The United States has decided to work closely with semi-autonomous Somaliland and Puntland states in Somali as a means to defeat Islamist extremists.
The initiative represents a substantial policy shift and a step away from dealing with Somalia only through the weak transitional government in Mogadishu.
The Obama administration’s top diplomat for Africa Johnnie Carson said the U.S would send more aid workers and diplomats to Puntland and Somaliland and support the governments of both regions, in the north of Somalia, with development projects.
This new policy by the U.S is expected to aid the fight to fend off extreme Islamist insurgents in those parts of Somalia that have "been zones of relative political and civil stability". According to Mr. Carson the U.S. believes the zones "will in fact be a bulwark against extremism and radicalism that might emerge from the south".
I'm really quite pleased about this. Somaliland could use all the help it could get to keep itself stable. While Puntland already seems to have trouble with pirates within its midst, its worth daring to dream to that a more developed region -- who knows, maybe even some investment here and there -- could put people in honest work. Here's hoping.