The Foreign Service Journal, November 2006

the broad equation of democracy and international legitimacy. It is inconceivable that East Timor would have been admitted to the U.N. as a sovereign state without having cleared high democracy hurdles. The same will be the case for Kosovo’s coming inde- pendence. In terms of who should lead the efforts to protect Somali- land, the Aug. 10 International Crisis Group report recommends that the U.N. is best situated to take the lead. The ICG noted that when the U.S. put together a contact group to work the issue, its initial meeting in New York in June drew representatives from 67 countries — but only one from Africa (Tanzania). With all parties motivated to head off a spread of violence beyond Somalia’s borders, there is an opportunity to make clear that a policy of containment must include the prevention of violent incursions into Somaliland or ter- rorist actions taken to subvert the Somaliland government. Given the evolution of interna- tional norms and standards, there is an argument for democracy as a basis for according international legitimacy to Somaliland. There is no doubt that Somaliland has a claim on the international community’s attention — in the words of the U.S. National Intelligence Strategy — to “ward off threats to representative democracy.” F O C U S 38 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 An August 2006 report warned the war in Somalia would spread across borders without “urgently needed international mediation efforts.”