After more than 20 years of wars and widespread disorder, Somalia entered a new era of optimism during the last quarter of 2012. A UN-backed process culminated in the selection of 275 members of parliament, and a new leadership was elected subsequently. The capital Mogadishu is considerably safer than it was two years ago. The new government has extended its domain of control to a number of regions outside the capital, and business vibrancy and civil society activities are slowly but steadily returning to Somalia.
Despite the progress, significant challenges remain. The Somali state is profoundly fragile, and chronic contestation over political and resource control persists. The new government has yet to articulate set of national policies on most crucial issues, and the nature of Somalia’s federal structure remains contested.
During this seminar, we will address the question of how various types of return to Somalia will impact the current transition phase. The seminar is co-hosted by the Migration Research Group and the Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies (NCHS). Presentations will be provided by Abdi Aynte, executive director of the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies (HIPS) and Cindy Horst, senior researcher at PRIO. HIPS is a recently established Somali think tank based in Mogadishu, and a collaborative research partner to PRIO in its Somali case study for a research project on Protection of Civilians.
08:30 Breakfast and coffee
08:45 Welcome (Kristin Bergtora Sandvik)
08:50 Somalia: an end to transition? (Abdi Aynte)
09:15 Refugee repatriation, diaspora return (Cindy Horst)
09:30 Questions and discussion