Good read of the day: "The Somali Potentates of Suburbia," an Awl piece about the various secessionist paper states that supposedly exist in Somalia and are actually run from abroad. A quick excerpt:
Awdal State wasn't declaring independence from Somalia. It was declaring independence from Somaliland, a secessionist movement that'd declared its independence from Somalia two decades prior. And the Awdalites didn't want their own independence. They wanted autonomy (including their own president) within Somalia. And when I say "Awdalites," I don't actually mean people in Awdal. The hall with all those awkward dancers was in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The government election later that year took place in London. And the president they wound up electing was a middle-aged dude living permanently in Ottawa, whose day job was stuffing flyers into a local paper.