Attempts by clan elders and militia commanders in southern Somalia to form an autonomous state, without the consent of the central government but with the apparent backing of foreign countries, remains a dangerous, destabilising element in the region, say analysts.
When journalist Mohamed Ibrahim Rageh was shot by unknown assailants outside his home in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Apr. 22, his name was added to a list of four journalists who have been killed in this Horn of Africa nation since January.
In the Hamarweyne market, Mogadishu's largest, 24-year-old Maryama Yunis is finding success with her tiny cosmetic store. The young Somali entrepreneur has been in business for two years, selling everything from soaps and shampoos to lipsticks and eyeliners, and now she's turning a decent profit.
Media advocates in Somalia worry that a recent case against a journalists who exposed the story of a gang rape involving members of the national security forces will serve as a deterrent to journalists countrywide.
As little-known politician Fauzia Yusuf Haji Adan was sworn in as Somalia's first female foreign minister and deputy prime minister on Monday Nov. 19, the stateswoman who hails from the unrecognised, self-proclaimed republic of Somaliland is tipped to become the country’s “Iron Lady”.
A Kenyan military advance into Somali territory to push back Islamic militants has had some measured military success - but is not without controversy.
One-year-old Miriam Jama is a symbol of life in Somalia after the famine. Born just as the United Nations World Food Programme declared famine in this Horn of Africa nation a year ago on Jul. 20, Miriam has known no other life than the one in the Badbaado refugee camp, situated 10 kilometres outside the country’s capital, Mogadishu.
With vehicles and donkey carts packed with their belongings, Somalis are returning, four years after they fled, to their partially standing, bullet-scarred and mortar-shelled neighbourhoods in former Al-Shabaab controlled areas of Mogadishu.
The suicide car bomb that struck Mogadishu Jan. 24, killing at least twenty people and injuring nearly fifty others is an explosive comment on the failure of the Ethiopian military deployment to Somalia two years ago to oust Islamist forces it believed represented "a clear and present danger" to Ethiopia.