Becoming Somaliland, Paperback Book


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.

Why has Somaliland not followed Somalia into 'state collapse'?

Over the past fifteen years Somaliland has successfully managed a process of reconciliation, demobilisation and the restoration of law and order.

A constitutionally based government has held three democratic elections.

The capital Hargeysa has become an international trading centre.

Why has Somaliland yet to be recognised by the international community?

The international system purports to promote 'good governance' in Africa.

Somaliland has had one of the most free series of elections in the region.

Yet this new republic 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 whole. Yet it is Somaliland which challenges the typical image of war, disaster and social regression associated with this part of Africa since the 1990s.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288 pages, maps, photographs
  • Publisher: James Currey
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Development studies
  • ISBN: 9781847013101



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