Why the UAE Wants Somalia in the Yemen Conflict

August 17, 2020

In late June, the United Arab Emirates asked Somalia to enter the conflict in Yemen in return for financial incentives and the reopening of a medical facility. Somalia’s instant rejection partially resulted from the strained Mogadishu-Abu Dhabi relationship. Why did the UAE initially make the...

How Federalism Can Work in Somalia

November 29, 2017

To restore unity, Somali federal and state leaders need to cooperate and work together for the interest of the country as a whole. The October 14 bombing that killed over 400 people, mostly civilians, near Mogadishu’s busy Zoppe Square was the single worst attack in East Africa since the...

The World This Week: Donald Trump is the Ultimate Ugly American

October 09, 2016

Trump is a dangerous demagogue who presents an unprecedented threat to American democracy and deserves to be consigned to the dustbin of history. For a man who likes his women young, slim and pretty, Donald Trump, to use a phrase from this author’s officer days, is an “old, fat and ugly...

Delayed Elections Sabotage Somalia’s Democratic Dreams

October 04, 2016

For Somalia to achieve peace and democracy, state-building must be the new federal government’s cornerstone policy. Somalia was supposed to have a new parliament in August, followed shortly thereafter by parliamentarians voting in a new president on September 10. This imperfect system has...

Somalia’s Path to Recovery is Not Just About Elections

February 08, 2016

With elections expected in summer 2016, questions are being raised over Somalia’s electoral record. Somalia’s political recovery will be tested in the lead-up to the 2016 national elections. It is widely agreed that the possibility of “one-man, one-vote” is both unrealistic and...

New Approaches Are Needed for State-Building in Somalia

November 19, 2014

In order to maintain the momentum in Somalia’s transition, policy space needs to be opened up to advance the country’s state-building process. Having reached a milestone with the installation of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) in September 2012, hope and optimism for a Somali future...

The Shabab Distortion: Somalia’s Real Challenges Lie Elsewhere

July 19, 2014

Given that fighting al-Shabab does little to advance Somalia’s state-building, other approaches need pursuing. Al-Shabab’s attack on the presidential palace in Mogadishu on July 8 is the latest in a string of violent assaults that have afflicted Somalia and neighboring countries. The...

Africa in 2012 – Beta Steps Forward (Part 1)

December 31, 2012

It is that time of the year. Africa’s scorecard for 2012 is out. The results are a mixed bag of goodies — optimism, opportunity, optionality, and optics, and badies — oppression, opprobriousness, oppugns, and opposition. First, prologue. In part, the pitch and pith of this...