The Humanitarian Disaster Before Us: COVID-19 in Somalia

June 06, 2020

For months, analysts have warned that Somalia is one of many African countries at the highest risk for the spread of the novel coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV2. Now, that forecast is turning quickly into a grim reality. Somali authorities have confirmed over 2,100 cases of COVID-19 — the disease...

American War Is Off the Charts

April 23, 2019

As the 2020 elections approach, watch out: There’s one possible American war still to come in the greater Middle East. Here’s a statement it might be hard to disagree with: American war is off the charts. Still, I’d like to explain, but I’m nervous about doing so. I know perfectly...

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...

Italy’s History in Africa is a Messy Affair

September 16, 2016

In the first of a three-part series, Fasil Amdetsion looks at the evolution of Italy's relationship with its former colonies in the Horn of Africa. Earlier this year, Italy hosted the first ever Italy-Africa Ministerial Conference in Rome. Held at the cavernous travertine-laden Farnesina...

How Piracy Saved Somalia

March 20, 2016

Somali piracy has had unintended positive consequences—from the economy to international cooperation. In 2009, piracy off the coast of Somalia splashed onto the global stage at near epidemic levels. The impact of Somali piracy affected the entire international community as shipping expenses...

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...

Somalia is Tired of Conflict and Destruction

June 05, 2015

A brighter future for Somalia requires a narrative of peace that restores social trust, reinforces government institutions and instills hope. In 2015, Somalia entered its 25th consecutive year of instability, fragmentation and economic decline. The world has witnessed the impact of Somalia’s...

Kenya Remains Unbowed and Unshaken

April 07, 2015

In wake of the Garissa attack, Kenyans mourn the victims and dream of a brighter future. On April 2, four gunmen from al-Shabab stormed into Garissa University College in Kenya, killing 148 students and injuring 79 others. Among the dead was my high school friend, Agnes Mwende Muthama, a...

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...

Al-Shabab: A Revenue Rebirth?

August 15, 2014

Al-Shabab’s economic strategy is dipping into new wealth, making the group ever more dangerous. By late 2008, it was estimated that al-Shabab controlled most of south-central Somalia. Although it took years of putting forces together and placing footholds in the country, the international...

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