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War-torn. In a word, images of destruction, dislocation and strife immediately come to mind. Considered further, war-torn may also describe how war can literally tear a country apart, creating new political boundaries. These political territories often fight unsuccessfully for recognition by the international community.

Somaliland has made significant investments in its own governance, but still feels war-torn-like consequences.

The breakaway republic has not received international recognition. Its foreign minister says that’s slowing down delivery of aid to the drought-stricken territory.

 Somaliland declared its independence from the failed state of Somalia in 1991, but the world … for the most part … has ignored the declaration. The similar names are rooted in colonial history: Somaliland became known as British Somaliland in the 19th century, while the southern region was Italian Somaliland.

“We have a functioning democracy. We have our own army. We have our own police. We have our own coast guard. You know, we have our own border police. We have fulfilled all the conditions of a sovereign state,” Somaliland’s Foreign Minister Saad Ali Shire says as he ticks through why Somaliland is its own nation. And there’s more. Somaliland has its own currency. It regularly holds elections.

Read the full article at: www.npr.org

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