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Newspapers in Hargeysa: Freedom of speech in post-conflict Somaliland

Markus V. Höhne

Africa Spectrum, 2008, vol. 43, issue 1, 91-114

Abstract: This article discusses the role of newspapers in the ongoing democrati-sation process in Somaliland. It shows that, embedded in Somali culture and the recent history of the region, freedom of speech in Hargeysa, the capital of Somaliland, is cultivated by and in print media established after the civil war. Several debates in the newspapers which have centred on sensitive political issues are used to exemplify this point. In some regards, the newspapers continue the legacy of the civil war. Most newspaper owners and journalists participated actively in the guerrilla struggle against the dictatorial regime of Mahamed Siyad Barre. The result of the struggle was secession from Somalia and the independence of Somaliland as a de facto state. The country, however, does not enjoy international recognition, and not all inhabitants support its independence. Against this background the newspapers are actively involved in a ‘nation-building’ struggle that marginalises a significant part of the population and harbours the potential for renewed civil war in the region.

Date: 2008
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:gig:afjour:v:43:y:2008:i:1:p:91-114

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