Saturday, October 15, 2011

Somali Public Opinion

The National Democratic Institute sponsored a second focus group study with Somalis that it conducted between February and June and published in September 2011. The information is based on 54 focus group discussions and 28 one-on-one interviews with 651 Somali participants in Puntland, South and Central Somalia and among Somali citizens in the diaspora in Kenya.

Key findings include:
  • A sense of utter fatigue and desperation about life in Somalia.
  • Deep concern over both western involvement in Somalia and foreign support for al-Shabaab.
  • Unhappiness about the harmful effect of foreign intervention in Somalia and rejection of the use of private security firms by the Transitional Federal Government (TFG).
  • A tendency to reject any future role in Somalia for the international community.
  • A belief that clanism has caused Somalia’s descent into lawlessness and the business community continues to profit from the conflict.
  • Futility with TFG efforts to end the chaos.
  • A belief that al-Shabaab has made a mockery of Islam.
  • Generally more unfavorable than favorable views of the international community, especially toward the United States and Ethiopia.
  • A strong desire for a unified Somalia but also growing support for a federal system.
  • Rejection of the 4.5 power-sharing formula based on clans.
  • A desire for political parties that are not based on clans.
  • Growing support for a new constitution.
  • Enthusiastic support for the public consultation process in preparing a new constitution.
  • A tendency to welcome the return of Somalis from the diaspora but concern that they are out of touch with current realities in Somalia.
  • A strong believe that political reconciliation must be Somali led.
You can access the entire report here.

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