Somalia has a tumultuous history of war which has spilt over into the current civil war. The country has had 3 armed conflicts that date back from 1977 – 1991 . The current civil war in Somalia which erupted nearly a decade ago is a cause for concern to the global village as it has caused civil unrest, loss of lives and stunted the development of Somalia. Additionally, poor governance and human actions have led to the deprivation of millions of people to access to food. Tribalism is one of the major causes of the civil war in Somalia. To date, the first thing Somalians want to know about each other when they first meet is what clan he or she belongs to.
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) which is the regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union has a mission in Somalia to reduce the threat posed by Al-Shabaab, to provide security that allows political processes to occur and to restore peace. Unfortunately the mission has struggled in fulfilling its function to support peace due to a range of challenges including an increase in the number of attacks carried out by Al- Shabaab .
The instability in Somalia continues to have a major impact on children. In 2015, the United Nations received reports on widespread violations involving children. According to these reports, there was an increase of almost 50 % in the cases of grave human rights violations committed against boys and girls compared to the previous year. Some of these children are recruited as child soldiers and many have limited access to quality education due to the countries hostile environment.
Innocent people who continue to suffer from the effects of hunger and armed conflict have resorted to seek refuge in other countries. Statistics reveals that about 400,000 people are displaced within Somalia, and the number of the refugees totals 389,272
Over the years, the international community has supported a number of peace conferences that have unfortunately failed. With the war continuing at the expense of the lives and wellbeing of Somalians, it is important for the African Union along with United Nations to hold productive peace talks that consider and learn from failed talks. Hope and stability needs to be restored in Somalia or else more lives will be lost, many more will be displaced and more children and other vulnerable groups will continue to be victims of the ongoing instability.
Featured image | Children queue for food at a aid distribution centre in Mogadishu, Somalia, August 2011 : DFID | flickr
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Best of Africa.
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