Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Referendum in Somaliland Independence in 2001

Hi All,

This is an article from the BBC world service on Somaliland's referendum in 2001. The people of Somaliland do seek for recognition but Somalia is denying them that privilege with the support of the International Community. Below is the article.

" The people of the self-declared republic of Somaliland are voting in a referendum on independence.
The tiny African region broke away from the rest of Somalia 10 years ago, but its secession has never been internationally recognised.
The vote is controversial both inside and outside Somaliland. But Somaliland's leader, President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, is determined that what he terms a successful new state is allowed to disassociate itself from war-torn Somalia.

The referendum will determine whether independence is supported by the majority of people in Somaliland, but it remains to be seen whether the result will be endorsed by the international community.

Voters were queuing up when the 600 polling stations opened at 0600 local time (0300 GMT), the news agency AFP said. The vice-chairman of the national constitutional commission said he was hoping for a turnout of 60%.

President Egal refused to have anything to do with Somalia's reconciliation efforts. Instead, in 2001, he proposed a referendum on Somaliland's independence, in which 97% of the nearly 1 million Somalilanders who voted endorsed independence. While the international community took note of the referendum, it did not move forward to recognize Somaliland's independence.

Somaliland has been officially independent before - for four days in 1960, between the end of British colonial rule and integration with the rest of Somalia which had been under Italian administration.

The majority of its population is MuslimWhen the country descended into civil war after the collapse of Mohamed Siad Barre's dictatorship in 1991, Somaliland declared independence.
To the rest of the world, Somaliland remains an invisible state."

Samira Hassan

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