A Land in Limbo

During colonial times, Somalia was divided between British Somaliland (in the north) and Italian Somaliland (in the south, Mogadishu area). After WWII Britain joined British Somaliland with Italian Somaliland, though because of the different colonial legacies, deep social differences existed between the two sides. In 1960 a united Somalia became independent. Following the 1970s war with Ethiopia, the Somali military dictator, Said Barre (a southern Somali), became more and more repressive, pushing people from Somaliland to press for independence. In 1991 Said Barre was otherthrown and the central government in Somalia collapsed, and has remained in chaos ever since. Somaliland took advantage of this power vaccuum and declared independence in May 1991 and has since set about creating most fixtures of a functioning, democractic nation-state. Still, no nation has recognized Somaliland's sovereignty. An audio slideshow by Narayan Mahon.