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Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliland
Flag of Somaliland Coat of arms of Somaliland
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: "Freedom, Democracy and Success for All"
Anthem: Samo ku waar Samo ku waar Saamo ku waar
Location of Somaliland
Capital Hargeisa
9°30′ N 44°0′ E
Largest city Hargeisa
Official language(s) Somali
Dahir Riyale Kahin
- Declared
- Recognition
From Somalia
- May 18, 1991
- none
• Total

• Water (%)

137,600 km² ( -)
{{{areami²}}} mi²

• 2005 est.
• [[As of |]] census

• Density

3.5 million ( n/a)

25/km² ( n/a)
• Total
• Per capita
- estimate
n/a ( n/a)
n/a ( n/a)
HDI ( -) n/a (unranked) – n/a
Currency Somaliland shilling ( SLSH)
Time zone
• Summer ( DST)
MSK ( UTC+3)
not observed ( UTC+3)
Internet TLD none
Calling code +252
Somaliland ( Somali: Soomaaliland) is an unrecognized de facto state located in northwest Somalia in the Horn of Africa. In May 1991, Somaliland people declared an independent Republic of Somaliland that now includes six of the eighteen administrative regions of Somalia, roughly the region between Ethiopia, Djibouti , Gulf of Aden and Somalia, an area of about 137,600 square kilometres. The capital of Somaliland is Hargeisa.Although not recognized by any government, this entity has maintained a stable existence, due in part to the dominance of a ruling clan. In September 2005, multiparty municipal, presidential, and parliamentary elections were held, and were won by the UDUB party. A team of observers from several countries monitored the polls and found them generally peaceful, free and fair, boosting Somaliland's bid for international recognition as a sovereign state.

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History - Contents

Formerly the British Somaliland Protectorate, shortly after gaining independence British Somaliland in 26 June 1960 merged with Italian Somaliland in 1960 to form Somalia.In 1991, after the collapse of the central government in Somalia, the territory asserted its independence as the Republic of Somaliland, although it has received little if any international recognition.The economic infrastructure left behind by British, Russian, and American military assistance programs may have been largely destroyed by war. The people of Somaliland had rebelled against Siad Barre dictatorship in Mogadishu which prompted a massive reaction by the government.The late Abdirahman Mohamed Ali was the first president of Somaliland, and Mohamed Ibrahim Egal was his successor in 1993. Egal was re-appointed in 1998 and remained in power until his death on May 3, 2002. The vice president Dahir Riyale Kahin was sworn in as president shortly afterwards, and in 2003 Kahin became the first Somaliland president to be elected in a free and fair election.

Politics - Contents

Somaliland has formed a hybrid system of governance combining traditional and western institutions. In a series of inter-clan conferences, culminating in the Borama Conference in 1993, a beel (clan or community) system of government was constructed, which consisted of an Executive, with a President, Vice President, and Council of Ministers, a bicameral Legislature, and an independent judiciary. The traditional Somali council of elders (guurti) was incorporated into the governance structure and formed the upper house, responsible for selecting a President as well as managing internal conflicts. Government became in essence a "power-sharing coalition of Somaliland's main clans," with seats in the Upper and Lower houses proportionally allocated to clans according to a pre-determined formula. In 2002, after several extensions of this interim government, Somaliland finally made the transition to multi-party democracy, with district council elections contested by six parties, considered the "most peaceful in Africa for twenty years."The district elections also determined which parties were allowed to contest the parliamentary and presidential elections, where a party was required to demonstrate at least twenty percent of the popular vote from four out of the six regions. This important caveat insured that parties would focus on consensus building and would not organize around ethnic lines. Subsequently, three parties were selected to submit presidential candidates: the UDUB party , Kulmiye, and the Justice and Welfare Party (UCID). On April 14, 2003, 488,543 voters participated in the presidential elections, which ran more or less smoothly. The result was a slim eighty vote controversial victory for UDUB over the Kulmiye, complicated by allegations of ballot stuffing against the incumbent UDUB. Despite calls for the Kulmiye to form a rival government, the party’s leadership did not do so, instead choosing to abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court that upheld UDUB’s victory. Despite minor demonstrations, the transition to the presidency of Daahir Rayaale Kaahin proceeded peacefully. This transition, combined with the fact that Kaahin was not a member of the dominant Isaaq clan, speaks volumes about the inter-clan commitment to peace-building and the rule of law. It could be, according to Steve Kibble, "the first indigenous modern African form of government." Without a doubt, the Somaliland government holds legitimacy in the eyes of its own people.Somaliland boasts a constitution, a functional parliament and government ministries, an army, a police force, judiciary, and many of the signs of statehood, including a flag, currency, and passports. Nonetheless, it faces some significant problems to its continued survival. Like other Somali governments, it lacks a consistent taxation base and receives most of its support from private actors. Corruption remains a problem, women are virtually unrepresented in government, and there are growing concerns about voting patterns based on ethnic lines as well as the majority that UDUB has gained over both the regional councils and presidency as well as the parliment. Moreover, the large part of Somalilanders still harbour vivid memories of a predatory and extractive central state and are therefore wary of the construction of any strong central authority; this is evident in the importance placed on the role of the regional councils in dealing with local problems.

Regions - Contents

Map showing the regions of Somalia, with those in Somaliland in green
Map showing the regions of Somalia, with those in Somaliland in green
The 6 regions of Somalia within Somaliland are:
  • Awdal
  • Saaxil
  • Sanaag
  • Sool
  • Togdheer
  • Woqooyi Galbeed

Geography - Contents

Map of Somaliland
Map of Somaliland
Somaliland is situated on the eastern horn of Africa and lies between the 08°00' - 11°30' parallel north of the equator and between 42°30' - 49°00' meridian east of the Greenwich. It shares borders with Republic of Djibouti to the west, Federal Republic of Ethiopia to the south and Somalia to the east. Somaliland has a coastal line to the north of the country which extends 460 miles along the Red Sea. Somaliland is about the size of England and Wales with an area of 137,600km² (68,000 sq. miles).

Economy - Contents

Somaliland's economy is in its developing stages, as is Somaliland itself. The Somaliland shilling, while stable, is not a currency recognized by any other government, and currently has no official exchange rate with any other type of currency.The bulk of Somaliland's exports are of livestock (whose quantity in Somaliland has been estimated at 24 million): in 1996, 3 million heads of livestock were exported to the Middle East alone. Saudi Arabia has banned imports of beef from Somaliland and this has badly affected the economy as a whole.[ citation needed] Other exports include hides, skins, myrrh and frankincense.There is considered to be "serious potential" for agriculture, most significantly cereal production and horticulture. Mining currently consists solely of quarrying, although there exist confirmed deposits of petroleum, natural gas, gypsum, lime, mica, quartz, lignite coal, lead, gold and sulphur, among others.

Demographics - Contents

There are about 3.5 million people in Somaliland.

Culture - Contents

Somaliland people share language, culture and religion with other Somali populations in Somalia, Djibouti, the Somali Region of Ethiopia, and northern Kenya.
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