Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
Political instability complicates situation

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Country has been with no effective government for nearly 21 years.

Dubai: The country has been without an effective government for nearly 21 years. The internal splits and frictions in the nation continue. Several years of fighting between the warlords coupled with a famine has taken the lives of up to one million people. Hundreds of thousands have fled Somalia and taken refuge in neighbouring nations.

While more aid is needed, the continuous instability in the Horn of Africa nation has further complicated the situation and made it even more difficult to separate one factor from another in the deteriorating situation.

“There is no solution to the political instability in the country,” said Amani Al Taweel, head of the African unit at the Al Ahram Strategic Studies Centre.

“The state has collapsed. The transitional government has no authority on the country. It does not have enough security personnel, and there are internal divisions,” she added.

Such a situation will discourage the international community from coming forward and helping, since the crisis has been ongoing for more than two decades,” she added.

Somalia has been subject to foreign intervention in the last two decades.

Also, there are “several countries that benefit from the chaos in the country,” she added.

In the past, Somalia was a rich in agriculture and fishing. Both constituted nearly 46 per cent of the Gross National Product, and nearly 66 per cent of the state’s revenues.

However, internal fighting and the recurrent drought has created myriad problems, including the acute shortage of food which last year reached to levels of famine.

Also the absence of authority has given pirates an opportunity to flourish and they have become a major threat to ships.

However, Somalia has “great potential” it has “beautiful beaches that could be good for tourists when it [the situation] is stable again,” said Geno Teofilo, media head for the prominent aid organisation of Oxfam in Somalia.


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