Clannishness In Somali Politics

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Clannishness is a major factor in Somalia’s political system, their culture and everyday life. To understand Somali politics, one must also understand how clanship operates in Somali’s society. After colonisation, it was attempted to be eradicated by Somali nationalists. Additionally, it was one of the key factors in the lead up to the Somali Civil War which broke out in 1991.Clannishness can be defined as a means ‘used to describe members of a group of people or society who are friendly to each other, but not to people outside the group’. However, in Somalia, clanship is hierarchical and has caused conflict and violence. Clanship is the basis for how Somali people use to identify themselves. Clanship in Somalia emerged from Somali people using it as a way to know their origins and from whom they descended from or their genealogy. It has is cultural construct that they have created that is now used in politics to mark their affiliations. In Somali politics, tribe would not be used interchangeably with clanship because tribe is used to describe a whole distinct group of people with different languages and origins. Although there are different dialects in Somalia according to regions, which have caused tensions amongst Somali people, they all do share a common language with the exception of a few minority clans having their own language. Therefore using tribe would be unfitting to use in replacing of clans. The clanship in Somalia operates based on a hierarchal system with the

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