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Somaliland Leader Calls for Special U.N. Status

Somaliland President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal called Tuesday for his self-declared republic to be accorded special status by the United Nations to allow it to pursue separate development outside Somalia.

``We accept the fact that the international community at the moment is not geared toward giving us sovereign recognition,'' Egal said in an interview with the Financial Times.

``So what we say is that, just like the Palestinians or the Kosovans or the people in Timor, we should be given a special status, an interim special status whereby we can at least deal with donors and the international financial institutions.''

Somaliland, a former British protectorate, declared independence from the rest of Somalia after the ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

The republic, not recognized by the international community, has enjoyed relative stability while the rest of Somalia has been embroiled in civil war.

Read related story from BBC.



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