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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The banana test: is Somaliland ready for recognition?
Author:Bryden, Matt
Periodical:Annales d'Éthiopie
Geographic terms:Somaliland
Subject:State recognition
Abstract:On empirical grounds, the self-proclaimed Republic of Somaliland would have no trouble passing the 'banana test': it fulfils the principal criteria for statehood as defined in the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States: well-defined international boundaries, a permanent population, and a functioning government. But in the world of politics and statecraft, things are not always what they seem; as far as the international community is concerned, Somaliland is not - at least legally speaking - a State. For more than a decade since the collapse of the Somali Democratic Republic, the international community has steadfastly preferred 'the continuing fiction that Somalia was still a sovereign nation-State'. This article provides an assessment, based on more than twelve years of close observation by the author, not only of how Somaliland might score on the 'banana test', but also of what kind of banana the fledgling 'republic' is shaping up to be. It reviews Somaliland's momentary encounter with statehood in 1960, the Somali National Movement's war of liberation (or independence), the interim SNM government (1991-1993) and the civil administration under the leadership of the veteran politician Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal, Egal's sudden death in 2002 and the subsequent transition to multiparty politics, and the challenge for Somaliland's next government. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]