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State and Societal Challenges in the Horn of Africa

Alexandra Magnólia Dias

International intervention and engagement in Somalia (2006-2013): yet another external state reconstruction project?

Alexandra Magnólia Dias


Since the rise and fall of the militant Islamist movement in Somalia, an array of actors have intervened in Somalia with disparate aims and implications in terms of the post-transition period (August 2012 up to the present). Both regional states (Ethiopia and Kenya) and organizations (IGAD and AU) have contributed to the international re-engagement with Somalia, the most notable being the Africa Union Mission for Somalia (AMISOM since 2007). Al-shabaab, among other insurgent movements, continues to forcefully resist external-led interventions aimed at rebuilding the Somali state. Outside the region, the European Union has been particularly involved in providing support to state-building efforts with a focus on the security sector, especially the maritime dimension of security (through EUNAVFOR ATALANTA and EUCAP Nestor since July 2012) and the creation of security forces (through EUTM Somalia). This paper contributes to the debate on the interplay between insurgency, externally led state-building efforts and the particular domestic dynamics and how these contribute to or undermine the state reconstruction process.

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Estratto del testo


Since 1991 Somalia has been the site of internationally sponsored political engineering. The current government has signalled the end of the 8-year transition period since August 2012. However, in order to survive, it stills depends on external protection from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and its leadership at the time of writing still faces the challenge of bringing the al-shabaab led insurgency to an end.

The central concern of this chapter is understanding to what extent the post-transition government will be able to rebuild state institutions in order to bring peace and prosperity to significant parts of the country. This chapter argues that the institutional architecture of the post-transition state resembles a state by and of international design. To date, key institutions in the judiciary and security have yet to be implemented. Moreover, the self-governing units in Somalia still need to agreed on the recognition of Federal Member States and the c...


Alexandra M. Dias is an Auxiliary Researcher at the Centre for African Studies and Invited Auxiliary Professor at the ISCTE-IUL Department of History. She completed her master's degree in African Studies at ISCTE and she obtained her PhD at the Department of International Relations of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her PhD entitled “An inter-state war in the post-Cold War era: 1998-2000 war between Eritrea and Ethiopia” received an honourable mention in the second Selecting Committee of the Portuguese Political Science Association’s (APCP) Prize for Best PhD Thesis.

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