1. Somaliland is a Muslim country, and culture, social customs and the legal system are all influenced by Islam, and by economic ties to the Middle East
  2. For a comprehensive discussion over the issue see Still (1981)
  3. Personal communication Iqbal Jhazbhay
  4. For example, the current Minister of Finance, Hussein Ali Dualeh, participated in a coup attempt in 1961 aimed at restoring Somaliland’s independence, but went on to hold important positions in the Somali army, and in the Somali diplomatic services during the civilian governments of the 1960s and during the Siyad Barre years. (Dualeh, 2002: 1-103)
  5. This is reflected in its name, UDUB, which refers to the forked pole that supports the roof of the traditional hut, which is also the party’s symbol.
  6. Its Vice Chairperson is Abdirahman Aw Ali ‘Tolwa’, also a veteran of the SNM.
  7. The party’s third chairperson, Amina H Mohamoud Warsame studied in Sweden; the Agricultural Secretary Dr. Cabdiraxmaan Jaamac Ducaale, has a Masters degree from Norway.
  8. Of the 123 seats SYL won 73, the new SNC won 11, and the Digil Mirifle party won 3.
  9. All of the new MPs defected except for the former prime minister Abdirazak Haji Hussein
  10. The nick-name calan cas has long been used to disparage groups with left-wing tendencies, and more generally to any group that opposes the incumbent government and the status quo. During the SNM years it referred to a group of Soviet-trained military officers, several of whom were imprisoned by Ahmed Sillanyo while he was Chairman of the SNM. Several of these officers became allies of Sillanyo and Suleiman Gaal in the early 1990s in opposition to Somaliland’s first government.
  11. Not all members of the Hargeisa Group, also known as UFFO, are members of Kulmiye.
  12. Somaliland already has a political structure that can take advantage of the positive sides of the clan system in the clan based and clan-selected Upper House of Elders, known as the Guurti.
  13. In Awdal region, for example, the vote changed from 24 percent of the total vote to 14 percent and back to 24 percent in successive elections, while in Togdheer the vote changed from 15 percent in the district elections to 24 percent in the presidential elections and back to 17 percent in the parliamentary elections. See Aboker et al. (2006:19)
  14. The elders of the Dhulbahante and Warsangeli clans living in these regions initially consented to the declaration of Somaliland’s independence and the political arrangements agreed at the 1993 Borama conference. But a growing sense of political marginalization within Somaliland led many of them to throw their weight behind the formation of the semi-autonomous Puntland State of Somalia in 1998, which is based on an alliance of Harti clans, which includes the Dhulbahante and Warsangeli and the Majeerteen of north-east Somalia. The contested authority in Sool and eastern Sanaag has mostly been peacefully managed, but in December 2004 the Somaliland and Puntland armies briefly clashed. A ceasefire currently pertains in the regions and prisoners were exchanged in November 2005.
  15. The previous parliament rejected this proposal in 2003.
  16. The Ethiopian laws regulating the press are confusing and overlapping, the oldest are from the reign of emperor Haile Seilasse
  17. In 2002 SLNTV had slightly more than 2000 paying viewers, the Burao branch had 100, and there were estimated to be 400 pirate viewers in the entire country. The total number of viewers was estimated to be 15,000, by Boobe Yuusuf Ducaale (2005).
  18. A private radio station – Radio Las Anod – does operate in the disputed Sool region in eastern Somaliland.
  19. On the 13 September the Somaliland National TV gave the entire evening program to UDUB from 8 p.m. to midnight, without allotting the same time to the other parties. On 14 September, after receiving written complaints from the opposition parties, the Electoral Monitoring Board warned the SLNTV authorities to desist from violating the Code of Conduct. After an additional warning, and a formal letter sent to the Director of the SLNTV station, as well as the President and all the leaders of the opposition parties, the TV station changed their coverage, and the two opposition parties were generally satisfied.

Interviews by SJH

Haatuf editor in chief, Yusuf Gabobe, 9 September 2005;  Jamhuriya editor in chief, Hassan Saed Ali, 9 September 2005; UCID chairman, Faisal Ali Farah Warabe, 11 September 2005; Secretary-General of Kulmiye, Daud M.Gelle, 17 September 2005.



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Stig Jarle HansenStig Jarle Hansen

Stig Jarle Hansen consultant social analysts to international aid organisations; e-mail:


Mark BradburyMark Bradbury

Mark Bradbury consultant social analysts to international aid organisations; e-mail:

Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE) Volume 34, 2007 – Issue 113
Pages 461-476 | Published online: 22 Oct 2007

© ROAPE Publications Ltd., 2007 ISSN 0305-6244


Since 1974 the Review of African Political Economy has provided radical analysis of trends, issues and social processes in Africa, adopting a broadly materialist interpretation of change.

Review of African Political Economy - ROAPEEstablished by a group of scholars and activists in the UK and Africa, the journal is committed to understanding projects of radical transformation. From the state-led attempts at political transformation in Tanzania to the later wave of independence in Mozambique and Angola. ROAPE sought to analyze the contradictions, potentials and emerging class dynamic in these countries. Later, in the 1980s, the journal focused on understanding the development of protest movements and the nature of the class struggle in the context of structural adjustment that was tearing up the fragile edifice of national states. As the continent has evolved in the 1990s and 2000s, we have continued to focus on patterns and processes of accumulation – local and national – while examining class, gender and race as forms of exploitation, domination, and subordination.

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