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Somaliland elections: Why the world ignores Horn of Africa's oasis of stability

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But perhaps more importantly, the international community doesn’t intervene unless a country is in crisis. Quiet, poor, functional states – like well-behaved children – well, they tend to get ignored.

If Somaliland is the good child, then Somalia itself is the petulant brat. Somalia – the nation that technically still includes Somaliland and all the villages and pirate ports in between down to the border with Kenya – has been at war with itself for more than 20 years. Its disintegration after the fall of President Siad Barre in 1991 prompted President George Bush to send in US Marines to secure food deliveries. Continued conflict among Somali warlords for control of what was left of Mogadishu – and the death of 18 US Army Rangers (Black Hawk Down) – prompted President Bill Clinton to withdraw them a few months later.

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