Formal name: Somalia.
Estimated population: 9.2 million (2001 est.).
The roots of forced migration in contemporary Somalia lie in former colonial divisions, clan conflict and fierce competition over the economic and political resources of the post-colonial state. When Somalia gained independence in 1960 it was handicapped by a lack of political legitimacy and a weak economic base. Excessive militirisation and aid dependency, superpower patronage and the centralisation of control in the hands of the dictator, Siad Barre, was the pattern throughout the 1970s. The nationalisation of economic assets, the effects of a major drought in 1974, and of military defeat in 1978 in the Ogaden war resulted in the wholesale alienation of the population from the Barre regime. Armed opposition to Barre began in earnest in 1988 in north-west Somalia. Some 400,000 Somalis fled to Ethiopia and Djibouti as a result of the conflict. The overthrow of Barre in 1991 propelled Somalia into a prolonged period of civil war. At the height of the conflict in 1992 some 800,000 Somalis were refugees in neighbouring countries, and 2 million were internally displaced. Large numbers returned to their homes during the remainder of the decade, despite high levels of conflict in particular regions of the country.
Accompanying the dissolution of the Somali state has been a gradual process of regional reconstruction. Somaliland and Puntland in the north of the country are relatively stable and conflict-free. By contrast, areas of the southern regions are subject to violence and continued population displacement. In 2002 an estimated 350,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) remained in Somalia, the result of fifteen years of conflict and the continuing violence in the southern regions of the country. The formation of the Transitional National Government (TNG) in 2000 has not, to date, resulted in peace. Renewed conflict has broken out over the legitimacy of the new regime.
The population displacement of the last two decades in Somalia is due to a complex combination of clan-based conflict, including the destruction of infrastructure and livelihoods as a weapon of war and to the effects of climatic change. Flooding and drought have produced famine and population displacement on a massive scale. In 1997 flooding forced 122,000 mainly Somali refugees to flee their camps in north-eastern Kenya. The floods made more than 200,000 homeless. Today Somalia is one of the principal refugee-producing countries in the world. It was amongst the top twenty countries of origin for asylum applications in twenty-eight mostly industrialised countries from January to June 2002. It was also amongst the top ten countries of origin for asylum applications to the European Union during the 1992-2001 period.
- CIA World Factbook 2002 http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/so.html
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Asylum Statistics http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/statistics
- Library of Congress Country Reports http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/sotoc.html
Colonial interventions in the Horn of Africa in the nineteenth century resulted in the formation of five distinct geographical units inhabited by Somalis: the Côte Française des Somalis in present day Djibouti; British Somaliland in the north-west; the Ogaden, which was colonised by Ethiopia; Somalia Italiana in the south and the Northern Frontier District (NFD) under British rule as part of north-eastern Kenya. The five-pointed star of the Somali flag, expressing the aspiration for a united Somalia, became the basis for the Somali independence movement after the Second World War.
Somalia is often cited as a rare example of ethnic homogeneity in
Africa, with a common language and religion that provided the basis for its
relatively peaceful transition to independence in 1960. This common history and
identification underplays the basis of Somali society in clan networks and the
ethnic and linguistic diversity within the Somali population. Despite attempts
to suppress clan identities, clanship has habitually resurfaced as a basis for
political organisation and identification in the post-colonial period
Clan and nation-state
From the founding of the Somali Republic in 1960 there were
difficulties over uniting the two areas of previously British-controlled
Somaliland in the north-west, and Italian-ruled Somalia in the south. In April
1960 a joint meeting of the administrations of Somaliland and Somalia
proclaimed that the two territories would be united. Discrepancies between the
two administrations led to a now-independent Somalia issuing a decree of union
between the two entities, although this was never legally formalised. Despite
this, Somaliland and Somalia were de facto united in July 1960 as the Somali
Republic. The new government was southern-dominated, one amongst several
factors which quickly led to northern calls for secession. A referendum held in
the north in 1961 showed clear evidence of opposition to the Union
The conflict between the centralised character of the post-colonial
state and the basis of Somali society in clan networks and previous colonial
divisions are the central factors explaining the history of conflict and forced
migration in Somalia. The multi-party democracy that was introduced with
independence was particularly prone to clan factionalism. The 1960-4 period
under President Abdirshid A. Shermarke consisted of a coalition of parties with
the main lines of cleavage falling along both class and clan divisions. The
Mohamed I. Egal and Abdirizak H. Hussein administrations of the 1964-9 period
tended toward northern domination. The combination of class-based politics and
clan factionalism accelerated after 1967 under the new government of Egal
A deteriorating situation, including economic stagnation, partial
proletarianisation of rural areas, urban poverty, and continued dependence on
overseas aid, was brought to a head with the assassination of President
Shermaarke in 1969. Despite Prime Minister Egal's attempts to improve the
situation, six days after the assassination the military assumed power in a
bloodless coup. In many quarters the coup was seen as justifiable, given the
scale of abuse and misuse of public power and resources by elected politicians
The rise and fall of Siad Barre
Any hopes for improvement under the military rule of Major General
Siad Barre's Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) were soon to be dashed.
Suspension of the constitution and parliament, as well as curtailment of rights
of association, were rapidly enforced. Barre's programme of national
reconstruction under the banner of 'scientific socialism', consisted of a range
of projects aimed at national revitalisation. The distinctive features of
Barre's reign were the extent of militarisation first under Soviet and then US
tutelage, and the centralisation of power in Barre's own hands. The negative
features of the Barre regime included economic mismanagement, dependency on
military aid, and a high external debt. There were some positive developments
relating to Barre's social and political campaigns, in education and literacy
for example (
The political manipulation of clanship was a central feature of the
Barre regime. Competition for control of state resources intensified between
the different clan factions. An abortive coup by the Majerteen sub-clan of the
Darod was led against Barre during the Ogaden war of 1977 (
While the SSDF weakened throughout the 1980s, the SNM continued to pose a threat to the dominance of the Barre regime. A peace agreement between Mengistu of Ethiopia (who supported the opposition in Somalia) and Barre meant that his forces could be safely ranged against the SNM. Pre-empting a strike by Barre, in 1988 the SNM briefly took control of Hargeisa and Burao in the north-west. In the government counter-attack, thousands of civilians were killed in aerial bombing. Non-MOD elements of the national army began to desert and form their own clan-based organisations. The Hawiye-based United Somali Congress (USC) was formed in 1989. These three opposition groups, including the Ogaden-affiliated Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM) converged on Mogadishu in January 1991. As Barre fled the capital on 27 January 1991, the dissolution of the Somali state accelerated.
The dissolution of the Somali state
From the fall of Barre to the current situation in Somalia there were four phases. The most intense period of conflict was during 1991-2 when the different clan factions (from the old regime and the newly emerged opposition militias) fought for control of land and resources in the south of the country. This resulted in the devastation of the inter-riverine areas. Increasing numbers of refugees left the country for neighbouring Kenya and Ethiopia at that time, while the number of IDPs increased dramatically. The formation in 1991 of independent Somaliland in the north-west created an enclave of reconstruction and relative peace. Drought and famine in the inter-riverine areas, and the disruption of farming and livestock production as a result of conflict, caused thousands of deaths and further migration to aid camps in urban areas.
The phase of UN interventions that followed from 1993-5 was one of localised conflicts, specifically around Mogadishu. The humanitarian aim of the interventions was clouded by a lack of clarity over the role of UN forces. Their role in 'nation building' became a rallying point for united Somali opposition. Refugees continued to flee the country, and internal displacement became entrenched in particular regions of the country. The last UN troops left Somalia in 1994-5.
The post-intervention phase from 1995 to 2000 saw the emergence of regional administrations and the continued dissolution of the Somali state. Conflict continued unevenly in different regions of the country, causing internal displacement and steady refugee flows. Puntland in the north-east declared itself a regional administration in 1998, and in March 2002 the Rahanweyn Resistance Army (RRA) formed the State of Southwestern Somalia in the Bay and Bakool regions. Conflict erupted in Puntland in 2001. The southern regions remained the centre of conflict in Somalia in the late 1990s and into the new century.
The fourth phase was from the establishment of the TNG in 2000 onwards. Key warlords' opposition to the legitimacy of the TNG has resulted in renewed conflict and population displacement in particular areas in the south. By contrast, the process of reconstruction continues in Somaliland and Puntland. These issues are discussed in more detail in Section 2.
- Prunier, G., Writenet, 'Somalia: Civil war, intervention and withdrawal 1990-1995' http://asylumlaw.org/countries/index.cfm?fuseaction=showDocuments&countryID=207&offset=21
- Sorens, J. P., and Wantchekon, L., Department of Political Science, Yale University, 'Social Order Without the State: the Case of Somalia' http://www.yale.edu/ycias/african/papers.htm
- US Department of State, Background Notes http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2863.htm
- Foreign Policy in Focus, Somalia http://www.foreignpolicy-infocus.org/briefs/vol2/v2n19som.html
Current political overview
The localisation of Somali politics
The distinctive feature of post-intervention Somalia is the dissolution of the state into a number of disparate regional components. Rather than a descent into the violence of the 1991-2 period, there was a gradual stabilisation of social forces after 1995 as new political parameters began to emerge. A renewal in economic activity from remittances, telecommunications, and livestock export encouraged the formation of regional administrations, particularly in the north-west. Somali warlords who had depended upon the spoils of foreign aid now looked to business enterprises to secure power and influence. With the weakening of the position of the warlords, new forms of 'pirate entrepreneurs' or local clan-based 'Mafiosi' emerged, spawned by the growth in trade and the lack of incentive to re-form a centralised state. As a result, the different regions within Somalia vary in relation to their political and economic stability and their potential for producing forced migration streams. Further fighting is inevitable but is unlikely to occur on the same scale and intensity as in the 1991-2 period. Southern Benadir, Gedo, and Kismayo appear particularly unstable and are likely to produce medium-scale refugee flows into the near future.
- Menkhaus, K., and Prenderhast, J. 'Political Economy of Post-Intervention Somalia' http://asylumlaw.org/countries/index.cfm?fuseaction=showDocuments&countryID=207&offset=21
The region of the former British colony of Somaliland proclaimed independence in May 1991. Predominantly Isaq, the region has a distinctive history and ethnic coherence, which eased its separation from what remained of the Somali state. The early years of independence were plagued by internal conflicts. These were offset by improved livestock exports from 1993 onwards. Renewed fighting occurred in October 1994 between President Egal of Somaliland and Eidagalley militia who were occupying the Hargeisa airport. This sparked off a full-scale war, and the flight of thousands of refugees from the city, until December of that year. By March the war had spread to Burao. More than a year of fighting had pushed 90,000 refugees into camps in neighbouring Ethiopia and uprooted 200,000 within Somaliland. By the middle of 1995 refugees were gradually beginning to return to Hargeisa, and economic activity had also approached near-normal levels. Throughout 1996-7 peace was again gradually restored to Somaliland. A referendum held in 2001 overwhelmingly voted for the continued secession of Somaliland and for a new constitution.
Somaliland's estimated population of 3.5 million is formally independent from the conflict that continues to plague the central and southern regions of the country. The lack of international recognition prevents Somaliland from receiving multilateral financial assistance and entering into bilateral trade agreements with foreign governments. As a result Somaliland is currently unable to repatriate refugees successfully. The Saudi ban on livestock exports from Somaliland in September 2000 (allegedly due to the spread of 'Rift Valley fever') has also had a serious impact upon the economy.
Another example of state-building 'from below' can be found in the case of Puntland in the north-east. Following the name given to the Somali coast by sailors from ancient Egypt, the land of 'punt' consists of the former provinces of Mudug, Nugaal, and Bari. It is ethnically homogenous and is nearly totally populated by the Majerteen, the dominant Darod sub-clan. Since 1991 it has largely been at peace under the control of the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF). Livestock is the main economic asset in the region. Garowe is the capital, and it has thrived economically since the fall of Barre.
In July 1998 a community conference of the three regions of north-east Somalia declared the formation of a Puntland state as a sub-unit of a future federated Somalia. Unlike Somaliland, it is not a fully independent state. It is also based upon clan boundaries rather than the former colonial boundary, which has been adopted by Somaliland. A form of democratic authority based upon the SSDF and 'traditional administration' has evolved in Puntland. Local committees of elders have been able to maintain and exercise control. Until recently Puntland has avoided the type of clan conflict which has affected all the other regions of former Somalia. Hostilities broke out in 2001 between the SSDF leader Abdillahi Yusuf and his presidential rival, Jama Ali Jama, disturbing what had been a peaceful transition to state-building in Puntland. Peace talks between the different factions were being held in Nairobi in May 2003.
- All Puntland (Somali-language site) http://allpuntland.com
The central and southern regions
In contrast to the relative stability and coherence of Somaliland and Puntland, the central and southern regions of Somalia present a highly fluid and unstable mixture of elements. Mogadishu is divided between different clan factions of the Hawiye United Somali Congress (USC), notably Hussein Aideed's Somali National Alliance (SNA) and Ali Mahdi's Somali Salvation Alliance (SSA). In the wake of Barre's departure in 1991, General Mohamed Farah Aideed (Hussein Aideed's father) took control of the south of the city, Ali Mahdi the north. Fighting between these rival factions has been a consistent factor from that time onwards. Ali Mahdi introduced Islamic courts in northern Mogadishu in 1994, a practice which later spread to southern Mogadishu. A Joint Peace Committee has developed to oversee the administration of business in the city (particularly relating to control of the airport and seaport). It later expanded to form the Benadir Authority. This is part of the broader process of establishing formal structures for evolving commercial and militia interests in Mogadishu.
From the advent of the TNG in 2000, a complex series of alliances have emerged between the Islamic courts, merchants, and the TNG administration, which are opposed to the warlord factions dominating Mogadishu. The security situation in Mogadishu, with its high levels of banditry and extortion, is continuing to pose difficulties for the delivery of humanitarian aid.
The inter-riverine region is one of the most unstable areas in Somalia. The area is populated by the Digil and Rahanweyn clans, who were worst affected by the conflicts in the 1991-2 period. Following the examples of Somaliland and Puntland, in March 2002 the Rahanweyn Resistance Army (RRA) formed a new administration. Known as the State of Southwestern Somalia, this regional authority is located in the Bay and Bakool regions of the country. During 2002, fighting between different factions of the RRA engulfed Baidoa, the capital of the Bay region.
The far south covers all of Gedo and most of the Lower Juba region and is largely under the control of the Marehan Somali National Front (SNF). The south remains one of the least developed areas and the one most prone to clan and inter-clan conflict.
The Transitional National Government (TNG)
Following a number of failed peace conferences, in 1998-9 the
Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and Djibouti proposed a
Somali National Peace Committee (SNPC) to be based on representatives from
Somali civil society. The SNPC opened at Arta, Djibouti in May 2000. In the
event, the key Mogadishu warlords and the Puntland and Somaliland
administrations were excluded from the proceedings. The Transitional National
Government (TNG) that came out of the Arta conference was formed in October
2000 with a three-year mandate. A 245-member Transitional National Assembly was
elected, which included representatives of minority and women's groups.
Abdiqassim Salad Hassan was appointed as interim president. An ex-Barre
minister and a member of the Habr Gedir, on the surface he was well placed to
mediate the Habr Gedir-dominated politics of Mogadishu (
In October 2002 the Somali national reconciliation process began with the convening of the Eldoret Conference in Kenya. The TNG, 350 Somali leaders, and representatives of civil society were invited to attend. The first phase of the conference on 27 October 2002 concluded with the signing of the Eldoret Declaration. This endorsed the principle of decentralisation for Somalia, a cease-fire, and guarantees for the security of humanitarian and development personnel. Since that time ceasefire violations have been commonplace. The second phase of the conference has been completed with the drafting of papers on different aspects of reconciliation and state-building. The third and final phase, the formation of a new Somali government, was due to occur some time after May 2003.
- Menkhaus, K. 'Somalia: a situation analysis', Writenet Paper No. 07/2000 http://wwww.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf/s/B320C6BD7FADA7DE852569FA00515929
- Lewis, I. M., 'Mohamad Siad Barre's Ghost in Somalia', April 2002 http://www.waltainfo.com/conflict/articles/2002/april/article8.htm
- International Crisis Group, 'Negotiating a Blueprint for Peace in Somalia,' African Report No. 59 http://www.crisisweb.org/projects/africa/somalia/reports/A400911_06032003.pdf
Somalia and the international community
The degree of internal support for the TNG is clearly limited. Yet
the international community remains committed to the resurrection of a
centralised, unitary state in Somalia. The history of UN interventions suggests
that they have added to existing tensions as clan groupings have competed for
aid and revenue from international organisations. After over a decade of
'statelessness' in Somalia, the TNG now occupies seats at the UN, the
Organisation of African Unity, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development
(IGAD), and the League of Arab states (
In Somalia, the restoration of a centralised state based upon
'top-down' political structures is the preferred option for the international
community. In terms of alternative scenarios for reconstruction in Somalia, a
'building-block' approach has already developed in particular regions.
Puntland, for example, represents a federalist option, and Somaliland a
separatist path, for future Somali development (
In the absence of a centralised state in Somalia there is no functioning national constitution. The self-declared Republic of Somaliland adopted its own constitution in 1997. This was ratified by the constitutional referendum, which was held in May 2001. Somaliland's government includes a parliament, a functioning civil court system, executive departments organised as ministries, six regional governors, and municipal authorities in major towns. The Constitution provides for an independent judiciary, although there are indications that this does not apply in practice.
Puntland and the TNG both have working 'charters'. The charter of the TNG allows for freedom of expression and association, and for the separation of executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of government. The TNG charter prohibits torture and the Puntland charter prohibits torture except in those cases that are overridden by Islamic law. The TNG charter allows for freedom of speech and the press, rights that are also acknowledged in the case of Puntland and Somaliland. Again, the practical application falls far short, with several cases of the arrest of journalists by the TNG, and other violations of human rights.
As there is no national judicial system, many regions rely either on local clan-based courts, Islamic Shari'a courts, or the Penal Code of the pre-1991 Barre Government.
- US Department of State Bureau of Democracy, 'Somalia: Country Report on Human Rights Practices', March 2002 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2001/af/8403.htm
- Amnesty International, Somalia Report 2003 http://web.amnesty.org/report2003/som-summary-eng
- Human Rights Internet, international treaties Somalia has signed http://www.hri.ca/fortherecord2002/vol2/somalia.htm
Culture and society
The Somali clan system has two main lineage lines, the Samale and the Sab. In genealogical terms the Digil and Rahanweyn clan families belong to the Sab, while the Darod, Hawiye, Isaq, and Dir clan families belong to the Samale. Although the clan families are not strictly territorially delimited, they do tend to occupy distinct geographical locations, i.e., the Isaq and the Dir in the north; the Digil and Rahanweyn in the agricultural areas in the south; the Hawiye in and around Mogadishu and the Darod in the south and in the north. The differentiation between Sab and Samale is reflected in the basic contrast between the nomadic pastoralism of the Samale and the sedentary farming of the Sab.
The different clan families are too large to function as viable
political units. Below the level of clan families, clans are more significant
aspects of social organisation and identification. Clans in turn are further
subdivided. The Isaq clan family, for example, historically has been divided
into eight main clan groupings - the Habar Awal, the Habar Yunis, the
'lidegall'lidagale, the Arab, and four Habar Ja'lo clans (
While clanship promotes short-term and unstable political
alliances, it also acts as the primary source of stability and cohesion in
Somali society. Clan networks provide a means of identification and support
that are vital under insecure environmental, social, and political conditions.
In general, the clan genealogical system functions as a pastoral mode of
adaptation to a harsh physical environment (see Sections
The majority, some 85 per cent of the population, are ethnic
Somalis, with Bantu and Arab minorities comprising about 15 per cent of the
total. Individuals of Bantu descent mainly live in the farming villages in the
south, while Arabs have traditionally occupied the coastal cities. Minorities
(including a number of 'occupational castes') are not evenly distributed
throughout Somalia but are concentrated in the central and southern regions,
urban centres, and along the coastline and the Shabelle and Juba Rivers. Bantu
minority groups (many of whom are the descendants of slaves imported into
Somalia in the nineteenth century) were particularly targeted by the Hawiye and
Darod, who seized the agricultural land from Bantu farmers in the
inter-riverine areas during the 1990s (
The Digil and Rahanweyn, as 'minority' clans, were also targeted with violence during the civil war and were victims of killings, lootings, and other human rights violations by the various militias, mainly Aideed's Somali National Alliance (SNA).
A precise definition of the position of minorities is difficult,
given that the number of individuals claiming minority status has increased -
or was created - because of the civil war and the experience of oppression that
particular groups have experienced. The generic term 'Benadiri', for example
(used to broadly describe the coastal population of Somalia between Mogadishu
and Kismayo), although not in common use before the war, is now adopted by many
Somali refugees as an indicator of minority status (
- Danish Immigration Service Report on Minority Groups in Somalia, December 2000 http://asylumlaw.org/countries/index.cfm?fuseaction=showDocuments&countryID=207
- Cultural Orientation Net, 'Somali Bantu: Their History and Culture' http://www.culturalorientation.net/bantu/sbtoc.html
The vast majority of Somalis are Sunni Muslims, almost entirely of
the Shaf'ite school. Islam is an important unifying factor for Somalis,
particularly since there is no major schism within its Islamic faith. Along
with clanship, Islam represents one of the cornerstones of Somali national
identity. Islam spread to Somalia at an early stage (eighth century AD),
reinforcing links with Arabia that were already established through migration
and trade. There are remaining traces of pre-Islamic traditional religions,
particularly in the inter-riverine area (
In contemporary Somalia, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism has
presented a challenge to the
tariiqa and the traditional
veneration of saints. The development of Shari'a courts in parts of Mogadishu
and Somaliland is of great symbolic importance. Ali Mahdi of the Somali
Salvation Alliance (SSA) was the first to adopt Islam in northern Mogadishu in
1994 as a means of securing legitimacy and restoring law and order. While Islam
is not a unified force, al-lttihad (the Union) is one of the larger groupings
and has been linked to 'terrorist' activity, particularly by the US government
as part of their 'war on terrorism'. No military interventions have as yet been
made in Somalia to curtail terrorist activity. The assets of the Somali
telecommunications company Al Bakarat were frozen by the US administration in
an attempt to curtail the transmission of funds to terrorist groups overseas.
The operation of al-lttihad is currently believed to have been weakened after
repeated attacks by Ethiopia (
Alongside clanship and Islam, language is a key component of the
Somali national identity that was promoted by elite groups in the post-war
The literacy campaigns of the 1970s were part of Barre's democratisation programme. Targeted at the nomadic population, these efforts did not accommodate the dialects spoken by the Digil and Rahanewyn. Despite this, some progress was made in the development of national literacy during the 1970s. Although warfare has disrupted the education system in recent years, figures supplied by the UN in 1990 indicated a literacy rate of 24 per cent of the population.
- US Department of State, Background Notes: Somalia http://state.gov/www/background_notes/somalia_0798_bgn.html
- Cultural Orientation Net, 'Somalis, Their History and Culture' http://www.culturalorientation.net/somali/stoc.html
Somalia is situated on the north-eastern tip of the Horn of Africa, and borders Kenya in the south, Ethiopia in the west, Djibouti in the north-west, the Gulf of Aden in the north, and the Indian Ocean in the east. The Somalia state territory, as defined between 1 July 1960 and the end of January 1991, consists of 637,657 square kilometres (square miles) and is mostly flat, rising in the southern and central regions to a few hundred metres (square feet) above sea level near the Ethiopian border. Along the northern coast the mountains rise to some 2,000 metres (square feet).
Somalia is principally desert and is dominated by savannah scrubland. Broadly speaking, northern and southern Somalia share the same arid and semi-arid climate. There are three geographical zones in the north, and five in the south of the country. The extensive grass plains of the Haud in the northern region provide excellent grazing for herds. The nomadic pastoralism which over half the population practise takes place from the Haud, a broad, undulating terrain that constitutes some of the best grazing lands for Somali nomads and which is now part of Ethiopia. The Haud is used for grazing in the rainy seasons (spring and autumn) and then abandoned in summer and winter due to lack of water. This entails a complex series of movements in search of grazing-land between the different seasons. The Somali differentiate between four seasons, two wet and two dry: Gu (long rainy season) lasting from April to July, Hagaa (dry) lasting from July to October, Dayr (the small rains) from October to December, and Jilaal (long dry season) lasting from December to April.
The main geographical distinction between the north and south of the country is the presence of two perennial rivers, the Juba and the Shabelle, situated in the southern regions. In years of high flow the two rivers meet and provide water for the irrigated agriculture in the rich inter-riverine belt of land. Agriculture is mainly practised in this region and in the north-west of the country.
The population of the inter-riverine area is distinctive from the remainder of Somalia and is believed to be Bantu in origin. The coastal areas have long been home to Indians, Persians, Arabs, and Swahili traders. Population movement is highly fluid as a result of warfare, famine, and displacement from rural areas to the cities. The proportion of the population living in urban areas is growing, and is estimated at 28 per cent of the total population. As a result of decades of social unrest and the breakdown of physical infrastructure, life expectancy at birth is 41 years for men and 45.4 years for women. Infant mortality is 219 per 1,000 births for boys and 198 for girls.
- CIA World Factbook 2002 http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/so.html
- The World Bank Group http://www.worldbank.org/data
- World Health Organization http://www.who.int/country/som/en/
Somalia has also long been involved in intra-regional and external trade. The locations of modern day Berbera and Bossaso were significant trading emporia between 300 BC and 500 AD. The north-western area of Somalia is also the principal trading zone, both for local products and historically for import-export trade in the region. Trade is the second most significant element of the Somali economy after agriculture. Exports and remittances from labour migration to the Gulf states and further afield are the other vital components of the Somali economy.
Somalia's economy is rooted in agriculture. In 1990 agriculture
accounted for about 65 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), of which
livestock was responsible for over 50 per cent, crops 38 per cent, and forestry
and fisheries about 1 per cent each. The remainder was accounted for by
services in the urban sector. Tanning and craft production took place, in the
coastal town of Brava for example, and very limited industrial production took
place around Mogadishu. In general terms, the Somali economy is dominated by
pastoralism (the herding of ruminant animals on bush land), agro-pastoralism
(farming with pastoralism) and farming (cereal production and horticulture).
Pastoralists raise camels, sheep, cattle, and goats. Camels provide meat, are a
means of transportation of goods, and are sold as livestock. The principal
agricultural region is in the inter-riverine region in the south, although
there is also farm production in the north-west. The central and north-eastern
zones are more suited to pastoral modes of adaptation (
Today, Somalia is one of the poorest Least Developed Countries
(LDCs) in the world. Its economy has been crippled by the destruction of
physical infrastructure during the years of civil war and clan conflict. The
ban on livestock export by the Gulf states in the late 1990s has added to the
overall economic insecurity in Somalia. There have been positive economic
developments since 1991.The growth in telecommunications linked to the
international banking system has been a particularly important development
Causes and consequences of forced migration
The history of forced migration in Somalia is directly related to the armed conflict that began with the Ogaden war in 1977. From being a major refugee-receiving country in the 1970s, the stream of refugees out of Somalia gained pace from 1988 onwards and escalated throughout the 1990s. Drought, flooding, and famine have combined with warfare to cause the mass flight of refugees and the large-scale displacement of Somalis inside the country.
From the Ogaden war to civil war (1977-88)
The period of armed opposition to Barre dates from the formation
of the Majerteen Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF) in 1978, although the
Majerteen and the SSDF were rapidly neutralised by Barre. The Ogaden war in
1977 with Ethiopia over the disputed Ogaden region (
At that time, the Isaq were being systematically weeded out from
the civil service and armed forces, even before the formation of the Somali
National Movement (SNM) in the Gulf states and Britain in the early 1980s
In May 1988 the SNM launched co-ordinated attacks on the northern
cities of Hargeisa and Burao and succeeded in temporarily routing Barre's
forces. By July of the same year Barre had regained both cities, having
subjected them to heavy artillery and aerial bombardment. As a result of the
war in the north-west, 365,000 Somalis sought refuge in Ethiopia while another
50,000 had been killed by government troops in Hargeisa alone. In total, an
estimated 100,000 civilians lost their lives in the bombing of the northern
towns by Barre. An additional 60,000 people became internally displaced
While the SNM was recovering from this assault, the Hawiye (the
largest and most powerful clan in the south) had founded the United Somali
Congress (USC). This quickly split into two factions (
State collapse and renewed civil war (1991-2)
Having reached an accord in August 1990, the three liberation movements (the SPM, USC, and SNM) led a co-ordinated attack against Barre that resulted in his overthrow and flight from Mogadishu in January 1991. Barre was to continue destabilising the south of the country through his army, reformed as the Darod affiliated Somali National Front (SNF), with devastating effects for the inhabitants. In the majority of cases these were from minority clan groups with no direct involvement in the conflict.
The coalition of forces which overthrew Barre soon dissolved into
factional disputes: the Manifesto Group hurriedly appointed Ali Mahdi Mohamed,
belonging to the Abgal sub-clan of the Hawiye, as interim president of a new
Somali Republic. General Aideed, belonging to the rival Habr Gedir sub-clan of
the Hawiye, had led the United Somali Congress (USC) rout of Mogadishu and
opposed Ali Mahdi on political, ideological, and personal grounds
The coastal regions of Brava and Merca, the Benadiri population
in general, and the central agricultural regions were systematically looted and
razed to the ground as the contending factions battled for resources and power
At the worst points of the conflict, an estimated 800,000 Somalis
were refugees in neighbouring countries. Some 400,000 went to Ethiopia, and
over 200,000 went to Kenya. Approximately 2 million were internally displaced
(USCR 2002). The war in the south resulted in a huge displacement of people, an
estimated third of the entire southern population (
- United States Committee for Refugees http://www.uscr.org/world/countryrpt/africa/2002/somalia.cfm
UN interventions (1992-5)
Although human rights organisations had clearly signalled the impending disaster in Somalia, the international response was slow in coming. UN peacekeeping forces had arrived in Somali in April 1992, as part of the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). Their role was limited to overseeing a ceasefire between the different clan factions. Only a handful of aid agencies had remained in the country after Barre's departure from Mogadishu in 1991. As a result, extensive knowledge of local conditions was lacking in the humanitarian agencies when emergency food flowed into the regions, resulting in the destabilisation of food markets. Delivering humanitarian aid to the affected regions was particularly difficult for the agencies involved, many of which were forced to pay armed militia to distribute relief. This in turn encouraged a war economy, which quickly became dependent upon overseas cash flows and personnel. The concentration of aid in and around Mogadishu drew increasing numbers of displaced people from rural areas to the relief camps in the city.
The deteriorating situation inside Somalia led US President George Bush to intervene in December 1992. Operation Restore Hope committed 28,000 US troops to the US-led United Nations Task Force (UNITAF). This was formed under UN Security Council Resolution 794, which justified intervention on the grounds that the condition of statelessness in Somalia posed a threat to 'international security and peace'. The decision to intervene was due to a number of factors. Firstly, these were the last days of the Bush administration and the kudos of leading a humanitarian operation in Somalia may have seemed opportune to the departing president. Secondly, Somalia continued to be of strategic interest to the USA, with the stationing of the Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) in Berbera allowing easy access to the Middle East. Finally, in the period of the 'New World Order' it had become incumbent on the USA to demonstrate a lead role in the absence of a rival superpower.
What may have begun as a humanitarian operation to ensure that food supplies reached the victims of famine quickly degenerated into an exercise in 'nation-building' under UNOSOM II in May 1993. This succeeded in alienating Somalia's powerful warlords, notably Aideed's Somali National Alliance (SNA). The spectacle of a dead US soldier's body being hauled through the streets of Mogadishu rapidly led to the decision to withdraw US troops from Somalia. A deadline for US withdrawal from Somalia by March 1994 was finalised by March 1995.
UNOSOM had become a party to the conflict in Somalia and a
contributor to the deaths of hundreds of Somali civilians. By contrast, the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the UN Children's Fund
(UNICEF), and the World Food Programme provided emergency relief, which
alleviated starvation for tens of thousands of individuals. The United Nations
High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) also began a series of cross-border
operations from Kenya in September 1992 (
- United States Committee for Refugees http://www.uscr.org/world/countryrpt/africa/2002/somalia.cfm
- Human Rights Watch http://www.hrw.org/reports/world/somalia-pubs.php
- Human Rights Watch, 'Somalia: No Mercy in Mogadishu', 26 March 1992 http://www.hrw.org/reports/1992/somalia/
Conflict and reconstruction (1995-2002)
Conflict continued in different regions of the country in the latter half of the decade, causing local population displacement. Factional fighting continued in Mogadishu throughout 1996, despite the death of Somali National Alliance (SNA) leader Mohamed Farah Aideed. A spate of peace conferences made little progress towards stabilising Mogadishu and the central and southern regions of the country. During 1998, conflict in the southern coastal areas forced an estimated 25,000 people to flee. Up to 10,000 Somalis fled by boat to Yemen during that year, many hundreds of them drowning at sea. Violence during 1999 forced at least 50,000 people to flee their homes, either to neighbouring Kenya and Ethiopia or internally to Mogadishu. Mogadishu housed an estimated 230,000 individuals in 200 camps during 1999. Thousands of residents from southern Somalia also fled to the north of the country.
By 2000 the security conditions in Somalia varied enormously from region to region. While Somaliland and Puntland in the north were generally stable, violence and insecurity were commonplace in the south, east, and west of the country. Mogadishu and Merka continued to experience high levels of criminal and political violence. Approximately 4,000 Somalis fled to Kenya and other neighbouring countries during 2000. Somalis affected by drought in the Bay and Bakool regions migrated towards urban areas. Some 11,000 Somalis migrated in and out of the Gedo region during 2000.
A decade of civil war, the massive population displacement of about 700,000 Somalis, and the combined effects of drought, famine, and flooding had conspired to keep Somalia amongst the poorest of the world's nations. About 75 per cent of Somalis remained undernourished in 2000. The UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) estimated Somalia to be the 'world's hungriest nation'. The UN World Food Programme, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization (WHO) provided food and medical assistance to several million Somalis in 2000 (USCR 2000).
Parallel to the continuing conflict has been a process of halting reconstruction in particular regions of the former Somalia. Somaliland, for example, is regarded as safe by many returnees but it still suffers from weak infrastructure and poor economic resources. Unreliable water infrastructures are an important obstacle to the safe return of refugees (USCR 2001). From February 1997 to October 2001 the UNHCR had facilitated the return of an estimated 170,000 refugees back to Somaliland. During the same period as many as 350,000 Somalis had returned home unaided. By 2001 an estimated 30,000 to 60,000 refugees remained in camps in Ethiopia. The UNHCR forecasts an end to the return programme by 2004. Returnees are concentrated in urban areas where the construction industry and telecommunications are prospering. Pressure on employment in urban areas is rising as a result. In Puntland reconstruction has been based upon 'bottom-up' initiatives and has been assisted in part by the Life and Peace Institute (Uppsala) and the UN War-torn Societies Project (Geneva). These projects assisted community representatives to identify policy priorities for reconstruction and rehabilitation prior to the establishment of Puntland in 1998.
The establishment of the TNG in 2000 has led to some of the worst fighting in recent years. Combined with drought in 2001 (in the Gedo, Bay, and Bakool regions) this resulted in the displacement of 25,000 Somalis during the year. Continuing violence between the TNG and the factions opposed to it, largely in central and southern Somalia, pushed refugees into neighbouring Kenya, other neighbouring states, Western Europe, and the United States. During the course of 2002, the number of Somalis returning from Ethiopia reached 50,216. Approximately 305,000 Somalis were living as refugees in neighbouring countries, including an estimated 139,000 in Kenya.
- Human Rights Watch, Somalia http://www.hrw.org/reports/world/somalia-pubs.php
- Commission on Human Rights http://www.hri.ca/fortherecord2002/vol2/somaliachr.htm
- War-torn Societies Project http://network.idrc.ca/ev.php?URL_ID=5215&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&reload=1057916979
- Immigration and Refugee Services of America, 'Welcome Home to Nothing: Refugees Repatriate to a Forgotten Somaliland', December 2001 http://www.refugees.org/pub/somaliland.cfm?item_id=137
- Somaliland Centre for Peace and Development, 'A Self-Portrait of Somaliland: Rebuilding from the Ruins', December 1999 http://wsp.dataweb.ch/wspfiles/somalia/SelfPortrait24.doc
- International Crisis Group http://www.crisisweb.org/projects/project.cfm?subtypeid=31
- Relief Web http://wwww.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf/SR?OpenForm&Somalia&SortOrder=3&MaxResultsNum=50
- Brookings Institute http://www.brookings.edu/comm/policybriefs/pb116.htm
- United States Committee for Refugees http://www.uscr.org/world/countryrpt/africa/2001/somalia.htm
At the height of fighting in 1992, up to 2 million Somalis were internally displaced. By the end of 2002, rough estimates indicated that more than 350,000 Somalis were internally displaced, most of them women and children. This is approximately 5 per cent of the Somali population. About 150,000 of this number lived in Mogadishu, with approximately 15,000 in the port of Kismayo. The remainder were scattered throughout the country. An upsurge of inter-factional fighting during 2001-3 and a third consecutive year of drought in 2002 have pushed Somalia into a further cycle of population displacement.
The main causes of internal displacement have been the looting and destruction of food stocks, grazing lands, and trading roads. The destruction of the livelihoods of opposing clan factions has been a major instrument of the conflicts. The areas most affected have been in the south: Gedo, Bay, Bakool, the Lower and Middle Juba, and the ports of Mogadishu and Kismayo. Many IDPs come from the Bantu, Bajuni, and minority clans including the Rahanweyn. IDPs typically concentrate in urban areas such as Hargeisa (Somaliland), Bossaso (Puntland), and Mogadishu, where they mix with other indigent groups and refugees. They are typically located on the fringes of urban areas and are forced to make livelihoods through begging and casual work. As IDPs are dispersed amongst other groups, their living conditions are difficult to estimate. What evidence there is suggests high levels of undernourishment, disease, and vulnerability to human rights abuse. Most IDPs lack the protection of clans and effective social support. In reality, the de facto authorities throughout Somalia fail to protect the displaced and often divert humanitarian assistance intended for IDPs.
- Global IDP Database of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Somalia, June 2003 http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/idpSurvey.nsf/wCountries/Somalia
- Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Internal Displacement Unit http://www.reliefweb.int/idp/partners/global.htm
- Global IDP Database, 'Internally displaced women and girls lack protection', 2003 http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/IdpprojectDb/idpSurvey.nsf/SearchResults/D00777446A9FCC69C12569910053C25A?OpenDocument
- Global IDP Database, 'Displaced people from minority groups seriously lack protection', 2002 http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/IdpprojectDb/idpSurvey.nsf/SearchResults/B12EF9EAD9406E94C12569910054BC43?OpenDocument
- Global IDP Database, 'Displaced children lack protection', 2003 http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/IdpprojectDb/idpSurvey.nsf/SearchResults/05A658225C529027C1256D44005A7B8A?OpenDocument
- Global IDP Database: Resources http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/IdpprojectDb/idpSurvey.nsf/SearchResults?SearchView&Query=somalia&SearchMax=50&SearchWV=TRUE&SearchOrder=1&SearchThesaurus=FALSE&Seq=1
- Global IDP Database, 'Most IDPs have no access to drinking water and sanitation facilities', 2002 http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/IdpprojectDb/idpSurvey.nsf/SearchResults/91865BAE73940A68C12569910058C442?OpenDocument
In the 1990s Somalia became particularly susceptible to climatic
change and the effects of drought and flooding. Conventional means of
risk-saving had been eroded by the disruption of traditional kin relations and
the partial proletarianisation of labour. Ecological degradation left
pastoralists vulnerable to climatic change. The 1974-5 Dabadheer drought showed
the results of long-term environmental degradation. Traditional risk-management
devices were no match for the effects of the overexploitation of grazing land.
The 1974-5 drought permanently destroyed pastoralism for many nomads. Twenty
thousand died in the famine that followed the drought. Destitute pastoralists
fled to relatives in the cities, further aggravating food shortages there
Another major drought hit the inter-riverine area at the height of the civil war in 1991-2. As many as 300,000-500,000 Somalis lost their lives as a result of the ensuing famine, while 3 million were affected by it. The large number affected was the result of the spread of infectious diseases as large numbers gathered in relief camps. Drought further affected families in central and southern Somalia during 2000 (USCR 2002).
- US Committee for Refugees http://www.refugees.org/world/countryrpt/africa/somalia.htm
The inter-riverine areas are particularly vulnerable to periodic flooding. In 1997 flooding brought on by heavy rains forced 122,000 mostly Somali refugees to flee their camps in north-eastern Kenya. Some 2,000 individuals were believed to have drowned in the floods (USCR 1998). More than 200,000 were made homeless. The floods harmed individuals who were already displaced by the country's warfare, wiping out many of the makeshift encampments in Mogadishu. A further 6,000 persons were displaced by flooding of the Shabelle River in 2000.
- Somalia Country Center, Famine Early Warning Systems Network http://fews.net/Somalia/
- Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) http://www.cred.be/emdat/profiles/natural/somalia.htm
- United States Committee for Refugees http://www.uscr.org/world/countryrpt/africa/1998/somalia.htm
Barre's socialist experiments in the 1970s included the wholesale
nationalisation of the economy and the marginalisation of pastoral producers.
The attempt to control pastoral production resulted in disruptions to the
traditional means of risk management. It was this factor which turned the
1974-5 drought into a major famine in the north and resulted in over 20,000
deaths. At the time, 10-15 per cent of the pastoral population were forced to
register in relief camps. Widespread crop failures contributed to the effects
of the drought. In line with the aim of domesticating pastoral producers, the
Barre government transferred over 100,000 nomads from relief camps in the north
to three sites in the arable areas of southern Somalia (
Needs and responses
The Somali diaspora
Refugees fleeing Somalia after 1988 added to the Somali migrant workers already living in the Gulf and Western Europe. In addition to the refugees who fled to Yemen, Djibouti, and Libya, there are now established communities of Somalis living in North America and Europe. In Europe, although the Scandinavian countries were the favoured destination for Somalis in the 1988-94 period, by the end of the decade the UK had vastly outstripped all other countries, accounting for 53 per cent of all Somali applicants to Europe in 1999: some 7,000 individuals. By the fourth quarter of 2002 Somalia was the third-largest country of origin for asylum seekers to the UK. The presence in the UK of established Somali communities going back to the nineteenth century is an important factor in explaining migration patterns. Today there are Somali communities in most of the UK's major cities. In Cardiff the organisation Support Somaliland aims to link the Somaliland community in Wales to their homeland. It has established links with the Academy for Peace and Development in Hargeisa. Other organisations, such as the Takawal Somali women's group based in East London, also aim to promote community development in both London and Somaliland.
E-mail and telecommunications have enabled Somalis to stay in touch with their relatives at home or in the diaspora. The Somaliland Forum is an internet-based organisation with a few hundred members dispersed across North America, Europe, and the Middle East. The growing Hawilad system of fax and e-mail companies for the transmission of remittance has been an important factor in the economic revival of Somalia in the last decade. It has been calculated that an average $200-500 million is transferred to Somalia through the Hawilad system (Perous de Monclos 2000). The diaspora has therefore played an important role in the economic regeneration of Somalia.
Women have been especially marked out for vendettas and reprisals
in the wake of Barre's fall. In particular, women from opposed clans have
suffered from organised rape, which has been used as an instrument of warfare.
They have also markedly suffered from the effects of food shortages brought on
by warfare, drought, and flooding. Violation of women is a means of disrupting
clan genealogies and ensuring that sons are born to the victors in the
conflict. Rape was reportedly widespread in the initial conflict between the
Darod and Hawiye after Barre's fall. Women of minority clans have also been
subject to targeted rape. The Bravanese on the coast south of Mogadishu were
especially subject to rape as a means of clearing the town of its original
inhabitants. Rape is a brutal method of enacting clan warfare, and also signals
a wider breakdown in traditional means of protection and support for women.
Sustained periods of conflict have meant that women have assumed economic roles
and experienced a degree of independence which were unknown before the
conflict. A tendency towards 'closing ranks' to outsiders amongst clans during
the conflict has meant that many women have been isolated and unable to draw
upon traditional clan alliances. Even for women who have secured refuge in
Kenya the camps have been poorly monitored and the sexual assault and
mistreatment of women is believed to be widespread (
One of the more positive developments throughout the period of reconstruction in Somalia has been the prominent role of women's organisations in promoting democratic rights for women and other persecuted groups.
- Lee Cassanelli, Victims and Vulnerable Groups in Southern Somalia http://asylumlaw.org/countries/index.cfm?fuseaction=showDocuments&countryID=207
- UNICEF, 'The Situation of Women and Children' http://www.unicef.org/somalia/factfig/chldwmen.html
- Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, 'Somali Women's Role in Building Peace and Security', Monday 23rd October 2000 http://www.womenscommission.org/take_action/arria/eq_now.html
- Somali Women's Democratic Organization http://www.hri.ca/organizations/viewOrg.asp?ID=6563
As a result of warfare, internal displacement, drought, and flooding, in 2002 Somalia had the world's eighth-highest infant mortality rate. In 1999 there was a 19 per cent malnutrition rate amongst displaced children under the age of 5 (USCR 1999). In the same year UNICEF estimated two in five children were malnourished in those southern areas with high concentrations of uprooted families. Educational opportunities for Somali children are also very poor. Many do attend Koranic schools, but often not all subjects are taught. Continued conflict, population displacement, and the reduction in the number of qualified teachers have disrupted education.
Save the Children (UK) has responded to the situation of Somali children by organising several relief programmes in Somalia since 1991. These include emergency supplementary feeding programmes and mother and child health care for malnourished children in different regions of the country. Long-term programme work is focused on food security, health, child protection, education, water, and sanitation.
In the diaspora there are many separated or unaccompanied Somali children who have been smuggled out of Somalia by their parents. According to the UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (2003), before 11 September 2001 there were up to 250 children per month being sent out of Mogadishu alone. Parents are anxious to improve the life of their children by sending them overseas. A serious consequence is that international traffickers with criminal backgrounds often exploit children. Separated children are particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation and may disappear from official view and protection by the receiving state. Separated children are often essential for the remittances that they relay to family members who remain at home.
- Save the Children Fund (SCF), 'Emergency Update: Somalia', January 2002 http://www.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf/f303799b16d2074285256830007fb33f/0a8d88202a954455c1256b5100577d62?OpenDocument
- UNICEF, 'Somali Review', May 2003 http://www.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf/0/056c59713f296d54c1256d3d0044f352?OpenDocument
- UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 'A Gap in Their Hearts: the Experience of Separated Somali Children', 2003 http://www.irinnews.org/webspecials/Somalichildren/default.asp
- United States Committee for Refugees http://www.uscr.org/world/countryrpt/africa/1999/somalia.htm
The development of grassroots initiatives in Somalia has been amongst the most positive developments since the collapse of the state in 1991. The absence of a centralised state has not resulted in a descent into anarchy in Somalia. Although the goal of a central state is kept alive by some Somali warlords and the UN, this no longer matches the political reality on the ground. The distinctive feature of developments since the final withdrawal of the UN in 1995 has been an enlarged role for the organs of civil society These include a wide and variable range of categories from elders, faction leaders, clerics, women's groups, and local non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
The Guurti meetings of clan elders have emerged as a source of
political stability and conflict resolution (
After the demise of the centralised state and the weakening of the
clan-based militias that followed, traditional forms of clan authority have
re-emerged as the basis for the developing political administrations in
Somalia. This in turn has generated disputes over the boundaries of the
different regional authorities, as has been the case in relation to Somaliland
and Puntland. In the south of the country, where the conflict over territorial
rights as a result of land expropriation remains a key political issue, the
role of bottom-up political developments has also been curtailed. During the
period of UN interventions (
- Helder, B., Mukhtar, M. H., and Lewis, I. M., 'Building from below? A critical review of the District Councils in the Bay and Bakool regions of southern Somalia', April 1995 http://arlaadinet.com/History/D&MHistory/building_peace_from_below.htm
In practice, the UN has begun to work with and not against the grain of the new political developments in Somalia, through its UN Development Programme (UNDP) for Returning Refugees and IDPs, in collaboration with the UNHCR and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The UNDP programme of 'quick impact' projects, covering areas such as sanitation and health, aims to aid the reintegration of refugees. UNDP is active in both Somaliland and Puntland in the areas of demobilisation, disarmament, and reintegration.
The World Bank in collaboration with UNDP has funded experts to participate in the Resource Mobilisation Reconciliation Committee of the Somali national reconciliation process. The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has also conducted workshops for Somali women representatives at the Eldoret Conference. UNIFEM is active in the different regions of Somalia, carrying out training sessions on human rights and international conventions. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) are also active in various projects in the different regions of Somalia.
The Trust Fund for Peace-building in Somalia receives financial contributions from UN Member States. The Somali Aid Coordination Body (SACB), which was set up in 1993, consists of the main multilateral and bilateral donors, UN agencies, and NGO consortia. After the departure of the UN Operations in Somalia (UNOSOM), eight UN organisations have maintained their humanitarian and rehabilitation roles in Somalia. The SACB provides one important means for the UN to keep in contact with the international donor community. The UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal also promotes a series of projects designed to assist vulnerable households and communities in Somalia.
- Report of the Secretary General on the situation in Somalia: United Nations Security Council, 10 June 2003 http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/reports/2002/sgrep02.htm
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) http://www.unhcr.org/
- United Nations OCHA Integrated Regional Information Network, 'Latest news from Somalia' http://irinnews.org/frontpage.asp?SelectRegion=Horn_of_Africa&SelectCountry=Somalia
- United Nations Development Programme, 'UNDP in Somalia' http://www.so.undp.org/
- UNDP Human Development Report 2002 http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2002/en/
- United Nations and Somalia http://www.un.org/peace/africa/pdf/SOMALIA.pdf
- United Nations documentation http://www.un.org/documents/
- United Nations Population Fund http://www.unfpa.org/arabstates/somalia/dp200229.doc
- UNICEF http://www.unicef.org
- UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) http://www.unifem.org
Amnesty International http://www.amnesty.org/
CARE International in Somalia http://www.careinternational.org.uk/cares_work/where/somalia/
CARE: Somalia http://careusa.org/careswork/countryprofiles/somalia.asp
Christian Aid http://www.christian-aid.org.uk
Global IDP Project Database http://www.idpproject.org/about_the_database.htm
Human Rights Watch http://www.hrw.org
Oxfam: Somalia http://www.oxfam.org.uk/atwork/where/africa/somaliland.htm
Save the Children Fund (UK) http://www.scfuk.org.uk
Somali Red Crescent Society http://www.ifrc.org/address/so.asp
International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies: Somalia http://www.ifrc.org/where/country/cn6.asp?countryid=157
International Census Collection Online Catalog, University of Texas (Austin) http://www.lib.utexas.edu/pcl/icc/
Qorahay Online (Somali-language site) http://www.qorahay.com/
Somaliland Net http://www.somalilandnet.com
Somali Press Online (Somali-language site) http://www.somalipress.com/
Non-electronic sources and bibliography
- Abdullahi, M.,Fiasco in Somalia: US/UN Intervention.
Fiasco in Somalia: US/UN Intervention.Occasional Paper 161, Africa Institute of South Africa, 1995.
- Africa Watch Report,Somalia: A government at war with its own people.
Somalia: A government at war with its own people.USA: Africa Watch Committee, 1990.
- Ahmed, Ali J.,The Invention of Somalia.
The Invention of Somalia.Lawrenceville: Red Sea Press, 1995.
- Ahmed, I. 'Remittances and their
economic impact in post-war Somaliland'.Disasters
Disasters24 (4): 380-9, 2000.
- --, and Green, R. H., 'The heritage
of war and state collapse in Somalia and Somaliland'.Third World Quarterly
Third World Quarterly, 20 (1): 113-27, 1999.
- Besteman, C.,Unravelling Somalia: Race, Violence, and the Legacy of
Unravelling Somalia: Race, Violence, and the Legacy of Slavery.Philadelphia Press, 1999.
- --, and Cassanelli, L. V.,
'Introduction: politics and production in Southern Somalia', in C. Besteman and
L. V. Cassanelli (eds.),The Struggle for Land in Southern Somalia: the War
Behind the War
The Struggle for Land in Southern Somalia: the War Behind the War. London: Westview Press, 1996.
- Brons, M.,Society, security, sovereignty and the state: Somalia
from statelessness to statelessness?
Society, security, sovereignty and the state: Somalia from statelessness to statelessness?Utrecht: International Books, 2001.
- Bryden, M., 'New Hope for Somalia?
The Building block approach'.Review of African Political Economy
Review of African Political Economy, No. 79: 134-9, 1999.
- Cassanelli, L.,The Shaping of Somali Society
The Shaping of Somali Society, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982.
- --, 'Explaining the Somali Crisis',
inThe Struggle for Land in Southern Somalia: the War
Behind the War
The Struggle for Land in Southern Somalia: the War Behind the War, op. cit., 1996.
- Connell, D.,War Clouds over Somalia
War Clouds over Somalia. MERIP, 22 March 2002.
- Danish Immigration Service,Report on minority groups in Somalia
Report on minority groups in Somalia. 17-24 September 2000.
- Drysdale, J.,Somaliland: the anatomy of secession
Somaliland: the anatomy of secession, copyright John Drysdale, 1992.
- Farah, A., and Lewis, I. M.,Somalia: the roots of reconciliation. Peace-making
endeavours of contemporary lineage leaders: a survey of grassroots
Somalia: the roots of reconciliation. Peace-making endeavours of contemporary lineage leaders: a survey of grassroots peace. London: ActionAid, 1993.
- Information and Research Branch of
the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRBC), 'Women in Somalia'.Refugee Survey Quarterly
Refugee Survey Quarterly, 13 (2-3): 92-115, 1994.
- Laitin, D.,Politics, Language and Thought: the Somali
Politics, Language and Thought: the Somali experience. Chicago University Press, 1977.
- Le Sage, A. 'Somalia: Sovereign
Disguise for a Mogadishu Mafia'.Review of African Political Economy
Review of African Political Economy, No. 91: 132-8, 2002.
- Lewis, I. M.,A Pastoral Democracy
A Pastoral Democracy. London: Africana Publishing Company, 1961.
- --,Understanding Somalia: Guide to Culture, History and
Understanding Somalia: Guide to Culture, History and Social Institutions.London: Haan, 1993.
- --,Blood and Bone: the call of kinship in Somali
Blood and Bone: the call of kinship in Somali society. Lawrenceville: Red Sea Press, 1994.
- Lulling, V., 'Come back Somalia?
Questioning a collapsed state',Third World Quarterly
Third World Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 2: 287-302, 1997.
- Lyons, T., and Samatar, Ahmed I.,
State Collapse,Multilateral Intervention, and Strategies for Political
Multilateral Intervention, and Strategies for Political Reconstruction, Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institute, 1994.
- Mukhtar, M. H., 'The plight of the
agro-pastoral society in Somalia'.Review of African Political Economy
Review of African Political Economy, 23 (70): 543-53, 1996.
- Perous de Monclos, Marc-Antoine,Minorities and discrimination, exodus and reconstruction
of identities: the case of Somali refugees in Mombasa
Minorities and discrimination, exodus and reconstruction of identities: the case of Somali refugees in Mombasa. ORSTOM, October 1997.
- Perous de Monclos, Marc-Antoine,
'Resaux financiers et hawilad: le role de la diaspora somalienne dans la
reconstruction de son pays', in L. Cambrezy and V. Lassailly-Jacobs (eds.),Migration Forcees de Populations: Refugiés, Deplacés,
Migration Forcees de Populations: Refugiés, Deplacés, Migrants. Paris: IRD, 2000.
- Samatar, Abdi I., 'Social decay and
public institutions: the road to reconstruction in Somalia', in M. Doornbus
(ed.),Beyond Conflict in the Horn
Beyond Conflict in the Horn. Manchester University Press, 1992.
- Samatar, Ahmed I.,Socialist Somalia: rhetoric and reality
Socialist Somalia: rhetoric and reality. London: Zed Press, 1988.
- Simons, A.Networks of Dissolution: Somalia Undone
Networks of Dissolution: Somalia Undone. Oxford: Westview Press, Oxford, 1995.
- Spears, I. S., 'Reflections on
Somaliland & Africa's territorial order'.Review of African Political Economy
Review of African Political Economy, No. 5: 89-98, 2003.
- UNHCR,The State of the World's Refugees: Fifty Years of
The State of the World's Refugees: Fifty Years of Humanitarian Action. Oxford University Press, 2000.
- Waldron, S., and Hasci, N. A.,'Somali Refugees in the Horn of Africa, State of the
Art Literature Review'
'Somali Refugees in the Horn of Africa, State of the Art Literature Review'. RSP Studies on Emergencies and Disaster Relief, Report 3. Oxford: Refugee Studies Programme, 1995.