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Somaliland’s Quiet Revolution

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By Rasna Warah: a freelance journalist based in Malindi, Kenya

Denied international recognition for nearly three decades, the breakaway republic has built a hybrid political system that some scholars term the first modern African democracy

“Never dress a deep wound superficially.”Somali proverb

 

At the recent London conference on Somalia, representatives from Somaliland were conspicuously absent, as they have been at all conferences on Somalia that have been taking place over the past two decades. Somaliland even boycotted the recent elections in Somalia, “even if it means stopping or destroying vehicles carrying ballot papers across the border,” as one Somalilander put it. This is because Somaliland does not consider itself as being part of Somalia; it views itself as a sovereign state, even though the international community has stubbornly failed to recognize it as such since it broke away from Somalia in 1991.

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