Somalia / by Michelle Ryan

The militant group Al-Shabaab is a major threat to security and political stability in Somalia. With upcoming elections within the next month, Al-Shabaab has increased its attacks across the country to incite political upheaval. The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has implemented measures to normalise conditions in the country, but has asserted that Somalia is not yet ready to have a “one person, one vote” election yet. This year’s election will be one of indirect voting through the electoral colleges of the different regions. Mr Hubert Price was instated as the Head of the United Nations (UN) Support Office in Somalia. Ethiopian troops in Hiraan, Halgan and Bakool regions have withdrawn from the AMISOM mission, citing lack of finances as the reason. Kenya has announced the closure of Dadaab and has accelerated the repatriation of Somali refugees, resulting in unhygienic living conditions for displaced persons. The USA and the UK have maintained an active presence in the political restructuring of Somalia. A report by the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea has identified problems of resource mismanagement, corruption and lack of cooperation by the Federal Government as some of the key issues in the state. Forecasted low-rainfall indicates low agricultural production rates for the second consecutive season.

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