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On October 25, 2020, Somaliland authorities suspended their relations with the United Nations and banned its activities ‘until further notice’. While the frustration of the thirty-year old unrecognized state with the UN can easily be understood, this move is unlikely to bring any benefit to the country. Somaliland is gradually developing into a clan-based autocracy. President Bihi maintains a balance among the ruling elites by granting and revoking business licenses and political positions, but this clientelist system produces little economic growth and offers no scope for political renewal. The youth is increasingly disaffected. The President instead blames the country’s problems on the lack of direct access to international funding and is increasing the pressure on the international community.

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The government may be calling the UN’s bluff, but while it engages in this high stakes contest, many ordinary people are fed up.