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Policy Brief on the New Era of Peace: Africa - Essay Example

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That was a time when many African countries were faced with coups and after coups. Probably because world opinion was against interference in internal matters of a sovereign…
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Policy Brief on the New Era of Peace: Africa
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Download file to see previous pages The war was seen as more of a conflict between a dictatorship regime and citizens who were clamoring for political space. That is the reason the Somali War, which began in 1991, was largely ignored.
One of the events that led to the situation was the fact that the then president of Somalia, Siad Barre, ruled other clans of the country with a heavy hand. Somalia has five clans namely the Darod, the Hawiye, the Dir, the Rahanweyn and the Isaaq. When Siad Barre was at the helm of political power in 1977, he had attacked the Ogaden region of Ethiopia using Soviet military equipment (Center for American Progress 1). However, the Soviet favored the Ethiopian government and supported the latter. Barre took the advantage of the Cold War between the US and the then Soviet Union by turning to the US for assistance. The United States did assist Barre. From then on, the Siad Barre government used US military aid to entrench his rule by strengthening his clansmen and ignoring other clans. In fact, at some instances he even poisoned wells of other clans.
Since Somalia was a largely pastoral community, the sudden death of animals, which were the main economic livelihood of the people served to stir feelings of resentment against the government (Warsame 1). Barre’s atrocities had continued particularly against the Isaaqs in the north. When the tensions reached a boiling point, all hell broke loose in Somalia, and nothing has been the same again. The discontented clans rose in arms against the Siad Barre government and finally in 1991, he was overthrown. The rebels overran Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital. Given that the factions that overthrew Siad Barre had no power-sharing plan, distrust and conflict soon arose amongst them. Efforts to reconcile the warlords bore no fruits and Somalia descended into territorial regimes headed by warlords and protected by community militias.
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