Somali Politics: Clannishness In Somalia

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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…show more content…
After World War Two, there was a rise of Somali nationalism which ultimately led to Somalia’s independence from Italy and Britain in 1960. This movement began with the educated elite who lived in the urban cities. They believed in national unity and the rejection of the system of clans- pan Somalia. In 1960, the two former colonised territories, Somaliland and southern Somalia, came together to create a national assembly that would elect a President. The President would then appoint a Prime Minister who would form a cabinet. This cabinet would be first approved by the National Assembly and answer to them. Aadan Abdillah Usmaan, the former speaker of parliament in southern Somalia, was elected as President and Usmaan then chose Abdirashiid Ali Shermaake as Prime Minister. Shermaake called for a coalition with different Somali political parties. Forming this coalition proved to be difficult because the obstacle of interrogating clans: each clan fought to receive the most political influence for their clan which made politics unstable. Due to the interrogation of the once colonised territories, some of the majority clans became minority clans. For example, the Isaaq clan, who were a majority in the British Somaliland now in comparison to other major clans, was smaller in the new integrated state of Somalia. The Bantu now would also become a much smaller minority in

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