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Why Somaliland is not a recognized state

Why Somaliland is not a recognized state | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"SOMALILAND, a slim slice of Somali-inhabited territory on the southern shore of the Gulf of Aden, ticks almost all the boxes of statehood. It has its own currency, a reasonably effective bureaucracy and a trained army and police force. But it has yet to receive official recognition from a single foreign government in the years since it declared independence in 1991. To the outside world, it is an autonomous region of Somalia, subject to the Somali Federal Government (SFG) in Mogadishu. Why is it not a state?  Throughout the post-independence era, geopolitics in Africa has tended to respect 'colonial borders', i.e. the borders laid down by European colonial powers in the 19th century. Across the continent, there have been only two significant alterations to the colonial map since the 1960s: the division of Eritrea from Ethiopia, in 1993; and South Sudan from Sudan, in 2011."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Somaliland is a 'pocket of stability in a chaotic region.' The global community fears that granting recognition to a Somaliland might led to further devolution, even if the unrecognized government is functioning.  This is an excellent article from the Economist that demonstrates some of the key requirements to be a state, political and regional geography.  For another example of political geography of aspiring states, here is an article about the limited prospects of a future Kurdish state.      

 

Tags: devolutionpolitical, states, sovereignty, autonomy, unit 4 political, Somalia, Africa.

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, November 19, 2015 1:35 PM

unit 4

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, November 19, 2015 1:35 PM

unit 4

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:55 PM

Like many new developing countries, it is hard to overcome the hardships to prove that you deserve to be recognized as a new nation. Being recognized as a true nation means that there is political and economic stability within a country. The area where Somaliland is located is very unstable. Its parent nation, Somalia is very unstable. For example, in Somalia, there are pirates who hijack mariners and take them and the vessel hostage. Stability within a country is a major aspect for the international community to look at to recognize new countries.

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Why these Somali refugees do not want to leave Kenya

Why these Somali refugees do not want to leave Kenya | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"For millions of refugees across Africa life is a daily struggle.  Many dream of one day returning to their homeland while others have spent decades building a new life.  On World Refugee Day, BBC Focus on Africa's Anne Soy visits a Somali family in Nairobi, Kenya, who cannot imagine returning to their roots."

Seth Dixon's insight:

In addition to this video, see this photo gallery of refugees around the world for some additional context of 'regular life' for refugees. 


Questions to Ponder: Is it the duty of a refugee to return to their home country as soon as it is safe?  If you were a refugee, what geographic factors (economic, cultural, political, environmental) would shape you decisions to stay or return?


Tags: refugees, migration, Somalia, Africa,

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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 17, 2014 5:04 PM

No matter where you grow up, you form roots to your native land. Times are tough across the globe, especially for those living in Africa. While families plant their roots and look for ways to make things better, sometimes the best way is to leave. What makes people stay when their hometown roots are at rock bottom?

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:59 PM

Some people want to stay close to their heritage and native land. Others have no interest in their homelands and want to get away fast. This family doesn't know anything besides being refugees and they want to stay and build their lives there.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 27, 2015 12:39 PM

No one should have to be burdened with returning to a failed state, which is exactly what Somali is. As the main male figure in this clip mentioned, the conditions of the failed state he left 20 years ago has only gotten worse. It would make little sense for him or his family to return because there is no economic opportunity and no government stability. At least in Kenya, this family now has "a modest living." If this family were to return, the family would struggle to survive. If I were in their shoes, I would feel the same way. A decent standard of living is just as important as a safe community. For even though their is less violence to instantly kill people, starvation and disappear from lack of financial and governmental support would eventually prematurely kill people. So without either, I wouldn't return. Thus, I agree that the decision of a refugee to return should be left up to them as the reparation program between Kenya and Somali are currently doing.

 

Leaving ones country behind is still a tough choice. Abandoning the area increases "brain drain" and the man power to make the situation better. During our class on the Caribbean, it was mentioned that the government of countries facing these problems will try to attract their population back through incentives. In a failed state, the government isn't strong enough to incentivize people to come back. So, who does take care of this region? Someone with a great sense of duty to their country more than likely. For instance, Nelson Mandela was extremely smart and could easily have turned his back on the harsh conditions facing his country. Yet, he didn't and eventually become the leader needed to improve the standard of living in South Africa. Now I realize this was never a failed state, but their were still plenty of problems within the area that made staying harder that it should have been for the citizen of a country. So ultimately, the people who will have the greatest impact are those who have the sense of duty to their country. This isn't something every refugee will feel and as mentioned earlier, I can't blame them. It takes a rare selflessness and strong sense of courage that few people have.  For those that do though, their country will be indebted to them forever. 

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Somalia's Pirates Face Growing Backlash

Somalia's Pirates Face Growing Backlash | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Abshir Boyah, a pirate who says he has hijacked more than 25 ships off the coast of Somalia, says he will give up this career if certain terms are met.

 

What economic, cultural and political circumstances in the 21st century would allow for piracy to exist?  What are the impacts of piracy on Somalia?  

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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 22, 2014 4:25 PM

Somalia's pirates are notorious worldwide, and while the pirates may be committing horrible crimes, it is important to understand why these people have turned to illegal means to survive. The economic state of Somalia is rather grim. Considered a textbook "failed state", men for the most part have to choose between working as a fishermen or turning to piracy. Since fishermen barely scrape a living from the waters, Somalian men turn to piracy. With no other economic opportunities, it is often seen as the only choice. Many Somali pirates openly admit that if they had other options, they would absolutely change occupations. 

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:17 PM

The media oftentimes demonizes specific groups of people. So I was presently surpassed that the NYT’s investigated the human aspect of desperation. Many of these Somalians are hopeless and the economic burden on their shoulders drives them to act unethical. When you first priority is survival, courteousness and moral laws often don’t apply. Nevertheless, it was cool to hear about these human stories.

Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 31, 2015 7:37 PM

Just like the pirates of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, these folks bring all the vices of the originals except perhaps without much of the romanticism that comes with the elders. Though perhaps in two hundred years someone will make a movie titled Pirates of the Somalia featuring Johnny Depp's great-great-great grandson. 

 

It's understandable why these people want to get out of the business. Despite the sex and wealth they've gotten, it's not exactly stable employment. Nor is it as safe as sitting at a desk or being a plumber. But when your society simply doesn't support these industries, then the people are left to resort to more drastic measures.

 

It's also interesting to see the quazi-government stepping in to try and combat it. Traditional Muslim values are the reason for them wanting and end to it. It's understandable to not want children to look up to pirates and the life of crime they lead. But in order for the practice to stop, the pirates want international environmental protections, aid, and government support. Should the international community give into piracy or should it be removed by force?

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UNDP - Somalia Cash for Work

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is working to be a force for good in the least developed parts of the world that often face political and economic instability.  This is one program designed to help.  For more on the UNDP's work in the Horn of Africa, visit: http://www.undp.org/hornofafrica

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7 awful conflicts that were under-reported in 2014

7 awful conflicts that were under-reported in 2014 | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Sadly, there was plenty of mayhem and violence that didn't make newspaper frontpages. Here are some awful conflicts that merited more attention.


Tags: conflictLibya, Yemen, Assam (India), the Sudans, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Kenya

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, January 23, 2015 12:14 PM

Current events, course resource, could be applied to just about every unit!

Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 9, 2015 9:36 PM

This article struck me because of certain topics overshadowing really important ones. This talks about seven horrible conflicts and tragedies that have occurred that went unreported. These issues needed attention and media this day in age is focuses on unnecessary issues rather than discussing issues like these. One of the conflicts was in Pakistan. They experienced a terrorist attack on a school by the Taliban and many children were slaughtered and many of those children were the kids of military personnel. This has been an ongoing conflict and has even had numerous airstrikes involved. This terrorist outbreak has caused more problems and the fighting still continues. A second conflict is in Assam, India. This conflict has been a clash of between ethic groups. This conflict has gotten so bad, numerous people have left their homes and people have been massacred causing it to become a terrorist operation. Conflicts like these need our intention and there are way too many cases like this going unnoticed. 

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 26, 2015 3:05 PM

It is sad to see the state of Libya following the optimism that surrounded its revolution and the toppling of the dictatorship that had ran the nation for decades. Despite the high hopes of the West and the Libyans themselves, the nation has devolved into civil war between the coalition government and an alliance of former rebel groups and militant Islamic extremists. Violence has gripped the nation ever since, a sad story of an incomplete revolution that occurred without a plan set for the future. One must only look at the Benghazi attack to not that the hopes of the US to secure another ally in the region have turned out to be entirely unfounded, as the people remain divided. The lack of coverage of this story in Western media suggests that the story is perhaps too depressing for American audiences, or that the major news networks don't want to dwell on another failure of the US in its involvement in the region. I hope that the violence ceases soon, as there has been far too much bloodshed already for the Libyan people.

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Somalia: A failed state is back from the dead

Somalia: A failed state is back from the dead | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Eighteen months ago, central Mogadishu was like an African Stalingrad.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Somalia's political troubles are not over, but it is no longer the drought-ridden country overrun by Islamist extremist that it was two years ago.  For years it held the dubious title of "the world's most failed state."  Al Shabbab, the militant group linked to Al Qaeda, left the capital of Mogadishu in 2011 and in 2012 lost their last stronghold.  Piracy still exists off the Somali coast, but it has lessened as a semblance of political order is being restored to the Horn of Africa.

 

Tags: Somalia, Africa, political, conflict, war.

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Cam E's curator insight, March 18, 2014 12:57 PM

Somalia has been the go-to criticism example for anarchy and lawlessness in my generation, but with the times our metaphors must also change. I'm interesting in seeing how Somalia gains control after a time of such factionalism.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 25, 2014 1:12 PM

This article describes the stabilizing political situation in Somalia. The country was long without a central government and the instability made Somalia a haven for Islamic extremists and piracy. In 2012, Somalia held successful elections and the new government, located in the Puntland region, has been taking territory from Al Shabaab and reducing piracy. The increasing stability could improve Somalia's economy as interest in its oil could see significant foreign investment into the former "failed state."

Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 26, 2015 2:58 PM

Somalia, or as we referred to it last class "a country that is not really a country".  Somalia is famous for being a fractured, failing state.  The American war film, "Black Hawk Down" is set in Mogadishu and shows the country even in the 1990s fracturing apart under the influence of various warlords.  The movie was based on an actual event that occurred in the early nineties, in which the US tried to oust a large scale crime boss, supposedly to stabilize the nation, however this plan failed, as the nation continued to be fractured.  This article claims that there is progress being made in the country (Circa 2013) as the pro-"government" forces and a coalition for African security pushed back a terrorist group out of the capital and back to their stronghold in the country.  During 2012, the terrorist group lost its last stronghold.  However, Somalia still has a great deal of challenges facing it.  Al Shabbab is not fully eliminated, just weakened.  The pirates still exist on the Somalia coast, and trying to recreate a country out of something that hasn't existed as one for decades will be difficult.  However, I am pulling for the nation to succeed, the people in the region need stability.

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The 2011 Failed States Index

The 2011 Failed States Index | Geography Education | Scoop.it

How can political stability and security be measured?  What constitutes effective governance?  Foreign Policy, in conjunction with the Fund for Peace, has created a statistical ranking to measure the lack of effective political institutions.  For the 4th year running, Somalia has been statistically measured as the most failed state on Earth. Chad and Sudan are respectively ranked as the 2nd and 3rd most failed states.The 12 metrics that are a part of this index are:

•Demographic Pressures 

•Refugees/IDPs

•Illegitimate Govts.

•Brain Drain

•Public Services

•Inequality

•Group Grievances

•Human Rights

•Economic Decline

•Security Forces

•Factionalized Elites

•External Intervention

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Don Brown Jr's comment, July 16, 2012 9:57 PM
The global fallout of the Arab revolutions may be largely determined by demographics and political stability. Unlike Somalia for example which is in total anarchy, the Arab Spring uprisings occurred in more stable but oppressive governments. So this brings up the question, can a failed state rescue itself?
Derek Ethier's comment, November 5, 2012 2:35 PM
Althought sub-Saharan Africa has 5 of the 10 most quickly developing countries, they still lag very far behind the rest of the world in quality of living. Somalia, Chad and Suda are the most failed states on Earth, in order. The governments are unable to protect/provide for their people, brain drains suck the great minds to more developed countries, income inequalities ravage the nations, basic human rights are denied and the economies are pathetic. Overall, it is a sad story as many of these African nations also suffer from drought, famine and massive food shortages.
Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 4:11 PM

 I wonder why it is difficult for states to be formed. I would think it would be great because the village people won’t be forced to make big decisions they can just hire someone to do it for them. But in the other hand there would be other people who will make it difficult for them and will ruin it for everyone else. Becoming a state can change there live. They should have approved to become a state.