Forced Migration and Displacement in Somalia and Somali-Inhabited Territories

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Melissa Fellin, PhD

Abstract

As the guest editor for this special issue, Forced Migration and Displacement in Somalia and Somali-Inhabited Territories, I am equally energized by engaging in dialogue on the plight of internal uprooting and dislocation in Somalia as well as disheartened that 22 years after the beginning of the civil war in southern Somalia (1991) we are still having this conversation. The reason I wanted to bring together scholars to publish a special issue that focused on Somalia was twofold. First, there are strong misperceptions in North America, where I am located, of the civil war in Somalia that focus mainly on the internal processes and events that instigated and prolonged the war (see Fellin this issue). In tandem with this narrative is that Somalis are either represented as perpetrators or victims of violence in the North American media (Stachel 2012) with the effect of undermining the strengths of Somali individuals and families in resistance movements, reconciliation and peace building, development initiatives, and post-war reconstruction (see Saggiomo this issue, Zizzola this issue). Second, through the course of my own doctoral research I found a lack of literature on the actual experiences of the conflict, the related environmental disasters, and the uprooting and movement of Somali individuals and families both within Somalia and Somali inhabited regions, including Ogaden in Ethiopia and the North Eastern Province in Kenya.

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Editorials