Somalia’s troubles

image Somalia’s prime minister, Omar Sharmarke, resigned from his post on September 21. He was not getting along with the president of the country, and this in-fighting between leaders was adding to the problems the country is already facing.

Somalia was created by joining two territories governed by the United Kingdom and Italy in 1960. In 1991, the different clans in Somalia overthrew the government of the country that had ruled for over 20 years. Since then, for almost 20 years now, Somalia has not had an effective government. Different clans and groups have been fighting to gain control of the country. The northern area of Somalia (called Somaliland) has declared itself an independent country, even though no other country recognizes it as a separate country. A government was put in place in Somalia with help from the international community, but this government has been losing control of the country. Different parts of the country are now controlled by different groups. Even parts of Mogadishu, the capital city, are controlled by various groups. Many people who live in Mogadishu have left the city since it has become a battleground between the government and various groups fighting for control of the city. The problems within the government were only adding to Somalia’s pains.

pirateIf you thought pirates only existed in books and movies, think again! One thing Somalia has become really famous for is its pirates. Last year, there were about 240 pirate attacks on ships and boats around the globe, and over half of these attacks were by Somali pirates. Just this week, a Panamanian ship was captured by Somali pirates. The waters around Somalia are very important for the shipping world – over 20,000 ships travel through the area every year. Various Somali gangs realized that capturing these ships was a quick way to make money – they don’t try to do anything with the goods on the ship but simply ask for money to return the ships!