In 1991, to escape the anarchy of the disintegrating failed state of Somalia, the "Republic of Somaliland" declared independence. Relying on remembered and remaining British colonial government structures, Somaliland appears to have established a functioning democratic republic, while the rest of former Somalia remains divided into regions and sub regions ruled by various combinations of jihadi terrorists, warlords, pirates and drug smugglers.
This week, the "peaceful region of Somaliland" voted for president.
Voters in Somaliland queued for hours and thronged polling stations Saturday for the second presidential election held in the self-declared republic, in a peaceful exercise in governance not seen for decades in the country's anarchic south.http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/06/25/1700686_peaceful-region-of-somaliland.html
Voters and candidates said they hope this vote will award Somaliland the international recognition it seeks. The three men vying to become president of the region have all promised to seek international recognition for the autonomous region.
"The election is very crucial for the future of Somaliland," said President Dahir Riyale Kahin as he voted Saturday morning. "It a bridge to a long-awaited international recognition."
Saturday's election also coincides with the 50-year anniversary of independence for Somaliland, a former British protectorate. The province was only independent for five days before joining Somalia on July 1, 1960.
Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991 and has been a haven of relative peace in northwest Somalia as southern Somalia has degenerated into chaos and anarchy. The region has its own security and police forces, justice system and currency, but is not recognized by any other state.
For some crazy reason, the U.S. refuses to recognize the only democratically elected government to emerge from the failed military empire of Somalia.