The Collapse Of The Somali State

2837 words - 12 pages

Somalia is considered to be one of the most unstable regions in the world. It is one of the most prominent and prime examples of a failed state with its long history of violence, military coups, and extrajudicial killings; as a result there has been no legitimate control over the country for decades (Silva, M. 2010, p.557). The reasons for the instability are rooted in the colonization of African territories. Colonization according to Ocheni and Nwankwo (2012) is the “direct and overall domination of one country by another” (p.46). Through conquering their political, economic, cultural, social systems and through enslavement, they were able to control the flow of wealth into Europe (Ocheni ...view middle of the document...

Moreover, the lack of international presence, and lawlessness have made the country vulnerable to piracy and other forms of terrorism, leading to the even further destabilization of the state.

The colonization and the decolonization of Somalia had severe effects on the political structure and economy of the region. In terms of politics, the pre-colonial Somali political society was compromised of groups who were made up of members based on kinship, in which political authority was divided. Decisions concerning major issues were made through the exchange of different views and ideas. The aim of this type of political system was to achieve “common good for the group.” The Somali society engaged in this system of governance using the clan system in which the elders had a leading role. (Degu, W.A. 2002, p. 131). With the colonization on the Somali region by the Italians, the political system changed drastically, as colonial political structures were implemented. Colonial political systems were undemocratic; foreign bureaucratic administrators made decisions concerning Somalia with no input from society or regard for their best interests. Colonial governments engaged in a process of “divide and rule,” in which they implemented policies with the intention of weakening groups within Somalia (Hussain, J. 2011). Through conquest, European powers were able to control and maintain their order through a number of different strategies. European powers began to interfere with the sovereignty of African states and intrude in their internal affairs. Through undermining the power and sovereignty of African territories, European powers enforced their own rules and structures through coercion (Ocheni and Nwankwo. 2012, p.49). Although society did not agree with the political structure implemented, it gave the country structure as decisions were made appropriately. With the decolonization of the region, this political structure was taken away, and because there was no imposed political structure, the country was left with no legitimate source of power and thus decisions were made which corrupted the country. (Ocheni and Nwankwo. 2012, p.49).
In terms of economy, pre-colonial Somali citizens used a bartering system. Following colonization, citizens encountered circulation of real currency and the growth of a job sector; they then relied and needed money for survival. With political dominance that colonists had gained, they were able to introduce new structures such as the colonial economy (Ocheni and Nwankwo. 2012, p.49). Through the implementation of the colonial money standard, colonialists were better able to regulate money flow. The implementation of this monetary standard made it extremely difficult for Africans to obtain money and thus citizens were forced to work for the colonialists as the only means of earning a living (Ocheni and Nwankwo. 2012, p.50). Introducing a currency helped create a job market as well as a flow...

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