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News that Somalia’s presidential and legislative elections have been postponed until November came as no surprise to critics of the country’s fledgling government. Twenty five years after the outbreak of civil war, Somalia remains one of the most lawless and unregulated places on the planet. Holding elections in the fractured country was always going to be a messy affair, even with clan elders casting votes on behalf of their communities.
The shaky progress so far made towards normalisation of the political and economic landscape was underscored in a recent article by The Economist, entitled “Most-failed state”, which painted a depressing picture of a nation unable to find its feet and succumbing to an ever-deteriorating security climate.
Yet while the shadow cast by Al Shabaab, the Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group, looms large over daily life in the country, Somalis at home and abroad are beginning to challenge the nihilistic narrative that dominates media coverage of their struggle. Angered by what they saw as one-sided, sensationalist reporting in The Economist, Twitter users jumped on the hashtag #CorrectingTheEconomist to highlight Somalia’s slow but steady progress in recent years...