At the beginning of 2007 Somalia was consolidating under the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), which recently completed a military campaign against the Islamic Court Union (ICU). The TFG is supported by the United Nations. Until recently, it governed out of an administrative capital in Baidoa. In the last days of 2006, forces of the transitional government supported by Ethiopian forces ousted the ICU from Mogadishu. Peace keeping forces from the African Union are expected to support the transitional government in its bid to control the country.
During the war against the ICU, the autonomous states of Puntland and Galmudug had closely aligned themselves with the TFG and the supporting Ethiopian forces, while other former administrations such as Southwestern Somalia, Hiraanland and the Juba Valley Alliance fully integrated themselves with the TFG.
Somalia became a united independent state on 1 July 1960 upon the merger of British Somaliland, which had become independent from the British five days earlier on 26 June 1960 and Italian Somaliland, which became independent from the Italian-administered United Nations trusteeship on 1 July to form the Somali Republic. The territory that was once British Somaliland is the area that now forms Somaliland.
Somalia had a central functioning government following the United Somali Congress (USC) ouster of Major General Mohamed Siad Barre on January 27, 1991. The political situation of the Somali Civil War has been marked by chaos, interclan fighting, random banditry, internecine warfare between proto-governments and resistance to the state. The breakaway states such as Somaliland and Puntland put together functional regional governance. In the rest of the country there are a wide range of semi-functional governments and anarchic conditions under various warlords.
In 2000, the international community recognised the Transitional National Government, originally headed by Abdulkassim Salat Hassan, as the government for the entire country. The government only recently was able to enter the capital because of the violence (see Fall of Mogadishu).
On October 14, 2004 Somali members of parliament elected warlord Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, previously president of Puntland, to be the next president. He appointed a cabinet led by Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Ghedi. Because of the situation in Mogadishu, the election was held in a sports centre in Nairobi, Kenya. Yusuf was elected transitional President by Somalia's transitional parliament. He won 189 of the 275 votes from members of parliament. The session of Parliament was also held in neighbouring Kenya. His government is recognized by most western nations as legitimate, although his actual authority is still limited.
Many other small political organizations exist, some clan-based, others seeking a Somalia free from clan-based politics (such as the United Somali Front). Many of them have come into existence since the new president was chosen.
On June 5, 2006, the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) defeated the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT) in the Second Battle of Mogadishu, bringing the ICU to power in the capital. The ICU took control of much of southern Somalia, with the goal of resorting law and order and instituting Islamic sharia law. Talks between the ICU and the TFG did not lead to reconciliation or settlement. In September 2006, a proposal by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development and the African Union to introduce an 8,000 strong peacekeeping force into Somalia was rejected by the ICU (see IGASOM). Islamist leaders threatened to turn the country into a graveyard for foreign solders should peacekeepers be introduced.
The Transitional Federal Government has ambassadors in a few countries, including but not limited to Arab League states such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Egypt and Libya. It also represents Somalia in the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Arab League, IGAD, and other multilateral organizations.
Until the start of 2007 the Islamic Courts Union operated a government in Mogadishu, after consolidating power from factions of warlords that previously shared control. The ICU leaders are Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, head of the executive committee, and Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, head of Shura. The USA accuses Aweys and other ICU leaders of links with terrorism. The Islamic Courts Union (ICU) brought a degree of law and order to Somalia for the first time since the central government collapsed in 1991. It included the implementation of Sharia Islamic law. But they were driven out of Somalia in late 2006 and early 2007 by a joint Ethiopian-American offensive.Thousands of Ethiopian troops poured across the border, backed up by American air strikes and American intelligence. The Islamic Courts Union (ICU) then went underground.
The Transitional Federal Government is not a liberal democracy because it operates not from a Constitution, but from its authority outlined in the Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic which was ratified by the Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) consisting of mostly de facto powers, such as warlords and other closely selected representatives. There were no general elections for parliament. The Parliament also elected President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed; he was not elected by popular vote.
In the wake of the collapse of the Somali Government in 1991, factions organized around military leaders took control of Somalia, a form of government referred to as warlordism. The resulting chaos and loss of life provided the context for the international intervention led by the United Nations and the United States (see UNOSOM I, UNITAF and UNOSOM II). Because of local resistance to external interference, culminating in the First Battle of Mogadishu, UN operations in Somalia were curtailed, then finally withdrawn in 1995.
Since 1991, there have been fourteen efforts at national reconciliation; to date, none has been successful. Various groupings of Somali factions have sought to control the national territory (or portions thereof) and have fought small wars with one another.
In the northwest, there is the secessionist region of Somaliland with its capital in Hargeisa that declared its independence in 1991. This Isaaq-dominated governing zone is not recognized by any major international organization or country, although it has remained more stable and certainly more peaceful than the rest of Somalia, neighboring Puntland notwithstanding.
Puntland in the northeast also remains autonomous but supports the Transitional Government and, unlike Somaliland, still considers itself a part of the Somali Republic. Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, Puntland’s original president, ruled until mid-2001. In November 2001, a convention of elders, in a process disputed by Yusuf, selected Col. Jama Ali Jama to succeed him. Forces loyal to Yusuf, who had retreated to Galkayo, attacked Garowe in November, resulting in a de facto division of Puntland. As many as 30 other factions vie for some degree of authority in the country.
Efforts at mediation of the Somali internal dispute have been undertaken by many regional states. In the mid-1990s, Ethiopia played host to several Somali peace conferences and initiated talks at the Ethiopian city of Sodere, which led to some degree of agreement between competing factions. The Governments of Egypt, Yemen, Kenya, and Italy also have attempted to bring the Somali factions together. In 1997, the Organization of African Unity and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) gave Ethiopia the mandate to pursue Somali reconciliation. In 2000, Djibouti hosted a major reconciliation conference (the 13th such effort), which in August resulted in creation of the Transitional National Government, with a 3-year mandate to pursue national reconciliation. In early 2002, Kenya organized a further reconciliation effort under IGAD auspices.
On October 10, 2004, the Transitional Federal Parliament elected Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, president of Puntland, to be the next President and formed a new Transitional Federal Government. Because of the situation in Mogadishu, the election was held in a sports centre in Nairobi, Kenya. The government located for a time to Baidoa. It has suffered internal crises, such as ministers quiting and a no confidence vote, but has survived.
In 2006 there emerged the Islamic Courts Union, supported by local businessmen who wanted to reclaim the country from factions of warlords, which effectively ruled it. Sharia Islamic law was briefly enforced in areas controlled by the Islamic Courts Union. They steadily widened the area they controlled and stopped just short of Baidoa, where the transitional government with support by Ethiopia managed to check their advance. Subsequent fighting resulted in the complete oust of the ICU.
The absence of a functioning central government in Somalia since 1991 has allowed outside forces to become more influential by supporting various groups and persons in Somalia. Djibouti, Eritrea, and Arab states have supported the Transitional Federal Government but, following the emergence of the Islamic Courts Union, and the intercession of its regional rival, Ethiopia, Eritrea switched support.
Ethiopia has provided political support to Somaliland and for a time assisted a group of southern warlords organized as the Somalia Reconciliation and Restoration Council (SRRC), which opposed the TFG. The warlords were also supported by the United States.
Ethiopia and the United States strongly opposed the Islamic Courts Union and both now support the nascent federal government. Ethiopian forces are located throughout southern and central Somalia, including the capital Mogadishu.
Since the end of the war with the ICU, Puntland has been under enormous economic and political pressures due to renewed feuding with Somaliland, internal turmoil over the proceeds and land use rights of natural resource exploration especially in non-Majerteen territories in Sool and Sanaag, and support for the TFG in the south. This culminated in the breakaway of Puntland-administered Sanaag into a new state, Maakhir. It remains to be seen if Puntland will disintegrate further.
The Transitional Federal Parliament has 275 members, with each of Somalia's four major clans getting 61 seats in the parliament, while an alliance of minority clans was awarded 31 seats.
WIPO ASSIGNS PATENT TO INSERM (INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA SANTE ET DE LA RECHERCHE MEDICALE) FOR "EXON SKIPPING THERAPY FOR FUNCTIONAL AMELIORATION OF SEMI FUNCTIONAL DYSTROPHIN IN BECKER AND DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY" (FRENCH INVENTORS)
Mar 09, 2011; GENEVA, March 9 -- Publication No. WO/2011/024077 was published on March 03. Title of the invention: "EXON SKIPPING THERAPY FOR...