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Vol 55 No 14

Published 11th July 2014


More states less unity

Regions are being created as part of a federal state but their prospects are poor because they don’t enjoy legitimacy

Distracted by political turmoil and terrorism in Kenya, most regional observers missed the announcement by Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed that the government was backing a new federal state. Called the South West State, it is made up of Bay, Bakool and Lower Shabelle. Yet the way it was set up owes most to the national interests of Ethiopia and Kenya, along with local factions. Many believe these foundations are too shaky for the government’s long-term federal strategy to succeed and that if they collapse, they could provoke new bouts of warfare and play into the hands of the Islamist insurgents of Al Haraka al Shabaab al Mujahideen

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