Somaliland

To my mind, this is one of the strongest contenders for recognition. A British colonial trusteeship, it achieved independence on 26 June 1960 and was promptly recognized by over 30 countries.

However, just five days later, 1 July 1960, it united with Italian Somali-land to form the Somali Republic. This soon proved to be a difficult and unhappy union.

Somaliland’s autonomy was stripped away and it found itself increasingly sidelined. However, in 1991, as what had now become Somalia sank into chaos following the collapse of the central government, Somaliland reclaimed its independence.

Despite its stability compared to Somalia, in the 30 years since then it has remained unrecognized on the world stage. While its case for statehood undoubtedly has a lot of sympathy, this is yet to be translated into formal acknowledgement by any UN members.

Even though a 2005 African Union fact-finding mission recommended that it be accepted as an independent sovereign state. That said, it has built up good working relations with a number of countries in Africa.

It also has high level contacts with many other countries around the world; not least of all the United Kingdom. Ultimately, it’s hard to see how Somaliland can ever reunite with Somalia.

But it also needs to make a breakthrough on international recognition. The question therefore is which country could be willing to go first and recognize it?

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