Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 03/2010

Peace-Building without External Assistance: Lessons from Somaliland

Nicholas Eubank

January 2010

Center for Global Development


Since its secession from Somalia in 1991, the east-African nation of Somaliland has become one of the most democratic governments in eastern Africa. Yet Somaliland has never been recognized by the international community. This paper examines how this lack of recognition—and the consequent ineligibility for foreign financial assistance—has shaped Somaliland’s political development. It finds evidence that Somaliland’s ineligibility for foreign aid facilitated the development of accountable political institutions and contributed to the willingness of Somalilanders to engage constructively in the state-building process.