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After Italy had been humiliated by the cavalier treatment of the Great Powers prior to 1914, the disastrous collapse of the Italian front in the Austro-German offensive of October 1917 (the syndrome) and the 1919-20 peace treaties, the colonies made up for the blow to its self esteem (2). The colony had to submit to the will of the victors and adopt their laws, customs and economic preferences.
It was against this background that the fourth, most northerly, part of the former Somalia developed: the Republic of Somaliland.
Its origins lay in the different form of colonisation practised in the former British Somaliland in the north from that of Italian Somalia in the south.
In occupying the country, the British had only one aim: to control the strategic strait of Bab Al Mandeb and at the same time to find a source of cheap food supplies for their desolate rocky garrison in Aden.
Having broken away from Somalia and declared independence in 1991, the Republic of Somaliland bordering on the former British colony has been denied recognition and aid.
Poor and isolated, it is making an effort to achieve a peaceful blend of democracy and cultural tradition which is rarely found in the African countries that do receive international aid.