Hassan Sheikh describes the many attempts made since 1991 to establish an administration in Mogadishu, ranging from political deals between faction leaders to community initiatives on local level security. The brief authority of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) in 2006 that brought security to the streets of Mogadishu for the first time since 1991 gave a glimpse of what could be possible, but external interests prevented this from developing further.
Mogadishu has never experienced a fully-fledged reconciliation process to restore lost trust and heal the bitter memories of the past among the people. [...] Although the greenline was abolished a long time ago, there is still a psychological partition in many parts of the city.
Hasan Sheikh Mohamud, writing in Accord 21, 2010
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Mogadishu has gained a reputation as the most dangerous city in the world. Since the fall of Mohammed Siyad Barre in 1991 different factions have been locked in deadly competition to control it.
The division of Mogadishu
Attempts to establish a Benadir administration started immediately after the fall of Siyad Barre in 1991. The breakup into two warring factions of the United Somali Congress (USC), the dominant political group in Mogadishu at that time, led to a hugely destructive four-month war.
Mogadishu Security and Stabilisation Plan
The Somali government formed in Mbgathi in Kenya in October 2004 could not agree on whether to relocate to Mogadishu, where the new president, Abdulahi Yusuf, was not popular. Even before it had left Kenya, Mogadishu was a divisive issue for the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), with some of the top leadership claiming that the city had to be cleared of opposition forces before it could relocate there.
The Islamic Courts Union
The ICU was a conglomeration of clan and lineage courts, originally formed to deal with the pervasive security threats that plagued Mogadishu and its environs. Neighbourhood watch schemes had improved security in certain quarters of the city, but the challenge of how to deal with criminals once in custody remained.
Relocation of the government to Mogadishu
The TFG did not recognise the efforts of the speaker and other parliamentarians in developing the MSSP. In 2005 the TFG Prime Minister, Professor Ali Mohamed Geddi, had appointed Mohamoud Hassan Ali (Adde Gabow) as mayor-governor for Mogadishu, but he was largely ineffective.
None of the administrations established by the TFG for Benadir and Mogadishu have been able to deliver even minimum basic services to the people. The reasons for this failure lie in the approach used to make appointments, the affects of the war between the insurgents and the Ethiopian forces and the conflict within the top leadership of the TFG. The ongoing fighting between the TFG and the two Islamist opposition groups, Al Shabaab and Hisbal Islamiyaiya, is bound to delay the long-awaited dream to stabilise the city.