Yesterday, May 18, marked the 25th Somaliland Independence. Though not recognized, the autonomous region of Somalia colorfully and joyously celebrated their achievements so far.
After a hellish civil war in 1991, north-west Somalia broke away from the rest of the country. Till date it still declares itself independent as well as a successor of the State of Somaliland. The former British colony currently has a population of about 3.5 million people.
Somaliland is believed to be one of the most stable and peaceful countries in the Horn of Africa. 2 decades and half ago, no one thought that description would be possible.
“The territory has its own currency, passport, army and legal system. Its presidents come to power through fiercely-fought elections, sometimes won with the narrowest of margins. Unlike many other African countries, the results are respected, even when the opposition wins.” – BBC
However, the “self-declared republic” still battles with several challenges. From time to time they still clash with Somalia; unemployment rate is at 75%. Youths from Somaliland form a significant part of unfortunate African migrants who take the Mediterranean chance to sail to Europe for greener pastures.
Somaliland authorities are described as somewhat rigid when it comes to their relations with the media. As much as the territory displays profound patriotism, it is still unrecognized by the United Nations and some other international bodies.
The just past Somaliland independence celebration is indeed remarkable. At a time when many parts of the world are going up in flames and smokes, the autonomous African territory still enjoys relative peace and stability. Somehow they have become a tourist destination by Somalis all over the world. Their culture particularly attracts a great number of people to the region.
One striking difference between the Somaliland and Somalia is that Somalia as a recognized African country, has access to greater funds, Somaliland does not have such. Regardless of this, Somaliland working within its means is comparatively more stable than Somalia.