Foreign Policy Blogs

Horn of Africa

Somalia and the Houdinis of Corruption

Somalia and the Houdinis of Corruption

In the moral version of human history – expressed in the Quran, Bible, and Torah – corruption is considered the worst reckless impulse that caused men to fall from grace. It was the betrayal of trust and loyalty for purely selfish gains. From that perspective, the root cause of corruption is individual moral shutdown, derailment […]

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Transformation Euphoria in the Horn of Africa

Transformation Euphoria in the Horn of Africa

The political transformation in the Horn of Africa is arguably the most counterintuitive development in the 21st century so far. Ethiopia has steered away from implosion and, for the first time in its history, appointed an Oromo Prime Minister with an Islamic name and heritage, ending the 20-year-long conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Nonetheless, Abiy […]

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Ethiopia Between Risk and Reform

Ethiopia Between Risk and Reform

On 2 April 2018, Ethiopia’s restless new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was sworn into power. Since then the Federal Republic of Ethiopia has found itself in a whirlwind of reform. Ethiopia is undergoing its most significant changes since the 1991 birth of the EPRDF ruling coalition under its controversial leader, Meles Zenawi. The last two months […]

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Straight Talk On Somalia Insecurity

Straight Talk On Somalia Insecurity

There is a broad-based consensus that security in Somalia has been deteriorating at an alarming rate. In the past few weeks, hundreds of people have been killed by truck bombs at two prominent locations in Mogadishu. The lethal potency of the explosives and the scale of death and devastation resulting from the Oct 14th one […]

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Farmajo Follows Footsteps of Failure

Farmajo Follows Footsteps of Failure

  All betrayals are not made equal. In recent weeks, a political disaster of epic proportions has befallen upon Somalia. The Somali government has committed what many – including some of its staunchest supporters – consider a treasonous act. Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) has extradited a Somali citizen, a highly decorated military […]

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Blackened Waters of Somalia

Blackened Waters of Somalia

At this critical juncture and in this particular ‘do or die’ moment in Somali history, objective assessment of new trends has an existential significance. Early this year when the previous Somali President was voted out of the office in favor of a more popular one, the euphoria was so contagious, and expectation so high. Sadly, […]

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Circling The Square In Somalia

Circling The Square In Somalia

Somalia is headed in the right direction. But “right direction” doesn’t mean a path free of pitfalls and clear of landmines.

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Chasing Mirages Across Somalia

Chasing Mirages Across Somalia

With Somalia’s election around the corner, what criteria should be used to evaluate each candidate? Hint: not name recognition nor clan affiliation.

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Security Context of Illegal Wildlife Trade in East Africa

Security Context of Illegal Wildlife Trade in East Africa

Illegal wildlife trade is of immense value to criminal organizations and armed non-state actors such as al-Shabaab in Somalia.

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8 Simple Steps to Bury Your Own Country

8 Simple Steps to Bury Your Own Country

Between now and August, when a new Somali president is supposed to be elected, a variety of political noises are expected to get amplified only to lead to the all too familiar outcome—a wonderful presidential parade to inaugurate the next charlatan, a new or a recycled one.

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Kenya’s Tourism Sector Set to Recover

Kenya’s Tourism Sector Set to Recover

After declines following attacks by Somalia-based militants and piracy, Kenya’s $1 billion a year tourism sector looks set to for a robust recovery in 2016.

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Somalia: Change Coming?

Somalia: Change Coming?

Since Somalia’s independence in 1960, its relationship with the U.S. has been on a roller coaster that travels up and down dangerous steeps and performs sudden inversions that turn everything upside down.

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The Politics of Insecurity in Somalia

The Politics of Insecurity in Somalia

AMISOM has outlived its mandate. It is time to put UN peacekeepers in Somalia.

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Breaking Bad in the Most Fragile Country (Part 2)

Breaking Bad in the Most Fragile Country (Part 2)

“Somalia is a country where the soft power really needs to kick in harder and come in faster” Last week I shared the highlights of my interview with Ambassador Augustine P. Mahiga, the former head of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia and special representative of the U.N. Secretary General for Somalia (Part I […]

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Breaking Bad in the Most Fragile Country

Breaking Bad in the Most Fragile Country

  A Conversation with Somalia’s Chief Peace maker and Constitutional Framer “Do people actually live here?” I recall asking myself as I made the torturous journey through the streets of the bullet-riddled ruins of Mogadishu in the back of a noisy, slow and filled-to-capacity, open-top military utility truck. It is difficult to imagine a place on […]

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