May 14, 2009

THERE IS NO SOMALIA:

In breakaway Somaliland, a bid to be stable regional citizen: The unrecognized territory hosts tens of thousands of Somali refugees and is trying and imprisoning pirates. (Shashank Bengali, 5/14/09, McClatchy Newspapers)

In Hargeisa, a visitor can walk the asphalt roads at dusk and freely breathe the sharp mountain air. The street markets are busy and boisterous, and hanging out there isn't likely to get you killed. Cellphone companies advertise mobile Internet service and the good hotels have wireless hot spots.

If this doesn't feel like Somalia, residents say that's because it's not. This is Somaliland, a northern former British protectorate that broke away from chaotic southern Somalia in 1991, established an admirably stable government, and hoped never to look back.

No country has recognized Somaliland's independence, however. The argument has always been that to do so would further destabilize Somalia, even as Somalia seems to be destabilizing well enough on its own.


Yet we destabilized Somalia by giving Ethiopia the green light to drive out the UIC.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 14, 2009 5:35 PM
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