Somaliland: The African Game Changer


Our Colours our Nation

“The Consequences of Somaliland’s International (Non) Recognition”- THE BRENTHURST FOUNDATION’s Discussion Paper of 2011/05

Somalilandsun -This Discussion Paper considers the case for Somaliland’s formal recognition following the recent 20th anniversary of its declaration of independence (18 may 1991) and in light of the secession of Southern Sudan.

Based on a series of field studies in the region over several years, most recently in Somaliland in June 2011, this Paper focuses not only on the options for Somalia and others in this regard, but considers the vital question: how will recognition – or continued non-recognition – affect Somaliland’s prospects for peace and stability as well as the interests of the international community? It also asks whether there is an alternative to full recognition, and what a strategy to achieve recognition might look like.

The Paper argues that recognition of Somaliland would be a most cost-effective means to ensure security in an otherwise troubled and problematic region. moreover, at a time when ‘ungoverned spaces’ have emerged as a major source of global concern, it is deeply ironic that the international community should deny itself the opportunity to extend the reach of global governance in a way that would be beneficial both to itself, and to the people of Somaliland. For Africa, Somaliland’s recognition should not threaten a ‘Pandora’s box’ of secessionist claims in other states. Instead it offers a means to positively change the incentives for better governance, not only for Somaliland, but also in south-central Somalia.

But whatever the benefits and costs to Somaliland, The Paper’s authors say,regional states and the international community, recognition would illustrate that African borders, far from being sources of insecurity, can be a source of stability and enhanced state capacity. In that respect, the recognition of Somaliland would certainly be an African game changer.

Read THE BRENTHURST FOUNDATION’s Discussion Paper of 2011/05 “The Consequences of Somaliland’s International (Non) Recognition”