Somalia Government Shutdown Enters 22nd Year

MOGADISHU, Somalia—Incapable of resolving longstanding disagreements concerning basic issues such as functioning courts, protection of civil liberties, and a balanced budget, the Federal Government of Somalia announced Tuesday that the government shutdown, first initiated in 1991, would continue for the foreseeable future.

“Despite the best efforts of all parties, we have been unable to reach a compromise on basic governance for the 22nd consecutive year,” President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud announced Tuesday. “All essential services will continue to be shut down as they have been for the last two decades.”

Among the government-provided services that will continue to not exist include education, environmental protection, healthcare, and financial services.

Somali parties attempted to shift blame for the prolonged shutdown amongst each other. Islamic militant group Al-Shabaab, one of the country’s several warring clans, blamed the federal government’s refusal to compromise on instituting Sharia in the country as the main impetus behind the shutdown.

“We have tried to get this administration to see reason and to impose Sharia law on this country,” a spokesperson told reporters. “But they have refused to offer even the most basic concessions for our side, like formally aligning the country with al-Qaeda. Yet again, we have deprived Somalia of the chance to have an Islamic government.”

Somalia has been in a state of civil war since the collapse of Siad Barre’s government in 1991,and is plagued by its government’s inability to effectively govern much of the country. Nevertheless, many Somali citizens welcomed the continued state of non-governance.

“Keeping this government out of business is the only way to send a clear message that Somalia will not consent to regulation,” said Kismayo resident Erasto Shimbir. “I don’t want some elitists in Mogadishu who probably haven’t burned down a village once in their lives telling me how to run my human trafficking operation. How can we expect to reclaim our position as the world’s leader in piracy if the government starts operating normally?”

“Besides which, you’re less likely to be murdered in Somalia than you are in Washington D.C., so maybe the no-government thing has its merits.” Shimbir added.