The Somali Civil War- Root cause, and contributing variables

Hassan Mudane


Somalia, like many other African countries, has experienced a state of clan warfare which has brought to a total state collapse and a deep-rooted conflict that fragmented the country, deteriorated the physical security, and institutional deformity. The consequence of this anarchic condition, the basic social services such as education, healthcare and public security were not offered. It was also led to a catastrophic condition such as famine and drought. As a result, Somalia became synonymous with failed state, terrorists, warlords, famine, tribal wars and even pirates. This paper is based on qualitative analysis with a document review technique and critically evaluating of the Somali civil war literature. Additional sources of information on online media like websites and newspapers focusing on topics like civil wars in Africa and in Somalia are used. It aims to investigate the role played by the politicized clan identity factor together with communal content, and deterioration of basic needs, bad governance and state’s repressive role and international linkages. The investigation revealed that these variables are the necessary underlying and contributing causes, proven to be a sufficient condition for the Somali civil war. Moreover, these variables shown have strong explanatory power and performed well in the outbreak of the Somali civil war.


The Somali civil war, politicized clan identity, primordialist, instrumentalist.

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