Thursday, September 15, 2016

Somaliland to become Africa's 55th country

(CNN)Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo recently claimed that more than one million citizens, out of the country's population of 3.4 million, had signed a petition calling for the international community to recognise Somaliland.

Since 1991, and the collapse of the Siad Barre regime in Somalia, the region has declared itself independent. But should it? The examples of the secession of South Sudan and Eritrea raise serious questions and doubts about the outcomes of breakaway states.
The general approach to calls for secession in Africa, as set out by the African Union (AU) and its predecessor the Organisation of African Unity, is that they should be opposed. The most frequently heard argument against secession is that granting the right to one country invites others to take the same step.

This, the argument goes, would put at risk the internationally recognised system of post-colonial states in Africa.
The issue of secession first arose in the 1960s with the wave of decolonisation and questions over the viability of the newly independent states across the continent. Two cases stood out: the Congo, where Katanga's self-proclaimed breakaway was defeated by United Nations forces; and Nigeria, where the Biafran secession was ended by the Nigerian federal forces.

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