The first installment in the 2019 Summer Teleconference Series on territorial disputes, featuring Somaliland.
It has been 28 years since Somaliland broke off from Somalia, becoming a self-declared state. Despite not being recognized by any country as a sovereign nation, it has remained relatively stable with its own police, army, and currency. The United Nations and the African Union have expressed hope that the state will reunite with Somalia, but is a reunification likely? Recently, Kenya has made further moves to establish a diplomatic relationship with Somaliland, but many see the idea of this breakaway state as a threat.
Would a sovereign Somaliland set off a trend of breakaway states across the African continent? What is the case for Somaliland to become part of the international community?
Bronwyn E. Bruton, Deputy Director, Africa Center, Atlantic Council
Bronwyn Bruton is a recognized authority on the conflict in Somalia. She has authored a series of prominent reports and journal essays on the Horn of Africa, including the 2009 Foreign Affairs essay, “In the Quicksands of Somalia,” and the widely-read 2010 Council on Foreign Relations special report, Somalia: A New Approach.
Bronwyn E. Bruton is deputy director of the Council’s Africa Center. Bruton is a recognized authority on the conflict in Somalia. She has authored a series of prominent reports and journal essays on the Horn of Africa, including the 2009 Foreign Affairs essay, “In the Quicksands of Somalia,” and the widely-read 2010 Council on Foreign Relations special report Somalia: A New Approach. Her articles and editorials on the Horn of Africa are regularly featured in Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, Foreign Policymagazine and other prominent publications. She provides regular expert commentary on African political affairs for major international media outlets (including the BBC, PBS, NPR, ABC, NBC, USA Today, CTV, CCTV, Bloomberg, the London Financial Times, Newsweek, the Economist, and others). She has lectured at the Council on Foreign Relations, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the United States Institute for Peace (USIP), Harvard University, the Brookings Institute, Carnegie Endowment, the National Defense University, Chatham House (London), the US Africa Command (Commander’s Speaker Series), the World Bank, and the World Affairs Council.
Previously, Ms. Bruton held an international affairs fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Prior to her fellowship appointment, Ms. Bruton managed the National Endowment for Democracy’s multi-million dollar portfolio of small grants to local and international nongovernmental organizations operating in East and Southern Africa, and managed post-conflict political transition programs in Africa for the US Agency for International Development. She has also served as a policy analyst on the international affairs and trade team of the Government Accountability Office.
Ms. Bruton holds a master of public policy, with honors, from the University of California at Los Angeles. She was born in Mbabane, Swaziland.