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Somaliland’s declaration of independence from Somalia in 1991 commenced the semi-autonomous nation’s subsequent struggle to gain recognition as a sovereign state from the international community.  More than two decades later, the struggle persists, though the country’s democratic gains have continued to reinforce the distinction between it and greater Somalia.  Since 2001, IRI has worked alongside Somalilanders supporting the country’s steady democratization.  Over the course of the past decade, IRI has worked with local stakeholders to incorporate democratic principles into a culture characterized by an intricate and deeply-rooted clan system.  Like Somaliland’s democracy, IRI’s work has grown increasingly dynamic as the country’s political space has continued to open.