LEGITIMIZATION OF STATEHOOD IN DE FACTO STATES: A CASE STUDY OF SOMALILAND
De facto states constitute an interesting anomaly in the international system of sovereign states. No matter how successful and efficient they are in the administration of their territories, they fail to achieve international recognition. The main priority is given to maintaining their existence and to an effort to convince domestic and international actors of their right to independence. Currently, most scholars consider only six entities as de facto states: Somaliland, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria and Northern Cyprus. The aim of this article is to determine which legitimization strategies for the right to independent statehood are applied by Somaliland representatives. The research is conducted through an analysis of official government documents supplemented with an interview with Abdillahi Duale, Somaliland’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs, and two representatives of the African Union.