The Root Causes Of The Conflict In Somalia History Essay

Somalia has experienced political lucks and bad lucks since formal independency from European regulation in 1960. Political lucks in the instance of the passionate patriotism which brought Somaliland and Somalia together in 1960, coupled with the fuelled aspirations to widen the ensuing Somalia democracy to include the full state and other Somali talking individuals from the neighbouring horn of Africa region- good symbolized by the five stars in the Somali national Flag. However political bad lucks came in out of the blue and this extinguished these nationalist aspirations[ 2 ]. Then, with a reversal of external and internal force per unit areas, the divisions within the state reasserted themselves with an explosive requital. This paper therefore will seek to analyze the factors, that is, internal and external which are seen to be the root causes of clang in Somalia.


With a population enumeration of conceivably four and a half to five million, the Somali-speaking people can hardly be regarded as a big state[ 3 ]. Somalis form one of the largest individual cultural blocks in Africa, and though sparsely distributed on the land, they live in unbroken business of a great enormousness of district covering about 400,000 square stat mis in the ‘Horn ‘ of the continental Africa facing Arabia[ 4 ].

The people of Somali origin broaden out to four separate parts ; the ex-French Republic of Djibouti, which became independent in 1977, the Ogaden part in Ethiopia, Somaliland and the North-Eastern part of Kenya.

The Somali people have suffered from long-standing subjugation and force at the custodies of their fellow Somalis. Somali regardless of being the most homogenous part in Africa has witnessed a civil war for over Two decennaries and this work seeks to determine the class of this, they have lived in thorny and rough conditions under both democratic and soldierly governments. This paper seeks to thoroughly undertake the root classs of the long standing struggle in Somalia.


Somali gained independent in 1960 when the British Somaliland associated state was united with the Italian administered United Nations district of Somalia. During the autonomous epoch ( 1960-1969 ) , self-rule and freshly established province establishments failed to run into people ‘s outlooks. There was a rush in poorness which led to the deteriorating of security. Furthermore, corruptness, discriminatory intervention and cronyism characterised province establishments.

On the oncoming of military government the state of affairs was observed to go worse. Siad Baare ‘ authorities and armed cabals used haphazard killing, combustion of small towns and anguish as instruments of control. The struggle caused the deceases of 100s of 1000s of Somalis and many affected civilians were either internally or externally displaced.

At the bend of the decennary in 1990, with the stopping point of the cold war, a new sense of optimism for peace and democracy had swept across Africa. Many states in Africa realized new freedom during this epoch, like multi party elections in Kenya, terminal of the apartheid and the release of Nelson Mandela from prison to take South Africa to multiethnic regulation, Ethiopia got a new president from a drawn-out autarchy and granted Eritrea independency and so on. But with the promise of inclusion in the new universe order still humming in African ears, things fell apart elsewhere ; pandemonium and so famine emerged in Somalia in unprecedented degrees.

The impairment of human rights state of affairs in the 1980s and the general repression by the Siad Baare ‘s government which finally led to the prostration in Somalia of both the government and province in the early 1990s could be attributed in portion to US paternalism or geopolitical scheme of the cold war in the horn of Africa to neutralize the Soviet Union in Ethiopia, after the Soviets holding ditched Somalia. Armed struggle was absent during the first 17 old ages of independent ( 1960-1977 ) . This period was marked by Vibrant but corrupt and, finally dysfunctional multiparty democracy. When military came to power in 1969 it witnessed wide support as the people sought alteration and felt that military regulation was the reply. Somalia is a homogeneous community in that all Somalis speak the same linguistic communication and in most occasions subscribe to Islam. This when compared to the remainder of the continental should move as a consolidative factor as most of the struggles fought within the continent are as a consequence of cultural and spiritual divide. There is widespread uniformity of Somali civilization ; linguistic communication faith etc.Contrary to this similarity guaranting peace this part has witnessed one of the most awful civil wars in Africa for more than two decennaries[ 5 ]. Somalia has been without a functioning cardinal authorities since the late dictator General Mohamed Siad Baare was ousted in 1991. This paper seeks to set up the root causes of the Somali struggle and analyses some of the obstructions that have plagued peace attempts for the last 14 old ages.


The Somali struggle is characterised by a many-sided array of causes and drivers that including political, economic, cultural and psychological[ 6 ]. Assorted peripheral and internal histrions have played different functions during the assorted phases of the struggle. The anarchy in Somalia non merely affects the people within Somalia but it besides has a figure of negative effects on the neighbouring states.


Clan hostility, corporate penalty and inauspicious counter characteristics of Somali civilization wages force. At times, a belittling struggle between kins starts over a mere look of ill will[ 7 ]. One may kill a member of another kin simply because the victim ‘s clanswomans have killed an person from the culprit ‘s kin. There are several illustrations in history of struggles arising from the kin differences and competition. The recent and most outstanding is the struggle between the Dir and the Mareehaan kins. A member of the Mareehaan kin had killed an enterpriser from the Dir kin about 13 old ages earlier. To revenge this there was a bloody revenge. The state of affairs that could hold been easy and peacefully cover with was the footing of a major struggle that saw deceases and supplanting of 100s of civilians. In add-on to such looks of ill will, most Somalis informant people utilizing aggression and benefiting from it. Young work forces have been known to assail other kins and steal their camels. In townships it is apparent that 1000s of armed work forces benefit from utilizing force to coerce people to pay them illicitly, and they feel that their actions are justified by the fact that Somali kins have been contending and robbing each other since clip immemorial[ 8 ]. Over clip bulk of Somalia ‘s antediluvian and even current Hagiographas have been seen to back up the usage of force witnessed amongst different kins, or at least trying to legalize stealing their belongings.


In Somalia one kin is of major importance in the society, one has to place and be accepted by his kin. There has been since history grounds of kin animus. Divisions are defined by kin and bomber kin lines. The Somalia society is made up of chief kin households like Darod, Dir, Isaaq, Hawiye and Rahanweyn, and minority kins. Clan divisions has been a beginning of struggle used to split Somalis, fuel endemic clangs over resources and power, mobilise reserves, and do wide based rapprochement really hard to accomplish. Most of the Somalis struggles have been fought in the name of kins frequently as a consequence of political leaders manipulate clanism for their ain benefits. President Mohamed Siad Baare and his policies played a important function in propagating clanism. Current worlds validate this averment that competition for power and/or resources was the taking cause of struggle among kins and reserves groups.

Below are cases where the struggle was kin based

The war between the Somali forces and the Somali National motion ( SNM ) for control of North West Somali. The members of isaaq kin formed a forepart, their grudges were against Baare ‘s disposal arrangement of the Northwest under the military control and used the military disposal to assail Isaaq and dispose them of their concern. The civil war mounted by SNM began in the May of 1988. Government forces committed violent deaths against civilians. 50000-60000 Somalis died largely members of the Isaaq kin. Over a million Somalis were rendered homeless. These atrociousnesss fuelled Isaaq demands for sezession in what became self declared province of Somaliland[ 9 ].

The struggle before 1991 alveolate authorities forces against a turning figure of clan base release motions in 1989 and 1980[ 10 ]. The strongest of these motions included the United Somali Congress ( Hayiwe Clan ) , The Somali Patriotic Movement ( Ogaden kin ) and the Somali redemption Democratic ( Movement Marjaten kin ) . This multi front war presaged the predatory robbery and banditry that characterized that characterized the feud in 1991 -1992[ 11 ]. When resistance Leaders wanted to call up forces, they emphasised the most inclusive individualities: the SNM leaders emphasised the grudges of the Isaaq kin, whereas the USC leaders mobilised the Hawiye kin, in general ; all people were being mobilised and organised along kin and bomber kin lines. General Mohamed Siad Baare depended to a great extent on his ain Mareehan sub-clan of the Darod kins. As a consequence, the SSDF leaders gunnered their support from the Majerteen sub-clan of the Darod kins, while the Somali Patriotic Movement ( SPM ) depended on the Ogaden sub-clan of the Darod kins. After 1992 there was a displacement from accent on inclusive kin individualities ( for illustration Darod or Hawiye ) to sub-clan individualities such as Harti, Mareehaan, Habargidir or Mudullood. Overall the lone of import map of kin individuality lay on their importance in mobilization.


The handiness of arms made the Somali struggle worse. The Somali people ammo was censured by two major beginnings of arms. Because of Somalia ‘s tactical location, the two world powers of the clip ( the former Soviet Union and the US ) competed to build up the former dictator.

Another of import beginning of arms to warring parties in Somalia is the Ethiopian government, which was build uping resistance groups. The easy entree of arms and the animus in the society in general resulted in full-scale civil war in 1988.


Somalia irridentism inclinations have been a beginning of challenges to province sovereignty in the horn of Africa and have constituted a major beginning of insecurity in the part. Somalia extends into parts of the terrain of the Kenyan North eastern frontier, Djibouti, Somali land and the Ogaden part of Ethiopia. The dream of United Somalia was resurrected by Mohamed Siad Baare. The claim by Somalia of the districts with Somali talking people is symbolised by the five stars in the Somalia ‘s Flag. Somalia ‘s purpose and aim is to later in the hereafter conveying these districts together as one great Somalia. Over clip this aspiration has been a cause of discord between Somalia and its neighbors. British colonial bequest say to the intervention of the boundaries through pacts with Italy for compensation. The British established a limit in the Kenyan northern frontier as a marker of where the Somalis were non allowed to go beyond- this in bend strengthened the feeling by the Somalia ‘s in this part as exceeding and exclusivity. In the Northern Frontier the rate of revenue enhancement of Somalis was high than other Africans. In the beginning of independent Somalis in the Northern Frontier demanded separation from Kenya. After independency and KANU took over the Somalis resulted to guerrilla warfare.

On the Ethiopian side Somali ‘s irridentism was more debatable as it involves a larger population and the boundary line is still in difference. Kenya and Ethiopia have signed a treaty to guarantee security in instance of Somali ‘s irridentism. Somali irridentism has been abandoned as the neighbors and the universe was against it.


Somalia ‘s big figure of idle young person stimulated the struggle. Although no plausible nose count has been taken, Somalia now has an approximative population of about 9-10 million. Over clip there was an addition in population which saw a immature population with no employment chances ( 1980s ) . Social amnesties for the population like instruction, wellness and others were non availed to the Somalia people by the authorities. The critical sectors which could guarantee employment were under-developed every bit good. In bend this province of personal businesss created widespread hopelessness among the young person. The young person idling and deficiency of a touchable income bring forthing agenda topographic point so in a state of affairs where they were vulnerable to the possibility of being manipulated and swayed to conflict by the elites who is out to guarantee there involvement by improper agencies. As viewed Somalia has continuously been termed as a failed sate due to the general deficiency of security in the part. There was a immense seeable divide between the rich and the hapless. As in any society of this kind the elites capitalised on this chance and organised the immature work forces to utilize them to their benefits[ 12 ].


Ethiopia tampering in the internal personal businesss of Somalia is a important cause of the struggle in Somalia. This ensures shelter for all the provokers of the struggle. The tampering has undermined critical peace agreements i.e. The Cairo Accord 1997 and the Arta Agreement of 2000 and has manipulated Somalia peace procedure in Kenya. More than a twelve Somali warlords and other of import group leaders agreed on a power-sharing rule in Cairo, Egypt, in 1997. They besides by consensus reached a determination to organize a national authorities. The most combative issue was the broad divide amongst the cabals and the countries they drew their support. There were the Libyan supported cabals on one side and the Ethiopian supported cabals on the other. These two groups controlled most of Somalia, and both participated in the Cairo convention. In most metropoliss in Somalia ‘s the civilian ‘s welcomed these understandings i.e. the Cairo Accord by widespread chants in its support. Ethiopia has besides been involved in the training/ recruiting of some of the warlords involved in doing animus in Somalia. It encouraged Colonel Abdullah Yusuf and General Adan Abdullahi Nur to go forth the meeting and reject its result. From Cairo their first halt was Addis Ababa. Ethiopia started to openly prolong these two cabal leaders militarily and politically.

On legion occasions Ethiopia has sent arms to vouch the struggle in Somalia. Ethiopia seeks to prolong its regional hegemony position by guaranting a weak and divided Somalia. This has lead to two major wars in 1964 and 1977, and 100s of brushs have taken topographic point along the boundary line between Ethiopia and Somalia. The chief beginning of one of the major struggles was the Ogaden part, which is under the legal power of Ethiopia. Somalia has sought to back up an overthrow of Ethiopia ‘s authorities, and on the other manus Ethiopia has supported resistance motions to the Somalia authorities. All of the resistance groups have started their wars in Ethiopia in order to contend against the military authorities of Siad Baare, and Ethiopia has been a major participant in perpetuating Somalia civil war particularly in the past 14 old ages.


Warlords who are profiting from the position quo lead most of Somalia ‘s cabals. Some have

Committed flagitious offenses and hence experience unsure about their hereafters. These use force and bullying after peace agreements were signed which in bend is good to them. The latest illustration of Mogadishu warlords ‘ finding to corrupt Ali Gedi ‘s authorities illustrates better how Somalia ‘s spoilers are committed to maintain the position quo. General Aideed, for illustration, challenged and efficaciously undermined the doomed UN attempts to reconstruct peace in Somalia in 1993, irrespective of broad support for the UN presence and activities. The two Somalia reserves leaders best known to the universe in 1992 represent specific ethno geographical involvement countries.

These influences the administration of Somalia, some cardinal histrions ( cabals ) in Somalia are ; Alshabab, Hisbul Islam, Al Suna wal jama’a, Somali, Punt land etc.


Over clip the merely interested parties in the Somalia struggle are the adjacent states a as these suffer the spill over consequence of the struggle. Kenya has been actively involved in the peace negotiations and is hosting 1000000s of refugees from Somalia.

Winston Tubman, the UN Secretary-General ‘s political representative to the Somali peace

Conference in Kenya, was quoted as stating: “ One of the five lasting members of the UN

Security Council – China, Britain, France, the US and Russia -could do a difference in Somalia aˆ¦ The African Union can be interested, the European Union can assist, but what you need is some driving force ( by a large power ) in my experience ” . Somalia ‘s failed province dimension is more prevailing as no major power has a acute involvement in the part. Before the rise of the buccaneering Somalia characteristic minimally in the International System dealingss. Now that it is presenting a major menace to most powers there is a possibility that the increasing involvement in the part by other histrions will coerce it into a peace understanding.


The surfacing of many spiritual leaders and groups associated with different schools of idea has seen spiritual engagement in contending within different spiritual groupings. Globally, spiritual leaders are frequently seen as linked to terrorist act. This serves to stain their image nationally and internationally. The chief opposition to the authorities consists of the Supreme Council of Islamic Courts ( SCIC ) besides known as the Islamic Courts Union ( ICU ) , Joint Islamic Courts, Union of Islamic Courts ( UIC ) , or the Supreme Islamic Courts Council ( SICC ) , a bunch based on cardinal Islamic jurisprudence that is trying to wrest formal administrative and governmental control from the TFG every bit good as enforce a system of Shari ‘ a jurisprudence upon the state. They seek to convey order of some sense to the helter-skelter part, therefore stoping the long period of upset since1991. A more extremist cabal of the SCIC has emerged throughout 2007 and early 2008 – Al Shabab ( ‘the chaps ‘ in Somali ) . These had been internationally attributed Al Qaeda. These groups continue to perpetrate gross maltreatments / misdemeanors of human right in Somalia which in bend worsen the state of affairs in Somalia and creates a contributing hub for other groups to Mobiles and acquire involved in the struggle[ 13 ]“ .Fundamentalist Islamic churchmans have more and more sought to put themselves up as an replacement to the clan-based fiefdoms and the intermediary federal authorities that is fighting to confirm its authorization. The new confederation describes the churchmans as terrorists and accuses them of killing temperate intellectuals, Muslim bookmans and former military functionaries in a twine of unexplained slayings[ 14 ]. ” Religion has for a long clip been a important cause of struggle in Somalia. They rally the usage of the of all time contended sharia law jurisprudence which has seen executing and film editing of limbs of civilians old and immature, Islam has been responsible for a figure of self-destruction bombs which are seen as a signifier of spiritual act.


This is a cause of struggle in Somalia as it sees inflow of capital that sees the capableness of buying arms and the recruiting of childs who have no other beginning of income. Piracy has created a population that is viewed as castawaies of the Somali society ; those associated to buccaneering are secluded and disowned by their kins because they are seen as immoral. They are accused of being involved in drug and harlotry which are inexcusable in the Somali society. As a consequence these bent around packs and go highly unsafe to the security of Somalia.


The survey of the root causes of the Somalia struggle has been a murky one has everybody has their ain version of what is or has been the cause of the resulting struggle in Somalia, the truth is there is no existent simple reply on this inquiry as there are complex and intertwined causes as the struggle moves from the early phases to the intermediate and so on. The issues are more than merely merely faith and folk. Somalia has been a victim of misdirection, hapless administration, deficiency of leading and absolutism since independency. Because of these factors, Somalis found it easy to acquire safety within their kins, sub-clans and households where their awards and self-respect are upheld and respected. Unnecessary regional intervention from Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Kenya, and external intervention by the US and Europe have played a major function in instability and insecurity seen today in Somalia. Therefore the consolidation and mollification of the Somalia province demands to be driven by Somalis themselves to enable the proper realisation of peace based on Somali local redresss and mechanism. As international organisations have found out the civilians are the most affected in this on-going struggle, a solution is bound to emanate from the engagement of the United Nations in the judicial admission of the lucidity of leading. The engagement of the African Union in guaranting peace by directing its military personnels should be stepped up. For complete peace in Somalia the intervention by Ethiopia and other outside parties in support of reservess or otherwise should be stopped.