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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Look At Somalia

This not - so - nice little country keeps popping up in recent news, and not in a good way. It seems like politicians have forgotten the back story of this country, and it's current situation.

( British Somaliland ) is now characterized by being the country that has not had a functional government, for a very long time, and in a constant state of civil war.

As of the writing of this, Somalia is broken into 3 separate main entities, with several smaller groups fighting for control.

The most stable of these areas is the micro nation of "Republic of Somaliland", which is ruled by the northern tribes. Than there is the second micro nation of "Puntland", which could be considered the middle part. The borders keep changing.

Than there is every were else, which has no "central" rule, and comprise of individual tribal / warlord rule.

Were is the official government, you ask ? Whats left of it controls a small section of Mogadishu, the "capital" city.

Somalia first fell apart in May 19991, when the oppressive socialist government, under the dictator Mohamed SIAD Barre, imploded . In 1993 the NATO tried to restored order, and bring about humanitarian efforts, but pulled out 2 years later, due to heavy troop loss, constant kidnappings - ransoming, and the humanitarian aid being hijacked and sold for weapons.

In 2000 there was a peace conference held in Djibouti, which established a temporary government. This failed to do anything, and soon collapsed.

In 2001 Kenya, under "Intergovernmental Authority on Development" led their own peacekeeping efforts. They managed to establish an interim government, and withdrew by 2004. The president ( Abdullahi YUSUF Ahmed ) resigned in 2008, effectively dissolving the government, again.

Ethiopian forces, which came to aid the fragile government in 2006, also left in 2008.

From there, there has been nothing but one political mess, after another. In the last 3 years, there have been 1 president, and 3 "ministers of state" .

The bad part is, there has never been any peace. Civil war is still felt all over the country to this day.

The current government, if you can call them that, has no authority. There literally are no law enforcement agencies, outside of whatever NATO / African Union troops happen to be there.

Current population is unknown, last count was done in 1975 ( 9.9 million people ), with the median age ( 2010 ) being 17.8 years old. ( median age of the USA is 36.9 ).

It is estimated that over 30% of the economy is from stolen goods, 45% from live stock, and the rest from the sale of weapons. ( there is no official economy, every thing is sold "flee market" style ).

GDP ( unofficially ) is pegged at $600 USD per person, per year, ( based on the 1975 population) .

Actual estimates of personal incomes are imposable to calculate.

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