Somalia’s ‘New’ Government: Change of Name, Same Old Game

Cabinet Shuffle Expected to Be Sum of Changes

On Monday, August 20, the mandate for the self-proclaimed Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia comes to an end, and while in the past the UN has cheerfully allowed them to extend this deadline, this time they seem averse to the idea.

A “new” government will then emerge, at least in name if not in practice. The expectation is that the assorted self-proclaimed TFG officials will simply shuffle around to different offices and remove the word “transitional.”

The various officials related to this scheme are loudly touting it, predicting a major leap forward for security and prosperity in Somalia after Monday, though exactly why is never stated and the whole idea is being scorned by anyone paying close attention.

The TFG got its start nearly a decade ago on a soccer field in Kenya, declaring itself the rightful government of Somalia and then taking up residence in a Kenyan hotel until they were finally expelled for not paying their bills. After the expulsion, they came to Somalia and pushed for the international community to invade and impose their rule on the region. The African Union did, but the TFG’s control is still limited to small areas around the capital city.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of