Somalia

Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliya

The False Promise of Arab Regime-led Reform - Rami Khouri, Daily Star

This approach of feigned reforms from the top has been used by most Arab autocrats during the past decades of rule, and never, ever has it resulted in real change. Talk of reform o...

Spreadsheets and Global Mayhem - Somini Sengupta, New York Times

Using machine-learning tools to draw inferences about the effects of each piece of information they analyzed, the researchers compiled a list of 15 countries facing the highest ris...

End the Terror of Ivory Trade - Avi Jorisch, USA Today

Terrorist organizations are turning to wildlife trafficking for money. It's a global problem....

The Decline and Fall of Somali Piracy - Joshua Keating, Slate

The International Maritime Bureau is out with its statistics for maritime piracy in 2013, and the sharp decline we’ve been seeing in the number of pirate attacks in...

UN 'Blue Helmets' Fail to Stop African Wars - Sudarsan Raghavan, WaPo

The peacekeeping forces have cost billions of dollars, largely paid by the United States and European nations. But they have been hobbled by weak mandates and a shortage of manpowe...

Somali Piracy Was Reduced to Zero This Year - David Yanofsky, Quartz

Not a single vessel was hijacked this year off the Horn of Africa, where piracy waged by Somalis was once rampant, according to the US Office of Naval Intelligence....

Most Recent Articles

To Fight al-Shabaab, Clean Up Somalia - Bloomberg

In the wake of the barbarous attack on Kenya’s Westgate shopping mall last month, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wants decisive action against the group respons...

President Obama Is No Captain Phillips - Nile Gardiner, RealClearWorld

British director Paul Greengrass' latest film, "Captain Phillips," is gripping cinema, and a sure-fire leading Best Picture Oscar contender. (Significantly, Greengrass' own fa...

Al-Shabab Fights the Pirates - Currun Singh, New York Times

The most likely reason for the decline in piracy is that the Kenyan and Ethiopian war against Al Shabab, the deadliest terrorist organization in East Africa, has disturbed the patr...

The New Urban Battleground - Rafia Zakaria, Dawn

To save Karachi from becoming the dark, wild city of science fiction, where rabid survivors scrounge for food and armed alien drones patrol the skies, a rescue plan must allow for ...

How to Undermine Al-Shabab - Mohamed Ali, CNN

As new footage emerges of gunmen chatting on cell phones and praying during their attack on an upscale Nairobi mall last month, many are still wondering how the group was able t...

No Hollywood Ending to Piracy Off Somalia - J. Peter Pham, LA Times

The Tom Hanks movie "Captain Phillips," which opens Friday, will focus attention — again — on piracy off the coast of Somalia. The movie, in which (spoiler alert) the b...

Black Hawk Down's Long Shadow - Daniel Klaidman, The Daily Beast

Today, thanks to Mark Bowden’s best-selling book Black Hawk Down, and a blockbuster movie of the same name, the battle is one of the best-known episodes in American military hi...

Pivot to Asia or Shift to Africa? - Hilary Matfess, The Atlantic

This weekend, the United States conducted two raids against militant Islamists in Tripoli, Libya and Barawe, Somalia. Though the action in Tripoli appeared to be more successfulâ...

U.S. Can No Longer Outsource the War on Shabaab - Bruton & Williams, FP

The conflict in Somalia is not solely an "African" problem; nor is the proposed "solution." Moreover, America's proxy strategy is, on the whole, a bad one. Too heavily influenced b...

Did Washington Miss Its Target in Africa? - Simon Tisdall, The Guardian

The raids yielded one wanted man. They shed yet more blood. They played the terrorists' game. They invited further retaliation and escalation down the road. They reminded Muslims e...

Navy SEALs Not Enough to Win War on Terror - Max Boot, NY Post

The paradox, and saving grace, of the Obama presidency is that while the president is indecisive about big things -- the Afghan surge, intervention in Syria, entitlement reform, ...

Al-Shabaab UN Attack: 'We Knew They Were Coming' - Colum Lynch, FP

The untold story of al-Shabab's murderous attack on the UN in Mogadishu....

Americans at War in Africa - Wall Street Journal

The tide of war against al Qaeda is expanding, as two weekend raids by U.S. commandos illustrate. The raids show the skill and reach of American special forces, but also the enduri...

Black Hawk Down: 20 Years Later - Dustin Walker, RealClearDefense

Today marks the twentieth anniversary of a tragic episode in American military history popularly known as “Black Hawk Down.” Twenty years later, a small mission to capt...

Shabaab Attack in U.S.: Not if, but When and Where - Omar Jamal, NYT

It is not a matter of whether Al Shabab is a terrorist threat to the United States, but rather when and where it will attack. The group has already declared an allegiance to Al Qae...

Al-Shabaab Backed by U.S. Money - Peter Bergen & David Sterman, CNN

After the attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya, substantial attention was given to the some 40 Americans who have traveled to fight for Al-Shabaab in Somalia during the pa...

Clouseau-Like Obsession with the 'White Widow' - Marina Hyde, Guardian

Psst! I'm working on a crazy theory here. It's maverick, it's unconventional, and if it doesn't pan out it's likely to get my superior officer to bust my ass all the way back to wh...

Kenya's Terror Problem Is the World's Problem - Olivier Guitta, Nat'l Post

Eleven years after the 2002 attacks against Israeli targets in Mombassa, and 15 years after the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Nairobi (and Dar es Salaam), Kenya is once ag...

A Hero with a Gun Takes on the Somali Terrorists - Washington Times

An expatriate British Royal Marine happened to be at the mall Saturday, enjoying a cup of coffee when the noise he recognized as gunshots rang out across the busy mall. The well-tr...

Surviving the Westgate Mall Massacre - James Verini, The New Yorker

As of today, the official count of the dead at the Westgate mall includes sixty-two civilians; the government’s rough numbers for dead shooters and security personnel are five an...

Were Nairobi Mall Attackers American? - Jamie Dettmer, Daily Beast

A U.S. counterterrorism source told The Daily Beast that the FBI is investigating the alleged American participants. While it won’t be known until the siege is over whether Ameri...

Al-Shabaab's American Allies - Peter Bergen & David Sterman, CNN

Of all al Qaeda's affiliated groups, the Somali terrorist organization Al-Shabaab has over the past several years had the deepest links to the United States. Some 15 Americans have...

Obama's Mistaken Focus on 'Core al-Qaeda' - Max Boot, Commentary Mag

President Obama may or may not be right when he claims, as he often does, that “the core of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan is on the way to defeat.” But it is clear that the b...

West Can No Longer Ignore Western Terrorism - The Australian

The slaughter of innocent men, women and children perpetrated by Islamic militants at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Kenya, a country that is a longstanding and important Western al...

Kenya Punished for Admirable Action in Somalia - Globe and Mail

Al-Shabab’s brazen attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall was the desperate act of a terrorist force on the wane, a brutal way of punishing Kenya for its recent efforts to o...

Why Stability in Somialia Is Essential - Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, CNN

The deadly attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi has reminded the world that terrorists don’t respect national borders, and people everywhere have a stake in stability and secur...

Al-Shabaab Is Not a Threat to America - Karen Greenberg, The Guardian

As the terrorist attack and hostage crisis at the mall in Nairobi continues, the question arises: what does this mean for United States?...

How Al-Shabaab Picks Its Targets - Peter Bergen, CNN

For Al-Shabaab, the mall was an attractive target because Westerners, including Americans, frequented it. The mall is also in the capital of Kenya, a country that Al-Shabaab has go...

Kenya's War in Somalia Comes Home - Simon Allison, Daily Maverick

When Kenya sent thousands of soldiers across the border to hunt down Al-Shabaab in Somalia, the Islamist militant group warned they would get their revenge. On Saturday, and throug...

Africa Has a New Most Wanted Man - Simon Tisdall, The Guardian

In southern Somalia, internecine fighting erupted after dark on 19 June, and it was merciless, the villagers said. Rival factions divided by personal, clan and ideological differen...

Washington's Hand in the Nairobi Mall Attack - Colin Freeman, Telegraph

Sure enough, the Islamists proved no match for Ethiopia's well-equipped army, and scattered within a few weeks. But like so many Western-backed invasions of recent years, it had tw...

Why Islamists Attacked Kenya - Paul Richardson, Bloomberg

The attack by the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab on an upscale mall in Nairobi yesterday fulfills a threat it made two years ago to retaliate over Kenya’s military interv...

Kenya Mall Raid Shows Al-Shabaab's Weakness - The National

Ayear ago, Kenyan soldiers cleared Al Shabab fighters out of Kismayo, a Somali port city almost 100km north of the border between the two countries. Al Shabab struck back on Saturd...

Somalia's Fragile Return from Anarchy - The National

The suicide bombings that killed 20 people at a Mogadishu restaurant on Saturday make it easy to presume that Somalia is still mired in bloody anarchy....

Dealing with the McQaeda Franchise - Fareed Zakaria, Time

On the broader question of the state of al-Qaeda, there is room for debate. Al-Qaeda Central, the organization based in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is battered and broke. But the ide...

Why We Should Keep Out of Somalia - Michael Shank, Global Public Sq.

Last weekend, in response to a deadly attack on the Turkish embassy in Somalia that killed three and wounded nine, the U.S. government responded by saying that, “this cowardly ...

What It's Like to Be a Pirate Hostage - Dan Damon, BBC News

Judith and David Tebbutt were on holiday in Kenya when they were attacked by a group of armed men. David was murdered and Judith was taken to Somalia where she was held hostage for...

Piracy Shifts Coasts in Africa - Gordon Repinski, Der Spiegel

The scourge of African piracy is shifting from the East Coast to the West. Although the attacks are taking a major toll on the global shipping trade, world leaders continue to play...

Somalia's Somewhat Friendly Skies - Joshua Hammer, NYT Magazine

One recent morning at the start of the Kenyan rainy season, I boarded a shuttle bus at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. At a distant corner of the tarmac, we stoppe...

The Wild West in East Africa - James Bridger & Jay Bahadur, Foreign Policy

What do a handful of South African mercenaries do for an encore in Somalia, once all the pirates are gone?...

Can Obama Make the Legal Case for the War on Terror? - Rosa Brooks, FP

Normally, law professors thrive on confusion: We foment it in the classroom whenever possible. But while confusion is good for the law student soul, it's not so good for the execut...

U.S. Congress Should Clarify Authorization for War - Washington Post

The Obama administration's political and legal authority to wage war against al-Qaeda has steadily eroded. Both liberal and conservative members of Congress have challenged the adm...

To Stabilize Mali, Look to Somalia's Lessons - Bloomberg

The United Nations Security Council has made a wise decision to create an ambitious African stabilization mission for Mali. To succeed, however, this mission will need to draw less...

Giving Guns to Somalia Is a Good Idea - Gwynne Dyer, Georgia Straight

There have been no elections in Somalia since 1967 and there won’t be any this year either. But the country has a new parliament (appointed on the advice of clan elders) who have...

About Somalia

  • Republic of Somalia
  • Population: 9,832,017 (83rd)
  • Area Size: 246,201 sq mi (43rd)
  • GDP: $5.524 billion (156th)
  • Currency: Somali shilling (SOS)
  • Official Language: Somali, Arabic
  • Capital City: Mogadishu
  • Largest City: Mogadishu