August 19, 2013
The Somali Federal Government (SFG), established in August 2012, has been widely welcomed as Somalia’s first “post-transition” government, receiving breathlessly upbeat media coverage and plaudits from the international community. Matt Bryden argues in this report that these buoyant judgments are based on highly selective appraisals of the situation. The SFG remains frail and embattled. Furthermore, there are major question marks over its inclusiveness and its relationships with other Somali authorities and factions. Less than a year into the SFG’s mandate, hope and optimism are steadily giving way to polarization, acrimony, and fears of renewed violence.