Dreaming of Somaliland
The last few months of 2017 have been characterised by global debates in relation to statehood recognition and its consequences for global order and the expansion of citizens’ rights.
Meanwhile, in Somaliland – north of Somalia, East Africa – Somalilanders, quietly and confidently, continued concretizing their own statehood dreams: over the last few months Somaliland has organised its third presidential election, which took place on November 13, demonstrating the strength of its electoral, multi-party and hybrid political system. All with the wish of one day being recognized by the world as a political entity in its own right.
Somaliland is a successful example of peace- and state-building. Unlike some other African countries – still suffering diverse violent conflicts and intensive flawed and/or militarized international intervention – in Somaliland, local actors were and are the main stakeholders leading, creating and sustaining a legitimated political order.
In times when we face new questions in relation to secessionist and independence movements, Somaliland offers an example how citizens can come to organise their own socio-political processes, making their voices heard so as to create fairer social orders without much “international aid”.