Saturday, October 22, 2005

Democracy comes of age in Somaliland

"Even if the US were to support Somaliland’s right to self-determination, is unlikely that they or any other country will recognise Somaliland without the approval of the Organisation of African Union."

The rising sun reveals two long lines of people snaking towards a small concrete polling station in Gabiley, a town in rural Somaliland. Many of them have walked considerable distances and queued all night in order to vote in these, the first parliamentary elections held in the territory for nearly forty years. But although voters across the country have turned out in force, and although the election is deemed free and fair by international observers, the result will not be officially recognised beyond its territorial borders. Indeed, in the eyes of the international community, Somaliland is a country that does not exist......

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by Stefan Simanowit

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