Territorial Disputes: Somaliland
July 25, 2019
11:00am to 12:00pm

The second installment in the 2019 Summer Teleconference Series on territorial disputes, featuring Somaliland.

It has been 28 years since Somaliland broke off from Somalia, becoming a self-declared state. Despite not being recognized by any country as a sovereign nation, it has remained relatively stable with its own police, army, and currency. The United Nations and the African Union have expressed hope that the state will reunite with Somalia, but is a reunification likely? Recently, Kenya has made further moves to establish a diplomatic relationship with Somaliland, but many see the idea of this breakaway state as a threat.

Would a sovereign Somaliland set off a trend of breakaway states across the African continent? What is the case for Somaliland to become part of the international community?


Bronwyn E. Bruton, Deputy Director, Africa Center, Atlantic Council

Bronwyn Bruton is a recognized authority on the conflict in Somalia. She has authored a series of prominent reports and journal essays on the Horn of Africa, including the 2009 Foreign Affairs essay, "In the Quicksands of Somalia," and the widely-read 2010 Council on Foreign Relations special report, Somalia: A New ApproachRead more.

Michael Woldemariam, Associate Professor of International Relations and Political Science, Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University

Michael Woldemariam’s teaching and research interests focus on African politics, particularly the dynamics of armed conflict, the behavior of rebel organizations and self-determination movements, and post-conflict institution building. Read more.


Grant Harris, CEO, Harris Africa Partners

Grant Harris is a Pacific Council member who advises companies and organizations on strategy, policy, and mitigating risk with respect to investing and working in sub-Saharan Africa. For four years, Harris served as the principal advisor to President Barack Obama on issues related to sub-Saharan Africa, serving as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the White House from August 2011 to August 2015. Read more.


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