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Since August 2012, Somalia has embarked upon a turbulent process of forming federal states. In the wake of past political processes, which had limited success and were often criticised as elite driven and divorced from popular needs, the hope is that the current endeavour will not repeat past mistakes.

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On Friday 15 January 2016, the Rift Valley Forum hosted Gérard Prunier for the Nairobi launch of the book Understanding Contemporary Ethiopia: Monarchy, Revolution and the Legacy of Meles Zenawi, co-edited by Prunier and Éloi Ficquet. This anthology of essays by noted scholars of Ethiopia's culture, history, politics, and society seeks to transcend the clichés of suffering and visions of a…

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On Thursday 5 May 2016, the Rift Valley Forum will launch the research paper, Following Mobile Money in Somaliland, which examines the development of Zaad, Somaliland’s first mobile money platform. Launched in 2009, Zaad rapidly become a key feature of Somaliland's financial infrastructure that had previously been dominated by remittance companies. The report charts the rapid growth…

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On the evening of 31 May, the Hargeysa Cultural Centre hosted a lecture by Professor Ahmed Ismail Samatar, one of the most prominent Somali scholars. Professor Samatar, lecturer at Macalester College, Minnesota, and founder of the international journal of Somali studies Bildhaan, delivered a lecture on the role of art and culture in the development of a nation. Over eight hundred…

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Decades of war in South Sudan have had a damaging effect on the position of chiefs and other traditional leaders. But their influence remains strong. Today they confront a crisis in communal life: an increase in violent conflict within and between ethnic groups, the collapse of the national judicial system, the uncontrolled spread of firearms and—since December 2013—a new civil war.

On…

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On Tuesday 10 May 2016, the Rift Valley Forum together with the Political Settlements Research Programme (PRSP), hosted the launch of a report by Tobias Hagmann on Stabilization in Somalia.

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In October 2011, the Kenyan government sent troops to Somalia under Operation 'Linda Nchi' (Protect the Country). Aiming to create a security buffer zone, the intervention followed armed attacks and the abduction of foreign nationals in Kenya. However, the country continues to face the threat of armed attacks by extremist groups, particularly in Kenya’s northeast and coastal regions,…

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On 12 August 2016, the Rift Valley Forum hosted the launch of a report by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on Community Resilience to Violent Extremism. This new report, based on research conducted in collaboration with Sahan Africa, examines how violent extremism is spread through localized conflicts and how extremist groups manipulate grievances to mobilise support and gain…

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On 21 September 2016 the Hargeysa Cultural Centre (HCC), a partner of the Rift Valley Institute, hosted a networking evening for researchers working within the Somaliland and Puntland regions. The evening brought together more than 100 people to develop further links among researchers and share knowledge, experience and ideas.

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The ninth Hargeysa International Book Fair (HIBF) was held in the Gulaid Park Hotel Hall on 23 July 2016.The theme of the book fair this year was ‘Leadership’. The theme coincided with the 25 anniversary of the self-declaration of the Somaliland Republic. The opening day of the book fair was greeted with great enthusiasm and interest by the guests and participants. With attendance high and…