This paper discusses the logic of political identification by individuals and groups in the context of re-emerging state structures in northern Somalia. Current identities are analysed as political identities, which are both a product of and a driving force behind political and military conflict in the region. In everyday life political cleavages can be bridged by cross-cutting ties based on neighbourhood, intermarriage or common experiences and history. Only when conflict reaches a certain level and violence escalates, do political identities become mutually exclusive and large-scale fighting become a real threat.
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