Political Conflicts, Leadership Challenges and their Influence on Somalia 1960-2016

Master's Thesis, 2017

98 Pages, Grade: 4


Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Introduction:
1.1: Introduction:
1.2: Research Question
1.3: Aims and Objectives:
1.4: Review of Literature

Chapter 2 Influences on Leadership:
2.1 Leadership Traits
2.2 Factions and clans
2.3 Islam & Al-Shabaab
2.4 Planning out the solution:

Chapter 3: The help from the UN and its effects
3.1: United Nations and Peacekeeping Operation:
3.2 Factors affecting the mission
3.3 Conclusion

Chapter 4 Practical Ways of Reconciliation:
4.1: What went wrong?
4.2 Clan Identities
4.3: Conflict-Sensitive Assistance in Somalia
4.4 Factors that can help:



Leadership Challenges and its Influence on Somali Political Conflict 1960-2016


The current study intends to explore the history of the political conflicts, leadership challenges and their influence on the society of Somalia. For the purpose of data collection, archival data from various websites, scholarly articles and books would be gathered and the research design would be qualitative. In order to analyze the collected data, the use of constant comparative analysis would be used along with the grounded theory. The aim of the study is to try to devise some suitable solutions for the current state of conflict within the country in order to try to minimize it.

Chapter 1 Introduction:

1.1: Introduction:

The main aim of the study is to seek out the effects that the leadership on Somalia has lead to. This study intends to explore the history of Somalia largely in aspect to the leadership conflicts, political conflicts and its influence on the people and society of Somalia. Not only the effects that have crippled the nation as a community such as the infrastructure and political scenarios risen by the traditional “clanism”[1] and their power play but also a look into the other aspects of the country that have been neglected and never really looked into , that is a more communal to individual perspective that leans towards everyday factors that have also been affected such as education and how more and more attention is given to the government but not enough attention is given to important aspects of a nation such as the development of a better formalized education system and an integration of how leaders should be so that people may know from a young start what is that needs to be done in order to help the country survive and come out of its dark place. The study aims not only to look at such situations in depth and compare them with one another but it also intends to bring about and come up with a number of solutions that can be helpful for the country and can be used positively and practically so that its disputes are set aside as well as to enhance the situation of the country in terms of the people that are suffering because of the government.

The conflicts evolution all began when a country known as The Somali Democratic Republic also referred to as “the horn of Africa” located in the north eastern part of Africa was divided into two halves. The northern half in identity with the British protectorate and the southern half towards the Italian colony.Efforts were made and on July 1, 1960 these two separate halves came in union as Somalia. Now one of the main issues of the state is the regaining of what is now known as the “lost” territories of Somalia. As an independent state the first person to take presidency was Aden Abdullah Osman Daar after which presidency of took place who was assassinated on 15 October 1969 and then acting president who then was deposed on 21 October 1969 . After democratically elected governments in the first nine years of independence the “Baar Regime” took over after through the leadership of General Muhammad Siad Barre on October 26, 1969. He adapted the ideology of “Scientific Socialism”[2]

Somalia suffered from the worst drought in its history during the year 1974. The regime of Haile Selassie in Ethiopia was overthrown in the same year. Taking advantage of the weakened state of Ethiopia, in 1977, Barre waged a war to reclaim the lost territory of Ogaden for Somalia. This resulted in a high sense of nationalism in Somali people and made Barre very popular among the commoners. The war however resulted in internal fissures in Somalia, which became obvious by the time the war ended, a year later, in the country’s defeat. Any sense of national unity was extinct as a result of this war. In 1978, an attempt to overthrow the Barre Regime was made by the military officers of the Majeerteen[3] (Darod) clan. Those officers, who escaped arrest, went on to make the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF), which launched a guerrilla campaign in the central regions of Somalia against the Barre regime. In 1979, over 2,000 Majerteen died at the hands of Barre's crack troops, the Red Berets (Samatar, 1991). In 1981, the Somali National Movement (SNM) was formed and armed against the regime. The currently continued state of conflict in Somalia has its roots in history, dating back to the war of Ogaden in 1977.

The war has rendered the country more crippled than ever before, in the history of the state. The SSDF demised in 1986, when Abdillahi Yusuf; its leader, was arrested by the Ethiopians, but it reconstituted as a political party in 1989 in Rome. In 1989, the civil war spread into the central regions of the state, resulting in the north-east region being cut off from the south. Several prominent Majeerteen joined the 'Manifesto Group' of politicians, businessmen, and elders in 1990 and sought the peaceful removal of Barre from power. On January 26, 1991 Barre was over thrown and he fled to Kenya. Since then, except for a short-lived conflict with the Al Itihad Islamia in June 1992, the north-east regions of the state have remained void of any major fights while the southern Harti has been involved in a fierce war. The Somali are divided into six clans; Dir, Issaq, Darod, Hawiye, Digil, and Rahanweyne, which in turn have their own sub-clans (Lewis, 1961).

To date, Somalia has endured six rival factions which transformed Somalia into a group of armed camps. Those rival factions include: Somali National Movement from clan Isaak, Somali Salvation Democratic Front of clan Darod (Majretain branch), Aideed Faction, United Somali Congress belonging to clan Hawiye (Habar Gadir subclan), Ali Mahdi Faction, United Somali Congress from Hawiye (Abgal subclan), Somali National Front belonging to Darod (Marehan branch) clan and Somali Patriotic Movement of Darod (Ogadeni branch) clan.

With Siad Barre out of the picture the country was left in a state of anarchy this means that it was literally under no one’s control. The country was leaderless and the people of Somalia remained leaderless for quite some time. But that did not mean that the power dynamics were not played. The different clans within Somalia tried their best to take over the country and where as this may have been a battle among clans but the people were left to be doomed. Between the fight of who gets the power children, women and men were at the mercy of nothing inter clan feuds and the dispute to gain control left the country in utmost turmoil. For short periods of time interim governments would be setup and then broken off.

Even now the current system is one of a federated parliamentary republic through a federal president who is controlled by a prime minister. Currently the country of Somalia is under the presidency of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud[4] from 2012 and will soon be finishing his tenure in 2017, In order to understand what is it that makes this country of such dispute it is essential to go to the beginning. Somalia’s location, which is of keen interest to international traders as its geographical representation allows for maximum trade with little struggle. The north side of Somalia is where Saba is crossing the Gulf of Aden, to the west is Ethiopia and of importance is Aksum. Around the Horn of Africa there are numerous ports and harbors that are widely visited by foreigners, often the reason for controlling the state is to get the most out of investments made through trade. After 1839 the British had a keen fascination towards the country of Somalia especially Aden which lies on the south coast of Arabia, this interest arose particularly because at the time Aden was a route to India and when the British were carrying meat around the world Somali coast and port became the easiest route to take.

Like Britain other European nations such as France and Italy also required coaling facilities and had to develop stations that were located in Somali regions. These were for the French Djibouti and for the Italians coast at Aseb in Eritrea. Thus the Europeans also want their hands on Somalia during the 1880’s and were soon joined by Ethiopia also wanting a share of the Somali Territory. Soon the war on coasts between France and Britain came to a halt in 1888 when the there was an agreement on a demarcation line. For the French that area was around Djibouti or the French Coast of Somalis also known as French Somaliland and Côte Françcaise des Somalis. This remained a French colony until becoming independent as the republic of Djibouti in 1977.

Similarly the British got their hands on the areas around Zeila[5] and Berbera[6] which were then promised in a series of treaties during the 1880’s that it would be under the protection of the elders of the various clans in Somalia and hence in decision the region was given the title of British Somaliland and is a protectorate which makes it under the protection of Somalia while still being used as trade by Britain.

Not only is Somalia stretched across France and Britain but it is also disputed among Italy and Ethiopia like the British and their protectorates the Italians have established protectorates beyond the British Somaliland. Thus a number of Italian companies have established leases and contracts on east ward Somali coasts where the Sultan of Zanzibar is. Although Italy is on friendly terms with Ethiopia especially through the treaty of Uccialli in 1889 which specifies Eritrea, Italy also is in agreement about a demarcation line with Britain between British Somaliland and Italian Somalia. The Uccialli treaty in 1889 which although specified Eritrea in Italy’s control but still conflicts grew over it and made the conditions worse between Ethiopia and Italy. The conflicts made worse over time lead to devastating war in 1896 and left Italians empty handed at Aduwa this not only took Eritrea out of their jurisdiction but also left them at a very vulnerable state in front of Somalia because the consequences meant that the wide Somali region known as Ogaden which also is between Ethiopia and Somalia and where most Italians were seen active and upfront were now not in a position to render that portions control from Ethiopia.

What this meant was that now there was a new agreement that disputed the powers between the years of 1896-1897 and left Ogaden in the control of Ethiopia and as a result Ethiopia had to give up what is known as Haud a part of British Somaliland that is located on the southern strip. This conclusion left a number of the Somalian people to being in the state of Ethiopia and also lead to the trade industry at the time being in hands of Ethiopia until the 1920’s when Italy again put in efforts to hold power onto it.

While the imperial forces where on a rampage over the settlements of the land of Somalia the coming years introduced to the people of Somalia the leadership of Mohammed Ibn Abdullah Hassan also notoriously known as “Mad Mullah” to the British, a patriotic leader to those of the country (Hess), he was the eldest of Sheikh Abdille who belonged to the Darud clan as a young man Hassan had received education from many scholars but the educator that impressed him the most was Muhammed Salih and after receiving education from him , Hassan was determined to spread the teachings as were taught by Saalihiya order, when his leadership began he developed a great many followers and had kept the country running over two decades.

After “Mad Mullah” and his political conflicts over the lands of Somalia in 1923 a new series of disputes were up roared again this time by the advent of the Italian colony and first governor appointed by Mussolini, this totalitarian and dictatorial power stepped up and developed a rigorous policy that not only extended the imperial interests but also lead to the vanquish and conquering of the Ethiopia in1936.

Circumstances becoming tense and disheveled World War II initiates and the lands of Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea become what is known as Italian East Africa. Disputes get heavier and by the era of 1940 Britain withdraws from their colony while French Somaliland accept the terms of the Vichy government of neutrality but then in 1941Britain again cease the whole area from the control of the Italians except for the French Somaliland and the Somali people come again under the rule of the British thumb.

Overtime what is remained of the French Somaliland is then barricaded by its surrounding allies and in 1942 the local administration diverts its homage and allies with the Free French. Instead of the situation progressing forward the political conflicts over land demise backward and between 1948 and 1950 the disputed colonies agree to the colonial boundaries agreement made back in 1897 according to this the land of Ethiopia rejoins Ogaden and Haud whereas the French and British Somaliland remain as they were before. The Italians however cannot sit back and therefore they come again towards Somalia but this time they come forth with the trusteeship of the United Nations and pledge to help bring independence to the colony in the next ten years. In the following years independence is gained by both Britain in June 1960 and Italian colonies in July 1960 both the colonies then come to a joint agreement to become one by the name of Somali Republic or commonly known as Somalia, the French colony however becomes an independent Djibouti in 1977.

The sovereignty aside the problem still arises as to how to free the three very large Somali groups that are under the property of other states such as in French Somaliland, in Ethiopia (Ogaden and Haud ) as well as Northern Kenya. Efforts although made but are pushed back because of the wide support from the West for Ethiopia and Kenya , whereas the people of Somalia then depend on the help of the Soviet Union for military aid and reach out to international affairs and have kept itself at a very neutral stance up until 1969. The first elections were won by the new republic of Somali Youth League; the political group of the Somali Youth League had way before been formed as a result of the campaigning for freedom of the Somaliland within the British Somaliland. The establishment of the Somali Youth league who won the majority of the votes in elections of March 1969 although started out with a low key settlement for the lost lands of Somalia however turned into more of a dictatorship and authoritarian stance , the situation became out of control where the head of the presidency of the Somali Youth League Muhammad Egal was then assassinated by a local officer, that is when Siad Barre’s regime took over in the mourning period of Egal. Barre’s regime although purely dictatorial but confusing as there was no reassurance of what party he stuck to and soon campaigns and rallies with posters of him and Comrade Marx, Comrade Lenin and Comrade Siad appeared together all over the state.

His authoritarian rule lead to the demise of the sole Somali culture clanship, with Barre’s regime trying to take out the clans, the clans and their elderly in Somalia turned over the coin and followed Barre until his demise and demolishing of his rule. The question of Ogaden still lingers in the air and in 1977 when Ethiopia is dismantled after the fall of Haile Selassie, Somalia then takes this opportunity and invades the land of Ethiopia and attacks the Ethiopian platoon in Ogaden, the Somalia army even reach to the city of Harar and are in reach for blockading it but the ally they trusted themselves with overturns on them and the Soviet Union decides to seek more important potential in the new Ethiopia. Again in 1978 the Ethiopian army with the help of the Soviet union take hold of Ogaden once more and this then infuriates the mass death of thousands of Somali refugees over the borders of Somalia, with the start of the Somalia people wanting to get rid of Barre and his terrain the clans within Somalia drive out Barre and his regime by 1991. To perplex the matters even more the former British Somaliland then states its independence as republic of Somaliland. With the political conflicts increasingly deteriorating instead of progressing the people of Somalia face yet another storm when the conflicts lead ot the destruction of crops in 1992 and a result famine hits the country, now the country is not only in political turmoil but the people are also facing starvation and malnutrition , the country’s own resources are not enough and help is then sent from international agencies but even that help does not good as the food that is brought in is then taken by the militias for themselves. Despite numerous help the matters worsen and the United Nation jumps in by sending 35,000 troops through Operation Restore Hope.

The Operation lead by the United nations not only wanted to instigate hope but also a unity among the political conflicts that were being run through , hoping for peace meetings were held in Addis Ababa in January 1993 calling in not one but fifteen different warring groups to settle the disputes, initially this seems like a good idea and the attempts felt to make headway however not being able to stand on one ground even the UN withdrew its attempts at resolving the issues the main reason for this was that despite the gathering and meeting the number of people being killed whilst all this was going on seemed intolerable and the United Nation gave up while the situation remained sedentary.

With no leadership and no rule the capital of Mogadishu is also torn apart into two factions where each leader represents himself as the president of that faction and through his own resources organizes a national government, while some of the UN troops still at this point have stayed for help but with the separating factions even the remaining troops pack their bags and evacuated out of the country under international flotilla[7]. Still there is no stability among the lands of the Lost Somalia and the only part that has somewhat stability is the Republic of Somaliland located in the northwest, the Republic has then introduced an interim government and in 1997 elected a president however still the country’s efforts remain in vain to propagate any international recognition.

1.2 Research Question

The above introduction points out to a very important aspect that the country and the citizens of Somalia are going through. The conflicts among the states and the way they are being handled has led to a situation where not only the country is suffering as it is being torn into one too many directions but the people are in doom as to who to follow and how to live a peaceful life. The description of a multitude of leaders points out the fact that a stable leader is in need of the country and there is need to highlight the different types of leadership and its influence that the country has been subjected to, this sets the tone for not only studying the Somali-an history in depth from its origin but also studying in detail the different aspects of leadership that have been run through the country and how that has impacted the country over the years. The main question that is intended to derive from this study is the leaders and the leadership that the country has been going through ever since it got its independence. To compare the different type of leaderships that have been through the country and the way the leaders have run the country.

1.3: Aims and Objectives:

With the aim to have a constant Comparative analysis under the main theme of “Leadership and its challenges on the political conflicts of Somalia”, the study will also tap into

1. An in depth and in detail comparison of the different accounts of political scenarios that have taken place in Somalia ever since it became an independent state.
2. Taking into consideration of what actually the political conflicts influence has been over the Somali society.
3. Exploring and studying not only the leadership of the leaders but how has that influenced the people of Somalia.
4. Trying to work out what can be further done in order to help the situation of political conflicts through workable solutions that can help calm down the struggle of internal conflicts and that can also help strengthen the sense of nationalism that may have been lost through such tough state of affairs.

1.4: Review of Literature

Abdi Sheik-Abdi (2008) led a study in order to see through the war that had been done in 1977-1978 and its traumatic effects that it caused afterwards. The study included the overview about the dismissal of the Soviets in November of 1977 after their prelude to Ethiopia, the study includes how the Ogadeni guerillas that were under the leadership of the Russians at that time had then barricaded the Soviet Union and then left Somalia demised and dejected, resulting in a political circumstance where the nation was perplexed both socially and economically, further that stirred up the situation was Mohamed Siad Barre’s unique personality and how even though his regime hard headed instilled in the people an ounce of hope for the future.

In a paper by Ali. A Abdi (2010) the history of Somalia is looked into and with that the system of education side by side as well. According to the paper the education in Somalia has suffered drastically due to the leadership and political conflicts in Somalia. When Colonialism hit the country a proper structure had begun in the country starting with formal education systems building although these systems had its limitations as they were initially built and designed in accordance with the view of colonialism in Somalia, however after independence in 1960 the country and its education system then adapted to the then conflicts altering the country and a multitude of schools were built teachers were instigated with training and campaigns were made for further implementation of literacy and schooling in Somalia along with the curriculum including Latin Script as well but after the gradual demise of the Somali state in 1991 the clans that were setup slowly torn down the systems that had been built and disintegrated the system that had seem to be prevailing. The paper not only compared the different outcomes of the leadership that hit the country but called for an urgency to attend to the education sector in Somalia so that children are helped by giving them a proper setup and help with regards to education in Somalia.

Abdi Ismail Samatar (1991) shows through his study of comparative analysis between Botswana and Somalia how the two different states that are on the opposite ends of the spectrum in Africa, one having a fast paced developed economy even after it received its independence in 1966, six years after Somalia was liberated and Somalia being downthrown due to the “clanism” junction that is taking place within the country. The paper sheds light on the compare and contrast of both the states and how the alarming situation in Somalia can be avoided by taking into account those factors that have made other states in Africa successful and thriving, such as political oppression, and ethnic conflicts that come between the tribes in Africa. The paper focuses on how very traditional elements of the African culture have led to the demise of the state and how by taking a look at other aspects that have made other states proper can help with the turmoil taking place in Somalia.

A slew of Somali’s have fled their homeland, the reason being the civil war that triggered famine, brutality and a sense of not being safe in one’s own homeland. With so many Somalis’ fleding the country they have diverted their attention to building up communities that resemble their own, trying to stay connected to their country through activities of Trans-nationalism[8], such activities include Somali people’s input in different sectors such as private, social, civil and political. In this paper by Abdirashid A. Ismail (2011) a focus is made on those people who have had to leave their own country of Somalia because of the hardship they had to face in Somalia but upon leaving they still have not let go in their heart the struggle on their country and because of that struggle the people have invested in activities to help the situation through post war political leadership in the Somali Republic. The question that the paper intends to shed light upon is how not only leadership within Somalia has affected the country but also those people who are involved in the socio-political situation while remaining in Diaspora communities and its effect on the Somali political conflicts.

The study proposed by Laura Hammond (2013) scrutinizes the novel Somali National Government in Mogadishu and the hurdles that it’s going through as a result of the Transitional Federal Charter in the outcome of the Transitional leadership. It also sheds light on the arrival of the new roles that took part in the movement in particular President Hassan Sheikh Mohamed and whether the ringing of positive light that has been called to attention with this emergence will be maintained after such torment has been brought on the country after two decades.

In a paper by Hirsch, J.L. and Collins, R.O. 1995 it looks into the damage that has been going on in Somalia and how Somalia has become a sign of destruction and a call for humanitarian help needed and in the search for help through international feeds a mission that took place by the United States under the name of Operation Restore Hope helped the country in a number of ways. The paper looks into the different humanitarian help that had been received over the years to Somalia but how no conclusion was brought by it and how leaders have learned to stay away from such conflicts when a certain state is in such a situation, however the paper also sheds light on not only the damage done through such international affairs but also the good that has come out of it. Such as when the Operation Restore Hope was taking place it helped overcome the famine and it helped save lives and it also helped build steps for mollification of the country. The paper delved into how hard it was when the US led mission stepped onto the grounds of Somalia and how even in limited time they stayed put and combined different forces with Somalis in order to help them with their situation along with coming face to face with United Nations concepts of the mission.

The study proposed by Patrick Gilkes (1999) stresses the impact of the interference done by outside countries, how after the UN Security Council and its efforts to help the country with its current political conflicts have brought into account the attention of the involvement of outside forces into the personal matters of the Somali-an conflict, and how the international leaders that have taken an interest into rebuilding the demised state of Somalia involve integrating the political units to form a decentralized federal approach to the government. The approach involves more than just a call for a colloquium and a debate over the differences of the different tribes such as was in the case of the meeting held in Sodere in January 1997 followed by Cairo in October of the same year and instead of focusing on the differences that may account in the building up of the regional powers to build upon similarities of the different clans and to focus on a plan made up of five or six political units.

The paper by I.M. Lewis (1960) discusses how the country of Somalia and its political conflicts have led to a hurdle for the people of Somalia in training and trying to establish leadership skills in different sectors such as business, party politics and other private organizations especially when it comes to recruiting Somali officials in civil services. The British Somaliland Protectorate. The paper stresses how the efforts for Somalization may not just be because of the “clanism” and people belonging to different factions but instead due to values such as loyalty and patriotism being less in these people and how there is a need to instill such values in the people along with all that is they are facing.

The paper proposed by Mark Bradbury (2010) looks into the work of the Feinstein International Center (FIC) at the Tufts University and their extension of the earlier work on Humanitarian Agenda: Principles, Power and Perceptions the humanitarian action that has been given way in different countries such Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Darfur and Pakistan. The paper not only discuses the different humanitarian actions but also talks in-depth of how different UN missions along with a number of their NGO’s, Donors and UN agencies are acting upon the crisis. The author depicts history as well as analyzing what kind of themes are prominent among the works of humanitarians in order to get a better sense of what is needed in such countries where hardship has struck.

In a paper by Ali, A.Y.S. and Ibrahim, I.H., (2014) the study of the country’s effects of leadership has been narrowed down to how are the leadership styles within the industries of the country of Somalia such as Mogadishu by comparing the different types of leadership styles that have emerged inside the telecommunication industry.

The paper published by Jeffery Clark (1992) portrays how the United States mission named as Operations Restore Hope in the country of Somalia has lead to detrimental effects in the country. The paper focuses on not only the leadership within the country but the constant interference from outside leaders of countries has exactly led the country into chaos and demise. The paper projects on how the country’s set turmoil and a dependence on external help leads to looters and bandits having their own way in the country. The involvement of the United Nations has sparked up even more flames among the leaders and the troops they had sent were of little help and worsened the matters by 1992.

According to a paper by Farah, A., Muchie, M. and Gundel, J., 2007. Numerous attempts have been made to restore the situation in Somalia by calling more than over 21 different conferences among the different tribal factions to come up with an agreement amongst each other; however they have ended at a loss. The said paper talks about the Somali conflict in light of the conflicts and in light of tangible and practical solutions for the problems. It attempts to look at the socio political conflicts from different angles in order to reach to conclusions that can be taken up by the leaders to instigate an approach that is positive and effective for the people of Somalia by taking into policy makers attention to the customs, culture and circumstances of Somalia in ways that can not only reduce the stress in the country but also decrease the hostilities of the clans towards each other. The different tactics devised throughout the paper focuses not only on the current situation but also a plan to overcome the future turmoil of the country.

In a paper given by Samuel M. Makinda the author depicts how the leadership is at failure in one part inside the country of Somalia but how more than the leadership attention towards the traditional values need to given a chance in order to help with the mayhem in Somalia. The paper digs deep through the roots of Somali-an culture and how even though the people in Somalia belong to the same ethnic group and their histories go deeper into separating them into clans. The paper portrays how not only is the government at fault with its leadership such as that of Siad Barre but the people and their faction have also led to the weakening of the community and at a larger scale the nation as a whole because of the differences among the clans and their leaders the country cannot even proceed with armed forces and external interruptions of humanitarians. Thus leading to the demise of the country which is the outcome of the vast segmentation within the country.

The paper published by Samatar (1985) accents upon the tug of war between the state affairs of Somalia and the societal affairs of Somalia, how not only are the they separately to be looked at and taken account of but also how there needs to be an action of how to make the leaders strong enough to be equipped with the public as it is the public who pulls at the strings of the government and it ultimately leads to the turbulence that is created in the country currently. The paper suggests that both are essential and both are needed as the leaders have in their hand the forces that can configure and structure the country where as the people who are part of clans are the very essence of the country and ways need to be adapted to put together these two forces collectively.

In a study by Clark and Herbst 1997 the great US mission to restore hope in Somalia under the name of Operation Restore Hope is taken up for studying and what is looked at is how even if it did not bring any positive outcome to the

Country but what can be changed for future humanitarian missions such as those taking place in Rwanda, Bosnia etc. the paper focuses on how it is important to learn not only from the mistakes in Somalia but also to tap into the different factors in Somalia that had also led to weakening of the mission such as factors of the Somali ecnomy, the importance of working on the Somali police force, and especially the terms among the government and non government organizations and performance of European armies. The conclusion of the paper focuses on efforts that can be made further whilst keeping in light the experiences had in Somalia.

David (1982) in his paper talks about how the conflicts taking place in Somalia although mostly due to economic, ecological and refugee crisis but there is more to it. The conflicts also have a lot to do with rising tentions among clans and their elders, a force of the people not to accept democracy and having a stubborn stance towards autocracy and more so among the people of Somalia a very little insight into how to instigate leadership. When these factors are worked upon it is then that the country of Somalia can come to a conclusion of peace and the said study works upon these three factors and how they can come together to work as one.

In a paper by Mgaya & Poncian (2015) the authors focus on the number of hardships that are faced by people of Somalia in terms of poverty, dependency, corruption, infrastructure, leadership and governance. The paper discuses how on the one hand scholars are claiming the economy and the global economic system is to blame for the problems in Somalia however when there is an in-depth look into history of Somalia one may disagree and question the approaches of the leaders that have been changed in Somalia throughout the years. The paper argues that instead of taking a look at different countries and their approaches to leadership that may not be even congruent with Somalia’s own people and culture, leaders and scholars need to go back in order to go forward. Such as looking into the times before colonialism and take into account what was useful for them that can be instigated ahead for the benefit of the people.

According to a paper by Peter Leeson (2007) the period of anarchy is discussed in the paper and it advantages that it had given to the country of Somalia, it discusses how not only this may be beneficial for the up rise of the social welfare of the country but how the citizens may also be in much more advantageous place rather than a state of turmoil. The paper discusses in detail the demise of the Somali government and then how it led to a statelessness state and how it benefited the country and may even benefit the country in the long run.

In a study by Ken Menkhaus (2007) different surveys and their conclusions are brought together to see how which different prospects may be of use for the overwhelming situation of the country in an attempt of reconciliation. The study looks into how the local level plans and strategies devised had a much better outcome of reconciliation when conventional Somali mechanisms were instilled.

In another study by Ken Menkhaus (2007) the paper discusses the state politics of Somalia and how such countries where there is very little governance then it accounts for very little security and how the state of Somalia can be set as an example and can be learned how to deal with such a situation by going through the experience of Somalia. The key factors that are taken up on in this paper are how the state has gone from a country with some governance to no governance with so many political outbursts delving in the country and how different figures within the state of Somalia go from being warlord to landlord. The paper concludes with the factors that need to be worked upon so that there may be a better governancy system to look forward to in Somalia and other states like it.

Mohmoud Osman 1981in his paper discusses how the leadership of General Mohamed Siad Barre , his militia and his dictatorship over the country of Somalia after 12 years left the country into ruins not only is the country facing economic treachery but a deep rooted problem in the political aspects as well. The two parts of the paper are designed in a way where the first part sheds light on how a country with a pre colonial history and having some democracy went into a regime of total dictatorship and what were the factors that led to this upheaval. The second part of the paper then discusses how changes can be brought into the state by keeping in the factors that can have such consequences on the country.

In a paper led by Samatar (2008) the emphasis on the Somalia country and the lost pieces of it is put into perspective. Especially when Ethiopia attacked Somalia and how the people of Ethiopia were greatly misled by the United States of America. The paper also accounts for the damage that has been created by American army in Somalia and the deaths that they have caused more than 7000 people having been dead and more than that number resorting to shifting and migrating to other places that are much safer. The paper discusses in detail on what factors the American militia could have done better.

The paper published by Ali Abdi (2005) reflects on how the current affairs of Somalia have not only let down the people in terms of government and taking care of its citizens but after the collapse of the state there is given less focus on education systems. The constant struggle of clans and their power play to succeed at getting ahead has left the nation crippled not only at a communal level but also at an individual level where the nation’s children are being affected by not receiving proper education. The paper concludes on how a better system can be implemented even in current affairs in order to help out the detrimental effects of the disputes in the country.

The dissertation given by Hassan Yussuf Mohammed aims to analyze the different factors that have contributed to the Somali conflict but in particular the input of Kenya and Ethiopia. The paper not only describes in details the accounts that have led to the terrible state of Somalia but also prospects that create serenity for the country.

In a paper by Shamir and Bin Ari (2000) the underdevelopments in countries like Somalia are talked about in detail with respect to the military organizations and the leaderships in it. the paper particularly focuses on how different militias are run by different trainings and how if the military forces key elements are taken a good look at such as its composition, environments and tasks then much can be accomplished. The paper discusses how the more flexible the system is into adapting the diversity of the country the more it is able to better work with the country and the more rigid the framework becomes the more the people and the nation is at harm.

In a paper by Patman (2014) the details of the 9/11 attacks are compared to the early post war period. Connections are tried to be sought out between the Somali syndrome[9] that had risen and is still talked about today because of the humanitarian action taken by the United States but its ill effects worsened the conditions. The paper talks about solutions that may be helpful when looking into such circumstances such as civil conflicts like that of Somalia or like those that have appeared even after that period.

In the following chapter a discussion about the key factors influencing the disastrous conflicts of the country including the different leaders and their leadership styles will be discussed with key points about how different leaders were similar in their ways and how they were different in approaching Somalia and how more may be related to the up rise of conflicts in Somalia and not just leadership is accountable.

One of the main interest of researchers across the countries with respect to Somalia has been the conflicts arising in the political terrain specially disputes over the “lost lands” of Somalia and how people are suffering at the hands of their leaders. One of the researchers Greg Mills summarizes the instances of the Somali-an country by saying that Africa is not subdued due to in ability for its resources such as the world market to reach the spans of other countries or because of a lack of capital however the one thing that does downtrodden not only the political state but the economic and social state is keen leadership adherence by leaders (Mills, 2011; Mills, 2010) similar is stated by Mbah who debates upon the source of conflicts piling up in Africa and traces them back to the sole reason being substandard and inadequate leadership pertaining the country (Mbah, 2013:p.142)

Whereas most of the scholars give blame to the leadership styles accounted by the leaders in Somalia others argue that there is a great more deal of people to look into for this matter, that it is not just at the hands of leaders but also the role of other internal and external factors that have contributed to such mass turmoil.these include and are not limited to the state religion and the social patterns of the country. Authors like Walter Rodney (1973), Kwame Nkrumah (1965), Patrick Bond (2006) and Samir Amin (2014, 2011, 1977) place importance to fall back on the start of where it all happened that is colonial and post colonial era and how that has greatly strained the government now by secluding the people of Somalia into groups. This post colonial setup was then slowly intertwined into the global system and could not keep itself up with the current global systems of the world (Amin, 2014). Whereas other powers of the world tried to savage up the bits and pieces that the county of Somalia had left behind from its mercantile era and local upper class people as well as international tycoons also ravaged the system. (Bond, 2006)

For people like George Ayittey (1999, 1992), Greg Mills (2011) and Robert Calderisi (2007) Africa’s downfall is a better depiction of what is going on within the country between the people rather than outside sources. The within country references are more accountable for the deterioration of the government mainly because the leaders who settled are not looking towards what is best for the people but what is best for the country and have made it a goal to stick on one agenda and that is removal of poverty (Mills, 2010, 2011) with the roaring voices of leaders and the silent reception of the people the country has progressed nowhere. The part of the people is as much to blame as are the leaders. As when there is no one to rise up and shout out what is wrong with the system the system will continue without any change. This pushes the leader further into a self pleasing ego where they have no boundaries and are nowhere near to think of themselves as being wrong and gives them more and more fuel to depredate and pillage the country (Mills,2011) the ego of the leaders are built up because of the silence of the people (Ogbu,2012). The vast majorities of the scholars not only emphasize the impact of foreign powers in the rummaging of the conflicts but place equal emphasis on the people and their voices not being raised. Whereas on the one hand the country’s leaders are wealthy affluent people who do not have to worry about the demise of themselves or their family and take bad decisions, the other hand the people are silent recipients to the damage being done and lives and money being put at stake without telling anyone about what is happening to them (Mbah, 2013). What the comparison of the leaders versus people shows is that not only is there a need to aware the leaders of their poor tactics and skills but to educate the people to speak for their rights and to not settle for anything less when it comes to the welfare of their country. A balanced equilibrium is required to take the state out of its current situation. Along with a balanced style of leadership that incorporates the people as well as the country.


[1] The different factions that have been divided due to the multiple number of ethnicities in Somalia

[2] Theory developed by Karl Marx

[3] Part of Somali Clan (Harti confederation of Darud sub clans)

[4] Belonging to the Peace and Development Party

[5] port city in the northwestern Awdal region of Somaliland

[6] city in the Woqooyi Galbeed region in the Republic of Somaliland

[7] Large number of international agencies

[8] The phenomenon through which economic, cultural and political aspects cross the boundaries of nations

[9] Concept given by Thomas Wiess in which the consistent failures in the country and the result of the political world trying constantly to fix what has gone wrong in the country of Somalia

Excerpt out of 98 pages


Political Conflicts, Leadership Challenges and their Influence on Somalia 1960-2016
Gazi University Ankara  (Social science)
Political and Social science
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
767 KB
political, conflicts, leadership, challenges, influence, somalia
Quote paper
Zeid Mukhtar Adle (Author), 2017, Political Conflicts, Leadership Challenges and their Influence on Somalia 1960-2016, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/376849


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Political Conflicts, Leadership Challenges and their Influence on Somalia 1960-2016

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free