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Somalia: Breaking Away From Intellectuals’ Legacy of Corruption, Clan and Kleptocracy

Somalia: Breaking Away From Intellectuals’ Legacy of Corruption, Clan and Kleptocracy

Analysis by Abukar Arman Can a new generation of Somali intellectuals fix the mistakes of its predecessors and offer a brighter future for Somalia? ‘Where the lead camel goes, so shall others’. So goes the Somali proverb, describing the tendency of humans to unquestioningly follow those in authority even if such individuals are leading them [...]

The Corroding ‘Lead Camel’ Effect

As in old caravans ‘Where the lead camel goes, so shall others’. Such goes the Somali proverb, notwithstanding its regional variations and dialectical flavors. The Lead Camel Effect (LCE) describes a syndrome or a common human tendency to blindly follow leaders, role-models, and all those whom authority is attributed to even if such individuals were [...]

Can Somalia’s Political Discontent Inspire Transformation?

Exhausted by prolonged anarchy, chronic dependency, cancerous corruption, and humiliating subjugation, the Somali people demanded change. Not just change of guards or principled actors, but a total overhaul of the political order of the day. On September 10, 2012, the newly appointed parliament has heeded the call of its citizens and elected Hassan Sheikh Mohamud [...]

Somalia’s Constitution of Ambiguity and Deferment – OpEd

Somalia’s Constitution of Ambiguity and Deferment – OpEd

By Abukar Arman If constitutions are supposed to make boundaries of the government’s legitimate authority over its citizens and state or regional administrations clear, Somalia’s new constitution oddly falls short. While there are some bright provisions in the new constitution, much of it can be aptly described as uncertain assurances and a ‘not now’ legal [...]

SOMALIA: Post-Transitional Political Fault Lines

SOMALIA: Post-Transitional Political Fault Lines

By: Abukar Arman Internally—where it matters the most—the overall status of a government is judged by how the average citizen perceives it. From that perspective, and due to a number of factors, in Somalia not much has changed in the past three decades since the military government went astray. Still, the average Somali sees his/her government as [...]

Sustainable Peace: Why Somaliland Matters

Like in wars between states and other organized groups, civil wars and other protracted domestic conflicts are seldom caused by a single factor. Over time, even those that prove to be the exception to the rule eventually evolve into a much more complex conflict- hence the entity known as Somaliland. A Brief History Only five [...]

The 21 Years Itch and Turkey’s Role in Somalia

Two decades have passed since the collapse of the Somali state. Twenty one years to be exact. According to Lee Cassanelli, Professor of African history at the University of Pennsylvania, this exact number matters in Somali politics – perhaps in a subconscious way. In August 2007, during one of his presentations at the Somali Studies [...]

The Enigma of the London Conference on Somalia

If there is any consensus on the nature and the outcome of the London Conference on Somalia – that brought together representatives of over 50 nations that included a number of Muslim nations – it must be the fact that it was a puzzling event that raised much speculation. Now that the fanfare has ended, [...]

Peace, Security, and the upshot of political subjugation

I could think of any tactfully discreet and diplomatically clear way to describe the outcome of the 15th Extraordinary Session of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government on Somalia without compromising the essence of my message, I would have simply chosen that approach. Therefore, going crude is the appropriate way: As a [...]

Shariah in Lawless Somalia

Nowhere in the world is Shariah more contested (yet seldom debated) than in war-weary, Somalia where each of the entities competing for power claims to have embraced it while condemning its detractor, or rather, its enemy, as a dangerous imposter. All the colorful politics motivating each contender aside, the most pressing question begging an answer [...]

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London Conference on Somalia