Somalia: August 17, 2004


A land dispute between two clan militias left 20 dead and 60 wounded 240 kilometers southwest of the capital. Added to the argument over which clan gets to use land, there were disagreements over how many representatives each clan would have in the new district council (that would be used to help reintroduce government rule in the area.) After two days of fighting, local clan elders and religious leaders arranged a ceasefire and negotiations.

Somalia is still very much a land of clans, not individual voters. Anyone who does not have the protection of a clan is considered fair game for all those who do. And the strong clans prey on the weak ones. 


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