Main Barriers to Education
- Conflict affected
- Child soldiers
Somalia has been engaged in civil war over the past two decades. The conflict has taken various forms, from a civil war in the 1980s, through state collapse, to clan factionalism, and warlordism in the 1990s, to a globalized ideological conflict in the first decade of the new millennium
This protracted conflict has created regions within the country that present some contrasts in terms of development indicators. While the south and central regions have remained continuously entangled in the war and have suffered both social and developmental setbacks, the northeast (Puntland) and northwest (Somaliland) have experienced fragile peace and some stability.
Somalia ranks at 165 (out of 170 countries) on the Human Development Index of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). According to a 2012 UNDP report, if inequality is accounted for in terms of access to health, education and income, Somalia would be ranked even lower. Incidents of poverty and deprivation are high in all regions of the country.
The Somali clan system shapes the social fabric of society. The clan structure is divided into four major groups: the Hawiye, Darood and Dir/Isaaq, which are nomadic pastoralist clans (Mahaatiri language); and the Digil and Mirifle (Maay language) largely agro-pastoralist living in the southern part of Somalia. Several smaller ethnic communities, including the Bantus and other socially excluded groups have been largely neglected by the state amidst the chaos that has engulfed the country. These minority groups are not afforded any clan protection, with some even being victims of gender based abuse and gang attacks.
Since clan members need to protect each other, all clans keep militias to tackle threats from other enemies. The youth are particularly vulnerable in such circumstances as is witnessed by an increased participation of youth in militarism, petty thefts and piracy.
One and a half million Somalis are internally displaced due to conflict and nearly 3 million are dependent on humanitarian aid.