Recognition in International Law

Somaliland had enjoyed independence for a short period. It is the only country in the world with shortest period of independence, which lasted just five days. The former British Protectorate of Somaliland had established an independent state of Somaliland on June 26, 1960. This state withdrew from the Commonwealth. After five days of the independence, it united with Somalia on July 1, 1960; which was under Italian administration, as a United Nations Trust territory, to form the Somali Republic. The integration of these two territories to form one State gave rise to a number of several problems .

The government of Somaliland has initiated a campaign to gain recognition, and it is sparing no efforts to influence the other African countries in this regard. The major country in the region is South Africa; and the latter has extended its unstinted cooperation to Somaliland’s endeavours to gain recognition. Moreover, Ethiopia is its ally. Hargeisa is the capital of the de facto Republic of Somaliland, which was established in the year 1991. It is the largest city in Somaliland, and Ethiopia had elevated the status of its representative to Somaliland to that of Ambassador.

Subsequently, Somaliland applied for membership to the African Union in 2005 . The union of the former British Protectorate of Somaliland with the Italian governed Somalia ended in a fiasco. This failure was exemplified by the overwhelming civil war in the Republic of Somalia. At that juncture, Somaliland declared its independence, and the civil war engulfed Somalia and Somaliland. The latter suffered terribly from the civil war and underwent considerable damage. However, over a period of time it was able to re-establish itself.

Subsequent to its recovery from the effects of the disastrous civil war, Somaliland sought recognition from the international community. It expressed its desire to reintegrate itself with the rest of the world, by establishing commercial, economic and diplomatic relations with the international community. Somaliland sought the recognition of the international community in the areas of democracy, education, social and economic development, and in the development of its natural resources and other areas that would help in its progress .