Somaliland aims for recognition

2008-06-29 22:08
Hargeisa - The breakaway state of Somaliland hopes next year's presidential elections will lead to international recognition of the northern Somali enclave as an independent country, officials said on Sunday.

The polls were seen by many as an acid test for the former British protectorate which broke away from Somalia in 1991 when the ouster of former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre plunged the Horn-of-Africa country into anarchy.

Somaliland has enjoyed relative peace and prosperity and has held previous democratic elections, but analysts say it is not recognised globally because of concerns that rewriting colonial borders would open a Pandora's box of other secession claims.

Test for recognition bid

"The election is a test for Somaliland's recognition bid," electoral commission chairperson Mohamed Ismail Mohamed said.

"So many countries are waiting to see how we will conduct our election. It will be transparent, free and fair."

Presidential elections were postponed in 2007 and again this year due to what officials called technical problems, including inadequate voter registration and planning time.

The polls were due to be held before April 6 2009, following a civil registration process.

Somaliland's system of government consists of a house of representatives elected directly by the people and an upper chamber, or Guurti, consisting of traditional elders representing the different clans and sub-clans.

"We will do everything to make sure the elections are held.

"We have a unique infant democracy combining a traditional chamber and a Parliamentary system. We can not afford to fail," Foreign Affairs Minister Abdullahi Mohamed Duale told Reuters.

  • According to a European Union study seen by Reuters, the region has substantial untapped resources of oil, coal and metals such as gold, platinum, copper, nickel and zinc.

    Somaliland's 850km of coastline on the Gulf of Aden also offers potential for a fishing industry.


    Read News24’s Comments Policy


    Inside News24


    Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

    Property [change area]

    Travel - Look, Book, Go!

    Magical Massinga

    Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

    20% off all TV Series!

    Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

    Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

    Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

    Up to 40% off fashion accessories

    Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

    Save up to R2000 on top electronics

    Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

    As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

    Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

    OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

    Samsung Galaxy s4

    Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

    Best bargain in big bay

    Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

    VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

    Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


    Today is one of those days where the more positive and optimistic you are the more opportunities you seem to more

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


    Create Profile

    Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

    Please provide a username for your profile page:

    This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


    Location Settings

    News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

    Facebook Sign-In

    Hi News addict,

    Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

    Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.