Somalia Continues its Political Collapse

(From late May through mid-June, Somalia remained frozen in its state of political collapse described by PINR in its May 3 report and May 24 report on the country).

The PINR report June 14, 2007 (excerpt):

Conclusion:

Developments in Somalia through mid-June confirm PINR’s basic forecast that the country will remain in a devolutionary political cycle, which has only become more pronounced. At present, an insurgency with a militant jihadist component persists in Mogadishu, the T.F.G. is losing even a semblance of control over key regions, oppositions are organizing into blocs, Addis Ababa is over-strained, troop contributions to AMISOM are not forthcoming, and donor powers are paralyzed and reluctant to support the T.F.G. wholeheartedly. The T.F.G. executive remains determined to pursue its clan-based formula for reconciliation, which appears to have lost the scant viability it might have had.

Simultaneous processes of polarization and fragmentation are likely to have critically damaged the T.F.G.’s ability to prevail in the struggle for security and to carry through a clan-based reconciliation program, leading to political collapse.

The only possibility for breaking the devolutionary cycle is presented by the coalescing of opposition forces into a bloc. If the T.F.G. can be pressured by external powers to enter power-sharing negotiations with a relatively coherent political opposition, there is a small probability of a national accord.

For the moment, the T.F.G. and the nascent opposition are polarized on the issue of the Ethiopian occupation. The opposition is united by its resistance to the occupation and the T.F.G. depends on it for survival. At some point the occupation will end — with or without sufficient peacekeepers to replace it — and Somalia will either sink back into chronic statelessness or serious power-sharing discussions will begin. The former eventuality — devolution — remains by far the most likely outcome.

Report Drafted By Dr. Michael A. Weinstein, PINR.

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