On the night of January 27, 1991, Siad Barre,
who had been the dictator of Somalia for the past twenty-one years, fled
the capital of Mogadishu, leaving the country in a state of anarchy.
With the flight of their hated leader, the Somali people began a nefarious
struggle for individual and clanistic power in addition to retribution
against the clans that had supported Barre (1).
Fighting broke out between tribes, looting
became rampant, and many Somalis starved to death. Life in Somalia
became a living hell due to its state collapse, which was a result of tribal
factions and corrupt leadership. To this day, Somalia has no formal
government and the problems that emerged with Barre’s departure are still
ongoing. Despite several attempts at peace, there has been no resolution
to the conflict.
This paper outlines the history of the Somali
conflict. It first introduces the clans, which were, and still are,
the basis of the conflict in Somalia, before moving in chronological order
from the country’s independence to the present day.