For the past four years, 15 states took turns to hold the top spots on the index of the world’s most failed states. Somalia has topped the index all four years.
Somalia, with its lawlessness, internal refugee flows, Islamist militias and pirates, tops enough once the index with 114.9 of 120 possible points.
Violence and lawlessness has characterized Somalia since President Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991. The country is currently without a functioning government, police force or a national judiciary. Population is dependent on clan systems, and more or less official Islamic legal systems for protection. All transitional government formed since 2000 has been weak and have only controlled a small part of the country. Puntland region in recent years has had major challenges related to piracy and Somali pirates have become a major threat to international shipping in the area. Most of southern and central Somalia is controlled by Islamist groups and is characterized by conflicts. In 2010, as much as one of six Somalis is one the run. The drought that hit Somalia in 2010 – 2011, in combination with conflicts led to starvation in many parts of the country.
Somalia’s economy is largely influenced by the political situation in the country and to the lack of a functioning infrastructure. Agriculture in the form of livestock provides employment for the majority of the population. Export earnings also comes primarily from livestock production. Lately has the revenues from livestock production declined because many Gulf states have banned imports of Somali livestock. The reason is that they fear that the livestock are infected with Rift Valley fever, which can be transmitted from animals to humans. The Somali economy is highly dependent on transfers from Somalis living abroad. Annual transfers Somalis emigrated circa $ 12 billion to relatives in their home country. Despite the lack of a central authority, the service sector has grown, and there are private initiatives in communications and infrastructure. Nevertheless, a substantial improvement of the economic situation and access to development assistance currently difficult because of the internal conflict in the country.
Somalia has taken an important step toward political stability and peace in the election of Sheikh Hassan Mohamud to the country’s new president. For the first time in over two decades, a Somali presidential election took place inside Somalia. The Somali leaders have now completed the difficult transition period, the country has been through in a way that demands respect. I hope this means the beginning of a new era for Somalia, and appeals to all parties in Somalia to cooperate across former divides.
Already in January 2013 did President Mohamud discussed bilateral cooperation with Hillary Clinton. With the new constitution and the new parliament is established institutions that can provide the basis for creating a society with more democracy, freedom and justice.
Ole Andreas Lågøen #1236