Casualties of the New World Order: The Causes of Failure of UN Missions to Civil Wars

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President Clinton issued a policy directive in April , shortly after U. Similarly, in the second edition of An Agenda for Peace, the fundamental policy document on U. Continuing efforts by congressmen to cut or restrict U. While Somalia should be an important precedent for international intervention in the post--Cold War world, it is not clear the right lessons have been learned.

Much of the received wisdom on the intervention is based on patent. This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more. In-depth analysis delivered weekly - Subscribe to our newsletter, featuring our editors' top picks from the past week.

Sign in Subscribe. Subscribe Login Sign up. Foreign Policy. Login Sign up. A Somali gunman loyal to Mohammed Hersi Morgan races through the streets of the southern port town of Kismayo, November 30, However, the main responsibility has been ceded to the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, a body which has been described as "incompetent and divided. It was this initiative that led to the creation of a Transitional Government later that year.

However, this government, which has tried to include all parties and to identify how a more just and equitable political and economic system can be developed, has not established effective control over the country. Unilaterally declared states have continued to assert autonomy, dividing Somalia. Shawcross says that Somalia has become "a geographical expression" rather than a state. The period of — saw the declaration of a number of self-declared autonomous states within Somalia. Unlike Somaliland, they were all movements of autonomy, but not outright claims of independence.

The self-proclaimed state of Puntland declared "temporary" independence in , with the intention that it would participate in any Somali reconciliation to form a new central government. That "temporary" secession was reasserted in This led to the autonomy of Southwestern Somalia. The RRA had originally set up an autonomous administration over the Bay and Bakool regions of south and central Somalia in The territory of Jubaland was declared as encompassed by the state of Southwestern Somalia and its status is unclear.

A fourth self-declared state was formed as Galmudug in in response to the growing power of the Islamic Courts Union.

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Somaliland is also seen as an autonomous state by many Somalis even though its natives go another step in pronouncing full independence. Also during this period, various attempts at reconciliation met with lesser or greater measures of success.


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However, warlord and clan-based violence continued throughout the period and the so-called national government movements had little control over the country at the time. Matters were still too chaotic inside Somalia to convene in Mogadishu. In early , the TFG moved to establish a temporary seat of government in Baidoa.

Somalia and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention

They were backed by funding from the U. Their power base grew as they expanded to the borders of Puntland and took over southern and middle Jubaland. The Islamic movement's growing power base and militancy led to increasingly open warfare between the Islamists and the other factions of Somalia, including the Transitional Federal Government TFG , Puntland, and Galmudug, the latter of which formed as an autonomous state specifically to resist the Islamists.

It also caused the intervention of Ethiopia , who supported the secular forces of Somalia. The ICU allegedly obtained the support of Ethiopia's rival, Eritrea , and foreign mujahideen, and declared Jihad against Ethiopia in response to its occupation of Gedo and deployment around Baidoa. Fighting also broke out around the Somali town of Bandiradley in Mudug and Beledweyn in Hiran region. However, they were defeated in all major battles and forced to withdraw to Mogadishu.

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Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Ghedi called for the country to begin disarming. In January , the United States officially intervened in the country for the first time since the UN deployment of the s by conducting airstrikes using AC gunships against Islamist positions in Ras Kamboni, as part of efforts to catch or kill Al Qaeda operatives supposedly embedded within ICU forces. Unconfirmed reports also stated U. Naval forces were also deployed offshore to prevent escape by sea, and the border to Kenya was closed.

No sooner had the ICU been routed from the battlefield than their troops disbursed to begin a guerrilla war against Ethiopian and Somali government forces. Simultaneously, the end of the war was followed by a continuation of existing tribal conflicts. This mission widened the scope of countries that could participate over the earlier proposed mission led by the Horn of Africa-based nations of IGAD. The loss of life of UN and U.

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Instead, an unofficial policy of standing back while one side begins to emerge as the victor appears to have informed subsequent U. Boutros-Ghali called it "a war of all against all. The Clinton administration even instructed official spokespeople to avoid using the word "genocide," because recognition of this would trigger intervention under treaty obligations. In Rwanda, Bosnia, and Somalia, the conflicts were attributed to "ancient animosities. Their continued role as peacekeepers could therefore be justified, or so they thought. What has been called "compassion fatigue" has also had a negative impact on international response to the ongoing humanitarian crises in Somalia.

There are "just too many catastrophes happening at once" so people, the media, and governments switch off. Many people now say why help when the effort is not appreciated. Indeed, as a result of U. On the other hand, these clans lived in much smaller political polities, under their local Emir or chief. Under colonial rule, these different communities did not need to cooperate or consider the good of the whole nation; governance was in the hands of the colonial power. By choosing to focus on ancient animosities and on inter-clan rivalry as the cause of conflict, the Western analysis "obscures the more long-term failure of the Western model of the nation-state to take hold in the region.

The problem, though, is not the clan system as such but when different clans are competing for the same slice of the pie. Before the different clans were lumped together in the same state, each clan has their own pie, even if they sometimes coveted their neighbors larger pie. Only an equitable distribution of resources across all the communities will bring an end to this type of envy. The legacy of the Somali Civil War suggests that the international community needs to re-think the idea that the nation-state is always the ideal system of political organization.

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Power-sharing is likely to be one of the solutions that will be explored in Somalia. This successfully brought an end to a civil war in neighboring Djibouti, once part of the Somalian space. The same strategy has been used in Northern Ireland and in Bosnia.

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Increased hostility towards the West in Somalia and elsewhere in Africa has placed more and more responsibility on the African Union to represent the UN in African peace-keeping. However, the African nations lack the financial resources to engage in large scale, long term missions.

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On the one hand, the UN wants to delegate responsibility but on the other hand its richer members have been reluctant to fund this. This has attracted criticism that the international community has effectively decided to stand on the side-line while "Somalia bleeds.


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Somali Civil War. Previous Soma biology. Credits New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards. Categories : History. Contents 1 Background 1.

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