Feb. 6th, 2012

  • 10:52 PM
la_vie_noire: Anthy painting a portrait (Anthy painting)
[personal profile] eccentricyoruba always shares awesome information, and this is no exception:

Getting Somalia Wrong: a history of international misreading – By Abdi Aynte.

In her book, Harper goes into great lengths to contextualize the loaded term “failed state,” which is casually applied to Somalia in the news media and popular culture. The absence of central authority since 1991, she writes, is not an appropriate yardstick to measure Somalia. To this incredibly clannish society, Harper argues that the notions of ‘state’ and ‘failure’ are western misfits. “It would therefore be misleading to describe Somalia as ever having a stable, fully-functioning nation state, democratic or otherwise,” she writes.

That assertion is contentious. The academic Ali Mizrui, who is widely cited in Harper’s book, says that 1960s Somalia was the closest thing that Africa had to modern day stable and democratic state.

Unlike your average journalist, whose description of Somalia is the fait accompli gloom and doom, Harper goes out of her way to report on the vibrant civil society and business community in the country. She documents successful entrepreneurs who have helped Somalia become one of the most technologically advanced countries on the continent.

Politically, Harper also spends a great deal of her book decoupling Mogadishu, the capital city – and consistently the most chaotic corner since 1991 – from the rest of the country. She points out that clan-based polities in the northwest (Somaliland) and northeast (Puntland), among others, are self-governing with a remarkable degree of success in terms of local governance.

Somaliland, the former British protectorate, features significantly in Harpers book. She shows how this island of calm in an ocean of chaos has managed to strike a balance between traditional leadership (Guurti) and modern state systems. “Somaliland held elections that are far better than many African countries,” she correctly observes. Harper criticises the international community for ignoring these local stability initiatives by overemphasizing the importance of that most evasive of Somali institution – ‘central government. To this end, Harper suggests some type of “federalism” for Somalia, allowing local communities to exert greater control over local governance.

F. U.

  • Jan. 25th, 2012 at 5:43 PM
la_vie_noire: (Clare-killing)
Am I the only one who wants to spit on people's faces over this shit?

Yes, because the world is all about USA and their two right-winged political parties. What they do in Somalia? Just business that are useful to make their president look good and to rescue white first worlders. As my classmate uses to say, damn if they don't want to make everything look like one of their action tv-shows/movies where their Navy is heroic saving the world from brown non-westerners and it doesn't exist a biggest context for this shit (Somali pirates and sovereignty).

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan...

Also. We know kidnapping, stealing is wrong yadda yadda, but some people are way to naive, and believe everyone lives in a idealized middle-classed first world. Which doesn't happen. And no one gives a REAL shit about other people's tragedies. Way complex problems that have to do with poverty, lack of access, lack of resources in their own countries. Thank to... well, some shit against global south and its people.


la_vie_noire: (Default)
[personal profile] la_vie_noire

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