Africa Notes: What Are the Lessons To Be Learned From Somalia? - January 1993
January 1, 1993
The overthrow in January 1991 of the increasingly corrupt and repressive regime of Major General Mohamed Siad Barre, who took power in a 1969 coup, had been predicted throughout the 1980s and therefore came as no surprise to observers. The subsequent disintegration of the Somali state and the ensuing two years of violent anarchy had not been foreseen, however, by Horn of Africa specialists or the Somali leaders involved. In retrospect, it now seems clear that the end of the Cold War has produced an international environment in which weak, artificial state structures in societies fractured by ethnic tension are highly susceptible to fragmentation or collapse, particularly in regions where East-West competition involved high levels of militarization.