Parliamentary elections held September 29 in Somalia region
Somalia-USA, Politics, 10/4/2005
The United States welcomed the recent parliamentary elections in the Somaliland region of Somalia as an example of democracy for greater Somalia, according to an October 3 State Department statement.
Somaliland is a former British colony in the Horn of Africa that merged in 1960 with the Italian colony of Somalia to form the independent republic of Somalia. But when Somalia descended into anarchy in the early 1990s, Somaliland broke away and set up its own administration.
While clan-based fighting swept the center and south of Somalia following the 1991 ouster of longtime dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, Somaliland remained relatively peaceful, aided by the strong dominance of a ruling clan and an economic infrastructure left behind by British, Russian and American military aid programs.
Although the region has its own security and police forces, justice system, and currency, it has not succeeded in gaining international recognition. The elections on September 29 were the first multiparty parliamentary elections since the region separated from Somalia. Many of the candidates were citizens of the United States, Britain, Canada, and some European countries.
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