Why did Somali unification fail?


Ad Honoris
May 2014
Why do you think that Somali unification failed?

British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland unified in 1960, but Somalia was unable to complete its national reunification project by failing to conquer the Ogaden region from Ethiopia and the northeastern part of Kenya from the Kenyans. Then, once Siad Barre's regime fell, Somalia's 1960 unification was undone--with Somalia de facto once again becoming two independent countries.

Why was Somali unification such an epic failure? First, they failed to recapture lost parts of the traditional Somali homeland, and then even the limited unification that they actually did manage to achieve ended up collapsing.
Apr 2018
Upland, Sweden
I once took a far too expensive taxi ride in Stockholm on a starry winternight a few years ago, from the city center out to the suburbs. The taxi-driver started playing some music, asked me to guess where it was from and I naturally said "India", as it was very Bollywood:esque. He laughed and said, "Mate, do I look Indian?"

So I took a closer look at the fellow, awoke my inner racial taxonomist (not too difficult, being Swedish) and in a span of about two seconds figured out that "This guy looks East African - why didn't I notice?". Therefore I guessed again and said Ethiopia, with great emphasis. I had no idea what Amharik sounded like, but turned out it was right - quelle triomphe!

We started talking and his opinion of the matter was that ethnically, culturally, there were far fewer major differences between the peoples of East Africa along the Horn than is commonly assumed. He as it turned out, was from Somaliland. Somaliland I asked? And he said "Yes!" in a very proud tone of voice. I didn't think that pride matched very well with what he had just said, so I probed him for more information.

According to him, there was apparently great resentment in Somaliland at the Somali government - that is dominated by people from primarily former Italian Somaliland. He spoke of them with great derision, and accused them of all sorts of things. He thought that everything was far superior in Somaliland compared with Somalia, partially as a result of British colonization (i.e. Somalia was inefficient, corrupt, incompetently rum etc. - compared with Somaliland). He was a bit of an anglophile overall. Much of it sounded like hyperbole but it was an interesting perspective nonetheless. We ended up talking about Somaliland with the taxameter off outside of my house for 30 minutes.

Do what you want with this information - personally I like to listen to taxi drivers.
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