Somalia: The Dawn of a New Era

Published on 21st August 2012

The swearing in of about 250 MPs signals the dawn of a new era in Somalia, as the country moves closer to a new government. The Horn of Africa nation has lacked a stable central government since the 1991 overthrow of Siad Barre in 1991, which unleashed a civil war and two decades of chaos.

The path to the country’s socio-economic and political development will be by no means rosy.  Many of the presidential candidates for example – already serve in a government that has been soiled by corruption allegations. If they hold onto the past interests of warlodism and self-interest, the country may be drawn into a vicious cycle. The poorly-organized local administration and the fact that Al-Shabab fighters have been successful in melting in with local populations after their ignominious defeats poses a security threat. How to balance national interests with the external interests of partners who have helped midwife the rebirth of the Somali nation will also prove a tight rope to walk.

Somalia should however tap into the existing regional and international goodwill as well as lessons learnt from past partnerships to work hand in hand with men and women of integrity and vision for Somalia’s prosperity. The momentum of this important transformation should not be lost at this moment in the history of Somalia when millions of Somalis, both at home and in the Diaspora, anxiously anticipate for the reestablishment of a functioning recognized government, which would occupy its rightful place in the family of nations. May Somalia regain its position as a giant in the region.

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