Country: Somalia

The six Ws of security policy-making

On 29 October 2008, a vehicle loaded with explosives forced its way into the UN compound in Hargeisa, the capital of the breakaway republic of Somaliland. The detonation killed two employees of the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Across town, further bombs targeted the presidential palace and Ethiopia’s diplomatic representation. Another two bombs exploded in the… Read more »

Local perceptions of US ‘hearts and minds’ activities in Kenya

Local perceptions of US ‘hearts and minds’ activities in Kenya In the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, US military strategy has increasingly focused on the provision of humanitarian and development assistance in order to ‘win the hearts and minds’ of local communities.[1] This strategy, however, is not limited to active conflicts. The US military is… Read more »

International peacekeeping missions and civilian protection mandates: Oxfam’s experiences

Since 1999, UN peacekeeping missions have been explicitly mandated to protect civilians under threat. On the ground, however, there remains a significant degree of confusion amongst soldiers and civilians working within peacekeeping missions about what exactly this civilian protection mandate entails. This article provides a brief summary of Oxfam’s experiences of engaging with peacekeeping missions… Read more »

Somalia’s growing urban food security crisis

The current humanitarian disaster in Somalia is one of the worst in the world today, with 3.2 million people, or 42% of the entire population, in need of emergency livelihood and life-saving assistance. Somalia has suffered recurring humanitarian emergencies over the last 18 years; rates of acute malnutrition are above emergency levels, and chronic food… Read more »

Conflict, economic crisis and drought: a humanitarian emergency out of control

The humanitarian disaster unfolding in Somalia is one of the worst in world. The scale and magnitude of the crisis, and the speed at which it is deteriorating, is alarming and profound. Within the first six months of this year, the number of people requiring emergency livelihood and humanitarian support increased by 40%, from 1.8… Read more »

Community policing in Mogadishu: a case study of Bakhara Market

Somalia has experienced a devastating conflict over the last two decades. What originally appeared to be a national civil conflict has now taken on regional and international dimensions. The fighting – directly and indirectly – has left hundreds of thousands of Somalis dead, created millions of refugees, destroyed the environment and finally reduced to ashes… Read more »

Somalia: an accountability-free zone?

After over a decade of relative obscurity, Somalia is, once again, on the radar screen of the international community, but for all the wrong reasons. After the departure of UNOSOM in 1995 and a retreat into the shadows, Somalia is now being described with such superlatives as ‘the world’s worst humanitarian crisis’, ‘the most dangerous… Read more »

The Global War on Terror trumps all? A timeline of the escalating crisis in Somalia from January 2007 to July 2008

Somalia is suffering its worst civil war since the collapse of the state, with the breakdown of clan protection mechanisms complicating all aspects, including the protection of displaced people. The crisis is affecting previously peaceful areas, including Somaliland and Puntland, as well as the wider region. The lack of coherence in Western donor governments’ agendas,… Read more »