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Somalia's conflicts today

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Tuesday May 28, 2019 - 23:25:20 in Latest News by Super Admin
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    Somalia's conflicts today

    Sunatimes.com - There are three main forms of conflict in Somalia today: political conflict, communal conflict, and violent extremism. These conflicts, defined by Ken Menkhaus, overlap, fuel each other and are aggravated by some common root causes: s

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Sunatimes.com - There are three main forms of conflict in Somalia today: political conflict, communal conflict, and violent extremism. These conflicts, defined by Ken Menkhaus, overlap, fuel each other and are aggravated by some common root causes: systemic corruption, impunity in the country, and competition for resources.
Political conflicts relate to the control of rent-producing structures, including the federal government, regional member-state governments, municipalities, ministries and critical infrastructures such as seaports. Control of these structures is among the main rationales for competition among clans. The federalisation process—and associated competition over the distribution of resources and rents—is arguably the main subject of political contestation today. In addition, Somalia needs to undertake two other major political reforms that will likely be a source of contention. The first one is the revision of the provisional constitution and reforming the electoral system to allow ‘one person, one vote’ in the election in 2020/2021. Issues here include resource and power sharing, the status of the capital and the type—and form—of the Somali state (parliamentary or presidential). The second major political change that is needed is the reform of the electoral system, which entails moving away from the so-called 4.5 clan representation formula that has underpinned the political settlement in the country. While the federal government and the member states have agreed upon the principle of universal suffrage, provisions of the agreement—such as the type of electoral constituencies—are still disputed.


Communal conflict in Somalia accounts for the most violence: about 35–40 per cent of the total. There are two types of communal violence: first, localised clashes over access to and control over land or wells—which are typically sporadic but can spiral into a series of revenge killings that can trigger prolonged bouts of violence. Second, communal clashes engineered by political elites to advance their own interests or weaken rivals. The latter can be found in disputed areas such as Sool and Sanaag (the border area Somaliland and Puntland), and Galmudug and Puntland.  

The third form of conflict is violent extremism and predominately relates to al-Shabaab. The group has proven to be extremely resilient and adaptive. Since 2011, following offensives by AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) forces, the group has suffered several setbacks, including losses of the port cities of Kismayo and Barawe. However, it has stepped up its presence in the north, particularly in the semiautonomous region of Puntland. The group now controls more territory than at any point in time, though the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) insists the group faces collapse.


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