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A Critique of UNSOM’s approach to Somaliland: Politicizing AID and Development Assistance

Somaliland has remained a de facto state without juridical recognition since 18 May 1991 following a civil war with Somalia (1988-1991). Despite this legal ambiguity, the government of Somaliland with the international community and other regional actors has managed to develop and engage within the past two decades a workable aid system surrounded by formal agreements and negotiations. The type of aid given to Somaliland is of a stabilisation nature thus focused on humanitarian and development areas. The small portion of aid that Somaliland receives is not controlled by government nor does it appear in its budget as it is directly administered by local NGOs and aid agencies. (War-Torn Societies Project, 2005:96). With this kind of assistance Somaliland has managed to reach a level of development and stability hailed by the international community in an area usually characterised by conflict and governance crisis, thus making its achievements stand out in even greater contrast (ICG, 2003: 1).

Deqa Osman

Independent Researcher