The Republic of Somalia, born on 1 July 1960 from the union between Somalia, a former Italian colony, and the British protectorate of Somaliland, has an area of about 627,000 km2 and a population of about 17 million. The political history of the country proves to be quite complex. Tribal fragmentation and the relations between the different clans present in the territory still remain decisive on the political and institutional scene, characterized by weak institutions that have little control of the territory. In fact, after independence, in 1969, a coup d'état led by General Siad Barre established a military regime, the fall of which, in 1991, was followed by the outbreak of civil war, which pitted the warring factions along the lines drawn from clan membership which, through family genealogies, represents the basis of Somali society. After a first international military intervention (1992-1995), more than a dozen peace conferences and a second international mission (since 2007) of the African Union (African Union Mission in Somalia, Amisom), the conflict, concentrated mainly in the south of the country, is still far from resolution, although it has gone through very different phases. The current institutional set-up, in the form of a federal republic, was created in 2012 following the approval of a provisional constitution, approved in 2011. This government, the result of a long political process, has a limited ability to govern at due to the major challenges within the borders. The inauguration of the president and of the parliament was possible thanks to a considerable international military effort to regain control of the territory, taken from al-Shabaab troops, weakened by the effects of the famine that hit the Horn of Africa in July 2011 and by US drone attacks on their military leaders. However, the group maintains control of large rural areas in the central and southern regions and continues to destabilize Somalia and neighboring countries with guerrilla attacks and bombings.

As Somalia continues its long recovery from decades of conflict, underdevelopment and instability, the country has made significant progress in several areas, such as state and institution building at the national and federal member states level, military gains against radical rebel groups , increased economic growth and better management of the public sector. An important development was the establishment of a nascent federal state structure, with the formation of Federal Member State Administrations (FMS). The country is currently made up of six federal states, including Somaliland, as well as the regional administration of Banaadir, divided into 18 administrative regions which are in turn divided into districts. However, the often contentious relationship between the federal government and the federal member states hampers key political processes. The contested authority over the division of competencies remains a challenge to codify concerted agreements on federalism in a new constitution. The underfunded budgets of federal member state administrations further hamper the implementation of federalism. Corruption and impunity, as well as the systemic exclusion and marginalization of vulnerable groups from political, reconciliation and other processes and institutions, pose further challenges to stability and inclusive sustainable development. Weak legislative capacity at the federal and state levels limits the development and adoption of legal frameworks to regulate legal, political, security, judicial, and socioeconomic issues.

Somalia formally remains a member of Igad (Intergovernmental Authority on Development), the Arab League (since 1974) and the African Union.



Somalia - Strategic Documents

AuthorTitlePublication date
The Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic DevelopmentSomalia National Development Plan 2020 - 20242020