The state of Somaliland fulfilled the all conditions of statehood and still not recognized by one country of the international community, Somaliland declared its unilateral independence from...

The state of Somaliland fulfilled the all conditions of statehood and still not recognized by one country of the international community, Somaliland declared its unilateral independence from Somalia in 1991 and Somaliland grassroots voted 97% to be an independent state, on the other hand many other countries who were declared their independence after Somaliland have been recognized such as Eritrea which seceded from Ethiopia in 1993, South Sudan from Sudan in 2011 although the African Union claimed the Colonial borders should not be changed and respected as it was but Eritrea and South Sudan get international recognition,also Kosovo, East Timor and many other former Soviet Union countries gained official recognition.

Why is the international community ignoring the case of Somaliland?

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pnrjulius eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Good question! While Somaliland has disputed territory and is surrounded by sectarian violence, the same is true of Syria but we don't disqualify Syria from being a legitimate state. Indeed, Somaliland is more democratic than most other countries in the region, so if anything they seem more legitimate than a lot of other states.

A few countries offer Somaliland limited recognition; they have embassies in Ghana, South Africa, Djibouti, Belgium, France, Sweden, and Ethiopia---Ethiopia is seriously considering giving them full formal recognition as a state.

The US also has some tentative ties with Somaliland; if they ever did fully recognize them, the international community would very likely follow. The UK has also informally recognized Somaliland, but refuses to take that last step of granting them formal status as a state.

Why is this? It seems to have to do with the way Somaliland is perceived by a number of major powers in the Middle East, particularly the Arab League. The officially recognized government of Somalia is part of the Arab League, despite being fractious, corrupt, and ineffectual. When Israel suggested that they were considering recognizing Somaliland, the Arab League reacted in outrage, filing motions with the UN to condemn what they argued was an attempt to divide one of their member nations and thus interference in their national sovereignty. (Israel backed down and does not formally recognize Somaliland.)

What it seems to come down to is that Western powers like the US and UK would like to recognize Somaliland, but fear that if they do so they will lose the support of key Arab League powers like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which they need to fight terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. We have made some quite extreme concessions to Saudi Arabia in particular, despite their poor human rights record; but policymakers in the US and other Western countries perceive Saudi Arabia to be an essential ally for reasons of both military strategy and of course oil exports.

In an ideal world, we would be able to recognize the rightful democratic government of Somaliland; but alas, that isn't the world we live in.


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