Inside the world’s most fragile country

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A Somali traffic policeman stands guard near the scene of a suicide car bomb explosion outside the traffic police headquarters in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu May 9, 2016.
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REUTERS/Feisal Omar

Despite years of horrific civil war and mass migrations, Syria was not determined to be the most fragile state in the world over the past year.

Instead, the Fund for Peace placed the dubious honor of being the world’s least-stable country on the war-torn African nation of Somalia in its annual Fragile States Index. And unfortunately, it is not difficult to understand why Somalia tops the list as the most fragile state in the world.

Somalia has not had a functioning nationwide government since a civil war tore the country apart in 1991. According to the index, the country has bottom scores for human rights and factionalized elites, and near-bottom scores for security and the problems associated with refugees.

And according to the CIA World Factbook, Somalia has the third-highest infant-mortality rate and maternal-mortality rate, and total life expectancy is estimated to be only 51.96 years at birth. The country is also hosting a small number of Yemeni refugees, has over a million displaced people of its own, and continues to face a brutal insurgency from the Al Qaeda affiliated Al Shabaab.

The pictures below provide a glimpse into life in Somalia.


A Somali government soldier takes position during gunfire after a suicide bomb attack outside Nasahablood hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, June 25, 2016.

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REUTERS/Feisal Omar

An internally displaced woman who fled flooding of the overflowed Shabelle river carries her child as they wait to receive relief assistance near Baledweyne town in central Somalia, June 22, 2016.

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REUTERS/Feisal Omar

Somali security forces stand in front of Hotel Ambassador on Maka Al Mukaram Road in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, June 2, 2016.

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REUTERS/Feisal Omar

Somali women weave baskets during an event to showcase traditional Somali culture in Hamarweyne district in the capital Mogadishu, December 3, 2015.

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REUTERS/Feisal Omar

The faithful attend prayers outside the Marwaas Mosque on the second Friday of the holy month of Ramadan in Mogadishu, Somalia June 17, 2016.

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REUTERS/Ismail Taxta

A government soldier stands at the scene of a roadside bomb explosion at the KBB village in Hodan district of Mogadishu, Somalia, May 23, 2016.

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REUTERS/Feisal Omar

A Somali traffic policeman stands guard near the scene of a suicide car bomb explosion outside the traffic police headquarters in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu May 9, 2016.

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REUTERS/Feisal Omar

A man walks past the carcass of sheep that died from the El Nino-related drought in Marodijeex town of southern Hargeysa, in northern Somalia’s semi-autonomous Somaliland region, April 7, 2016.

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REUTERS/Feisal Omar

An internally displaced woman walks through a camp on the outskirts of the town of Qol Ujeed, on the border with Ethiopia, Somaliland April 17, 2016. Across the Horn of Africa, millions have been hit by the severe El Nino-related drought.

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REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

A camel herder stands near camels close to the town of Borama, Somaliland April 16, 2016.

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REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

A boy carries a goat near Jidhi town of Awdal region, Somaliland April 10, 2016.

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REUTERS/Feisal Omar

A woman transports her belongings and a sheep on a donkey near Jidhi town of Awdal region, Somaliland April 10, 2016.

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REUTERS/Feisal Omar

Women pray as they wait for assistance at Hariirad town of Awdal region, Somaliland April 9, 2016.

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REUTERS/Feisal Omar

Somali policemen stand near the scene of a car bomb explosion at a local government headquarters that killed five people in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, April 11, 2016.

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REUTERS/Ismail Taxta

Children play on an abandoned boat along the Shabelle River bed, which is dry due to drought in Somalia’s Shabelle region, March 19, 2016.

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REUTERS/Feisal Omar

People collect water from shallow wells dug along the Shabelle River bed, which is dry due to drought in Somalia’s Shabelle region, March 19, 2016.

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REUTERS/Feisal Omar

A young boy walks between twisted iron roofing looking for valuables after a night fire razed down a busy market in Mogadishu February 16, 2016.

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REUTERS/Ismail Taxta

A general view through a broken glass shows government forces patrolling on Lido beach following an attack at beachside restaurant Beach View Cafe in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, January 22, 2016.

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REUTERS/Feisal Omar

Members of the Somali military perform a defensive drill after attending a commando training exercise at the United Arab Emirates military training camp in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia January 20, 2016.

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REUTERS/Feisal Omar

A general view shows tented shelters of a makeshift camp for Yemeni refugees in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, December 16, 2015.

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REUTERS/Feisal Omar