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Somalia and Somaliland: the two edged sword of international intervention

[journal article]

Kenning, David

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Abstract Since the collapse of the state in Somalia in 1991 the country has been the recipient of numerous international interventions and operations but has not as yet reached a sustainable peaceful settlement, despite at one point costing the UN almost two billion dollars a year in its operations. In contrast Somaliland, the area that seceded in the north, despite not being recognised by international governments and having been on the brink of several civil wars, has reached a level of political reconciliation and economic growth that compares favourably to the rest of Somalia. This article argues that the international actors’ misinterpretation of Somali social and political organisation during intervention, Somaliland’s ability to engage in a form of democracy that is based on traditional politics and the different experience the area had during colonialism has meant that its society has reached an unlikely level of peace and reconciliation.
Keywords Somalia; failed state; military conflict; civil war; conflict management; international aid; intervention; peacekeeping; democratization; political system; state formation; developing country; East Africa
Classification Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy; International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy; Political System, Constitution, Government
Free Keywords Somaliand
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
Page/Pages p. 63-70
Journal Federal Governance, 8 (2011) 2
Issue topic Federalism, reconciliation, and power-sharing in post-conflict societies
ISSN 1923-6158
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Basic Digital Peer Publishing Licence