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ABSTRACT

This study examines the diplomatic intrigues that take place in the international recognition of states. It seeks to contribute to the analysis of the probable dynamics that have led to some territories in the International System not to be recognized as states by other states and international entities. A specific focus was on Somaliland which has failed to obtain international recognition since May 1991 when the ‘Republic of Somaliland’ was proclaimed after the breakdown of the central government of the Somali Republic. This study had certain objectives. It delved into the examination of the criteria that is used for the recognition of states in the international system. It also analyses the role of intergovernmental organizations in the non-recognition of Somaliland. The objective of this study is also to make an assessment of the nature of interactions between Somaliland and other actors in the international system. The conceptual framework that was used in this research was majorly based on realism. Specific reliance was on structural realism but with some reference to the tenets of institutional liberalism. The methodology that was used in this study is the research design known as formulative research studies. Specifically survey of concerning literature was done and the researcher reviewed and built upon the work already done by others. This study came to the conclusion that from a juridical perspective, Somaliland meets the threshold for statehood. However, in the International System, politics takes precedence over law when it comes to state recognition. Another key finding is that Somaliland’s failure to participate in the Somalia peace process or its lack of engagement with the semblances of governments in Somalia has served to isolate it from the international community even as it seeks international recognition. A key recommendation is that in as much as there is global interest for peace in Somalia, for the efforts of the international society to work, the efforts need to complement the efforts of the Somalis who must be left to devise their own mechanisms of handling their own problems. Ultimately, with peace in Somalia, and with a stable government in Baidoa or Mogadishu, the question of Somaliland’s independence can then be exhaustively discussed by all actors concerned.

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