The Foreign Service Journal, November 2006

30 F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / N O V E M B E R 2 0 0 6 ahir Rayale Kahin is the president of Somaliland, a de facto independent state in northwest Somalia (see map, p. 32). Though not internationally recognized, it has, with minimum help from the out- side world, established itself as a solid democracy in a very bad neighborhood. Somaliland formally presented its request for recognition to the African Union in 2004, but came away empty-handed. Stepping up its diplomatic offensive, this past August President Kahin made a pilgrimage to the British and F O C U S O N F R A G I L E S T A T E S S OMALILAND : A D EMOCRACY U NDER T HREAT VIRTUALLY ON ITS OWN , THIS PROVINCE OF S OMALIA HAS ESTABLISHED ITSELF AS A SOLID DEMOCRACY IN A VERY BAD NEIGHBORHOOD . B Y E LIZABETH S PIRO C LARK D Clemente Botelho