Focus on Somalia

Somalia has been on the agenda of the international community, but also of academia, for many years. In Focus on Somalia, we want to contribute to informing about current political and legal events in the country, but also to present background analyses and scientific assessments. Our aim is to give young scientists from Somalia a chance to have their voices heard. In order to support authors contributing to our Focus on Somalia section, we established the Asli-Ahmed-Award.

Our blog thrives on allowing very different perspectives on the country, its people and society to have their say.


Somalia: Birth pangs of a new era?

René BrosiusApr 29, 20228 min read

ANALYSIS 29 April 2022 René Brosius Somali politics is experiencing exciting times. However, they could be the birth pangs of a positive turn of times: With the controversial and long-delayed…


Somalia’s complicated election process ends – result: uncertainty

René BrosiusApr 15, 202212 min read

ANALYSIS 15 April 2022 René Brosius Somalia’s complicated election process is ending – and remains complicated. After many delays, Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble recently announced his intention to complete…


The Potential of the Xeer for the Somali Legal System

René BrosiusNov 27, 20218 min read

Source: Alternatehistory 2017 ANALYSIS René Brosius 26 November 2021 Somalia is considered the prototype of a legally pluralistic environment. Nevertheless, the proper handling of legal diversity has not yet succeeded.…


Light and Shadow in Somalia – How Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a and the Elections are Connected

René BrosiusNov 12, 20217 min read

ANALYSIS René Brosius 12 November 2021 The latest news from Somalia could not be contradictory. On the one hand, the first democratic “one person, one vote” elections since 1969 took…


House of Cards in Villa Somalia

René BrosiusSep 17, 202110 min read

Source: Sigmund 2020 ANALYSIS René Brosius 17 September 2021 In April 2021, after Somalia was on the brink of civil war, it seemed for a long time that the solution…


Why did Democracy Fail in Somalia?

René BrosiusJul 23, 20217 min read

Source: Alternatehistory 2017 ANALYSIS René Brosius 23 July 2021 If you ask older Somalis about the time shortly after the country’s independence, they often advise you very politely: Firstly, that…


The 4.5 System – An Instrument of Exclusion?

René BrosiusJun 25, 20217 min read

Source: CIA ANALYSIS René Brosius 25 June 2021 In the inner-Somali discussion, the term “4.5 system” comes up again and again, and for outsiders it is not easily recognisable what…


Is Civil War Coming to Somalia?

René BrosiusApr 28, 20214 min read

COMMENT René Brosius 28 April 2021 The conflict over elections in Somalia[1] , which has been ongoing since last summer, has reached the next stage of escalation. Internationally mediated talks…


Somalia vs. Kenya – The maritime border dispute

René BrosiusApr 10, 20216 min read

Source: AFP COMMENT René Brosius 09 April 2021 Somalia and Kenya do not have a tension-free relationship. Many reasons for this lie in the conflict-ridden history. The border between the…


Constitutional Crisis in Somalia – Democratic, Free and Fair Elections?

René BrosiusFeb 10, 20216 min read

ANALYSIS René Brosius 10 February 2021 The upcoming presidential elections in Somalia are dominated by the debate on free and fair elections, a debate that brought the country to the…


Somalia before the elections – From democratic election to dangerous selection process

René BrosiusJan 23, 20215 min read

ANALYSIS René Brosius 22 January 2021 On 9 January 2021, Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble surprised everyone by announcing that the planned elections would only be held in certain…


Challenges and Chances in the Somali Legal System

René BrosiusDec 12, 20207 min read

ANALYSIS René Brosius 11 December 2020 In many ways, dealing with Somalia is a look into the unknown. The complex social structures, violent conflicts and strong traditions have left researchers,…