State Instability in Somalia: Islamic Extremism & Insurgency
“Historical Amnesia is a dangerous phenomenon, not only because it undermines moral
and intellectual integrity, but also because it lays the groundwork for crimes that lie ahead.”
It is nearly impossible to pick up a copy of the New York Times or The Washington Post or turn on CNN and not see scenes of the humanitarian crisis, gangs, piracy, insurgency, and civil war regarding the deteriorating situation in Somalia splashed all over the pages. Due to increased piracy attacks, Somalia has gained world wide attention which has brought to light the declining conditions faced by hundreds of thousands of Somali’s. Starvation due to drought, clan fighting, Islamic extremism, corrupt and weak politicians, as well as Ethiopian interference have all contributed to rendering this once peaceful country into a state of anarchy. Since the collapse of the Somalia state in 1991, the world has witnessed the death of hundreds of thousands of civilians due to the clan based Somali Civil War as well as violent conflict between the countries two Islamic sects. A bitter US invasion which resulted in the famed Black Hawk occurrence only served to aggravate Somalia’s ties with international community. With over 1 million displaced citizens, peacekeepers from the United Nations, the United States and Europe, the African Union, among others, have intervened in the conflict, at times with slight success, but have not been able to reach any form of state stability since the 1990’s. This has led to mediators from world organizations uniting their efforts to approach the conflict in Somalia from various models of thought and methods including the political sciences, socio-economics, and the psychological backgrounds in an attempt to resolve the crisis currently existing in much of Somalia.
Though many factors contribute to the current failed state of Somalia, for the purpose of this paper, I will focus on Islamic extremism as one source of conflict, and research Somalia’s main Islamic insurgent group, Al Shabbab. An analysis of the effects of the insurgency on contributing to the decay of the state will be assessed in the research. I will discuss the dynamics and origins of the group power, group identity and group purpose, and societal effects of the group. These findings will discuss the role of Islamic extremism, funding by piracy, clan based fighting, and governmental factors which influenced the fall of the Somali state.
Second, the research will examine the concept and ideology of state failure and give an overview of the research findings of various scholars, such as Patrick Chabal, Ulf Engel, and Anna-Maria Gentili in relation to conflict resolution and peacebuilding using the Somali Extremist group case study. I will support/analyze my discussion using the research of Chabal, Engel, and Gentili, authors of, Is Violence Inevitable in Africa, which will be used as the main text for analyzing the conflict in Somalia. I will analyze the state of Somalia in relation to piracy and Islamic extremism using explanations given by the authors and discuss the role of conflict analysis and resolution as applied to specific cases in Somalia.
To begin, for us to properly understand the current definitive idea of Islamic extremism it is essential to define militant Islam in its current context brought on by changes occurring post-1970. First, the term Militant Islam translates to, “an actual violent group behaviour committed collectively against the state or other actors in the name of Islam” (Ibrahim, 5) This current post-1970 ideology of militant Islam is discussed in the book, Islam, Politics, and Social Movements, by author Edmund Burke III who gives a brief history of the recent emergence of what he calls “Islamicism”. Burke argues that militant Islam has been “revivalised”, meaning that it has gained renewed and popular...
...Somalia: United States Strategic Interest
SFC Broderick Blanchard
SLC Class 13-002
In recent years, Africa’s growing strategic importance has been greatly noted and documented in several studies and papers by United States policymakers, Department of Defense (DOD) and military analysts. Africa’s natural and energy resources are the main focus due to the crude oil export has matched what the Middle East provided in the past. As envisioned by the DOD, AFRICOM aims to promote United States strategic objectives and protect United States interests in the region by working with African states and regional organizations to help strengthen their defense capabilities so that they are better able to contribute to regional stability and security [Lauren Ploch, 2011]. There are several issues that affect the United States and AFRICOM success, to include armed conflicts, violent extremist activities, piracy and several humanitarian crises across the region. In this paper, we will discuss and focus on the Somalia region and the primary issue that could arise.
The Importance of SomaliaSomalia has unexploited natural resources, including uranium, iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt and natural gas. Due to its proximity to the oil-rich Gulf Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the nation is...
...Since 1839 Somalia has had one type of conflict or another because of where is sits on the Horn of Africa. The natural ports Somalia has was always an attractive coastline for those sailing from India. But the interior of Somalia where left to their own devices. The British, French, Italians and Ethiopians have all laid claim to parts of Somalia at different times throughout history. Somalia as a country has never truly be run by one leader with the country’s best interests in mind. With the full-scale civil war that breaks out in 1991 and the rebels declaring its independence from the British in Somaliland, Somalia’s crops were destroyed in 1992 bringing widespread famine to the country. During this civil war there are fifteen different groups vying for power.
Peace and War
Up to this point even with war going on around different parts of the country, the Somali never relied on foreign aid for survival. Since the country has never known any kind of peace in the modern world there is no way to compare what foreign aid would be like during this time. Since the 1990’s till now Somalia has received some type of foreign aid. “It is reported the Richard Burton once said Arabs called Somalia Bilad Wa issi, the land of give me something!” (Ahmed, 2014)
With the current climate civil unrest within Somalia it is difficult to get aid to those who need...
...“Mogadishu in Somalia is a city where brutal fighting is the norm" (CNN). The first sentence of the article called "Somalia battles measure success in meters" written by Jane Ferguson for CNN news clearly introduce into the current situation of Somalia located in the Horn of Africa. Somalia is now divided into six parts but just only the Republic of Somalia is controlled by the transactional government. In other words,Somalia doesn’t have national government. Also, Somalia is one of the failed states and one of the hottest regions in which people are starving while the pirates are occupying foreign ships. The echo of the gunshots just proves that something bad is going on in Somalia.
The current conflict in Somalia can be called civil war because of the internal conflict in the country. The local army and soldiers from the African Union peacekeeping mission AMISOM are battling to contain Islamist insurgency group known as Al-Shabaab linked with group al Qaeda which control most of the southern and central parts of Somalia. The ongoing war in Somalia is not a new armed conflict in the world but every day new sallies and conflicts in Somalia reach the outside world. The main idea and purpose of this conflict is to send the Al-Shabaab out of Mogadishu city and Somalia....
...A Short History and Summary of Political and Economic Conditions in Somalia
Nov 20, 2011
During the 19th century was when modern history began in Somalia with the presence of various European powers that began to utilize Somalia for trade. These powers consisted of Italian and British forces who themselves battled for control until 1941 when British forces took complete control and began the transition to British Somaliland. This transition was to establish a self a self-sustaining government that began through the establishment of planning committees, local courts, and the Protectorate Advisory Council. By 1947 Italy renounced all rights and titles to Italian Somaliland in Article 23 of the 1947 peace treaty. The treaty allowed Italy as the administering authority, followed by independence for Italian Somaliland under trusteeship system for 10years (Youngblood-Coleman). As Italy agreed to grant independence to its trust territory on 1 July 1960, the United Kingdom gave its protectorate independence on 26 June 1960, thus enabling the two Somali territories to join in a united Somali Republic on 1 July 1960. On 20 July 1961, the Somali people ratified a new constitution, drafted in 1960, and one month later confirmed Aden 'Abdullah Osman Daar as the nation's first president as stated by Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations, 2009. After the assassination of the...
...Soc 355: Minority Group Relations
Somalia Presentation Paper
When I walked into the presentation tonight I had no idea what to expect. I thought for a second it might be another presentation that just simply bores the audience with listing statistics of bullies in schools or dealing with discrimination that I would never come across or face. It was not though; the presentation was a real experience. In a sense, it could have been too real.
Somalia is a country that is located on the far east of Africa. This country is in a region known as the “Horn of Africa”. Somalia is in the center of what is said to be the worst drought in Africa in over 60 years. With most of the country side being couple empty and home to absolutely nothing, the region has been officially declared as one of the few famines areas in world history. There are currently over 10 million men, women and children that are desperate need of food and water. Over 600,000 children are in despair as their country fights poverty, drought, and civil war. There is no more grass in the fields. Farms are no longer filled with animals. There is no longer food for parents to provide to their children. There is no more water in wells. The countryside people are forced to abandon their homes, their cities, and their farms to make the treacherous voyage towards a refugee camp. They leave because they have absolutely nothing left. They leave on a path on foot that is...
... Since the second phase of the Somali Civil War, which started in the early 2000’s, piracy off the coast of Somalia has been a great danger to international shipping. Starting in 2005, many international organizations, which include the International Maritime Organization and the World Food Program, have expressed major concern over the rising acts of piracy. Piracy has made trouble for the delivery of shipments and raised shipping costs, which have risen to an estimated 10 billion dollars a year in trade world wide. Pirates in Somalia have made it clear that they do not want anyone in their waters, or it will mean trouble for the by passers.
The average age of a pirate is normally anywhere from twenty-five to thirty and generally come from Puntland, which is located in northeastern Somalia. The East African Seafarers Association would estimate that there are at least five pirate gangs and around one thousand armed men. The pirates are split up into three main categories. Local Somali fishermen are considered the smarts behind pirates' operations due to their skill and knowledge of the sea. Ex-militiamen, who previously fought for the local clan warlords, or ex-military from the former Barre government used as the muscle. Technical experts, who operate equipment such as GPS devices, help with the technical aspect of being a pirate.
Somali piracy operations take quite the toll human cost. In just one year, 2010, 4,185...
...searches. Ellison writes:
“Arriving in New York City, the narrator is amazed by what he perceives to be unlimited freedom for blacks. He is especially intrigued by a black West Indian man (later identified as Ras the Exhorter) whom he first encounters addressing a group of men and women on the streets of Harlem, urging them to work together to unite their black community. But the narrator's excitement soon turns to disillusionment.”
Likewise, many attempts to bring an end to the Somali condition also failed so far with their collective condition perhaps worsening with the specter of a return to clans wars much higher now than in the last 22 years.
To those Somalis who escaped the civil war of Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia have soon discovered that neither Nairobi’s Estleigh nor South Africa’s ghettoes to be any better. Some even searched dignity as far as London, Toronto, Minneapolis, Washington, or South Africa. But they faced death and mayhem. According to South African Police records, for example, one Somali “nigger” is killed each day.
To be a “nigger” is more than a geographic condition. It is a pitiful and abject condition where one faces certain unique experiences that come as systemic abuse of the helpless in the form starvation, mayhem, torture or lynching, burning and looting of the powerless’ hard earned wealth.
Because of his/her social and historical conditions, people are nauseated about a “nigger’s” existence....
Ethics In Criminal Justice
“Indictment: The McMartin Trial”
Movie Critique “Indictment: The Mcmartin Trial”
The movie we viewed in class showed a perfect example of how the legal system and court system could be unfair and unjust to the offender and the victim. The McMartin Preschool Abuse trial is one of the longest and most expensive criminal trials in American history, and should serve as a cautionary tale to other big trials such as this one. The Mcmartin trial left many children damaged, as well as ruined many careers of the preschool staff and changed their lives forever.
I think the main victim in this trial was Ray Buckey, who was the principal defendant in the trial and spent many years in jail awaiting trial due to the accusations of the children and the media that he sexualy molested the children in the preschool. I believe this trial was blown way out of proportion by the media and jurors at the trial. i think the jury and the media should of been more cautious. Every accusation of the children on the staff was misinterpreted and blown way out of proportion.
I think the expert testimony about the children showed how the expert could be biased and unprofessional at his job. I think it is the testimonies that made the trial blow way out of proportion and caused the accused to suffer. The experts at these testimonies would pressure the children into giving in and answering the questions...