Article from ROAPE Volume 21 Number 59
Formation/Recognition of New States: Somaliland/Eritrea

Formation and recognition of New States: Somaliland in Contrast to Eritrea
Vol.21 No.59 (January 1994), pp21-38
'somaliland’ has reasserted the separate existence it had as the colony of British Somaliland before independence and union with the former Italian Somalia in 1960. It has avoided the devastation of warlordism that has afflicted the rest of Somalia through compromise politics between clan elders. However, its de facto statehood since 1991 has not received the international recognition accorded Eritrea in 1993. The Experiences of Somaliland and Eritrea in the circumstances of their post-colonial union with other entities, in their liberation movements and in their current policies are contrasted. It is suggested that there can be mutual learning from Somaliland's consociational, ethnic democracy and Eritrea's ‘radical social democracy’ , of an eventual, orchestrated multi-partism that eschews ethnic and religious divides. Discusses: Historical and constitutional background; The politics of union; The dialectic of military and socio-political aspects; Implications for democratisation; Conclusions.