The Battle for Somalia

Following the attacks at the Westgate mall in Kenya it is worth to understand who and what is Al-Shabaab, along with its intentions.

East & South

Historical Background

Somalia is historically made up of a complex system of clans and sub-clans, to whom deeply entrenched loyalties are given, to the extent that people are traditionally identified not from where they come but to which clan they belong to. According to Martin Meredith, in his book The Scramble for Africa (p.466), “Somali politics tended to consist more of shifting allegiances and temporary coalitions of lineages, making the system inherently unstable.” What Meredith says is extremely important if one wants to understand the political developments in Somalia in the last two decades.

Somalia has recently elected its first effective government for twenty years, since Mohammed Siad’s dictatorial regime was overthrown by the United Somali Congress (USC), a Hawiye-clan dominated group – the Hawiye is the dominant clan in Central Somalia, and as a result in Mogadishu region. Right after overthrowing the regime, the USC imploded and disintegrated following…

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