The Blog

Democracy In Somalia: Overcoming Insurgency To Provide A Lasting Peace

While the world has been fixated on the American presidential race, Somalia, once the epitome of a failed state, is holding its first elections since 1969 after a quarter-century of internal conflict. However, the country is still under serious threat from terrorist group Al-Shabaab, including factions with allegiance to the Islamic State, who according to the Somali Prime Minister could be the "reality of tomorrow" in Somalia if action is not taken quickly.

In recent months, the group has attacked civilian and government targets and dismissed the legitimacy of both the Federal Government and the elections. The newly formed government must establish its credibility with the Somali people and counter the violent extremist movement of Al-Shabaab if the elections are to provide the stability Somalia so desperately needs.

Although Somalia's current Federal Government was established in 2012, security concerns and logistical difficulties prevented elections from taking place. When it took power, the government promised it would hold 'one person, one vote' elections in 2016, ushering in universal suffrage. However, the government has since decided that an electoral college of just 14,000 (

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