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Somaliland Faces a Tipping Point

Friday, Sept. 11, 2009

Amid devastated Somalia, a country mired for two decades in unforgiving conflict, Somaliland glows as an ember of hope. A moderate peace has held for 10 years in the autonomous region, reflecting a decade of efforts to expand governance, security and social institutions. Yet, despite it being a minor success in a sea of failure, regional and international organizations will not grant Somaliland status as an independent state, or give it a seat at the international roundtable.

As another transitional government in Mogadishu fractures in the face of insurgent forces, and the international community scrambles to update policy positions, Somaliland must hear the sound of opportunity knocking. With pirates plundering merchant ships in the waters off its coast, and the port of Berbera bridging the supply line between Eritrea and Islamist militants in Somalia's south, Somaliland suddenly finds itself in a position to be a strategically important ally in the West's battle against terrorism and piracy. ...

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