- kidnappings and killings of foreigners have become increasingly common
- there are regular pirate hijackings off the coast of somalia and kenya
- there has not been an effective government since the overthrow of siad barre in 1991
- somalia is oft cited by academics as a prime example of a failed state
- the refugee camps in kenya are overflowing with the numbers of somalis fleeing the humanitarian crisis in their country
- recent suicide bombings in mogadishu and hargeisa have forced the un to shut down many of its operations and international staff have been pulled out (including friends of mine who were doing some pretty phenomenal stuff)
the snipit of the article i saw said that somalia was crumbling, but the reality is that the transitional federal government that has been more or less governing somalia and trying to sort out the many and varied problems in the country is now being taken over by islamists, leaving those who have tried to govern powerless.
i am not sure why i am writing about it now, but it is difficult to read those stories after working closely with refugees, the somali community in nairobi, and having just finished the book Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
i would imagine that the logical response to this post or to hearing the stories of humanitarian catastrophe in somalia would be 'what can i do?' or ' what can be done?' i do not claim to be an expert in international humanitarianism or international development (or of failed states or the horn of africa, for that matter), but i think these news stories are so devastating because i really do not think that anything can be done until the rest of the world starts caring and forces somalia to sort out its chaos. the idea of forcing another country to take a new direction against its leaders' will or ability is generally against all of my opinions on international development, but isn't 17 years enough? it needs to be sorted out and it seems that those with any power in somalia are unable to do it. chaos, indeed.