A good article on Open Democracy about the need for the international community to recognise Somaliland.
A formal recognition of the self-declared independent state of Somaliland in the Horn of Africa would be just in principle and a boon to the region and the continent, says Jawahir Adam.
Hear, hear. It would also be a boon to the fight against Islamic extremism. Somaliland is a mainly Muslim country which is democratic and peaceful. Official recognition of Somaliland would send out a clear message to the Muslim world that they will be rewarded for making progress towards genuine democracy.
Adam sets out a clear and strong case for recognition of Somaliland. He concludes with four possible scenarios.
[C]ivil war with the Islamists. If the latter advance north as far as Somaliland, this may result in an exodus of refugees, millions of internally-displaced people and the further destabilisation of the entire Horn of Africa. (At the same time, Somalilanders would fiercely resist an attempt to end their independence, as they did when they defeated Siad Barre's strong army).
[C]ontinuing non-recognition of Somaliland's sovereignty. This would demonstrate the international community's denial of economic empowerment and development, and give an impetus to poor governance, corruption and instability in Somaliland. The current lack of recognition acts as an impediment to receiving international reconstruction and development aid, as well as to bilateral agreements with governments and the international financial institutions such as the World Bank and IMF
[A] combination of civil war and non-recognition that leads to a collapse in democratic government
[R]ecognition of Somaliland as a peaceful corner of Africa with one of the continent's few democratically elected governments.
The fourth, and my preferred, scenario would bring stability, prosperity and a vibrant state with much to offer. Its continuing progress on developing the private sector, democracy and human rights (particularly those of women) makes it a model for other African states.
Somaliland used to be a British colony. If Cameron - or anyone else in British politics, for that matter - really want a cause célèbre then he would surely be better pushing for the government to officially recognise Somaliland than he would wittering on about Darfur - which he knows there is nothing we can do that we are not already doing.
To be honest, though, I doubt Cameron even knows of Somaliland.
If Britain was to recognise Somaliland, others would follow. If we can convince the US to recognise it too we would have a strong ally in a strategically important part of Africa and a bulwark against the Islamic imperialism emanating from neighbouring Somalia and from Sudan.