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The constitution itself is not a bad bit of draftsmanship. It guarantees that Islam is the source of all law, and that no religion other than Islam shall be permitted in Somalia. This may sound harsh, but delegates didn't have much of a choice. These are the bare minimum necessary conditions if anyone hopes to persuade Al-Shabaab to accept the document. Besides, plenty of the delegates are strongly conservative Islamists themselves. And don't forget that there are many interpretations of Islamic Sharia law, from the Taliban's hardcore approach in Afghanistan to the United Arab Emirates' rather softer, more modern version.
But how much is a piece of paper worth in Somalia, no matter how elegantly-worded? Given the current situation, not much.
For a start, there's still that little problem of Al-Shabaab. The Islamist militant group is on the back foot, but by no means defeated.
They are still safely ensconced in their seaside capital of Kismayo, and their influence extends across much of southern Somalia. African Union troops that have been responsible for pushing them out of Mogadishu and other strongholds promise they'll be smashed by the end of August, but even if Al-Shabaab are pushed out of Kismayo it will remain a potent political force. Any constitution that is agreed before a political, as opposed to military, settlement with Al-Shabaab is reached is unlikely to provide the foundations of a unified nation.
Then there are Somalia's other fractures, most notably Somaliland, which operates completely independently, but also autonomous regions like Puntland and Galmadug. Puntland adopted its own new constitution in April, while Galmadug has just elected a president. Somaliland, meanwhile, has made it perfectly clear it wants nothing to do with any Somali state, future or present. Is this constitution meant to apply to these regions as well? Of course it is?the Transitional Federal Government's consistent position has been that there is just one Somalia, and they govern it. This has been supported by the international community. But how can they be expected to accept a document in which they had little to no say?
Yes, we all know that Somalia is a failed state. We know it needs fixing, and a constitution is an important part of that process. But it's a process, and some things have to happen before other things like constitution-drafting are possible. Somehow concluding the civil war with Al-Shabaab would be a good place to start. Starting meaningful discussions with Somaliland over their joint or separate futures is also necessary?don't forget that Somaliland is the only Somali territory to have enjoyed meaningful peace, stability and development over the last two decades.
It would also be helpful if the government could guarantee the security of the capital of this new Somali state. Even though Mogadishu is overrun with African troops and private security contractors, it's not a safe city. During the constitutional deliberations, a prominent radio comedian was shot and killed by unidentified assailants. He was well-known, however, for poking fun at Al-Shabaab militants. And Wednesday, as the text was being accepted, two huge blasts disrupted proceedings; two suicide bombers had blown themselves up at the gates of the venue, killing themselves and one security guard.
With so much work still to be done, it seems like Somalia's new constitution is an exercise in futility; and, by its unrepresentative nature, likely to harden divisions rather than encourage the reconciliation so necessary for Somalia's future.
Indeed, adds Hermann Eilts, another veteran U.S. diplomat who was stationed in Saudi Arabia in the late '40s, American officials in Cairo had "regular meetings" with Ramadan's then-boss, Muslim Brotherhood leader Hassan al-Banna, "and found him perfectly empathetic." Over the four decades after Ramadan's visit to the Oval Office, the Muslim Brotherhood would become the organizational sponsor for generation after generation of Islamist groups from Saudi Arabia to Syria, Geneva to Lahore—and Ramadan, its chief international organizer, would turn up, Zeliglike, as an operative in virtually every manifestation of radical political Islam. The hardcore Islamists of Pakistan (see "Among the Allies," page 44), whose acolytes created the Taliban in Afghanistan and who have provided succor to Al Qaeda since the 1990s, modeled their organization on the Brotherhood. The regime of the ayatollahs in Iran grew out of a secret society called the Devotees of Islam, a Brotherhood affiliate whose leader in the 1950s was the mentor of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist organization, began as an official branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. The radical-right Egyptian Islamic Jihad and allied groups, whose members assassinated President Anwar Sadat of Egypt in 1981 and which merged with Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda in the 1990s, grew out of the Brotherhood in the 1970s. And some of the Afghan leaders who spearheaded the anti-Soviet jihad that was run by the CIA in the 1980s, and who helped bin Laden build the network of "Arab Afghans" that was Al Qaeda's forerunner, were Brotherhood members.
We are helping the fight against radical Islam advancement in Somalia while paving the way for Islamic rule in Egypt, Libya and Syria.
The article begins by examining the effects of Italian colonization on Somalia’s economy, agricultural practices and political structure. Before going through the Italian rule over Somalia, some of the main features of pre-colonial Somalia are shown in order to better illustrate the damages caused by colonization of the country. Then, we take a look at the post-colonial state in Somalia and its bearings on the Somali society. Afterward, we shed a light on Siad Barre’s coup in 1969 and locate his regime in the Cold War era. Special attention is given to land policies during Barre’s dictatorship, as well as the involvement of the IMF, the World Bank and foreign donors in shaping agricultural practices in Somalia. The effects of the Ethiopian invasion and the civil war on human and food security are also evaluated. The last part of the analysis is concerned with Somalia and post-cold war politics and globalization.
. The local economy was transformed by the Italians from a versatile and self-sufficient one to a banana plantation, where Somalis were used as slave labor.