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The Hybridization Of Security Sector Governance To Peace And State Building In Somalia

2946 words - 12 pages


After two decades of statelessness and violence in Somalia, peace and state building become imperative not only to maintain stability in the country, but also for the sake of international security. The collapse of the Somalia state and ensuing statelessness resulted in gross insecurity that compelled the communities to seek alternative measures to safeguard their livelihoods. This led to the proliferation of non-state security actors including the Al-Qaeda affiliated extremist militia-Al-Shaba’ab, and the rise in their legitimacy as well as emergence of an “oligopoly” on the use of force. Despite these efforts and the looming threat of Al-Shaba’ab, it is crucial to have a ...view middle of the document...

The notion of the local-liberal hybrid form of peace means that neither absolutely liberal nor local sovereignties can exist alone . This Hybridity is not as an alternative for Africa, rather as a ‘fact on the ground’ where liberal and illiberal norms, institutions, and actors co-exist, interact and even clash .

This paper argues for hybridized security governance to consolidate peace and state building in post-conflict Somalia; and gives insight into how the international community supports Somalis attempting to maintain peace and build a strong state. Accordingly, this policy paper is organized into three sections. The first section describes the Somali context and the international community’s role in peace-building. The second section discusses alternative policy choices. The final section provides a conclusions and possible approaches to address the security situation in Somalia.

The Somalia Context

The accumulation of warlords, Islamist militias and terrorist groups is clearly a threat to domestic stability, regional and global security. After numerous failed attempts of political dialogues, the Transitional Federal Government [TFG] came into existence in 2004. Nevertheless, due to the weak capacity of the TFG and its successor, the Somali Federal Government (SFG), as well as inconsistent approaches of the international community, Somalia still experiences both public and state insecurity. The African Union Mission in Somalia [AMISOM] has been authorized to assist the Somalia’s peace process and provide security to government officials and the general public.

In 2011, the TFG introduced a hybrid approach to security governance through its National Security and Stabilization Plan (NSSP) to promote partnership and coordination among the state, friendly militias, military companies, local and regional authorities, and the international community to stabilize the country. However, the relationship among the Somali actors, especially between the SFG and Puntland, Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a (ASWJ), the Ras Kamboni Brigade (RKB), and other clan militias is rife with suspicion and tension. All groups conduct operations against Al-Shaba’ab independent of one another, but with the financial backing of either AMISOM or Ethiopian forces. In addition, the loyalty of the members of the SNA to their own clan has resulted in clashes between the SNA and rival militias. Moreover, regional governors and District Commissioners (DC) including in Mogadishu rely on the use of militias as the primary security apparatus. TFG adopted a legal pluralism that recognizes Islamic law ‘Sharia’, the traditional law of the ‘Xeer’ [which is applicable in all regions of the nation] and secular law. Most Somalis resort to traditional remedies and clan elders for justice. Research shows that more than 80% of cases including murder are handled and resolved through non-state mechanisms. Though Xeer mainly applies to property disputes and personal conflicts, the elders go beyond...

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