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The Somali blogosphere

Since 1991, Somalia has been without a central government. While the southern part of the country has largely remained lawless, the northern Somaliland region, which declared itself independent, has been relatively peaceful. To the wider world, Somaliland is a part of Somalia. But some Somaliland bloggers take pride in bringing out the distinctive characteristics of Somaliland and its relative peace when compared with the rest of Somalia.

The Voice of Somaliland Diaspora-Ottawa, a blog authored by Ahmed Quick, presents series of regularly updated posts that center on Somaliland. It quotes a report by a South African newspaper that tells of moves by the African Union that may eventually lead to the recognition of Somaliland as a nation independent of Somalia:

“Hopes of recognition for Somaliland’s 15-year independence have been raised by the favourable report of an African Union mission that visited the territory last year. The report… comes at a time when signs of a new flexibility in African thinking on boundary issues are emerging. It suggests that official African aid be tapped by this country of 3.5million people that was effectively destroyed by the [late] Somali dictator Siad Barre. With the fall of Barre in 1991, the former British colony [Somaliland] broke its union with southern neighbour, the former Italian colony of Somalia. Since Barre’s departure, Somalia has been without an effective government.”

The Voice of Somaliland Diaspora-Ottawa also tells of Somaliland offering land to Ethiopian businesspeople for “building warehouses” in Berbera port. It states that Ethiopia, which is a landlocked country, “started importing goods through Berbera Port, 910 km east of Addis Ababa [the Ethiopian capital]” in November 2005. The aim of the Somaliland government is the development of a free trade zone in the Berbera port, and Ethiopians are being welcomed to be a part of this development.

The blog Food Crisis in Somalia, authored by Mukhtar “Bill” Ainashe, is aimed at serving as an information portal on the food problems currently being faced in Somalia. It tells of efforts it has made to bring the plight of starving Somalis to the United Nations, Arab and Western governments, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC) as well as other NGOs.

You can get to learn more about the food shortages in Somalia as well as efforts being made to alleviate them from this blog. Food Crisis in Somalia applauds the recent appointment of Mr. Magne Bondevik as the United Nations special envoy to Somalia, believing he would aid in dealing with the food problem. It also applauds a 5 million Euro fund made available by the European Union to aid drought victims in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, calling on Arab governments and the United States to show the same gesture. Get to see some beautiful Somali stamps of the days when Somalia dreamnt of being self sufficient in food production.

Work4Change, a blog by a Canadian intern in Somalia, presents life Somalia upfront. It tells of the love Somalis have for football:

“People love soccer here; every empty land is full with teams on Fridays.”

Work4Change provides a wealth of information about life in Somalia with lots of photographs. On driving in Somalia it offers the following anecdote:

“Much of Somalia does not have traffic lights. The only cities that do are Mogadishu and Hargeysa (the two capitals). The rest of Somali is without any traffic lights. Yet, people continue to drive in every city. How can this be?? Well people here are resourceful. They don’t need traffic light to tell them how to drive. They have developed their own system of driving and of communicating with other drivers.”

1 comment

  • Thanks for pointing GVO readers to Bill Ainashe’s blog “Food Crisis in Somalia”. The new guys “Voice of Somaliland Diaspora – Ottawa” and “Work4Change” look interesting too.

    BTW: Has anyone heard from Yvette Lopez of the “Inside Somaliland/ A Taste of Africa” blog lately? She is one of the original bloggers writing about Somalia and without a doubt the “hostess with the mostest” (highest profile in the Somalia sector of the blogosphere). Don’t leave her out: http://insidesomaliland.blogtales.com/

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