Somaliland shelters war-displaced

Local politics blocking relief efforts from benefiting Somalis.



    Thousands of people displaced by fighting in Somalia are ending up in the relatively peaceful neighbouring territory, Somaliland.

    In depth


     Video: Somaliland shelters war-displaced
     Video: Somaliland stability 'at risk'
     Vote rekindles Somaliland's hopes
     
    Somaliland leaves Somalis in limbo
     Economic success in Somaliland

     Somaliland: Africa's isolated state

    Once part of Somalia, it is now a self-declared republic in the troubled Horn of Africa region, and has been seeking international recognition of its independence since 1991.

    Al Jazeera's Mohammed Adow, in Burao, the main city of Togdheer province, says the complicated nature of local politics is blocking relief efforts.

    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.

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

    Political unrest

    Tension over the Somaliland presidential election, which was due to have been held on September 27, has given rise to fears that the self-declared territory could become a failed state like its neighbour Somalia.

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

    The complicated nature of local politics is blocking relief efforts in Burao
    This uncertainty has led to increased concern about Somaliland in the international community, and a flare-up of political animosity within the territory.

    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.

    Despite the unrest in September, Somaliland has a relatively stable democracy.

    It 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.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.