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Emerging States & Claims to Autonomy and Independence




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Rare Haven of Stability in Somalia Faces Test (June 25, 2010)

In many ways Somaliland is already a state. The autonomous region in north-west Somalia has its own military, currency, borders and national identity. It is also a functioning democracy in a less-than democratic region. While its neighbors in the Horn of Africa struggle with conflict and misrule, Somaliland has held three sets of peaceful national elections. Despite its successes, however, no other countries have recognized Somaliland as an independent state, and the government does not benefit from international aid. For now, this "haven of stability" is stuck in the grey area between autonomous region and sovereign state. (New York Times)


Somalia: Somaliland pleas for food and aid (June 29, 2009)

A severe draught has struck all six regions of Somaliland. The authorities there fear that forty per cent of the population will be affected and suffer from food and water shortages. Somaliland may still face difficulties getting humanitarian aid, since the self-declared state has not yet been recognized by the international community (Irin News).



The Country That Disappeared (March 9, 2008)

In 1960, Somalia and Somaliland formed one country after their independence from the UK. However, in 1991, Somiland seceded in an attempt to escape the Somali dictator Siad Barre. It became a pro-Western Islamic democracy with low rates of corruption and crime. Despite the fact that the country has peace, universities, hospitals and its own currency, it doesn't really exist. No government has granted Somaliland diplomatic recognition. (Observer)



The Other Somalia: An Island of Stability in a Sea of Armed Chaos (March 7, 2007)

This New York Times article highlights the struggle by Somaliland to achieve international recognition as a sovereign state. The author argues that the relative peace in Somaliland over the past decade - while the rest of Somalia was plagued by violence - gives the region a legitimate claim to sovereignty.

A Land of Camel Milk and Honey (February 27, 2007)

In 1991, Somaliland declared independence from Somalia, formed its own government and started using its own currency. Despite this secession, the US and other governments have yet to officially recognize Somaliland or offer international aid to this emergent country. This lack of assistance, however, has not stopped Somaliland from becoming a thriving nation with expanding public schools, hospitals and social services. The author attributes this success to the government and insists that it is time for the international community "to recognize Somaliland as a nation." (New York Times)

Somaliland Seeks Recognition, Somali President Calls for Talks (January 28, 2007)

This Garowe Online article highlights the government of Somaliland's desire for international recognition as a legitimate state. At the January 2007 African Union summit, Rwandan Foreign Minister Dr. Charles Murigande supported Somaliland's aspiration and openly called for AU members to recognize the country. This angered Somalia's transitional government, which views Somaliland as breakaway province.



The Signs Say Somaliland, but the World Says Somalia (June 5, 2006)

After having declared itself independent in 1991, Somaliland has built democratic institutions and refrained clan rivalry. However, no country has recognized this region in Somalia as a sovereign nation. Members of the African Union say that recognition will increase tensions in Somalia. But they also fear that it could set a precedent for separatist movements in their own countries. (New York Times)

> Somaliland: Time for African Union Leadership (May 23, 2006)

Unlike most other areas with secessionist claims and in contrast with the anarchy of Southern Somalia, Somaliland functions as a constitutional democracy. Somalia's Transitional Federal Government claims sovereignty over the area, while Somaliland stresses its separate status during colonial rule and its brief period as a sovereign state following independence from Britain. No other government has recognized Somaliland. (International Crisis Group)



Somaliland Poll 'Transparent' (April 17, 2003)

A South African monitoring team said Somaliland's first democratic elections were fair, peaceful, and transparent. The republic, which declared itself independent from Somalia in 1991, still lacks official recognition from the international community. (SAPA - AFP)


EU Breaks Ice on Financing Somaliland (February 11, 2003)

The European Union is the first international body to extend aid directly to the unofficial Somaliland government for an infrastructure development project. The international community quietly supports Somaliland, which has existed in peace and stability for ten years, but the African Union stands staunchly against independence for the state. (afrol News)



Local Democracy in Action in Somaliland (December 20, 2002)

The international community does not recognize Somaliland as an independent state, but a team from the Catholic Institute for International Development finds that civil liberties, women's rights, and democracy are flourishing in the self-declared independent republic.


Somaliland: The Little Country That Could (November 29, 2002)

"Since the Somali Democratic Republic became a failed state in 1991, Somaliland is the one part of the former entity that has managed to put in place sustained stability and a constitutional government accepted by most of its inhabitants." This article discusses Somaliland's quest for independence and international recognition. (Addis Tribune)

Somaliland Eager to Prove its Worth as Independent State (May 9, 2002)

Somaliland has a constitution, a police force, a penal code, currency, and customs agency but the international community denies recognition. The government hopes to lure international support by pointing to the peaceful power transition after the death of President Egal, and to the upcoming democratic elections. (Agence France-Presse)



Will America Support the Partition of Somalia? (August 24, 2000)

Is the US planning to recognize the independence of Somaliland while Somalia is trying to create a new government? High-level delegations to Berbera certainly hint at that possibility, says

Security Council Members Welcome Formation of New Somali Parliament (August 16, 2000)

The Security Council endorsed the new Somali government. The international community was called upon to provide assistance for the nation's reconstruction. (UN Newservice)

Somali Government Is Set Up Next Door (August 14, 2000)

While the country is still largely controlled by warlords, the civil society of Somalia met in neighbouring Djibouti to create a new legislature. How effectively it will be able to function remains to be shown. (Associated Press)

Somali Businesses Stunted by Too-Free Enterprise (August 7, 2000)

While Somalia might not have a functioning government at the moment, it does have busy private enterprises living in a state of pure capitalism. Yet these business people would like nothing more than to be taxed! (Mogadishu Journal)




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