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Somalia - Essay Example

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As Somalia went, so might go a host of other African countries, teetering between strongman rule and violent anarchy. Africa was, in that sense, a series of Somalias waiting to happen: in Zaire, in Sudan, in Nigeria, maybe even in Kenya. Somalia, then, became the prism through which I came to view the rest of Africa. It was to become the metaphor for my own disillusionment…
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Somalia

In our present age, Somalia has always been the epitome of poverty. Pictures of toothpick-thin Somali children have flooded the magazines all over the world, with drooping eyes seemingly begging for our help. Until now, their state conditions had barely changed. Almost 15 years after Somalia fell apart in 1991 in spate of clan-based rebellions against the genocidal, 22-year dictatorship of President Mohammed Siad Barre, the fear and the loathing in this country still exists. Since 1991, there have been fourteen efforts at national reconciliation; to date, none has been successful. Various groupings of Somali factions have sought to control the national territory (or portions thereof) and have fought small wars with one another. Dahir Riyale Kahin was elected President of the self-declared "Republic of Somaliland," which is made up of the former northwest provinces of the Somali republic, in presidential elections deemed free and fair by international observers in May 2003. In 1998, the area of Puntland in the northeast declared itself autonomous (although not independent) as the "State of Puntland" with its capital at Garowe. Puntland declared it would remain autonomous until a federated Somalia state was established (US Department of State, 2005). As we all know, the terrible famine of 1993 in the south was entirely induced by civil war. A US- and UN-led humanitarian intervention failed to understand Somali complexities, was humiliated, and when it left in 1995 had only instigated more conflicts to arise. ... Read More
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