The government in Mogadishu is recognised as the only legitimate authority in Somalia by international organizations. But on what basis was this determination made, given that Somalia has been in a civil war for two decades and the "central" government doesn't hold much authority beyond the capital region?

I'm mostly interested in official explanations published by the UN and other government entities.

  • Downvoters care to explain? Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 22:31
  • Are you asking why Somaliland's independence is not recognized much? Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 5:29
  • @Fizz the question is a little different. I'm asking why the government in Mogadishu is recognized as the legitimate one by the international community. Why not any of the other governments? Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 5:47
  • Like which other? Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 5:58
  • Any of those. The government in Somaliland would be the strongest contender. Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 6:45

1 Answer 1


It's not clear what you're asking exactly here... but:

  • The only significant region of Somalia that has declared itself outright independent is Somaliland and it's not getting recognized much for reasons that apparently don't interest you, so I won't detail them here. (The Economist has a decent article on the obstacles to Somaliland independence.)

  • The international community doesn't dig Al-Shabab much (understatement), nor the Islamic Courts Union before it, which occupied Mogadishu for a while, until evicted by Ethiopian troops (which ignored a UN resolution in doing so by themselves, by the way; the UN wanted a larger African Union intervention.)

  • Puntland does not seek to be independent. They recognize the FSG's authority and only seek a degree of autonomy within a federal structure. There are some benefits to this, like some EU or at least German support.

  • The current Federal Government draws its legitimacy from the 2016 elections, which were recognized by the UN, even though they were indirect, via clan leaders. The only military challenge to the FSG is al-Shabab, at least in the south.

  • Who else is there on your map that the international community could recognize as a significant power wielder in Somalia?

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