Somaliland at the crossroads: Protecting a fragile stability

Somaliland is a rare success story in a conflict-prone region, but its progress remains fragile. With elections coming up, this report examines Somaliland's many challenges.

In a conflict-prone region, Somaliland is a rare success story. Although the international community has not recognised the independence of this self-declared republic, the territory functions with complete autonomy. Over the last 24 years, it has built a functioning democracy and relatively strong institutions of government; a particularly impressive achievement in comparison to the repeated failures of Mogadishu-based administrations. This progress, however, remains fragile. Somaliland’s continued stability is by no means guaranteed. It faces several challenges, both internal and external, which it must overcome if it is to continue its promising development – and if it is to have any chance of receiving the international recognition that is its holy grail. With presidential elections coming up, this report examines what those challenges are.

About the author

Simon Allison is a senior reporter for the Daily Maverick, a South Africa based digital publication; and a consultant with the Institute for Security Studies. He specialises in African news and analysis with emphasis on conflict, security and counter-terrorism. He holds degrees from Rhodes University and the School of Oriental and African Studies, and has lived and worked across Africa and the Middle East.

Development partners
This report has been made possible with support from the governments of the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. The ISS is also grateful for support from the other members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, and the USA.
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