Somaliland wants world recognition of its independence

HARGEISA, Somalia (AP) — The semi-autonomous region of Somaliland is renewing calls for international recognition of its self-declared independence from Somalia.

Somaliland on Wednesday celebrated 25 years since the region proclaimed independence from Somalia. Thousands of civilians and military personnel paraded in front of dignitaries in the capital Hargeisa as the government showed off its Soviet-era military arsenal.

Somaliland asserted independence in 1991 after the overthrow of Somali dictator Siad Barre. The region has experienced relative stability and economic prosperity over the years, even though Somalia has been wracked by deadly violence.

Sa’ad Ali Shire, Somaliland’s foreign minister, said it is time for the international community to recognize “the reality that has existed in Somaliland for 25 years.”

Somaliland has a population of approximately 4 million people.