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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The rise and fall of Somali nationalism: from traditional society to fragile 'nationhood' to post-State
Author:Abdi, Ali A.ISNI
Periodical:Horn of Africa
Geographic term:Somalia
Abstract:During the first seven years of this decade the Somali people have achieved a state of Statelessness. Somalia is no longer a nation or a nation-State, despite the fact that it displays many of the characteristics required of such institutions. In this essay the author traces the path which led the country to this situation which is reminiscent of that of precolonial, egalitarian Somali society, but denuded of the 'checks and balances' this society had evolved the ensure a relatively peaceful co-existence. Almost a century of colonialism and splitting up between various European nations had expugned these vital social controls. In the postcolonial period, nascent Somali nationalism was thwarted with the granting of independence to the Republic of Djibouti in 1976. This was given another body blow by the Somalia-Ethiopian war (1977-78). These events removed all hope of unifying all Somalis in the Horn of Africa. The author does not see the situation as hopeless and points to some promising developments in the northeast of the country. He argues that less emphasis on governmental/constitutional debates and greater encouragement of human resources development could provide a sound foundation on which to build a new beginning for the nation, which at the moment has been virtually abandoned by the rest of the world as an insoluble problem. Bibliogr., notes, ref.