. Having said all this, it is probably too early to write off al Shabaab. First, there is a risk that the Kenyan operation will backfire and that the invasion will help rally support behind al Shabaab just at a time when it was starting to look weak. Also, there is a big question mark over its main domestic competitor, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), which shows no sign that it can capitalize on al Shabaab’s frailties. The TFG has international support but is hated by most Somalis for its incompetence, corruption, and inability to provide public services. Even if al Shabaab is pushed out, the inadequacies of the TFG mean that the most likely outcome for Somalia will be a governance vacuum and another descent into warlordism. The views expressed in this piece are solely those of Richard Downie. © 2011 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Beginning in February 2007, the U.N. Security Council authorized a six-month African Union peacekeeping mission for Somalia. In October 2007, Ethiopian forces fired on demonstrators in Mogadishu protesting at the presence of what they called foreign invaders. ] In June 2008, the government signed a three-month ceasefire pact with opposition Alliance for Re-Liberation of Somalia. The US carried out airstrikes in southern Somalia in 2007, targeting suspected Al-Qaeda members. ] The United States began flying drones from a base in Ethiopia. The next year, Al-Shabab lost their hold on all major cities. Overall, this conflict has involved a number of different international organizations, such as the UN, the AU, and the EU. Multiple countries have also taken part in the conflict itself or in seeking resolution including the United States, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Italy, among others. Despite the attempts at resolution, however, the violence continues. With so many factions and interests involved and such a long history of turmoil, finding a solution to the conflict remains a complex and complicated process.
On 28th May, the U.N passed a resolution drawn up by Germany and Iraq and sponsored by 91 U.N members calling for international action against ISIL. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called the destruction of heritage sites a ‘war crime’. However, clearly the U.N and UNESCO can only do so much. And the same also applies to government forces, particularly when it involves operating in foreign lands. So it is incumbent on authorities, media and educational establishments to also encourage the local populace to show interest. This is of great importance in all countries today, including those which are stable democracies.
We live in an era of very rapid cultural change. Nations change after wars, but so do populations even in peacetime. In the author’s own country, immigration during the 20th century led to a significant population of Afro-Carribeans and Asians. In recent decades many from the Middle East and Eastern Europe have also arrived.