In the early hours Tuesday came reports of a loud explosion by the Somali prime minister’s office. Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon Said emerged unscathed from the attack, but an operation like this is a powerful reminder of how fragile the security situation in Somalia is.
We were happy to see positive development trends in Burma in 2012. The country took several steps towards democracy and opening up to the international community. Aung San Suu Kyi traveled to foreign countries, including Norway, and is now participating in the political and parliamentary work in the country. But at the beginning of 2013, we see some troubling trends.
Democracy is steadily gaining ground. Democracy is a natural consequence of human dignity: every human being has the right to influence both their own situation and the development of the society they live in. The Oslo Center will contribute to the realization of this right.
The tension is rising ahead of the March 4th elections in Kenya. This is the first time Kenyans head to the polls since the adoption of the new Constitution in 2010.
2012 has been a very busy year for The Oslo Center with increased engagement in democracy support to vulnerable and fragile democracies. The main focus has been on Kenya and Somalia, two countries where democracy is facing major challenges.
Optimism prevails in Somalia and thousands of people return to the country every week. After al-Shabaab was driven out of Mogadishu, organizations and institutions have reestablished themself in the city. The Oslo Center will therefor establish an office in the country.
After many years of civil war, Somalia has been seen as a “failed state” – and with good reason. But now the situation seems brighter, and there might be reason for cautious optimism?
How to enhance the relationship between the political parties and the civil society in Somalia was one of the important issues discussed at the Oslo Center’s workshop in Kampala this week.
The Oslo Center followed with excitement the presidential election in Somalia as of its close collaboration with governmental institutions in the country. The center recognizes the progress made and welcomes future collaboration with the government, political parties and civil society.