National Security Dynamics in Somalia in the post-Siad Barre era

Master's Thesis, 2016

121 Pages











1.1 Introduction
1.2 Background of the Study
1.3 Problem Statement
1.4 Research Questions
1.5 Objectives of the Study
1.6 Significance of the Study
1.7 Scope and Limitations of the Study
1.8 Research Method
1.8.1 Population and Sampling Method
1.8.2 Data Analysis
1.9 Definition of key terms
1.10 Organization of the Study

2.1 Introduction
2.2 A Review of Existing Studies on the Somali Crisis
3.3.1 UN and US Interventions in Somalia
3.3.2 The Somali Peace Process and the ETNG
3.3.3 The Somali Peace Process
3.3.4 The rise of United Islamic courts
3.3.5 The role of AMISON in Somalia
3.4 Chapter Summary

4.2 Internal Security Challenges in Somalia
4.2.1 Colonial legacies
4.2.2 Political miscalculations and misjudgments by Somali and External actors..
4.2.3 The ethnic factor and institutional collapse
4.2.4 Warlordism
4.2.5 Sub-Regional Interventions
4.2.6 The War on Terror and the Somali Security situation
4.2.7 Somali Piracy
4.2.8 Crisis in leadership and Failure of the Reconstruction Project
4.3 Chapter Summary

5.1 Introduction
5.2 Findings Summary
5.3 Recommendations
5.4 Concluding Observations


Figure 2.1: Conceptual Framework of this Study

Figure 4.1 The Impact of External actors on Somali national security challenges


I am dedicating this thesis to my beloved parents, my lovely mother Mrs Baar Mohamed Ahmed, and my beloved father Mohamed Salad Farah, may Allah have mercy on their souls and grant them Jannatul firdouws.Ameen.


Somalia was one of the first states to crumble in the post-cold war era. This study seeks to explain the destruction of the Somali state from a security perspective, arguing that a plethora of factors including the political economy of class and regional dynamics underscored the dissolution of the Somali nation-state and that the emergence of political Islam to fill the political vacuum configured the pattern of security challenges facing the country. In doing so, this study utilizes the qualitative research design premised on the interview technique as the main data collection method. What is clear from this study is that to explain the destruction of Somalia and its security abyss we must probe deeper to uncover the points of fracture of the Somali social order, as well as external factors obscured by an emphasis on clan tensions by media and scholarly reportage. Hence, explaining Somalia’s dissolution and its attendant security challenges is a contribution to the ongoing project of theorizing the global disintegration of nation-states in the post-Cold War era. All things considered, it is hoped that this study will provide professionals and scholars insights on the challenges of African security in the Twenty-First century.

Key Words: Clan tension, violence, famine, nation-state, security challenges, political Islam, Somalia. ABSTRAK

Somalia ialah salah sebuah negara pertama yang berderai dalam masa pasca-Perang Dingin. Kajian ini bertujuan untuk menjelaskan keruntuhan negara Somalia dari perspektif keselamatan, mempertikaikan bahawa terlalu banyak faktor termasuk ekonomi politik yang berkelas dan dinamik serantau menegaskan pembubaran negara-bangsa Somalia serta kemunculan politik Islam mengisikan kekosongan politik bagi menyusun corak cabaran- cabaran keselamatan yang dihadapi negara ini. Dengan sedemikian, kajian ini menggunakan reka bentuk penyelidikan kualitatif berdasarkan teknik temu bual sebagai kaedah utama pengumpulan data. Dalam kajian pun terang menjelaskan bahawa keruntuhan negara Somalia sertajurang keselamatannya mesti menyiasat lebih mendalam bagi mendedahkan titik patah susunan social Somalia, serta faktor-faktor luaran dikaburi oleh ketegangan marga melalui media dan laporan ilmiah. Maka menjelaskan pembubaran Somalia dan cabaran keselamatan yang seiring adalah satu sumbangan kepada projek berterusan yang berteori tentang globalisasi perpecahan negara bangsa dalam era pasca-Perang Dingin. Pada keseluruhannya, adalah diharapkan bahawa kajian ini akan memberi para pakar dan sarjana berwawasan mengenai cabaran keselamatan Afrika dalam abad ke-21.

Kata Kunci: Ketegangan marga, keganasan, kebuluran, Negara bangsa, cabaran

keselamatan, politik Islam, Somalia. ACKNOWLEDGMENT

First and above all, praises and thanks to Allah, the almighty for His blessings and for giving me the opportunity and good health to successfully finish this Thesis on time. All praises be to Allah and blessings to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Secondly, f would like to express sincere gratitude to my research supervisor Dr. Knocks Tapiwa Zengeni for his keenness, thoughtful guidance, and warm encouragement. f would also like to thank him for his friendship, empathy, and great sense of humor. f am extending my heart thankful to the lecturers at the School of fnternational Studies, in particular to Dr. Nazariah Binti Osman for her patient cooperation and continuous encouragement since my first semester in my master’s degree.

Foremost, f would like to express my deep and sincere gratitude to my beloved parents, my dear mother Mrs. Baar Mohamed Ahmed and my father Mr. Mohamed Salad Farah for their love, prayers, caring and sacrifices for educating and preparing me for my future. Without them, f doubt that f would be in this place today. f am very much thankful to my friend and my uncle Abdiaziz Salad Farah. fndeed f owe sincere and earnest thankful to my brothers and sisters for their valuable prayers. My special thanks goes to my colleagues, especially, Abdifatah Mohamed Musse, Yusuf fsmaila, Mohamed-Amin fsse farah, Ahmed fbrahim Ahmed, Zakariye Mohamed Garaad, Adam Hassan Farah, Abdirahman Ali Gure, Mohamud Said Yusuf, Abdisamad Hassan Husein, fn addition, my acknowledgment will not be complete if I didn’t mention my friend and my brother namely Abdirahman Karur Elmi as well as his wife Zainab Abdulqadir for her patience and acceptance when ever me and my friend are discussing in every time.

f also appreciate the diplomatic officials at the Somali embassy Malaysia represented by His Excellence Abdifatah Said Ainab for providing me the inspiration and support to undertake this study. f am also grateful to several graduate students and colleagues whose friendship have helped me a lot during my study, namely, Farah fzzati Binti Ridua'an, Aliyu ,and Sule who provided assistance and advice along the way. Last but not least my thanks go to all the people who have supported me to complete the research work directly or indirectly.


1.1 Introduction

The main purpose of this chapter is to provide an introduction to the study and a brief overview of its contents. In this regard, this chapter is divided into ten sections. The first section is the introduction and is followed by the background of the study. Section three defines the nature of the research problem. Meanwhile, section four, five and six outline the objectives of the study, research questions and significance of the study, respectively. The scope of the study is captured in section seven, whilst section eight describes the research methodology. Then, section nine captures the definitions of the key terms. Finally, section ten describes the chapterisation of the study.

1.2 Background of the Study

Somalia state is geographically located in eastern Africa with Ethiopia located at the west of Somalia, Djibouti to the northwest, and Kenya to the southwest, Yemen to the north and the Indian Ocean to the east. Furthermore Somalia is strategically located in the Horn Africa with the largest coastline among all African countries. According to the World Fact Book (2014) the Somali population estimated about 10 million and has been without an effective functioning government for more than two decades since the collapse of Mohamed Siad Barre administration of the country in early 1991. Once heralded as the one true nation-state in Africa with an ethnically homogeneous society.

Somalia since the 1990s has experienced brutal, politically induced famine and genocidal violence, and the flight of millions of refugees. In a way, the current maze of state collapse, security crisis, clan tensions and political violence as depicted in popular media contradicts the model of ethnic homogeneity or homogeneous society as portrayed in colonial ethnography by scholars like Lewis (1961) as cited in Besteman (1996). What has caused the fracturing of the Somali state and society? To explain the collapse of the Somali state and the attendant security problems, we must probe deeper to uncover the sources of fracture of the Somali social order, manifested in the patterning of violence and killings since 1991.

As noted by Besteman (1996) Somalia was one of the first states to crumble in the post-cold war era which was characterized by a world of political disintegration, evolving intra-state and trans­state nationalisms, and violence. Clearly, after Siad Barre was overthrown as president of Somalia, the national security was deeply compromised to an extent that the country was left without central authority, people on a brink of mass starvation as well as an emerging civil war involving several clans and the militias (Abukar, 2015).

Basically, after President Barre’s downfall, the Somali state became a playground for the local warlords organized along clan cleavages. The country was heavily turned into a battle field largely pitting two strong factions’ led by strongmen, that is, Ali Mahdi and Mohamed Farah Aideed. Notably, several other warlords also emerged in the same period thereby deepening the destruction of the Somali state. As pointed out by Samatar (1992) the Somali tragedy was mainly authored by the collapse of national institutions and the state. Samatar contends that the Somali society has been torn apart by elite competition in the political and economic domains, the neglect of the productive sectors of the economy, and the centrality of state largesse at the mercy of elites. Due to the absence of law and order the distribution of weapons among civilians and clans worsened emerging civil war and political violence.

As a result, many Somali people could easily access weapons such as guns. Consequently, the state became a playground for factions vying for dominance and political power among the various competing clans. in the country whose main aim was to solemnly gain upper hand in controlling the political power from the central government. Unsurprisingly, Somalia became and continues to be a failed stated due to the events triggered by the fall of the Siad Barre regime in 1991 (Jackson, 2011). It is therefore not surprising that Somalia has been at the top list of the field states index produced annually by the Fund for peace, a United States-based think tank.

Notably, the Somali crisis was internationalised with the outflow of some hundreds of thousand refugees into neighboring countries. Images of famine and grinding poverty depicted in global media attracted the attention of international actors (Little, 2012; Mermin, 1997;Munene, 2013; Western, 2002. According to Munene (2013) a number of actors including IGAD, AMISOM and the United Nations (UN) were compelled to act to mitigate the effects of state failure. In much the same way, Thakur (1994) argues that UN intervention in Somalia has its origins in the wish to provide desperately needed food and other relief supplies to the war-torn, famine-stricken country.

According to Thakur the effects of the drought that affected central regions were aggravated by the civil war that prevented agricultural activity in the normally productive areas of southern

Somalia Ironically, the various external interventions by regional and international actors have largely failed (Burk, 1999; Little, 2012; Patman, 1997). Little (2012) established that outside interventions have not worked in Somalia, nor are they likely to work in the future. Little further observes that since the collapse of the Somali state in 1991, military interventions by foreign troops, including U.S., U.N., and Ethiopian forces, have been perceived locally as invasions by occupying forces, with disastrous consequences.

For instance, the invasion of Somalia by Ethiopia in 2006, a neighbouring state with a long history of strained relations with Somalia and Somalis, served to further fuel local resentment against outsiders and support for a well-armed group like al-Shabaab, which had the capacity and external connections to stand up to outside (foreign) forces. As can be seen, the ascendancy of political Islam is a compelling case indicating the failure of external interventions.

Furthermore, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington added a new and rapidly evolving dimension to the Somali tragedy, because of the presence of Islamic fundamentalist groups in Somalia and their presumed connections with al Qaeda, the main target of US-led war on terror. As can be seen, the situation was aggravated by the fact that Somalia, a country without an effective central authority, could provide a convenient hideout for terrorists who have to flee other countries, where their presence had become untenable and uncomfortable.

Another dynamic with international tentacles that compounds the political and security crisis in Somalia is the piracy issue characterised by pirates who rob international ships along the Somalia costal area (Aaron, 2010; Roach, 2010).

The threat posed by Somali pirates to Somalia and other states is very real because these pirates have been seizing ships moving in international waters around or near Somalia. This is a huge security problem as many international ships that trade goods and commodities have been high­jacked and their goods kept ransom purposes. In essence, the problem of piracy can be traced to the former warlords’ troops who were defeated in their endeavors to control some parts of Somalia. On the other hand, some accounts point the origins of piracy to old fishermen who were angry about international ships (possibly taking advantage of state failure in Somalia) catching fish in Somalia waters leaving them with nothing to catch from such activities (Aaron, 2010) .

What is clear from the foregoing discussion is that Somalia, which for most of the 1990s lacked most of the institutions of a central state, is currently facing massive security challenges. The scenario is aggravated by the lack of consensus on the future of Somalia (Doornbos, 2002). The provisional government in Mogadishu seems to aim for the restoration of a centralized state. In other parts of the former country, such as in Puntland and Somaliland, there are other visions of reconstruction. All things considered, the views of the main international actors will be crucial in deciding the outcomes of these various initiatives.

1.3 Problem Statement

The main objective of this study is to examine the national security dynamics in Somalia since 1991 following the ouster of the Siad Barre . More specifically, this study analyses and explain various factors, namely, historical, internal and external factors that have collectively contributed to the security challenges facing the post-Siad Barre state of Somalia.

Although moving reports by the media and scholars are important in bringing the dire plight of Somalis to the attention of the international community, they do not provide an explanation of the genesis and nature of the Somali crisis or tragedy (Lewis, 1993; Samatar, 1992). The ferocity of the civil war and its various security permutations including terrorism begs for an analysis of what went wrong, and why such a seemingly homogenous society has descended into a security abyss. It is the contention of this study that to really understand the nature and dynamics of the security crisis, one has to go beyond the internal environment. Thus, there is a need to examine other underlying factors such as historical factors, the various internal dynamics within the country as well as external determinants which have all collectively contributed to the present state of affairs in Somalia. Accordingly, this study attempts to examine holistically the main contributory factors thereby putting the causes for the present security crisis in the right perspective.

Basically, the Somalia debacle highlights problems when it comes to the role played by internal factors central and external actors in the past and present. As a result, many attempts have been made reconstruct the central authority and rebuild state security but obviously all those attempts have been unsuccessful so far ((Burk, 1999; Little, 2012; Patman, 1997)

As indicated earlier, previous studies have discovered that outside military and humanitarian interventions have not worked in Somalia, nor are they likely to work in the future (Little, 2012). The reasons for the failures have yielded various explanations and as such there is a need to investigate why the Somali political crisis cannot be stabilized. In other words, this study seeks to find out how and why the past interventions failed as well as ascertaining the role of the central government and external actors played in the past and can play in the future.

More specifically, this study seeks to examine the internal and external dynamics that characterize the political and security problems facing Somalia since 1991. Additionally, an examination of the breakdown of the Somali state and the attendant security problems speaks to wider theoretical concerns about defining and understanding intra-state conflict in the African context.

As mentioned earlier, to explain the destruction of Somalia we must probe deeper to uncover the points of fracture of the Somali social order, points manifest in the patterning of violence since 1991 but obscured by an emphasis on ethnic explanations. Recent arguments over the roots of intra-state conflict tribal warfare (Besteman, 1996; Doornbos, 2002; Lewis, 1992; Little, 2002; Marten, 2006/7 ; Marchal, 2007;Menkhaus, 2006; Samatar, 1992;Tripodi, 1999) demand that we acknowledge the impact of race, class stratification, regional dynamics, institutional paralysis, warlordism, colonial legacy, external interventions, the global political trends, trade, capitalism, and state formation on what appears to be ethnically driven conflict among ‘tribal’ peoples. It is scarcely surprising, then, that the study will apply the failed state theory at the main tool of analysis.

In a way, this study provides a summary of, and a commentary on the woefully inadequate scholarly literature about the origin and nature of the security crisis and complete breakdown of civil order in Somalia. To put it differently, this study seeks to address the following question: what caused the dissolution of the Somali nation-state and the attendant security challenges?

1.4 Research Questions

1. Why did the removal of Siad Barre cause a political and security meltdown in Somalia?
2. What role do internal factors play in the security dynamics of Somalia?
3. To what extent have external factors contributed to the security crisis in Somalia?

1.5 Objectives of the Study

- To determine the impact of the removal of Siyad Barre on the security dynamics of Somalia?
- To identify the major internal factors behind the security challenges facing Somalia?
- To identify the major external actors and factors that has authored state failure in Somalia.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The significance for this study is to address issues concerning the national security of Somalia and ways through which such problems can be solved in the country. From a theoretical perspective, this study will significantly improve knowledge and conceptual tools associated with the failed state theory. Furthermore, this study provides practitioners and scholars with interesting insights on an instructive case study of state failure, that is, Somalia. This study enables both professionals and policy makers to have a fuller understanding of the process of state failure in the post-Cold War era.

This study will also benefit the national intelligence officers, policy makers, and military those are responsible for the national security of Somalia. The study will contribute towards helping in formulation of appropriate policies for national security focusing in the wide spread of terrorism, and piracy in the maritime areas of Somalia. Furthermore this study will highlight importance of protecting human lives within Somalia. Finally, the study will contribute to knowledge and fill gaps in the literature on national security in Somalia, helping in future studies of security challenges and issues faced and how such issues can be resolved amicably.

1.7 Scope and Limitations of the Study

The primary focus of the study is to examine the national security challenges facing Somalia from 1991 to the present day. The year 1991 is significant and was chosen because it was the year in which the Somalis strongman Siad Barre was overthrown and thereby triggering events that have led to the collapse of the country. This study was limited in that it was mainly driven mainly by a literature review and face-to-to interview technique.

Granted that, this study would have made a stronger contribution to a strain of literature if other sources of data such as archival data and content analysis had been incorporated. Perhaps, future research will fill this gap by utilizing other robust data collection methods. Another potential limitation of the study is that it did not interview officials from the UN and Western governments who have instrumental in shaping political and security developments. A future study that adopts such measures could help to shed light on how foreign actors decided to highlight or implement certain policies vis-à-vis the Somali crisis.

1.8 Research Method

The research design of this study is premised on the qualitative method. Notably, qualitative data can be gathered from a variety of techniques such as interview, life story, personal experience, observational, interactional, and documents analysis. After a perusal of the possible qualitative data collection methods, the researcher selected the interview technique as main data collection tool. As pointed out by Patton (1990), data from qualitative research typically is collected by a number of techniques including the interview method.

The interview method is appropriate because this study seeks the opinions and perceptions of the research participants. More specifically, the study will adopt the semi-structured interview technique which is generally used in social science research since its objective include obtaining explanation and gaining more understanding of a particular research issue.

The semi-structured interview approach combines predetermined and additional questions raised by participants or the interviewer in terms of ‘why’ questions during the interview process. Flexibility is the hallmark of this technique because it allows interviewees to provide as much information as they feel necessary as well as enabling interviewers to ask probing questions to achieve a complete and clear answer (Bailey, 1994).

As such data from this study will be collected from different interviews held by each participant. Then, from such interview the answers provided will be recorded separately and looked into to see what actually each participant said during the interview process and from that will look into what were the common words or themes used by all the participants in relation to the national security challenges and solutions confronting Somalia. All interviews will be recorded using audio-recorders and transcribed into interview transcripts. As such, the collected data will be stored in the form of transcriptions and computer files.

1.8.1 Population and Sampling Method

The current study uses a non-probability sampling design. This implies that the findings from the study of the sample cannot be confidently generalised to the population. More specifically, this study utilises the non-probability sampling design of purposive sampling. This type of sampling is confined to specific types of people who can provide the desired information, either because they are the only ones who have it, or conform to some criteria set by the investigator (Sekaran & Bourgie, 2009). Of the two main types of purposive sampling, namely, judgement sampling and quota sampling, this study adopts the former.

According to Sekaran and Bourgie (2009) judgement sampling involves the choice of participants who are most advantageously placed or in the best position to provide the information required. Basing on the analysis of the participants, common themes with corollary subthemes will be identified from the personal narratives and the interview process with each of the participants. The actual number of the participants will be decided by the saturation principle. As noted by Charmaz (2006) as cited in Creswell (2014), the idea of saturation indicates that a researcher should stop collecting data when the categories or themes are saturated, that is, when gathering fresh data no longer sparks new insights or reveals new properties. In the event that saturation is not met, additional participants would have to be recruited for the interview sessions.

1.8.2 Data Analysis

What makes a study qualitative is that it usually relies on inductive reasoning processes to interpret and structure the meanings that can be derived from data. Data analysis in qualitative research follow a number of steps as indicated by Creswell (2014): (1) organize and prepare data for analysis; (2) read or look at all the data; (3) start coding all of the data; (4) use the coding process to generate a description of the setting or people as well as categories or themes for analysis; (5) advance how the description and themes will be represented in the qualitative narrative; and (6) the final step in data analysis involves making an interpretation of the findings or results. Basically, the method through which the data will be analyzed is through making a comparison of interviews’ answers with information gleaned from other sources such as internet sources, books, articles and journal articles.

Also through this the data will help to show some of the short falls the government might have overlooked when it comes to national security problems and solutions, which can work for the country. Flick (2009) stated that in data analysis it is important to first articulate what it means when looking into the data provided by the respondents and then try to draw a clear understanding of the data to be able to interpret the data.

1.9 Definition of key terms

Failed State: “A State that is incapable of and/or unwilling to meet the basic needs of its population, provide domestic order, and represent national interests externally” (Collins, 2010, p.490). this label is often used in the context of assumptions that the lack of performance is mainly due to factors internal to that state and that external intervention or occupation is therefore legitimate and necessary.

Failing State: This is a State “that is failing in respect of some or all of its functions without yet having reached the stage of collapse” (Burnell & Randall, 2008, p. 521).

National or State Security: “A condition where the institutions, processes, and structures of the state are able to continue functioning without the rest of collapse or significant opposition, despite threats to the current regime or changes to the make-up of the ruling elite” (Collins, 2010, p.499).

Nation-building: this refers to building a sense of national belonging (Burnell & Randall, 2008). State-building: This is understood as the rubric for a wide range of interventionist mechanisms- from military engagement to World Bank poverty reduction mechanisms- which is increasingly seen as the main solution to world problems (Chandler, 2009).

Warlordism: Several analysts have offered definitions of warlordism According to Marten (2006/7), warlordism shares four major characteristics. First, trained, armed men take advan tage of the disintegration of central authority to seize control over relatively small slices of territory. Second, warlords’ actions are based on self-interest, not ideology. Third, their authority is based on charisma and patronage ties to their followers. Fourth, this personalistic rule leads to the fragmentation of political and economic arrangements across a country, disrupting the free flow of trade and making commerce and investment unpredictable.

1.10 Organization of the Study

This study is divided into six chapters. Chapter one, Introduction, provides a brief introduction, problem statement, and then outlines the research questions, objectives of the study, as well as the significance of the study, scope and limitations of the study, research methodology as well as the definitions of key terms. Chapter Two, Literature Review, review related literature on the Somali crisis and security challenges faced by the country.

This chapter also highlights the underpinning theory (failed state theory) upon which the research was conceptualised. Notably, Chapter three, Historical Background, outlines the historical background of the study in this regard tracing the main roots of the Somali crisis since 1991. Next, Chapter four, Internal Security Dynamics of Somali Crisis since 1991, discusses the actual internal dynamics of the Somali crisis vis-à-vis the security issues. At the same time the chapter it self discusses External Security Dynamics of the Crisis in Somalia since 1991, analyses the various dimensions of foreign intervention in Somalia since 1991.

On one hand, the chapter discusses maneuvers by global and Western actors to shape developments in Somalia. On the other hand, the chapter examines the role played by other external actors in authoring or mitigating the current malaise in Somalia. Some of these actors include Ethiopia, Kenya, the African Union (AU) Gulf States, Global terrorist networks and so forth. Finally, Chapter Six, Conclusion and Recommendations, summarises the main arguments and findings of the study. It also provides a succinct prognosis Somalia’s future security prospects.


2.1 Introduction

This chapter provides an overview of the literature on crisis management and crisis communication. First, it begins with the evolution of studies on crisis management and crisis communication. The chapter also discusses crisis situations, best practices in crisis communication, themes and frames in crisis communication, crisis response strategies, framing, and Situational Crisis Communications theory (SCCT). All things considered, the literature search was conducted to build the theoretical framework of post-crisis communication and develop a reference for methods of research and data analysis.

2.2 A Review of Existing Studies on the Somali Crisis

In the past two decades, Somalia has dominated the headlines of major international media organizations since the country degenerated into a failed state in the aftermath of the collapse of the Siad Barre regime in 1991. Unsurprisingly, the literature on the Somalia crisis is quite extensive and varied. The literature reviewed in this chapter covers studies and works conducted both locally and abroad. The general aim of this literature review is to determine what has been written about the Somalia crisis this far.

More specifically this literature review explores some factors that have been written by other writers as having been responsible for the state of affairs in Somalia and other related developments.

To understand better some of the key issues brought up by the incidence of state failure in Somalia, there is a need to unpack the concept of failed states and investigate the different understandings of state failure. To this extent, this section considers the complex web of conditioning and facilitating factors that can trigger a chain reaction eventually leading to state failure or crisis. Thus this chapter also reviews some contemporary literature on the causes of state failure especially from security perspective. An executive summary of selected studies on the Somali crisis is depicted in Appendix A.

An examination of the literature on the Somali crisis reveals that a number of studies have focused on the phenomenon of state failure and the related issue of state rebuilding or reconstruction (Besteman, 1996; Doornbos, 2002; Little 2012; Menkhaus, 2006/7; Samatar, 1992; Yoo, 2011). Samatar (1992) establishes that the Somali tragedy is the consequence of the collapse of national institutions and the state. For Samatar the Somali society has been torn apart by elite competition in the political and economic sphere, the neglect of the productive sectors of the economy, and the centrality of state largesse at the mercy of warring elites.

The study laments the difficult task of reconstructing Somalia due to two elements. The author observes that the task of rebuilding Somalia requires: (1) the creation of an economy in which productive resources are widely distributed including channeling them towards productive investment; and (2) crafting a political order which is accountable, representative, and entrepreneurial, and that does not allow for the personal appropriation of public resources. Continuing with his pessimistic outlook of the Somali crisis Samatar suggests that in the absence of an organised indigenous agency which can carry out such an agenda, the Somali people must rely on the international community to save them from the horrors of elite competition.

In a related study, Besteman (1996) argues that the Somali conflict that has contributed to the dissolution of the Somali state and the image of a Somali nation was generated by a combination of factors including external influences (such as colonial policy, cold war geopolitics, and donor funding) and internal stratification (such as race and class). According to Besteman, to sort out Somalia’s impossible complex situation there is need to examine the aforementioned multiple and competing bases of conflict and societal differentiation.

All things considered Besteman argues that Somalis have killed each other not because they are unrelated but because they are struggling for power and control over resources in a highly militarized atmosphere of suspicion, mistrust, domination, and terror. Hence, the important issue is to understand how struggles over control of resources took place, which is a class issue, and to define the wider sociocultural arena defining the relative position of contenders in the struggle for power, which is a ‘race’ issue. Arguing along similar lines Little (2012) observes that the current humanitarian crisis in southern Somalia is more the result of fierce political struggles than the reoccurrence of drought.

In related development, Doornbos (2002) looks at attempts at reconstructing Somalia from the abyss of destruction. Doornbos observes that there is no consensus on how Somalia is to be rebuilt (centralised, federal or otherwise). It is shown that the provisional government in Mogadishu seems to aim for the restoration of a centralized state. However, in other parts of the former country, such as in Puntland and Somaliland, there are other views of reconstruction. Sharing a similar disposition expressed by Samatar (1992) of externally driven reconstruction of the Somali state system, Doornbos suggests that the views of the main international actors will be crucial in deciding the outcomes of the various state-building initiatives.

On closer inspection, this may be an appropriate approach considering that Somalia since 1991 has lacked most of the institutions of a central state. In much the same way, Marten (2006/7) state formation is by nature a combative process. Therefore, if stable, state-like governance structures are ever to form in Somalia and Afghanistan, it will be necessary to deploy long-term, robust international peace enforcement missions to limit the resulting violence. Whether the international community wishes to pursue such efforts will therefore depend on its capacity for risk. Meanwhile, Yoo (2011) argues that that the international legal system should construct a different set of rules that would encourage intervention in failed states.

According to Yoo (2011), at a micro level, international law can advance the restoration of government authority in a failed state by more narrowly focusing the power to reform. Rather than attempting to remake failed states into parliamentary democracies, intervening nations should focus their efforts on enforcing power sharing agreements between competing ethnic, religious, or regional groups. Under those circumstances, this would narrow the broad claims made on behalf of intervening nations to reshape the economies and societies of failed states. In other words, this study argues that powerful nations can help by performing the more modest role of promoting and guaranteeing power-sharing agreements between competing groups within failed states.

A study by Menkhaus (2006/7) found that the prolonged and complete collapse of Somalia's central government has produced a uniquely difficult context for state revival. The Somalia case suggests that state building is exponentially more difficult where the country has been in a state of collapse for an extended period of time.

This finding points to the need for more context-specific state- building strategies in zones of protracted state collapse. It also serves as a cautionary note that delayed external action to revive and support failing states only compounds the difficulty of state building later on. Given that existing informal and local systems of governance have enjoyed real success, and that a central government will necessarily have to be minimalist in the roles it assumes, Menkhaus suggests that the most promising formula for success in state building in Somalia is some form of a "mediated state" in which the government relies on partnership (or at least coexistence) with a diverse range of local intermediaries and rival sources of authority to provide core functions of public security, justice, and conflict management in much of the country.

A related study by Tripodi (1999) highlights the impact of the colonial legacy, particularly the adoption of a centralized state system, on current sad state of affairs in Somalia. According to Tripodi the adoption of a centralized state system, based on the Italian experience of the second half of the 1940s, proved to be unsatisfactory in laying the foundations that Somalia would need to begin a proper process of democratization.

Tripodi’s study identifies the cause of the Somali collapse as the inadequacy of the institutions that the Somali Republic put in place in 1960 as well as during Italian colonial rule. Accordingly, the Italian political structure could not manage the dynamics of the clan system effectively and Italians viewed the Somali social structure as archaic. With this attitude, which was not respectful of the Somali traditional structure, Italy promoted the adoption of a form of state inappropriate to the Somali people.

Consequently, the process of decolonization created an independent state that remained aloof from society. In fact, the new state organization became just an instrument in the hands of predominant clans, who administered power according to their own interests particularly during the long rein of Siad Barre. In the long term this created a new source of clan conflict.

Other key studies on the Somali crisis focus on the phenomenon of warlordism which is inextricably linked to state failure in Somalia (Marten, 2006/7; Marchal, 2007...). Marten (2006/7) establishes that warlordism plagues many weak and failed states, and the parochial and often brutal rule of warlords deprives countries of the chance for lasting security and economic growth.

This study also indicates that U.S. policies designed to further the stability of Somalia and Afghanistan by giving economic and military support to both countries' warlords have been misguided, because warlords maintain their authority only by preventing the emergence of a functioning state. What causes warlordism to fall is revolution, not stability, and warlordism does not bring enduring political order or growth; support for warlordism merely undermines central state strength. History demonstrates that when warlords are given resources-including money, weapons, and free reign over territory-they will use those resources to support their parochial interests in competition against each other and in defiance of centralized authority. Warlordism works and endures as a system because it brings profit to powerful people who keep the population sufficiently satisfied to prevent rebellion. Change will occur only when people believe that transforming the status quo is worth the cost.

Generally, extant literature on the Somali crisis also indicate a strong focus on military and humanitarian interventions in the country (Lederach & Stork, 1993; Lewis, 1993; Little, 2012; Marten, 2006/7;Western, 2002; Yihdego, 2007; Yoo, 2011). A study by Lederach and Stork (1993) was unconvinced by the US intervention in Somalia, both militarily and in terms of humanitarian aid because it had a centralising dynamic. According to Lederach centralisation in governance has been the root cause of Somalia’s breakdown and collapse.

Furthermore, it is argued that the Siad Barre’s regime manipulated regions and clans against one another and as such the rebellion that emerged in Somali society in 1991 was a revolt against centralisation. For this reason, Lederach argues that the worrying issue of the ascendancy of political Islam is a compelling case that the West has failed Somalia. With this in mind, Lederach favours a much more decentralised bottom-up approach to aid delivery premised on negotiations with all parties (warlords, elders, women’s associations, tradesmen, professionals and intellectuals) as the way to go. Similarly, Lewis (1993) contends that the Somalis should be left to choose their own leaders, however long-drawn out the process. Similarly, Marten (2006/7) argues that the Somali case suggests that there are limits to what international efforts at state building can accomplish in the absence of revolutionary domestic change.

This study does not mean that the international community is powerless to encourage change in countries dominated by warlords. It does suggest, though, that a different set of strategies is needed from what has been traditionally pursued, especially by the United States such as buying off the warlords are illusory and self-defeating. History demonstrates that when warlords are given resources-including money, weapons, and free reign over territory-they will use those resources to support their parochial interests in competition against each other and in defiance of centralized authority. As noted by Lewis what the international community can helpfully do, in addition to supplying humanitarian aid as needed is to try to establish a secure environment in which local leadership can come to the fore and armed militias will seem less necessary for survival. In another related study which examines Ethiopian military intervention in Somalia in 2006, Yihdego (2007) establishes that a military intervention by invitation into a civil war situation poses very problematic questions of fact and law. Yihdego proposes that the international community ought to seize the opportunity to achieve peace, reconciliation and stable government in Somalia through a swift response to the security and humanitarian concerns in the country.

However, other related studies examine the link between media coverage, public opinion and US interventions in Somalia (Burk, 1999; Mermin, 1997; Western, 2002). The lesson of Somalia is often thought to be that television has the power to move US government to act in Somalia. However, a study by Mermin (1997) established that governments also have the power to move television. According to Mermin, television is clearly a player in the foreign policy arena, but the evidence from Somalia is that journalists set the news agenda and frame the stories they report in close collaboration with actors in Washington.

In the case of Somalia, television turns out not to be the independent, driving force that much of the commentary on its influence would lead one to believe. In much the same way, Western (2002) concludes that the conception of the "CNN effect" oversimplifies the influence of the media on intervention decisions. The study by Western identifies the influence of competing foreign policy beliefs, information resources, and advocacy on the ultimate decision to intervene. The study also argues that two other variables, that is, the 1992 presidential election and the

Conflict in Bosnia were influential in the US decision to intervene. Interestingly, the study by Western demonstrates that that senior U.S. military officials are often intimately involved in policymaking. More broadly, however, the military has significant advantages on access to information and institutional resources on military planning that can be used for political purpose.

Another related study by Burk (1999) examines whether there was reliable evidence to support the central claims of the casualties hypothesis during US peacekeeping operations in Somalia and Lebanon. The concern is that public intolerance of casualties radically constrains the government's ability to use armed force effectively to defend national interests and to maintain a more peaceful world order. Basing on the study's analysis of public and elite opinion during U.S. peacekeeping deployments to Lebanon and Somalia, Burk concluded with confidence that evidence for the casualties hypothesis is lacking. In the Somalia case, the study established that support for the mission had withered already in response to the changing mission before the firefight in Mogadishu which killed a number of US soldiers.

The findings of this study are most welcome because quick reversals of public support ignore the long-range goals of foreign policy, jeopardize mission accomplishments, and underestimate the logistical difficulties or political costs of rapid withdrawal. Under these circumstances, military and political leaders are understandably wary of undertaking any military action. Related studies have also examined the issue of peacekeeping in Somalia (Burk, 1999; Little, 2012; Patman, 1997; Thakur, 1994). A study by Thakur (1994) shows that UN Somali peacekeeping operation in the 1990s highlighted the risk of treating peacekeeping forces as an adequate substitute for conflict resolution.

Furthermore, the Somali peacekeeping operation has reinforced the need for separating the US national security decision making calculus from the UN peacekeeping one. Withdrawal of UN peacekeeping machinery in the face of armed challenges can of course be cruel in human terms as was the case in Somalia in the 1990s.

But it is better in the long run for the organisation to leave with its reputation intact and capable of intervention elsewhere with the consent of all parties, than to turn into a factional participant, part of the problem instead of a solution, the object of armed reprisals and street demonstrations. Traditional peacekeeping may lack coercive or protective power, but it is also low-risk. This viewpoint is shared by Patman (1997) whose findings suggested that that if the US had positioned itself, like the Australians in Baidoa, above the warlords instead of between them, the picture for UN interveniion in Somalia may have looked quite different.

The integrated Australian approach revealed that the international community, confronted with other Somalias, may yet have a wider choice than impotence or muscular peace-enforcement. According to one school of thought, disarmament in Somalia never had a chance because the UN made a fundamental error when it abandoned diplomacy and the consensual principles of traditional peacekeeping to intervene unilaterally in Somalia's civil war. However, the Australians peacekeepers indicated that successful peace-enforcement was possible in a failed state situation.

However, as indicated in other related studies, there is a strong emphasis on terrorism in relation to the crisis in Simalia (Marchal, 2007; Medani, 2002; Thomas, 2014; Yoo, 2011). A key study on the link between terrorism and state failure was undertaken by Yoo (2011).

According to Yoo (2011) failed states pose one of the deepest challenges to American national security and international peace and stability. Failed states create a broad range of negative externalities (such as the collapse of central authority) that can generate the conditions for human rights catastrophes and fuel terrorism. To put it differently, the absence of state institutions can allow a territory to be exploited by international terrorist organizations. Medani (2002) argues that President George W. Bush's sweeping campaign against Somali money transfer companies- on the grounds that they "finance terror"-is misplaced because it exacerbates Somalia's humanitarian crisis. It is also argued that, the closure of ‘hawwalat’ threatens to all but destroy Somalia's larger economy, and thereby upsetting fragile state-building efforts in the war-torn country.

In other words, the study demonstrates that the war against terrorist finance threatens the fragile peace that has been achieved in many parts of the country. Marchal (2007) observes that concepts or labels such as 'terrorism' and 'warlordism' have contributed to narratives that may have extremely damaging effects. One of the consequences was that internal political dynamics were downplayed. For example, Somaliland appears as a safe haven for secularism or a model for the resolution of the Somali crisis.

However, according to Marchal it is neither, and it is also deeply affected by events taking place in central and south Somalia. As pointed out by Marchal, few scholars have noted that the eviction of the warlords and the emergence of the Islamic Courts also reflected the aspiration of a new generation to take the lead, and that this aspiration is shared beyond south and central Somalia. The study also establishes that the identification of the Islamic Courts with Islamic extremism and terrorists gave legitimacy to the US-Ethiopian intervention in Somalia.


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National Security Dynamics in Somalia in the post-Siad Barre era
master of science in strategic studies
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national, security, dynamics, somalia, barre
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Mr. Mohamud Mohamed Salad (Author), 2016, National Security Dynamics in Somalia in the post-Siad Barre era, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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