HARGEISA, 12 November 2009 (Somalilandpress) — Somaliland has been hailed as a beacon of stability in the troubled Horn of Africa region since declaring independence from Somalia in 1991.

But Al Jazeera’s Mohamed Adow, reports that some experts now believe the self-declared republic is at crisis point, as an election row deepens.

The current tension in Somaliland centres on the presidential election, which was due to have been held on September 27.

The polls have been postponed indefinitely due to serious differences between the political parties since 2008.

This uncertainty has led to increased concern about Somaliland in the international community, and a flare-up of political animosity within the territory.
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Recent violence, particularly in the capital Hargeysa, has shown that the crisis in Somaliland has changed from being political to one of security and stability.

Fears over the crisis have even led one senior political figure to warn that it could become another failed state, like neighbouring Somalia.

Somaliland is a former British protectorate in north western Somalia.

In 1960, it gained its independence and united with what was then Italian Somaliland to form the Somalia republic.

Limited democracy

In 1991, it declared independence after Mohamed Siad Barre, the Somali military leader, was overthrown.

Somaliland has a population of 3.5 million people, according to government estimates, and is a relatively stable democracy even though it has not been internationally recognised.

This is partly because it has developed a unique hybrid system of government.

The row over elections – largely seen as a test for this fledgling nation – threatens to divide it.

Afyare Elmi, a Somali political analyst, told Al Jazeera: “The concerns are real. The opposition fears the government is not interested in holding this election and there is a lot at stake. Unless these elections take place, they might have some problems.

“However, if history tells us anything, the Somaliland leadership has shown that at least they could address with traditional leadership the issues when they arise.”

The hope now rests with a recently appointed electoral commission, entrusted with the task of organising elections, a step seen as vital to Somaliland’s quest for international recognition.


Source: Al Jazeera and agencies


  1. Is Somaliland really facing a crisis? The answer is yes and no. It all depends on fair and free election and for the people of Somaliland to practise their Democratic rights and elect a leader of their choice without hindrance. But Riyaale doesn't want a fair and free election. He has nothing to gain and everything to lose. He wants to able to rig or defraud the election outcome or postponed as long as he can to cling to power. And that is the main problem that may cause a riot. People are running of patience and may eventually pick up the gun. That is what we are all afraid of and would like that Mr. Riyaale comes to senses and to step down peacefully and gracefully. It would be better for everybody. We all hope that nothing serious happens because Somalilanders put lots of efforts to rebuild country.

  2. Waar kuwan walaweyn yaa inaga damiinta they love to spread bad news about Somaliland allah jeclaan lahaayaa daagaal ka dhacay Hargesa oo ka dhiga Xamar oo kale

  3. Having said that, we Somalilanders really need to get our acts together and pull through this election and hopefully get replace the incompetent uselss of president Rayale

  4. why didn't he tell the good news that the economy is booming after the lifting the Saudi ban? why didn't he talk to Faysal Ali warbe? why he took only one sentence from Siilanyo ( from an old interview?) why didn't interview people in the street about what they feel about their county? what the hell is that Somaliland map in their website that has no source and far away from the truth? and why this interview time? but what the hell,insha allah we will see in the day of elections…

  5. it is not as being exaggerated by the media. we all know that somaliland is in satable condition and it seems bad to be pessimistic about the future.
    we are the nearest neighbour of somaliland and all aware of the current situation in this country so it is our expectation that every thing will be in a good mood and we say do not allow others to interfere your affairs and keep your country peacefull and attractive for recognition

  6. Walaweyn yeynaanku meereysan. It is true that We Somalilanders are facing huge problems. I can understand that people alway put happy faces even the time of crisis not to excite their rivals. We shouldn’t underestimate our country is going unknown future unless we solve our problems. No one can hide the facts and the good things we did for ourselves wouldn’t be hiden.

    We don’t want to wait untill it’s too late and what happen to our old country Somalia happen to us. we can’t play Wadani Songs like Waabaa baryey Bilicsan like the old Somali government did in the 80s when they destroyed their own cities like Hagseisa and pretend everything was oky.

    I do feel sorry for innocent Somalilanders we were panished by Somali government but we should know that not every Somalis had taken parts. We can’t blame our fathers or grandfathers who decided to united with Somalia because no one could forsee the future.

    Now if you care for Somaliland it’s real that Somaliland is facing crisis and we should act quicker before it also become like old Somalia. Do you think Somalilanders are smarter or better in solving problems if you say yes. You are fooling yourselves becuase we could be even worse than they are.

    We have two choices either pretend everything is perfect in Somaliland and wait untill we all loose what we had or act and eccept the reality. we didn’t hold election when we should. We have people beheading other people for nothing and no justice and we still think everything is oky. Maybe we live different world but just only have one thing between us Somaliland.

  7. It's true Somaliland has it's own share of problems but it's not as big as Al Jazeera likes to make it besides they are too late what you see happened almost 3 months ago now, and this issue has now been resolved but we await for the next chapter.
    Somaliland does have problems but we know how to resolve our problems thats what makes us unique in this votile continent.