Is Somaliland Calling the UN’s Bluff?


Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991, from which point the two moved in markedly different directions. While the latter was engulfed in conflict, the former developed a functioning state based on multiparty elections combined with clan-based governance. In time, Somaliland came to enjoy some de facto recognition.

Several international organisations such as the UN as well as individual countries, for example, sometimes engage with the government as if it were an autonomous state. In fact, at least half the Somaliland government’s expenses are covered by international support.

However, it continues to suffer from its lack of de jure recognition, a situation which among others prevents it being able to borrow on international markets and access international funding from the likes of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank directly.

The suspension by Somaliland of all relation with the UN “till further notice” is a sign that Somaliland is clearly losing patience with the UN’s unwillingness to recognise it as an independent country writes Robert Kluijver for African Arguments.