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Becoming Somaliland

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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

No US rights


A welcome and thorough account [...]The book is invaluable and will inform many a dissertation, essay and article in the future. BULLETIN OF THE SCHOOL OF ORIENTAL AND AFRICAN STUDIES
A detailed source of reference that must be essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand why Somaliland has broken away from Somalia and how to go about the business of building a new state. NORTH-SOUTH
[Fills] an important gap in the literature on Somali studies. FAHAMU/PAMBAZUKA NEWS


First Published: 01 Apr 2008
13 Digit ISBN: 9781847013118
2 line drawing illustrations
Pages: 288
Size: 21.6 x 13.8
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: James Currey
BIC Class: GTB

Details updated on 05 Oct 2015


  • 1  Introduction
  • 2  The Somali People & Culture
  • 3  The Rise & Fall of the State of Somalia
  • 4  The Political Foundations of Somaliland
  • 5  A New Somaliland
  • 6  State Building & the Long Transition
  • 7  Rising from the Ashes: Economic Rebuilding & Development
  • 8  Social Developments
  • 9  Democratic Transitions
  • 10  The Practice of Government
  • 11  Conclusions: Rethinking the Future



A Modern History of the Somali

A Modern History of the Somali