This study was carried out within the framework of the project ‘SGS09/PřF/2014’, at the Faculty of Science, University of Ostrava, Czech Republic.


[1] E.g. Kolstø 2006; Pegg 1998; Caspersen 2008.

[2] Taiwan is a special case due to its economic importance and privatization of bilateral relations with the USA and the EU. It does not declare itself as a state independent of the PRC, but as a parallel Chinese government – The Republic of China (Taiwan). Kosovo is another specific case. After the unilateral declaration of independence in February 2008, this entity was subsequently internationally recognized by a majority of countries represented in the UN General Assembly (currently by 108) and by three permanent members of the UN Security Council, and thus we no longer consider Kosovo to be a de facto state.


Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) represents another case of territorial dispute. We do not include SADR into the group of de facto states because the SADR government controls only about 20–25% of the territory it claims. For more detailed criteria for designation or rejection of a territory into a group of de facto states see chapter 3 of this paper.

In the case of Somaliland, the situation is complicated further by the fact that Somalia, which should play the role of the mother country, is itself a failed state where there is no effective government with which the leaders of Somaliland can discuss their political status.

[3] Although this Convention was concluded between the United States and eighteen countries in Latin America in 1933, it is often referred to the case of countries outside of the Americas, as do e.g.

Pegg (1998), Kolstø (2006), Toal and O’Loughlin 2013, etc.

[4] Article 6.1 of the Puntland Constitution defines the territory of this autonomous region as a territory including the regions of Bari, Nugaal, Sool, Southern Togdheer, Mudug, and a part of Sanaag, i.e. also the territory which is claimed by Somaliland on the basis of colonial borders.

[5] Although according to foreign observers the referendum proceeded according to the rules, a problem for interpreting the results seems to be the fact that in the Sool and Sanaag Regions (whose inhabitants are mostly against the independence of Somaliland), the election could not be held for safety reasons. In this regard one of the observers estimated the ratio of support for independence among Somaliland inhabitants at 70% (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2001).

[6] Records on the recognition of Somaliland of 1960 were destroyed during the civil war in the 1980s and 1990s. However, the Somaliland government declares the independence of Somaliland was recognized by all the permanent members of the UN in 1960. In addition, according to David Shinn, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USA sent a message with congratulations and the government of Great Britain concluded a series of bilateral treaties with the Somaliland government on 26 June 1960 (International Crisis Group 2006: 4; Shinn 2003). The international recognition of Somaliland in 1960 was also confirmed in an interview with the director of the AU Legal Counsel, Addis Ababa, 17 November 2011.

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