Twenty years ago Somaliland declared itself independent from Somalia but nobody paid any attention. Today celebrations are underway in the capital Hargeisa but Somaliland remains unrecognised, an invisible country.
While Somalia has plumbed new depths of chaos, killing and state collapse, Somaliland, a chunk of desert, scrub and mountains in the northwest, has gradually over two decades built a functioning democracy and a small but vibrant economy.
But no other country recognises Somaliland and so it exists in limbo, unable to truly break free of its bigger, nastier neighbour. African countries seem unwilling to recognise it for fear of encouraging their own secessionists, and foreign nations are wary of neo-colonialist accusations if they go first.
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