Other Foreign Relations
The former colonial powers, Italy and Britain, both
maintained an interest in Somalia. Italy was more influential,
perhaps because it had provided extensive development aid to
Somalia during the 1980s. Italy was instrumental in getting
preferential treatment for Somali exports to the European
Economic Community. Italy also made considerable, albeit
unsuccessful, efforts to resolve the conflict between Siad Barre
and his opponents. The last Italian effort, in cooperation with
Egypt in November and December 1990, failed because the USC and
SNM refused to meet with any representative of the Siad Barre
regime. In 1986 Somalia and the Soviet Union reestablished
diplomatic relations, broken during the Ogaden War.
In mid-1991 Somalia was a member of the United Nations and
its specialized agencies, the Organization of African Unity, the
League of Arab States, and the
World Bank (see Glossary).
* * *
Although no books deal comprehensively with Somali politics
since the 1977-78 Ogaden War, chapters in several different
studies provide an analysis of this important period. A
History of Modern Somalia by I.M. Lewis is an indispensable
starting point for gaining a deeper understanding of Somali
politics. Chapters nine and ten of the 1988 revised edition deal
with the Siad Barre government and are particularly helpful.
Parts of chapters four, six, and seven of Somalia: Nation in
Search of a State, by David D. Laitin and Said S. Samatar,
provide insight into Siad Barre's political style, the formation
of opposition movements, and the conduct of foreign relations.
Chapters six, seven, and eight of Ahmed Samatar's Socialist
Somalia examine the impact of the Ogaden War on the country's
domestic and foreign relations.
Information on recent and current Somali political affairs
can be found in several periodicals, including Africa
Contemporary Record, Africa Today, African
Development, Asian and African Studies, Current
History, Horn of Africa, Journal of Modern African
Studies, and Revue française d'études politiques
afriçaines. (For further information and complete citations,