James Currey, 2008 - 271 pages
When does a country become a state? On 18 May 1991, the leaders of the Somali National Movement and the elders of northern Somali clans proclaimed that they were setting up the new Republic of Somaliland. It is based on the territory of the former British Protectorate which had merged with the Italian colony of Somalia in 1960 to form the Somali Republic. Why has Somaliland not followed Somalia into 'state collapse'? Over the past fifteen years the people of Somaliland have peacefully and successfully managed a process of reconciliation, demobilisation, the restoration of law and order, economic recovery and reconstruction. Why is Somaliland yet to be recognised by the international community? The international system purports to promote 'good governance' in Africa. Somaliland has a democratically elected government formed after one of the freest elections in the region and in any Muslim country. Yet the country still has no international legal status, while Somalia, which has had no effective government since 1990, is still accorded de jure sovereignty. Should a unitary government be re-established for all of Somalia? Since the collapse of the Somali state international diplomacy has supported fourteen peace conferences, each focusing on re-establishing Somalia as a functioning state. In support of this Somalia as recently seen new international military intervention by Ethiopia and the USA. Yet it is Somaliland which challenges the typical image of war, disaster and social regression associated with this part of Africa. MARK BRADBURY is a development consultant who has worked extensively in North East Africa Published in association with Progressio; North America: Indiana U Press
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