People in Mogadishu, Somalia. Editorial credit: MDOGAN /


Somalia has struggled to reestablish a functioning state since the collapse of an authoritarian regime in 1991. The country’s territory is divided among an internationally supported national government, the Shabaab militant group, a fledgling federalist system with states often at odds with the central government, and a separatist government in Somaliland. No direct national elections have been held to date, and political affairs are dominated by clan divisions. Amid ongoing insecurity, impunity for human rights abuses by both state and nonstate actors is the norm. However, citizens have experienced modest gains in civil liberties in recent years as the government and international troops have reclaimed territory from the Shabaab.

FIW Hong Kong hero photo

Freedom in the World — Somalia Country Report

Somalia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.

News & Perspectives on Somalia