Somalia

After the regime collapse early in 1991, Somalia descended into turmoil, factional fighting, and anarchy. In May 1991, northern clans declared an independent Republic of Somaliland. Although not recognized by any government, this entity has maintained a stable existence and continues efforts to establish a constitutional democracy. In 2000, the Somalia National Peace Conference (SNPC) held in Djibouti resulted in the formation of an interim government, known as the Transitional National Government (TNG). When the TNG failed to establish adequate security or governing institutions, the Government of Kenya, under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), led a subsequent peace process that concluded in October 2004 with the election of Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed as President of a second interim government, known as the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of the Somali Republic. President Yusuf resigned late in 2008 while United Nations-sponsored talks between the TFG and the opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) were underway in Djibouti. The parliament elected Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the former ICU and ARS chairman as president in January 2009. The creation of the TFG was based on the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC), which outlined a five-year mandate leading to the establishment of a new Somali constitution and a transition to a representative government following national elections. The transition process ended in September 2012 when clan elders appointed 275 members to a new parliament replacing the TFP and the subsequent election, by parliament, of a new president.

New Peacekeeping Strategies Following Violent Regime Change

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 09:00
Fri, 05/30/2014 - 17:00

With a focus on current peacekeeping missions by the United Nations and regional organizations, participants will examine approaches for the international community to assist emerging governments in controlling their national borders, policing their cities and protecting their citizens.

In the aftermath of Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has demonstrated renewed interest in international peacekeeping. Presidential Policy Directive 23 made it a goal of U.S. policy to strengthen collective security arrangements by building the capacity of partner nations to conduct multilateral peacekeeping missions. 

Type of Event or Course: 

Progress or Peril in Somalia?

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 10:00
Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:30
Subtitle: 
A Conversation with U.N. Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Kay

The Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, will discuss the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia’s progress in executing key governance and security goals. This event has been rescheduled from the original event date of March 12, 2014.

Experts: 

Despite the optimism that surrounded President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s inauguration in 2012, Somalia has struggled to achieve key governance and security goals. A recent cabinet reshuffle and intensified al-Shabab militant activity in Mogadishu have raised more concerns about Somalia’s trajectory. With elections planned for 2016, rapid progress is required to bolster confidence in Somalia’s government and leadership.

Type of Event or Course: 
Countries: 

Somalia’s Federal Agenda May Get Boost with New Regional President

On Jan. 8, Puntland’s newly sworn-in parliament of 66 members rallied in the northeastern region’s capital of Garowe for presidential elections. The semi-autonomous polity had reverted to having its president elected by clan-appointed legislators after local elections were canceled last July due to risks of violence and the democratic process then stalled. With eight of the 11 candidates eliminated in the first round of voting, Acting President Abdurahman Mohamed Farole won the second round comfortably.

Sharon Morris

Sharon
Morris
Senior Advisor to the Acting President

Please submit all media inquiries to interviews@usip.org or call 202.429.3869.

For all other inquiries, please call 202.457.1700.

Dr. Sharon L. Morris is senior advisor to the acting president at USIP. Previously she was a 2013-2014 Jennings Randolph senior fellow. Her research focuses on civilian assistance in fragile states and explores models that integrate peacebuilding and development. She also focuses on developing more rigorous approaches to measuring the impact of peacebuilding interventions.  Her work draws on more than 15 years of experience designing and implementing conflict management and stabilization programs in places such as Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Nigeria, and Somalia.

Role: 

Al-Shabab’s Kenya Attack – Avoiding the Pitfalls of a Military Response

National and international leaders, including the U.N. secretary general and his special representative in Somalia, have called for a surge of African troops to stem the threat of terrorism posed from within Somalia, where the militant al-Shabab is based. But hastily increasing military and counterterrorism efforts risks generating a political backlash, not least by feeding into al-Shabab’s propaganda.

Obama’s Africa Trip Seizes on Progress to Trumpet Economic Potential

President Barack Obama’s first extended trip to Africa will seize on democratic and economic progress in the three countries on his itinerary – Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania – to inspire further advances across the continent and encourage more American companies to plunge in.

Viola Gienger

“Growth rates in Africa are accelerating, and have continued to accelerate despite the financial doldrums that the global community has seen since 2008,” said former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson, who left the State Department in March after almost four years in office and has joined the U.S. Institute of Peace as special adviser to Institute President Jim Marshall. Carson commented on the president’s coming trip for reporters in a briefing at USIP on June 24.

Tue, 06/25/2013 - 10:57
Type of Article: 

Helping Somalia Move Forward

Congressman Keith Ellison this month met with USIP President Jim Marshall, USIP Vice Chairman Ambassador George Moose, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson, now a senior advisor at USIP, David Smock, senior vice president of USIP’s Centers of Innovation, and Jon Temin, director of USIP’s Horn of Africa program, to discuss the current situation in Somalia.

USIP Staff

When most Americans think of Somalia, the first images usually are of the chaotic and nightmarish 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, commonly referred to as Black Hawk Down, in which Somali militia fighters shot down two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.  Eighteen Americans were killed in the ensuing ground battle.

Nearly two decades later, Congressman Keith Ellison finds greater potential for U.S. relations with this country of nearly 11 million people.

Thu, 06/20/2013 - 11:28
Type of Article: 
Countries: 

USIP’s Growing Training of African Peacekeepers Set to Continue

The U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) has been expanding its training of African peacekeepers in 2012 above that in past years, and USIP’s unique role in this State Department-led program will be continuing at this new, faster pace.

The U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) has been expanding its training of African peacekeepers in 2012 above that in past years, and USIP’s unique role in this State Department-led program will be continuing at this new, faster pace.

Tue, 10/16/2012 - 10:21
Type of Article: 

Articles & Analysis

January 17, 2014

The third presidential election in Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland has brought about a change in leadership that might help enhance stability in the Horn of Africa. While it is too early to predict how the shift will ultimately play out in the region, the election of Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas may prove a crucial catalyst for Somalia’s stalled process toward federalism.

Our Work in the Field

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Classroom Courses

Instructor:
Robert M. Perito
May 28, 2014

With a focus on current peacekeeping missions by the United Nations and regional organizations, participants will examine approaches for the international community to assist emerging governments in controlling their national borders, policing their cities and protecting their citizens.

In the aftermath of Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has demonstrated renewed interest in international peacekeeping. Presidential Policy Directive 23 made it a goal of U.S.

Publications

President Barack Obama’s first extended trip to Africa will seize on democratic and economic progress in the three countries on his itinerary – Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania – to inspire further advances across the continent and encourage more American companies to plunge in.
Congressman Keith Ellison this month met with USIP President Jim Marshall, USIP Vice Chairman Ambassador George Moose, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson, now a senior advisor at USIP, David Smock, senior vice president of USIP’s Centers of Innovation, and Jon Temin, director of USIP’s Horn of Africa program, to discuss the current situation in Somalia.