‘What Did You Do in the War, Mother?’

[T]he dictatorship of Siad Barre had a much vaunted policy of sexual equality and many Somali women supported the regime and took part in its abuses. From the local espionage networks to the Women’s Auxiliary Unit in the army they wielded power over perceived enemies of the state. These individuals have been completely overlooked, as are most female perpetrators of violence…

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Poem: Home?

But now that woman has grown old and feeble,
Not being able to see her country turn back to gold.
Her mind and heart at rest.
She smiles and says:
‘Yes finally I am in my home, Somaliland’.

The investment climate is not yet right for foreign investors to gamble on Somalia

Investing in a conflict zone like Somalia can be suicidal for global businesses even if the rate of return for their faith is higher. There is the need to worry about Corporate Social Responsibility, staff security, eruption of spontaneous violence, poor infrastructure and no legal recourse if things go wrong. Moreover, in the absence of widely available opportunities and political voice, together with corrupted leaders that embezzled seven out of every ten dollars they received according to a UN report published in July and strong presence of Al-Shabaab, people have come to rely on their tribes for security, protection and welfare. As a result, it would be very hard for both local and foreign investors to just set up a business in a certain region, bring their chosen staff and get on with their business without employing local tribes men in key posts even if they lack the qualifications and experience. Where they do decide to employ locals, investors may have to make enormous investment in the education and training which can deter even those with the deepest pockets.

Diaspora political parties: Daydreaming in distant lands

Somalia: A new phenomenon constructed in the security of the Western world and by those who have very little real involvement with Somalia and its politics. It is built on arrogance, fantasy and colonial like ambition of civilising the Somali people through sudden democracy…From Ha Noolato (where are they now?), Tayo and Hiil Qaran to the others I have not heard of but probably exist, there is this believe among their Diaspora leaders that they will be the ones to return peace, stability and security to Somalia. What is consistent about all of these organisations is that they are led from the comfort of the Western world and they are spearheaded by ambitious but out of touch individuals.

What can African leaders learn from Brazil?

According to the Centre of Economic and Business Research, Brazil made a historical leap in this year’s annual global economic league tables because of its vast reserves of natural resources and its growing cash rich middle class who are spending as Europeans and Americans tighten their belts as a result of the global financial crisis. There is much for African leaders to learn from a country that was once just like theirs in every imaginable way.

Finding their feet slowly: A look at the struggles and successes of the new and growing Somali community in the Republic of Ireland.

Most of the Somali people in Ireland lived in the capital Dublin in privately rented accommodation in close proximity to each other and a few resided in the Mosney refugee centre which is one of the largest privately run refugee camps in Europe. Many of them were still awaiting the decision of their immigration claim which they collectively thought was taking “forever” and hampering their ability to support themselves. Even those that have been successful in their immigration applications were only given leave that can be extended yearly and does not give them the full refugee status which would allow them under the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention to bring their families to join them.

What does the European Court of Human Rights Judgement mean for the Somali people?

The ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that allowed two prolific serious Somali criminals to remain in the UK for fear of the breach of their Article 3 rights if sent back to war torn Mogadishu was predictable. This overturned the British Asylum and Immigration Tribunals decision that although a return to Mogadishu would and could expose deportees to torture, inhuman and degrading treatment as well as persecution, those with connections to the powerful people in Mogadishu might be able to live there safely. Despite the tough on foreign criminal’s stance the British government has adopted, the reality is that their policies are always subject to a compatibility test with European Union law of which the European Convention on Human Rights 1998 is one of. It is so important that if any member States policies do not comply they can be expelled from the Union after a period of financial penalization.

Chaos feared as Somaliland cancels elections

Somaliland is facing the ugly prospect of election -related violence akin to that which occurred in Kenya after the 2007 general election.

A group of researchers from Oxford University who recently carried out a comparative analysis between Somaliland and Kenya, also warn that Somaliland could explode into violence should the standoff between the government and the opposition continue.

Somaliland Faces a Tipping Point

Amid devastated Somalia, a country mired for two decades in unforgiving conflict, Somaliland glows as an ember of hope. A moderate peace has held for 10 years in the autonomous region, reflecting a decade of efforts to expand governance, security and social institutions. Yet, despite it being a minor success in a sea of failure, regional and international organizations will not grant Somaliland status as an independent state, or give it a seat at the international roundtable.

Southern neighbour puts Somaliland on Horn of a dilemma

AFTER almost two decades as a failed state torn by civil war, perhaps the world should begin to admit that Somalia – as currently constructed – is beyond repair.

Some of the country, however, can meet at least a basic standard of governance. The northernmost region, Somaliland, situated at the opening to the Red Sea and home to roughly 3.5 million of Somalia’s ten million people, is more or less autonomous and stable.