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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Formation of Ethnic Identity in Somalia: Implications for Refugees in Kenya
Author:Veney, Cassandra R.
Periodical:Scandinavian Journal of Development Alternatives and Area Studies
Geographic terms:Kenya
refugee assistance
Ethnic and Race Relations
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Miscellaneous (i.e. Demography, Refugees, Sports)
Abstract:In the context of Somalia, ethnic groups can be characterized as individuals forming group identities based on blood ties or kinship. For long the common enemy of colonialism and the shared nationalistic culture created the illusion of a unified Somali identity and camouflaged differences between various clans and subclans. However, multiple identities have always existed in Somalia. They have been politicized by leaders and used as a means to divide and rule. Siad Barre's call for equality and an end to clan allegiance was largely political rhetoric. In fact he manipulated clans to maintain regime survival. Beginning in the 1980s, human rights violations took on an ethnic dimension. The growing ethnic conflict contributed to the flow of Somali refugees to Kenya. The clan and subclan divisions that led to the demise of the Somali State often do not dissipate when individuals become refugees. In Kenya ethnicity based on clan identity has influenced refugee policy and affects the distribution of assistance. More than ever, Somalis rely on kinship ties in order to survive. Notes, ref., sum.