When you hear the name Somalia you think of a devastated war zone and you won’t be the only one. I am here so not only advance your knowledge about the issues plaguing Somalia but also tell you the rich bounty of resources this country has to offer globally. It is not doubt that Somalia is a country that has seen its fair share of death, destruction and suffering. However even though the suffering of Somalis has been documented throughout the years it is hard to pinpoint the reason for Somali conflict. Scholars have given explanations such as governance and bad leadership for the reason behind the underdevelopment of this country. The independence of the Somali state led to the creation of a state that enforced inequality where control of the state it was viewed as a game where the winner took the prize. Somali clans fought for years to gain control over the country and this infighting let’s do a state that was marked with bad governance and under development. Feudalism, clannism, tribalism and regionalism has prevailed in this country and state benefits have been distributed unequally based on whichever clan was in power. A country so run over with fighting and clannism did not invite much foreign investments which has led to a decline in the health care and education system of the country. With low social capital increased poverty has been on the rise and this has only contributed two conflicts an instability in the country. Somali civilians have been exposed to recurring humanitarian crises which are due to the ongoing armed conflict, the instability of the country and a lack of state protection. Statistics show that 2.6 million internally displaced people are living in Somalia at this time who are vulnerable to the abuse inflicted by military forces.
US Black Hawk:
we all remember the most high-profile intervention of the United states within Africa. News channels broadcasted to the world of dead U.S. soldiers being dragged to the streets of Mogadishu and garnered international outrage. It was still October of 1993 then president George HW Bush decided to send US troops into a war ravaged land . It was one of his final acts after losing the 1992 election to Bill Clinton and one of his most regretted acts. The troops were sent as a humanitarian mission to manage the man made famine and to capture one of the key allies of the powerful Somali warlord general, Mohammed Farah Aideed. This mission led to a disastrous raid which was later known as the battle of Mogadishu which pushed the US out of Somalia and made it a safe haven for extremist groups. The battle of Mogadishu was never supposed to happen and is said to be the deadliest fire fight the US forces had faced since Vietnam. This battle continues to impact the use foreign policy even today due to the rise of extremist groups all over the world and the nations’ unfavorable reaction when they are told to send American troops into harm’s way.
Aideed’s militia did not make it an easy fight for the US forces and shot down two US Black hawk helicopters. The battle that followed laid waste to hundreds of Somali lives and killed 18 American and two UN soldiers. As I am sure some of you might be able to remember that’s within six months of this dreaded mission The US completely withdrew its forces from Somalia and made the US wary of interfering in African crises. The intensified pressure which forced US troops to withdraw from Somalia led to a country there the law had no boundaries and more extremist groups came together and rose to power.
Overview Of Natural Resources Of Somalia
Somalia holds a large array untapped reserves of natural resources such as iron ore, uranium, copper, tin, bauxite, gypsum, salt, and natural gas. since it’s due graphical position Yemen and Saudi Arabia it holds the potential to have untapped reserves of oil, but these reserves remain unexploited due to the poor infrastructure and decades of civil war that has plagued Somalia. Since the end of the civil war the country is slowly rebuilding with lots of foreign companies showing interest in investing in its mining industry. This was not possible before since the country did not have a substantial government in place but if Somalia plans on relying on its minerals for revenue it has who work on bettering its infrastructure and bringing forth stability in the country.
Somalia’s landscape has been majorly defined due to the militia groups that has contributed to its conflict. These groups were created as a response to the insecurity, vulnerability and contestation that ran rampant in Somalia. Somalia’s conflict can be traced back to militia groups, especially considering the civil war going on for the past three decades. These groups have been formed by communities due to them being vulnerable and in danger. The government of Somalia along with external interveners, powerbrokers, and sub-federal authorities have all acquired the help of militias for their own personal interests. The militias that are aligned with the state help overcoming the weakness of the official armed forces of Somalia. This leads to more motivation and helps in creating better relationships between the local communities, inevitably, leading to suppression of crime and intraclan violence. This said, we cannot ignore that the State-aligned armed groups have also increased the insecurity of the country and are seen abusing their powers. Also, they can easily fall prey to manipulations. Due to this, a rise is seen in the entrenchment of strong militant groups, such Al-Qaida which is a strong supporter of the jihadist group known as Harakat al Shabaab al Mujahideen, or simple al-Shabaab, in Somalia. There is a dire need to ensure that the double-edged sword of militias is handled correctly. The short-term rewards should not blind us to the inevitable destabilizing impact.
The international community played a major role in dismantling and helping combat the effects of the Al- Shabaab regime. After decades of civil war, the international community partnered up with the Somalia national government help build up Somalia’s armed and law enforcement forces classes and implementing plans to give power back to the country states. However, if you are someone who keeps up with the news, you might have noticed that even eight years these efforts have not yielded any results. The Al Shabaab group has only sunk its claws deeper into the political aspects of the country since 2018 which has made the international community question whether State Building model is the right approach.
The Somali National government has still not made any progress to strengthen their fighting capacities despite the 1 billion USD aid provided to them by The international community and the international training. this Somali national government keeps on relying on international forces to fight against the militia groups and to wrestle territory out of their control. The efforts made to strengthen the SNA and other majority forces have not proven to be successful I’m not trained any competent Somali national soldiers.
All of this has just made countries like United States, Kenya, Ethiopia and The United Arab Emirates – countries which had military forces in Somalia you just get frustrated with the State Building project and pull their funding.
The militia in Somalia have the tendency to monopolize local economies and strengthen local conflicts while establishing an authoritarian rule. The reality remains that even if the Al-Shabaab group was defeated, the country does not have the political power or military power to avoid open fighting as Somalia plunges itself into civil war with militia groups fighting for power.
Counter Piracy affects in Somalia:
Somalia is commonly known as the home country of pirates who are responsible for affecting the key trade waters. But piracy is not what we have seen on TV with Captain Hook and his crew of pirates, nowadays sea piracy consists of pirates moving around in small fast boats who board larger slower- moving ships to steal cargo. This cargo usually consists of car parts, crew valuables and communication equipment or to seize the ship or crew for ransom. Piracy has been under reported for about 50% to 60% even though the Somali piracy issue garnered a lot of international attention. There is a region on the coast of Nigeria where there is no statehood on land this is possible due to the heavy environmental population which affects the land and makes it impossible to live as fishermen and cattle herders and this environmental pollution is caused due to the oil production. In addition to this environmental pollution there is smuggling, ethnic and religious conflicts as well as terrorism and youth unemployment which makes it difficult to establish any kind of stability in the region leading to an increase in piracy.
The political violence and instability caused you to be governance and widespread economic hardship with an easy access to weapons has made piracy in Somalia easy. even though global piracy was not at its peak during 2009 to 2012 the global pandemic which has gripped the entire world COVID19 has increase the numbers for global piracy and the statistics of 2012 further hint at a rise in piracy. If economic conditions continue to worsen around the globe ships will start looking like an easier target and more desperate people will turn to piracy to survive.
Natural Beaches of Somalia:
we have all dreamt of vacationing in the Caribbean with its beautiful Sandy beaches and dazzling sun, but let’s not forget that Somalia is home to one of the world’s most beautiful and unspoiled beaches which is a great tourist destination. However the Somalian government is not capitalizing on its natural resources and this beautiful beaches. With 3300 kilometers along the Indian Ocean somalia’s coast consists of gorgeous beaches with white sand and native marine life. There have to be policies implemented for natural resource management in Somalia so they can have sustainable use of their natural resource base. The people of Somalia need to realize that their government needs to review the existing policies and laws a fisheries, livestock, agriculture and biodiversity conservation. New policies in laws should be developed where they do not exist and existing ones should be updated so that there is a wise management of natural resources and the fragile ecosystems are protected full shot all of this can help Somalia ramp up it’s a economy based on its natural resources these natural resources don’t just include the beaches which are great tourist attraction rather they include oil, ore, gypsum and much else which can become a major point of revenue for Somalia if they just focus on developing policies that address the gap that is present in the management an export of these resources.
now that Somalia has reached the decision point for heavily indebted poor countries hi peace initiative, on March 25th, 2020 this has allowed new paths to be open for the countries development since it’s access to regular concessional financing has been restored and the process towards debt relief has been launched. This has come as excellent news for Somalia since it has several opportunities that it can now explore with rapid urbanization call mark planned investments in sectors such as energy and education can help support the economic growth and create more jobs. While COVID-19 has put a wrench in the projected growth rate of 3. 2% in 2020 it is expected that Somalia will slowly bounce back and continue its development an economic growth. However, it is worrying that the Locust infestation and floods along with the crisis of COVID-19 did cause the economy to contract by 1.5%. Even though the per capita private consumption is projected to further stagnate in 2022 wait international poverty rate still at 71% all hope has not been lost for Somalia if they establish new policies to raise productivity and create jobs as well as expand into pro-poor programs.
Written By: Ekow Shalders
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