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Paper Five: Freedom of Press and Democratization In Somaliland: Promises and Challenges

Since Somaliland declared its defacto independence from Somalia in 1991, it has made significant progresses towards democratization and consolidation of democratic institutions. What followed after demise of Barre’s authoritarian regime was proliferation of the independent media in Somaliland, beginning with mimeographed newsletters in the major towns. Among other things, it has constitutionally guaranteed democratic rights and freedoms to its citizens including a commitment to freedom of press to promote democratic society. In this regard, the government of Somaliland has taken decisive measures necessary for the dissemination of information and diverse opinions. Moreover, the government also introduced press and media law in 2004 in order create a healthy environment for the media so as to boost awareness and participation of public by feeding them reliable information. In this connection, it played an important role in building democratic governance and political stability in Somaliland by making government and public officials transparent and accountable to the public. By and large, it can be argued that it has a direct impact on democratization process and political stability.

Memar Ayalew Demeke