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Somaliland

Somaliland

Overview
Somaliland is an unrecognised
Diplomatic recognition
Diplomatic recognition in international law is a unilateral political act with domestic and international legal consequences, whereby a state acknowledges an act or status of another state or government in control of a state...

 self-declared sovereign state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 that is internationally recognised as an autonomous region of Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

. The government of Somaliland regards itself as the successor state to the British Somaliland
British Somaliland
British Somaliland was a British protectorate in the northern part of present-day Somalia. For much of its existence, British Somaliland was bordered by French Somaliland, Ethiopia, and Italian Somaliland. From 1940 to 1941, it was occupied by the Italians and was part of Italian East Africa...

 protectorate
Protectorate
In history, the term protectorate has two different meanings. In its earliest inception, which has been adopted by modern international law, it is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity...

, which was independent for a few days in 1960 as the State of Somaliland
State of Somaliland
The State of Somaliland was a short-lived independent state in the territory of modern-day Somalia.-History:In May 1960, the British Government stated that it would be prepared to grant independence to the then protectorate of British Somaliland, with the intention that the territory would unite...

, before uniting with the Trust Territory of Somalia
Trust Territory of Somalia
The Trust Territory of Somalia was a United Nations Trust Territory that was administered by Italy from 1949 to 1960, following the dissolution of the former Italian Somaliland inside the territory of modern-day Somalia.-History:In 1941, Italian Somaliland was occupied by British and South African...

 (the former Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland , also known as Italian Somalia, was a colony of the Kingdom of Italy from the 1880s until 1936 in the region of modern-day Somalia. Ruled in the 19th century by the Somali Sultanate of Hobyo and the Majeerteen Sultanate, the territory was later acquired by Italy through various...

) later the same week to form the Somali Republic.

Somaliland is bordered by Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 in the south and west, Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

 in the northwest, the Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Aden
The Gulf of Aden is located in the Arabian Sea between Yemen, on the south coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and Somalia in the Horn of Africa. In the northwest, it connects with the Red Sea through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, which is about 20 miles wide....

 in the north, and the autonomous Puntland
Puntland
Puntland , officially the Puntland State of Somalia , is a region in northeastern Somalia, centered on Garowe in the Nugaal province. Its leaders declared the territory an autonomous state in 1998....

 region of Somalia to the east.

In 1988, the Siad Barre
Siad Barre
Mohamed Siad Barre was the military dictator and President of the Somali Democratic Republic from 1969 to 1991. During his rule, he styled himself as Jaalle Siyaad ....

 regime committed massacres against the people of Somaliland, which were among the events that led to the Somali Civil War
Somali Civil War
The Somali Civil War is an ongoing civil war taking place in Somalia. The conflict, which began in 1991, has caused destabilisation throughout the country, with the current phase of the conflict seeing the Somali government losing substantial control of the state to rebel forces...

.
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Encyclopedia
Somaliland is an unrecognised
Diplomatic recognition
Diplomatic recognition in international law is a unilateral political act with domestic and international legal consequences, whereby a state acknowledges an act or status of another state or government in control of a state...

 self-declared sovereign state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 that is internationally recognised as an autonomous region of Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

. The government of Somaliland regards itself as the successor state to the British Somaliland
British Somaliland
British Somaliland was a British protectorate in the northern part of present-day Somalia. For much of its existence, British Somaliland was bordered by French Somaliland, Ethiopia, and Italian Somaliland. From 1940 to 1941, it was occupied by the Italians and was part of Italian East Africa...

 protectorate
Protectorate
In history, the term protectorate has two different meanings. In its earliest inception, which has been adopted by modern international law, it is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity...

, which was independent for a few days in 1960 as the State of Somaliland
State of Somaliland
The State of Somaliland was a short-lived independent state in the territory of modern-day Somalia.-History:In May 1960, the British Government stated that it would be prepared to grant independence to the then protectorate of British Somaliland, with the intention that the territory would unite...

, before uniting with the Trust Territory of Somalia
Trust Territory of Somalia
The Trust Territory of Somalia was a United Nations Trust Territory that was administered by Italy from 1949 to 1960, following the dissolution of the former Italian Somaliland inside the territory of modern-day Somalia.-History:In 1941, Italian Somaliland was occupied by British and South African...

 (the former Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland , also known as Italian Somalia, was a colony of the Kingdom of Italy from the 1880s until 1936 in the region of modern-day Somalia. Ruled in the 19th century by the Somali Sultanate of Hobyo and the Majeerteen Sultanate, the territory was later acquired by Italy through various...

) later the same week to form the Somali Republic.

Somaliland is bordered by Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 in the south and west, Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

 in the northwest, the Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Aden
The Gulf of Aden is located in the Arabian Sea between Yemen, on the south coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and Somalia in the Horn of Africa. In the northwest, it connects with the Red Sea through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, which is about 20 miles wide....

 in the north, and the autonomous Puntland
Puntland
Puntland , officially the Puntland State of Somalia , is a region in northeastern Somalia, centered on Garowe in the Nugaal province. Its leaders declared the territory an autonomous state in 1998....

 region of Somalia to the east.

In 1988, the Siad Barre
Siad Barre
Mohamed Siad Barre was the military dictator and President of the Somali Democratic Republic from 1969 to 1991. During his rule, he styled himself as Jaalle Siyaad ....

 regime committed massacres against the people of Somaliland, which were among the events that led to the Somali Civil War
Somali Civil War
The Somali Civil War is an ongoing civil war taking place in Somalia. The conflict, which began in 1991, has caused destabilisation throughout the country, with the current phase of the conflict seeing the Somali government losing substantial control of the state to rebel forces...

. The war left the economic and military infrastructure severely damaged. After the collapse of the central government in 1991, the local government, led by the Somali National Movement
Somali National Movement
The Somali National Movement was a 1980s-1990s Somali rebel group. Founded and led by Isaaq members to protect the clan's interests, it was key in the formation of Somaliland, a self-declared sovereign state that is internationally recognised as an autonomous region of Somalia.-Formation:In April...

 (SNM), declared independence
Declaration of independence
A declaration of independence is an assertion of the independence of an aspiring state or states. Such places are usually declared from part or all of the territory of another nation or failed nation, or are breakaway territories from within the larger state...

 from the rest of Somalia on May 18 of the same year.

Since then, the territory has been governed by an administration that seeks self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

 as the Republic of Somaliland . The local government maintains informal ties
Foreign relations of Somaliland
Foreign relations of Somaliland are the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Somaliland is a de facto independent state, which is regarded by all foreign governments as part of Somalia...

 with some foreign governments, who have sent delegations to Hargeisa
Hargeisa
Hargeisa is a city in the northwestern Woqooyi Galbeed region of Somalia. With a population of approximately 2 million residents, it is the second largest city in the country. Hargeisa is the capital of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region...

. Ethiopia also maintains a consulate in the region. However, Somaliland's self-proclaimed independence remains unrecognised by any country or international organisation.

History



The earliest human artifacts in the area are the Laas Geel cave paintings, dating from before 3000 BC. The area is sometimes thought to be part of the Land of Punt
Land of Punt
The Land of Punt, also called Pwenet, or Pwene by the ancient Egyptians, was a trading partner known for producing and exporting gold, aromatic resins, African blackwood, ebony, ivory, slaves and wild animals...

. Islam was introduced to the area from the 7th to 10th centuries, and small Islamic states sprang up in the area. In 1548 AD, the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 annexed part of what is now western Somaliland. In 1888, after signing successive treaties with the then ruling Somali
Somali people
Somalis are an ethnic group located in the Horn of Africa, also known as the Somali Peninsula. The overwhelming majority of Somalis speak the Somali language, which is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family...

 Sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

s such as Mohamoud Ali Shire
Mohamoud Ali Shire
Mohamoud Ali Shire was a Somali ruler. He was the 20th Sultan of the Warsangali Sultanate from 1897 to 1960.-Titles:Also known as the Gerad, the Sultan was the sole regent and governor of the sultanate. He also enjoyed many other titles, including "Sovereign of the House of North East of...

 of the Warsangali Sultanate, the British established a protectorate
Protectorate
In history, the term protectorate has two different meanings. In its earliest inception, which has been adopted by modern international law, it is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity...

 in the region referred to as British Somaliland
British Somaliland
British Somaliland was a British protectorate in the northern part of present-day Somalia. For much of its existence, British Somaliland was bordered by French Somaliland, Ethiopia, and Italian Somaliland. From 1940 to 1941, it was occupied by the Italians and was part of Italian East Africa...

. The British garrisoned the protectorate from Aden and administered it as part of British India until 1898. British Somaliland was then administered by the Foreign Office until 1905, and afterwards by the Colonial Office
Colonial Office
Colonial Office is the government agency which serves to oversee and supervise their colony* Colonial Office - The British Government department* Office of Insular Affairs - the American government agency* Reichskolonialamt - the German Colonial Office...

.

Generally, the British did not have much interest in the resource-barren region. The stated purposes of the establishment of the protectorate were to "secure a supply market, check the traffic in slaves, and to exclude the interference of foreign powers." The British principally viewed the protectorate as a source for supplies of meat for their British Indian outpost in Aden through the maintenance of order in the coastal areas and protection of the caravan routes from the interior. Hence, the region's nickname of "Aden's butcher's shop". Colonial administration during this period did not extend administrative infrastructure beyond the coast, and contrasted with the more interventionist colonial experience of Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland , also known as Italian Somalia, was a colony of the Kingdom of Italy from the 1880s until 1936 in the region of modern-day Somalia. Ruled in the 19th century by the Somali Sultanate of Hobyo and the Majeerteen Sultanate, the territory was later acquired by Italy through various...

.

The British Somaliland protectorate became briefly independent on June 26, 1960, with the Trust Territory of Somalia
Trust Territory of Somalia
The Trust Territory of Somalia was a United Nations Trust Territory that was administered by Italy from 1949 to 1960, following the dissolution of the former Italian Somaliland inside the territory of modern-day Somalia.-History:In 1941, Italian Somaliland was occupied by British and South African...

 (the former Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland , also known as Italian Somalia, was a colony of the Kingdom of Italy from the 1880s until 1936 in the region of modern-day Somalia. Ruled in the 19th century by the Somali Sultanate of Hobyo and the Majeerteen Sultanate, the territory was later acquired by Italy through various...

) following suit five days later. On July 1, 1960, the two territories united as planned to form the Somali Republic
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

. A government was formed by Abdullahi Issa
Abdullahi Issa
Abdullahi Issa Mohamud was the first Prime Minister of Somalia from February 29, 1956 to July 1, 1960.-Biography:Issa was born in Somalia in 1922 to a Habar Gidir Hawiye family. When the Second World War broke out, he was still a student...

, with Aden Abdullah Osman Daar
Aden Abdullah Osman Daar
Aden Abdulle Osman Daar , popularly known as Aadan Cadde, was a Somali politician and the country's first President from July 1, 1960 to June 10, 1967.-Biography:...

 as President and Abdirashid Ali Shermarke
Abdirashid Ali Shermarke
Abdirashid Ali Shermarke was Prime Minister of Somalia from July 12, 1960 to June 14, 1964, and President of Somalia from June 10, 1967 until his assassination on October 15, 1969...

 as Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Somalia
This page contains a list of the Prime Ministers of Somalia.-Prime Ministers of Somalia :-Affiliations:*SYL - Somali Youth League*SNL - Somali National League...

 (later to become President, from 1967 to 1969). On July 20, 1961 and through a popular referendum
Referendum
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. It is a form of...

, the Somali people ratified a new constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

, which was first drafted in 1960. In 1967, Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal became Prime Minister, a position to which he was appointed by Shermarke. Shermarke would be assassinated two years later by one of his own bodyguards. His murder was quickly followed by a military coup d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

 on October 21, 1969 (the day after his funeral), in which the Somalian Army
Military of Somalia
The Military of Somalia was, up until 1991, made up of the army, navy, air force, and air defense command. The outbreak of the Somali Civil War during that year led to the de facto dissolution of the national armed forces. However, efforts to re-establish a regular armed force by a re-constituted...

 seized power without encountering armed opposition. The putsch was spearheaded by Major General Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre
Mohamed Siad Barre was the military dictator and President of the Somali Democratic Republic from 1969 to 1991. During his rule, he styled himself as Jaalle Siyaad ....

, who at the time commanded the army. The new regime would go on to rule Somalia for the next 21 years. By the 1990s, the moral authority of Barre's government had collapsed. Many Somalis had become disillusioned with life under military dictatorship. The government became increasingly totalitarian
Totalitarianism
Totalitarianism is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible...

, and resistance movement
Resistance movement
A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

s, encouraged by Ethiopia, sprang up across the country, eventually leading to the Somali Civil War
Somali Civil War
The Somali Civil War is an ongoing civil war taking place in Somalia. The conflict, which began in 1991, has caused destabilisation throughout the country, with the current phase of the conflict seeing the Somali government losing substantial control of the state to rebel forces...

. Among the militia groups was the Isaaq
Isaaq
The Isaaq is one of the main Somali clans. Members of the clan principally live in the northwestern Somaliland region of Somalia, and the Somali Region of Ethiopia. The populations of five major cities of Somaliland – Hargeisa, Burco, Berbera, Ceerigaabo and Gabiley – are predominantly Isaaq...

-led Somali National Movement
Somali National Movement
The Somali National Movement was a 1980s-1990s Somali rebel group. Founded and led by Isaaq members to protect the clan's interests, it was key in the formation of Somaliland, a self-declared sovereign state that is internationally recognised as an autonomous region of Somalia.-Formation:In April...

 (SNM), based in Hargeisa.

Although the SNM at its inception had a unionist constitution, it eventually began to pursue a separatist agenda, looking to secede from the rest of Somalia. Under the leadership of Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur
Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur
For the Somali politician executed for apostasy in 2009, see Abdirahman AhmedAbdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur was a Somali politician...

, the local administration declared the northwestern Somali territories independent on 18 May 1991. Tuur then became the newly-established Somaliland polity's first President, but subsequently renounced the separatist platform in 1994 and began instead to publicly seek and advocate reconciliation with the rest of Somalia under a power-sharing federal
Federalism
Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant with a governing representative head. The term "federalism" is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and...

 system of governance. Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal was appointed as Tuur's successor in 1993 by the Grand Conference of National Reconciliation in Borama, which met for four months, leading to a gradual improvement in security, as well as a consolidation of the new territory. Egal was reappointed in 1997, and remained in power until his death on May 3, 2002. The vice president, Dahir Riyale Kahin
Dahir Riyale Kahin
Dahir Rayale Kahin was the third President of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as a part of Somalia. He became the third president of Somaliland on May 3, 2002, after the death of Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal...

, who was during the 1980s the highest-ranking National Security Service
National Security Service (Somalia)
The National Security Service was the primary intelligence service of the government of Siad Barre and the bedrock of its repressive internal security apparatus, existing from 1970 until 1990 when it was formally abolished.- Organization and structure :...

 (NSS) officer in Berbera
Berbera
Berbera is a city and seat of Berbera District in Somaliland, a self-proclaimed Independent Republic with de facto control over its own territory, which is recognized by the international community and the Somali Government as a part of Somalia...

 in Siad Barre's government, was sworn in as president shortly afterwards. In 2003, Kahin became the first elected president of Somaliland.

The war in southern Somalia
War in Somalia (2006–present)
The War in Somalia was an armed conflict involving largely Ethiopian and Somali Transitional Federal Government forces and Somali troops from Puntland versus the Somali Islamist umbrella group, the Islamic Court Union , and other affiliated militias for control of the country. There is a clear...

 between Islamist insurgents on the one hand, and the Transitional Federal Government
Transitional Federal Government
The Transitional Federal Government is the current internationally recognized government of the Republic of Somalia. It was established as one of the Transitional Federal Institutions of government as defined in the Transitional Federal Charter adopted in November 2004 by the Transitional...

 (TFG) and its African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

 allies on the other, has for the most part not directly affected Somaliland, which, like neighboring Puntland
Puntland
Puntland , officially the Puntland State of Somalia , is a region in northeastern Somalia, centered on Garowe in the Nugaal province. Its leaders declared the territory an autonomous state in 1998....

, has remained relatively stable.

Politics and government



Somaliland has formed a hybrid system of governance under the Constitution of Somaliland
Constitution of Somaliland
The Constitution of Somaliland was adopted by the Houses of the Parliament of Somaliland on 30 April 2000. The constitution was approved in a referendum held on May 31, 2001 when 97% of the voters voted in its favour. Its re-published version consists of a Preamble and five main chapters each of...

, combining traditional and western institutions. In a series of inter-clan conferences, culminating in the Boorama Conference in 1993, a qabil(clan or community) system of government was constructed. This consisted of an Executive with a President, Vice President, and Council of Ministers, a bicameral
Bicameralism
In the government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. Thus, a bicameral parliament or bicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of two chambers or houses....

 Legislature, and an independent judiciary.

The traditional Somali council of elders (guurti) was incorporated into the governance structure, becoming the House of Elders
House of Elders of Somaliland
The Parliament of Somaliland has two chambers. The upper house is the House of Elders . It has 82 members, representing traditional leaders.Suleiman Mahmud Adam is the Speaker of the House of Elders of Somaliland....

 in Parliament. The 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 predetermined formula, although not all clans are satisfied with their representation. 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.

The Somaliland government is headed by the executive branch, which consists of a directly-elected President, a Vice President, and a cabinet nominated by the President and approved by parliament. The President is directly elected, and Presidential elections are confirmed by the National Elections Commission. The President can serve a maximum of two five-year terms. The Parliament of Somaliland
Parliament of Somaliland
The Parliament of Somaliland consists of two chambers:*The House of Elders *The House of Representatives...

 is the legislative branch of government. It is a bicameral parliament. Its two houses consist of the House of Elders
House of Elders of Somaliland
The Parliament of Somaliland has two chambers. The upper house is the House of Elders . It has 82 members, representing traditional leaders.Suleiman Mahmud Adam is the Speaker of the House of Elders of Somaliland....

 (Upper House) and the House of Representatives
House of Representatives of Somaliland
The House of Representatives of Somaliland is the lower house of the Republic of Somaliland.The current House of Representatives, formed following elections held on 29 September 2005, has a total of 82 members, including the Speaker of the House, Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi...

. Each house has 82 members. Members of the House of Elders are elected indirectly by local communities for six-year terms. The House of Elders shares power in passing laws with the House of Representatives, and also has the role of solving internal conflicts, and an exclusive power to extend the terms of the President and representatives under circumstances that make an election impossible. Members of the House of Representatives are directly elected by the people for five-year terms. The House of Representatives shares voting power with the House of Elders, though it can pass a law that the House of Elders rejects it votes for the law by a 2/3's majority, and has absolute power in financial matters and confirmation of Presidential appointments (except for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court). However, the Parliament provides weak oversight of the executive branch. The Somaliland judicial system is divided into district courts (which deal with matters of family law and succession, lawsuits for amounts up to 3 million SL
Somaliland shilling
The Somaliland shilling is the official currency of Somaliland, a de facto independent republic which is recognized as a part of Somalia. It was introduced on 18 October 1994 at one new Somaliland shilling to 100 Somali shillings...

, criminal cases punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment or 3 million SL fines, and crimes committed by juveniles), regional courts (which deal with lawsuits and criminal cases not within the jurisdiction of district courts, labour and employment claims, and local government elections), and appeals courts (which deal with all appeals from district and regional courts). The highest court is the Somaliland Supreme Court
Supreme court
A supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, instance court, judgment court, high court, or apex court...

, which deals with issues between courts and in government, and reviews its own decisions. Supreme Court justices also constitute the Somaliland Constitutional Court, which deals with constitutional matters.

Somaliland has three political parties
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

: the United Peoples' Democratic Party
United Peoples' Democratic Party
The United Peoples' Democratic Party is one of the three political parties in the northwestern Somaliland region of Somalia. It is currently the opposition.-Overview:...

, the Peace, Unity, and Development Party
Peace, Unity, and Development Party
The Peace, Unity and Development Party is the ruling political party in Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.-Overview:...

, and the Justice and Development Party
For Justice and Development
For Justice and Development is a political party in the Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.-Overview:...

. Under the Somaliland Constitution, a maximum of three political parties are allowed, and parties defined by religion or clan are prohibited, though all three parties are closely affiliated with a clan.

Foreign relations



Somaliland has political contacts with its neighbours Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, and Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

, as well as with Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

, Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. On 17 January 2007, the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 (EU) sent a delegation for foreign affairs to discuss future cooperation. The African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

 (AU) has also sent a foreign minister to discuss the future of international acknowledgment, and on January 29 and 30, 2007, the ministers stated that they would discuss acknowledgement with the organisation's member states In June 2007, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
Meles Zenawi
Meles Zenawi Asres is the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. Since 1985, he has been chairman of the Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front , and is currently head of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front .Meles was born in Adwa, Tigray in Northern Ethiopia, to an Ethiopian father from...

 held a conference with Somaliland's President Kahin, during which he was referred to in an official communique by the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ethiopia)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the Ethiopian government ministry which oversees the foreign relations of Ethiopia....

 as the President of Somaliland, the first time that Somaliland has been officially referred to as a sovereign state by a foreign government. While this is not claimed as a move to official recognition by Ethiopia, it is seen as a possible step toward a unilateral declaration by Ethiopia in the event of the AU failing to move its recognition of Somaliland forward.

In 2007, a delegation led by President Kahin was present at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2007
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2007 was the twentieth Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Nations. It was held in Kampala, Uganda, between 23 November and 25 November 2007, and was hosted by President Yoweri Museveni....

 in Kampala
Kampala
Kampala is the largest city and capital of Uganda. The city is divided into five boroughs that oversee local planning: Kampala Central Division, Kawempe Division, Makindye Division, Nakawa Division and Lubaga Division. The city is coterminous with Kampala District.-History: of Buganda, had chosen...

, Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

. Although Somaliland has applied to join the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 under observer status
Observer status
Observer status is a privilege granted by some organizations to non-members to give them an ability to participate in the organization's activities. Observer status is often granted by intergovernmental organizations to non-member states and international nongovernmental organizations that have...

, its application is still pending.

On November 27, 2007, Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck
Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck
Anne-Marie Cécile J. Neyts-Uyttebroeck is a Belgian politician andMember of the European Parliament for Flanders with the Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten, part of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and sits on the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs.She is for the...

 of the ELDR
European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party
The European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party is a European political party mainly active in the European Union, composed of 56 national-level liberal and liberal-democratic parties from across Europe...

, one of three main parties in the EU, mailed a letter to the then-EU High Representative
High Representative
High Representative may refer to either:* The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy High Representative may refer to either:* The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy High Representative may refer to either:* The High...

 Javier Solana
Javier Solana
Francisco Javier Solana de Madariaga, KOGF is a Spanish physicist and Socialist politician. After serving in the Spanish government under Felipe González and Secretary General of NATO , he was appointed the European Union's High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Secretary...

, and to President Kahin of Somaliland, which called upon the EU to recognise Somaliland. In December 2007, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 government discussed whether to back the shaky transitional government in Mogadishu
Mogadishu
Mogadishu , popularly known as Xamar, is the largest city in Somalia and the nation's capital. Located in the coastal Benadir region on the Indian Ocean, the city has served as an important port for centuries....

 or to acknowledge and support the less volatile Somaliland secessionists.

In early 2006, the National Assembly of Wales extended an official invitation to the Somaliland government to attend the royal opening of the Senedd
Senedd
The Senedd , also known as the National Assembly building, houses the debating chamber and three committee rooms for the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff. The Senedd building was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 1 March 2006 and the total cost was £69.6 million, which included £49.7M in...

 in Cardiff
Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

. The move was seen as an act of recognition by the Welsh Assembly of the breakaway government's legitimacy. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, commonly called the Foreign Office or the FCO is a British government department responsible for promoting the interests of the United Kingdom overseas, created in 1968 by merging the Foreign Office and the Commonwealth Office.The head of the FCO is the...

 made no comment on the invitation. Wales is home to a significant Somaliland expatriate
Expatriate
An expatriate is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing...

 community.

On September 24, 2010 Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, stated that the United States would be modifying its strategy in Somalia and would seek deeper engagement with the governments of Somaliland and Puntland while continuing to support the Somali Transitional Government. Carson said the US would send aid workers and diplomats to Puntland and Somaliland and alluded to the possibility of future development projects. However, Carson emphasized that the U.S. would not extend formal recognition to either region.
The current UK Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham
Henry Bellingham
Henry Campbell Bellingham is a British Conservative politician. He was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 14 May 2010. In parliament, he represents the constituency of North West Norfolk.-Early life:...

 MP, met President Silanyo of Somaliland in November 2010 to discuss ways in which to increase the UK's engagement with Somaliland. President Silanyo said during his visit to London: "We have been working with the international community and the international community has been engaging with us, giving us assistance and working with us in our democratisation and development programmes. And we are very happy with the way the international community has been dealing with us, particularly the UK, the US, other European nations and our neighbours who continue to seek recognition.”

Border disputes




Somaliland continues to claim the entire area of the former British Somaliland
British Somaliland
British Somaliland was a British protectorate in the northern part of present-day Somalia. For much of its existence, British Somaliland was bordered by French Somaliland, Ethiopia, and Italian Somaliland. From 1940 to 1941, it was occupied by the Italians and was part of Italian East Africa...

. It is currently in control of the western half of the former British Somaliland, with northeastern Maakhir
Maakhir
Maakhir , officially the Maakhir State of Somalia was an autonomous region in northern Somalia in an area disputed by the Somaliland and Puntland macro-regions. In January 2009, it was incorporated into Puntland.-Autonomy:...

 having declared itself a separate, unrecognised autonomous state within Somalia in July 2007, and the disputed southeastern Sool
Sool
Sool is an administrative region in northern Somalia.-Overview:With its capital at Las Anod, Sool is historically known for being the seat of the anti-colonial Dervish movement....

 state had been under the control of neighbouring Puntland
Puntland
Puntland , officially the Puntland State of Somalia , is a region in northeastern Somalia, centered on Garowe in the Nugaal province. Its leaders declared the territory an autonomous state in 1998....

 from 2003 until 2008. A coalition of Dir intellectuals hailing from the westernmost Awdal
Awdal
Awdal is a region in northwestern Somalia. Its capital is Borama.Awdal is bordered by Ethiopia, Djibouti, the Somali region of Woqooyi Galbeed, and the Gulf of Aden...

 province have threatened to secede if Somaliland's independence is recognised.

Tensions between Puntland and Somaliland escalated into violence several times between 2002 and 2009. In October 2004, and again in April and October 2007, armed forces of Somaliland and Puntland clashed near the town of Las Anod, the capital of Sool region. In October 2007, Somaliland troops took control of the town. While celebrating Puntland's 11th anniversary on 2 August 2009, Puntland officials vowed to recapture Las Anod. While Somaliland claims independent statehood and therefore 'split up' the 'old' Somalia, Puntland works for the re-establishment of a united but federal Somali state.

Somaliland forces took control of the town of Las Qorey in eastern Sanaag
Sanaag
Sanaag is an administrative region in northern Somalia. Its capital city is Erigavo.Sanaag has a long coastline facing the Gulf of Aden to the north, and is bordered by the Somali regions of Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sool and Bari....

 on 10 July 2008, along with positions five kilometers east of the town. The defence forces completed their operations on 9 July 2008 after the Maakhir and Puntland militia in the area left their positions, but control of the territory was later assumed by Puntland as Maakhir was incorporated into the autonomous region in January 2009.

In the late 2000s, HBM-SSC (Hoggaanka Badbaadada iyo Mideynta SSC), a local unionist group based in Sanaag
Sanaag
Sanaag is an administrative region in northern Somalia. Its capital city is Erigavo.Sanaag has a long coastline facing the Gulf of Aden to the north, and is bordered by the Somali regions of Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sool and Bari....

 was formed with the goal to establish its own regional administration (Sool, Sanaag and Cayn, or SSC).

In 2010, the formation of a new autonomous region within a federal Somalia was also declared in the Awdal province. Referred to as Awdalland
Awdalland
Awdalland is a region in northwestern Somalia. Centered on Borama in the Awdal province, its leaders declared the territory an autonomous state in 2010.-History:...

 or the Adal State, the local administration does not recognise the Somaliland government's claim to sovereignty or to its territory.

Military


The Somaliland Armed Forces
Military of Somaliland
The Somaliland Armed Forces are the main military forces in Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia. They are composed of three principle military units: the army, the navy and the air defence forces. The Somaliland Police Force is...

 are the main military command in Somaliland, and, along with the Police Force and all other internal security forces, are overseen by Somaliland's Ministry of Defence. The current head of Somaliland's Armed Forces is the Minister of Defence, Mudane Adan Mire Mohammed. The commanding of the military comes under a civilian post and not a military general.

The Somaliland Army consists of twelve divisions equipped primarily with light weaponry, though it is equipped with some howitzer
Howitzer
A howitzer is a type of artillery piece characterized by a relatively short barrel and the use of comparatively small propellant charges to propel projectiles at relatively high trajectories, with a steep angle of descent...

s and mobile rocket launcher
Rocket launcher
A rocket launcher is any device that launches a rocket-propelled projectile, although the term is often used in reference to mechanisms that are portable and capable of being operated by an individual....

s. Its armored vehicles and tanks are mostly of Soviet design, though there are some aging Western vehicles and tanks in its arsenal. The Somaliland Air Defense Forces operate mostly Soviet aircraft and radars, though it also uses the Spanish CASA C-212 Aviocar transport plane. The Somaliland Navy has an arsenal of well-armed vessels and highly trained sailors, with the Berbera Marine College
Berbera Marine College
Berbera Marine College is a naval military college located in the port city of Berbera in Somaliland, a de facto independent republic which is claimed by Somalia.-Overview:...

 producing highly-qualified naval officers who operate under International Maritime Bureau
International Maritime Bureau
The International Maritime Bureau is a specialized department of the International Chamber of Commerce.The IMB's responsibilities lie in fighting crimes related to maritime trade and transportation, particularly piracy and commercial fraud, and in protecting the crews of ocean-going vessels.It...

 regulations.

Administrative divisions




Key Region Capital Area
km²
Population
density
km2
1 Salal
Salal
Gaultheria shallon is a leathery-leaved shrub in the heather family , native to western North America. In English it is known as salal, shallon, or in Britain simply Gaultheria.-Ecology:...

 
Zeila
Zeila
Zeila, also known as Zaila , is a port city on the Gulf of Aden coast, situated in the northwestern Awdal region of Somalia.Located near the Djibouti border, the town sits on a sandy spit surrounded by the sea. It is known for its offshore islands, coral reef and mangroves. Landward, the terrain is...

 
n/a n/a
2 Awdal
Awdal
Awdal is a region in northwestern Somalia. Its capital is Borama.Awdal is bordered by Ethiopia, Djibouti, the Somali region of Woqooyi Galbeed, and the Gulf of Aden...

 
Borama  n/a n/a
3 Gabiley
Gabiley
Gabiley is a city in the northwestern Woqooyi Galbeed province of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.Gabiley is located 54 km west of Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland...

 
Gabiley
Gabiley
Gabiley is a city in the northwestern Woqooyi Galbeed province of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.Gabiley is located 54 km west of Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland...

 
n/a n/a
4 Gaaroodi  Salahley
Salahley
Salahlay is a town in the northwestern Woqooyi Galbeed region of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.-Overview:...

 
n/a n/a
5 Sahil
Sahil
Sahil is a commonly masculine name, used by both Hindus and Muslims. Similar names are Saahil, Sahiliao, Sayhil. Not to be confused with Sohil which has a different source.-Origin:...

 
Berbera
Berbera
Berbera is a city and seat of Berbera District in Somaliland, a self-proclaimed Independent Republic with de facto control over its own territory, which is recognized by the international community and the Somali Government as a part of Somalia...

 
n/a n/a
6 Odweyne
Odweyne
Odweyne is a town in the northwestern Togdheer province of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.-Overview:Odweyne is the capital of the Odweyne District...

 
Odweyne
Odweyne
Odweyne is a town in the northwestern Togdheer province of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.-Overview:Odweyne is the capital of the Odweyne District...

 
n/a n/a
7 Togdheer
Togdheer
Togdheer is an administrative region in northwestern Somalia. It lies in the territory of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.-Overview:...

 
Burao  n/a n/a
8 Cayn  Buuhoodle
Buuhoodle
Buhoodle or Buuhoodle is the capital of the Ayn region in northern Somalia. It is disputed between Somaliland, Puntland and HBM-SSC , a local unionist group whose goal is the creation of its own regional administration .-History:Buuhoodle is an historical city...

 
n/a n/a
9 Sarar
Sarar
Sarar is a newly created sub-regions in Somaliland, a de facto independent republic which is claimed in whole by Somalia. It was by Somaliland's president, Dahir Riyale Kahin on March 22, 2008. It was formed from the original Sool region....

 
Caynaba
Caynaba
Aynabo is an ancient town in the northern Sool region of Somalia. The inhabitants of Aynabo are the Habar Jeclo clan, of the larger Isaaq.-References:*...

 
n/a n/a
10 Sool
Sool
Sool is an administrative region in northern Somalia.-Overview:With its capital at Las Anod, Sool is historically known for being the seat of the anti-colonial Dervish movement....

 
Las Anod  n/a n/a
11 Sanaag
Sanaag
Sanaag is an administrative region in northern Somalia. Its capital city is Erigavo.Sanaag has a long coastline facing the Gulf of Aden to the north, and is bordered by the Somali regions of Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sool and Bari....

 
Erigavo  n/a n/a
12 Maakhir
Maakhir
Maakhir , officially the Maakhir State of Somalia was an autonomous region in northern Somalia in an area disputed by the Somaliland and Puntland macro-regions. In January 2009, it was incorporated into Puntland.-Autonomy:...

 
Badhan
Badhan
Badhan may refer to:* Badhan, Sanaag, Somalia* al-Badhan, a Palestinian village in the West Bank* Badhan , a group founded at the University of Dhaka to promote blood donation* Badhan , a clan of the Jat people....

 
n/a n/a
13 Hawd  Baligubadle
Baligubadle
Baligubadle is a town in the northwestern Woqooyi Galbeed province of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.-References:...

 
n/a n/a
14 Maroodi Jeex  Hargeisa
Hargeisa
Hargeisa is a city in the northwestern Woqooyi Galbeed region of Somalia. With a population of approximately 2 million residents, it is the second largest city in the country. Hargeisa is the capital of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region...

 
n/a n/a


The main cities and towns in Somaliland:
  • Hargeisa
    Hargeisa
    Hargeisa is a city in the northwestern Woqooyi Galbeed region of Somalia. With a population of approximately 2 million residents, it is the second largest city in the country. Hargeisa is the capital of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region...

     (Hargeysa), capital
  • Boorama
    Boorama
    Borama , also known as Borame, is a city in the northwestern Awdal region of Somalia.The commercial seat of the province, it is situated near the border with Djibouti and Ethiopia. One of the biggest towns of the British Somaliland protectorate...

     (Borama)
  • Berbera
    Berbera
    Berbera is a city and seat of Berbera District in Somaliland, a self-proclaimed Independent Republic with de facto control over its own territory, which is recognized by the international community and the Somali Government as a part of Somalia...

  • Burco
    Burco
    Burao is the capital city of the Togdheer province in Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia. In terms of population, it is the second largest city in Somaliland after Hargeisa.-History:...

     (Burao)
  • Ceerigaabo
    Ceerigaabo
    Erigavo or Erigabo is the administrative capital of the Sanaag region in northern Somalia.Local control is disputed between Somaliland, a self-declared independent republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia, the autonomous Puntland region in northeastern...

     (Erigabo)
  • Dilla
    Dilla
    Dilla is a city located in the northwestern Awdal region of Somalia.-History:Local control of the city is disputed between Awdalland, a proposed autonomous state, and Somaliland, a self-declared independent republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of...

  • Las Anod (Laascaanood)
  • Gabiley
    Gabiley
    Gabiley is a city in the northwestern Woqooyi Galbeed province of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.Gabiley is located 54 km west of Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland...

      (Gabileh)
  • Baligubadle
    Baligubadle
    Baligubadle is a town in the northwestern Woqooyi Galbeed province of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.-References:...

  • Zeila
    Zeila
    Zeila, also known as Zaila , is a port city on the Gulf of Aden coast, situated in the northwestern Awdal region of Somalia.Located near the Djibouti border, the town sits on a sandy spit surrounded by the sea. It is known for its offshore islands, coral reef and mangroves. Landward, the terrain is...

     (Saylac)
  • Odweyne
    Odweyne
    Odweyne is a town in the northwestern Togdheer province of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.-Overview:Odweyne is the capital of the Odweyne District...

  • Yubbe
    Yubbe
    Yubbe is a town in the northern Sanaag region of Somalia. It is situated in the Yubbe District.-History:...

  • Badhan
    Badhan
    Badhan may refer to:* Badhan, Sanaag, Somalia* al-Badhan, a Palestinian village in the West Bank* Badhan , a group founded at the University of Dhaka to promote blood donation* Badhan , a clan of the Jat people....

  • Lasqoray

State
Constituent state
A constituent state, constituent entity, or constituent part, is a territorial and constitutional entity forming part of a sovereign state...

Capital Annexed
Gabiley
Gabiley
Gabiley is a city in the northwestern Woqooyi Galbeed province of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.Gabiley is located 54 km west of Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland...

Gabiley
Gabiley
Gabiley is a city in the northwestern Woqooyi Galbeed province of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.Gabiley is located 54 km west of Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland...

Maroodi Jeex
Maakhir
Maakhir
Maakhir , officially the Maakhir State of Somalia was an autonomous region in northern Somalia in an area disputed by the Somaliland and Puntland macro-regions. In January 2009, it was incorporated into Puntland.-Autonomy:...

Badhan
Badhan
Badhan may refer to:* Badhan, Sanaag, Somalia* al-Badhan, a Palestinian village in the West Bank* Badhan , a group founded at the University of Dhaka to promote blood donation* Badhan , a clan of the Jat people....

Sanaag
Sanaag
Sanaag is an administrative region in northern Somalia. Its capital city is Erigavo.Sanaag has a long coastline facing the Gulf of Aden to the north, and is bordered by the Somali regions of Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sool and Bari....

Cayn Buhoodle Togdheer
Togdheer
Togdheer is an administrative region in northwestern Somalia. It lies in the territory of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.-Overview:...

Salal
Salal
Gaultheria shallon is a leathery-leaved shrub in the heather family , native to western North America. In English it is known as salal, shallon, or in Britain simply Gaultheria.-Ecology:...

Zeila
Zeila
Zeila, also known as Zaila , is a port city on the Gulf of Aden coast, situated in the northwestern Awdal region of Somalia.Located near the Djibouti border, the town sits on a sandy spit surrounded by the sea. It is known for its offshore islands, coral reef and mangroves. Landward, the terrain is...

Awdal
Awdal
Awdal is a region in northwestern Somalia. Its capital is Borama.Awdal is bordered by Ethiopia, Djibouti, the Somali region of Woqooyi Galbeed, and the Gulf of Aden...

Sarar
Sarar
Sarar is a newly created sub-regions in Somaliland, a de facto independent republic which is claimed in whole by Somalia. It was by Somaliland's president, Dahir Riyale Kahin on March 22, 2008. It was formed from the original Sool region....

Caynaba
Caynaba
Aynabo is an ancient town in the northern Sool region of Somalia. The inhabitants of Aynabo are the Habar Jeclo clan, of the larger Isaaq.-References:*...

Sool
Sool
Sool is an administrative region in northern Somalia.-Overview:With its capital at Las Anod, Sool is historically known for being the seat of the anti-colonial Dervish movement....

Odweyne
Odweyne
Odweyne is a town in the northwestern Togdheer province of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.-Overview:Odweyne is the capital of the Odweyne District...

Odweyne
Odweyne
Odweyne is a town in the northwestern Togdheer province of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.-Overview:Odweyne is the capital of the Odweyne District...

Togdheer
Togdheer
Togdheer is an administrative region in northwestern Somalia. It lies in the territory of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.-Overview:...

Hawd  Baligubadle
Baligubadle
Baligubadle is a town in the northwestern Woqooyi Galbeed province of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.-References:...

 
Maroodi Jeex


16 new Districts:
District
District
Districts are a type of administrative division, in some countries managed by a local government. They vary greatly in size, spanning entire regions or counties, several municipalities, or subdivisions of municipalities.-Austria:...

Region
Region
Region is most commonly found as a term used in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences also an area, notably among the different sub-disciplines of geography, studied by regional geographers. Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of like areas that are distinctive by their uniformity...

Annexed Region
Haji Salax Odweyne Togdheer
Kalabaydh Sool region
Wajale Gabile Hargeysa
Widh-widh Buhoodle Sool
Qorulugad Buhoodle Togdheer
Go’Da Weyne Sahil
Harasheekh Odweyne Togdheer
Raydab Khatumo Odweyne Togdheer
Garba Dardar Salal Awdal
Boon Sala Awdal
Harirad Salal Awdal
Las Idle Sahil
War Idad Sarar Togdheer
Yubbe Sanaag Maakhir
Elal Sarar Togdheer
War Imran Togdheer
Magalo Ad Awdal

Geography




Somaliland is situated in the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

. It lies between the 08°00' – 11°30' parallel north of the equator and between 42°30' – 49°00' meridian
Meridian (geography)
A meridian is an imaginary line on the Earth's surface from the North Pole to the South Pole that connects all locations along it with a given longitude. The position of a point along the meridian is given by its latitude. Each meridian is perpendicular to all circles of latitude...

 east of Greenwich
Greenwich
Greenwich is a district of south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich.Greenwich is best known for its maritime history and for giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time...

. It is bordered by Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

 to the west, Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 to the south, and the Puntland
Puntland
Puntland , officially the Puntland State of Somalia , is a region in northeastern Somalia, centered on Garowe in the Nugaal province. Its leaders declared the territory an autonomous state in 1998....

 region of Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

 to the east. Somaliland has a 740 kilometres (460 mi) coastline with the majority lying along the Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Aden
The Gulf of Aden is located in the Arabian Sea between Yemen, on the south coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and Somalia in the Horn of Africa. In the northwest, it connects with the Red Sea through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, which is about 20 miles wide....

. The region is slightly larger than England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, with an area of 137600 km² (53,128 sq mi).

Somaliland's climate is a mixture of wet and dry conditions. The northern part of the region is hilly, and in many places the altitude ranges between 900 and 2100 m (2,952.8 and 6,889.8 ft) above sea level. The Awdal
Awdal
Awdal is a region in northwestern Somalia. Its capital is Borama.Awdal is bordered by Ethiopia, Djibouti, the Somali region of Woqooyi Galbeed, and the Gulf of Aden...

, Saaxil
Saaxil
Saaxil is a region in Somaliland, a de facto independent republic which is recognized as a part of Somalia. Its capital is Berbera...

 and Maroodi Jeex (formerly known as Woqooyi Galbeed, as shown on the accompanying map) regions are fertile and mountainous, while Togdheer
Togdheer
Togdheer is an administrative region in northwestern Somalia. It lies in the territory of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.-Overview:...

 is mostly semi-desert
Semi-arid
A semi-arid climate or steppe climate describes climatic regions that receive precipitation below potential evapotranspiration, but not extremely...

 with little fertile greenery around. The Awdal region is also known for its offshore islands, coral reef
Coral reef
Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps...

s and mangrove
Mangrove
Mangroves are various kinds of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats in the tropics and subtropics – mainly between latitudes N and S...

s.

10 kilometres (6.2 mi) to the north of Ceerigaabo
Ceerigaabo
Erigavo or Erigabo is the administrative capital of the Sanaag region in northern Somalia.Local control is disputed between Somaliland, a self-declared independent republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia, the autonomous Puntland region in northeastern...

 is the Cal Madow
Cal Madow
Cal Madow is a mountain range in northeastern Somalia, extending from several kilometers west of Bosaso to northwest of Erigavo. Its peak sits at almost 2500 m in Shimbiris, northwest of Erigavo...

 range, running along the edge of the escarpment
Escarpment
An escarpment is a steep slope or long cliff that occurs from erosion or faulting and separates two relatively level areas of differing elevations.-Description and variants:...

, which looks down to the Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Aden
The Gulf of Aden is located in the Arabian Sea between Yemen, on the south coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and Somalia in the Horn of Africa. In the northwest, it connects with the Red Sea through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, which is about 20 miles wide....

. It is about 2000 metres (6,562 ft) above sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

, where the road from Ceerigaabo drops down to the coast. 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) to the west it rises to the highest point in Somaliland and Somalia alike; at 2416 metres (7,927 ft) high, it is known variously as Shimbiris
Shimbiris
Mount Shimbiris is the highest peak in Somalia. It sits at an altitude of above sea level. It is located in the Cal Madow mountain range in northern Somalia, in the Sanaag region. SRTM data shows that its often quoted elevation of 2,410m is slightly low....

 or Shimbir Beris, which translates as the abode of the birds. The Cal Madow range receives considerably more precipitation than the rest of Somaliland and hosts a dense forest home to numerous endemic species.

Due to the fertility and greenery of some of the regions of Somaliland, wild animals come to the area either to breed or to graze on the grassland savanna
Savanna
A savanna, or savannah, is a grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently small or widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of C4 grasses.Some...

. There are many animals that are native to Somaliland. Prominent animals are the kudu
Kudu
The kudus are two species of antelope of the genus Tragelaphus:*Lesser Kudu, Tragelaphus imberbis*Greater Kudu, Tragelaphus strepsiceros- Etymology :...

, wild boar
Boar
Wild boar, also wild pig, is a species of the pig genus Sus, part of the biological family Suidae. The species includes many subspecies. It is the wild ancestor of the domestic pig, an animal with which it freely hybridises...

, Somali Wild Ass
Somali Wild Ass
The Somali Wild Ass is a subspecies of the African wild ass. It was found in the Southern Red Sea region of Eritrea, the Afar Region of Ethiopia, and Somalia...

, warthog
Warthog
The Warthog or Common Warthog is a wild member of the pig family that lives in grassland, savanna, and woodland in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the past it was commonly treated as a subspecies of P...

, antelope
Antelope
Antelope is a term referring to many even-toed ungulate species indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia. Antelopes comprise a miscellaneous group within the family Bovidae, encompassing those old-world species that are neither cattle, sheep, buffalo, bison, nor goats...

, the Somali sheep
Somali sheep
The Somali sheep, occasionally known as the Berbera Blackhead, is a hair sheep native to Somalia. The animal is reared primarily for meat production and it is one of the major exports of the Somali economy.-Appearance:...

, wild goat
Capra (genus)
Capra is a genus of mammals, the goats or wild goats, composed of up to nine species including the wild goat, the markhor and several species known as ibex....

, camel
Camel
A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as humps on its back. There are two species of camels: the dromedary or Arabian camel has a single hump, and the bactrian has two humps. Dromedaries are native to the dry desert areas of West Asia,...

, lion
Lion
The lion is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger...

 and cheetah
Cheetah
The cheetah is a large-sized feline inhabiting most of Africa and parts of the Middle East. The cheetah is the only extant member of the genus Acinonyx, most notable for modifications in the species' paws...

. There is also the largest world population of caracal
Caracal
The caracal is a fiercely territorial medium-sized cat ranging over Western Asia, South Asia and Africa.The word caracal comes from the Turkish word "karakulak", meaning "black ear". In North India and Pakistan, the caracal is locally known as syahgosh or shyahgosh, which is a Persian term...

s in the Burco area. Moreover, many birds and different types of fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

 are also found in and around Somaliland.

Extreme recorded temperatures range from -3.3 C at Ceerigaabo to 47.7 °C (117.9 °F) at Berbera.
The combination of a yearly average temperature of 31 °C (87.8 °F) and the high level of humidity makes Berbera one of the hottest cities in the world.

Economy



Somaliland's economy is in its developing stages, as is the region itself. The Somaliland shilling
Somaliland shilling
The Somaliland shilling is the official currency of Somaliland, a de facto independent republic which is recognized as a part of Somalia. It was introduced on 18 October 1994 at one new Somaliland shilling to 100 Somali shillings...

, while stable, is not an internationally recognised currency
Currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

 and currently has no official exchange rate
Exchange rate
In finance, an exchange rate between two currencies is the rate at which one currency will be exchanged for another. It is also regarded as the value of one country’s currency in terms of another currency...

. It is regulated by the Bank of Somaliland
Bank of Somaliland
The Bank of Somaliland was established in 1994. It acts as both a central bank and a commercial bank for Somaliland, a de facto independent republic which is recognized as a part of Somalia. The monetary authority was provided for in the constitution of Somaliland...

, the central bank
Central bank
A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is a public institution that usually issues the currency, regulates the money supply, and controls the interest rates in a country. Central banks often also oversee the commercial banking system of their respective countries...

, which was established constitutionally in 1994.

Since Somaliland is unrecognised, international aid donors have found it difficult to provide aid. As a result, the government relies mainly upon tax receipts and remittances from the large Somali diaspora contribute immensely to Somaliland's economy. Remittances come to Somaliland through money transfer companies
Informal value transfer system
An informal value transfer system refers to any system, mechanism, or network of people that receives money for the purpose of making the funds or an equivalent value payable to a third party in another geographic location, whether or not in the same form...

 (locally known as hawala
Hawala
Hawala is an informal value transfer system based on the performance and honor of a huge network of money brokers, which are primarily located in the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and South Asia...

d
), the largest of which is Dahabshiil
Dahabshiil
Dahabshiil is an international funds transfer company headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Formed in the early 1970s, the firm operates from over 24,000 outlets and employs more than 2,000 people across 144 countries. It provides a broad range of financial services to international...

, one of the few Somali money transfer companies to conform to modern money-transfer regulations. The World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 estimates that remittances worth approximately $US 1 billion reach Somalia annually from emigres working in the United States, Europe, and the Gulf states. Analysts say that Dahabshiil may handle around two-thirds of that figure, and that as much as half of it reaches Somaliland alone.

Since the late 1990s, service provision has significantly improved as a result of limited government provision and contributions from non-governmental organisations, religious groups, the international community (especially the Diaspora) and the growing private sector. Local and municipal governments have been developing the provision of key public services, such as water in Hargeisa and education, electricity and security in Berbera. In 2009, the Banque pour le Commerce et l'Industrie – Mer Rouge, based in Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

, opened a branch in Hargeisa
Hargeisa
Hargeisa is a city in the northwestern Woqooyi Galbeed region of Somalia. With a population of approximately 2 million residents, it is the second largest city in the country. Hargeisa is the capital of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region...

, to become the first bank in the country since the collapse in 1990 of the Commercial and Savings Bank of Somalia
Central Bank of Somalia
The Central Bank of Somalia is the monetary authority of Somalia. Among other duties, it is in charge of ensuring financial stability, maintaining the internal and external value of the local currency, and promoting credit and exchange conditions that facilitate the balanced growth of the...

.
The bulk of Somaliland's exports are livestock
Livestock
Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

, which has been estimated at 24 million. In 1996, 3 million heads of livestock were exported to the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

. In February 1998, this export was greatly affected by a Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

n ban on imports of beef. The ban was eventually lifted in December 2006, allowing the industry to recover. Other exports include hides, skins, myrrh
Myrrh
Myrrh is the aromatic oleoresin of a number of small, thorny tree species of the genus Commiphora, which grow in dry, stony soil. An oleoresin is a natural blend of an essential oil and a resin. Myrrh resin is a natural gum....

, and frankincense
Frankincense
Frankincense, also called olibanum , is an aromatic resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia, particularly Boswellia sacra, B. carteri, B. thurifera, B. frereana, and B. bhaw-dajiana...

. Economic activity has been facilitated by the protection of key transport corridors and infrastructure, especially sea and air ports such as the Berbera
Berbera
Berbera is a city and seat of Berbera District in Somaliland, a self-proclaimed Independent Republic with de facto control over its own territory, which is recognized by the international community and the Somali Government as a part of Somalia...

 port, even during times of increased conflict.

Agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 is generally considered to be a potentially successful industry, especially in the production of cereal
Cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

s and horticulture
Horticulture
Horticulture is the industry and science of plant cultivation including the process of preparing soil for the planting of seeds, tubers, or cuttings. Horticulturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of plant propagation and cultivation, crop production, plant breeding and genetic...

. Mining also has potential, though simple quarry
Quarry
A quarry is a type of open-pit mine from which rock or minerals are extracted. Quarries are generally used for extracting building materials, such as dimension stone, construction aggregate, riprap, sand, and gravel. They are often collocated with concrete and asphalt plants due to the requirement...

ing represents the extent of current operations despite the presence of hugely diverse quantities of mineral deposits.

Since the Eritrean-Ethiopian War
Eritrean-Ethiopian War
The Eritrean–Ethiopian War took place from May 1998 to June 2000 between Ethiopia and Eritrea, forming one of the conflicts in the Horn of Africa...

, Somaliland has grown as a major export port for Ethiopia. Ethiopia has signed a contract with the Somaliland government, specifying that the port city of Berbera
Berbera
Berbera is a city and seat of Berbera District in Somaliland, a self-proclaimed Independent Republic with de facto control over its own territory, which is recognized by the international community and the Somali Government as a part of Somalia...

 will export goods from, and import goods destined for, Ethiopia.

Tourism




Somaliland has a budding tourist industry and is home to what is often considered to be one of the most interesting attractions in the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

, the Laas Gaal cave painting
Cave painting
Cave paintings are paintings on cave walls and ceilings, and the term is used especially for those dating to prehistoric times. The earliest European cave paintings date to the Aurignacian, some 32,000 years ago. The purpose of the paleolithic cave paintings is not known...

s. Currently, a small number of tourists travel to the region to see this sight. The paintings are situated near Hargeisa and were discovered by a French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 archaeological team in 2002. The government and locals keep the cave paintings safe, and only a restricted number of tourists are allowed entry. Other notable sights include the Freedom Arch in Hargeisa and the war memorial in the city centre. Natural attractions are very common around the region. The Naasa Hablood
Naasa Hablood
Naasa Hablood are twin hills situated on the outskirts of the city of Hargeisa in northeastern Somaliland. Since their discovery, the Naasa Hablood have become a key tourist attraction and a national landmark...

 are twin hills located on the outskirts of Hargeisa that Somalis in the region consider to be a majestic natural landmark.

The Ministry of Tourism has also encouraged travellers to visit historic towns and cities in Somaliland. The historic town of Sheekh
Sheekh
Sheekh or Sheikh is a small town in the Togdheer region of Somalia. It is situated 70 km north of Burco.-Notes:...

 is located near Berbera and is home to old British colonial buildings that have remained untouched for over forty years. Berbera
Berbera
Berbera is a city and seat of Berbera District in Somaliland, a self-proclaimed Independent Republic with de facto control over its own territory, which is recognized by the international community and the Somali Government as a part of Somalia...

 also houses historic and impressive Ottoman architectural buildings. Another equally famous historic city is Zeila
Zeila
Zeila, also known as Zaila , is a port city on the Gulf of Aden coast, situated in the northwestern Awdal region of Somalia.Located near the Djibouti border, the town sits on a sandy spit surrounded by the sea. It is known for its offshore islands, coral reef and mangroves. Landward, the terrain is...

. Zeila was once part of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, a dependency of Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

 and Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and a major trade city during the 19th century. The city has been visited for its old colonial landmarks, offshore mangrove
Mangrove
Mangroves are various kinds of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats in the tropics and subtropics – mainly between latitudes N and S...

s and coral reefs, and its towering cliffs and beach. The nomadic culture of Somaliland has also attracted tourists. Most nomads live in the countryside.

Transport


Bus services operate in Hargeisa
Hargeisa
Hargeisa is a city in the northwestern Woqooyi Galbeed region of Somalia. With a population of approximately 2 million residents, it is the second largest city in the country. Hargeisa is the capital of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region...

, Burao, Gabiley
Gabiley
Gabiley is a city in the northwestern Woqooyi Galbeed province of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.Gabiley is located 54 km west of Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland...

, Berbera
Berbera
Berbera is a city and seat of Berbera District in Somaliland, a self-proclaimed Independent Republic with de facto control over its own territory, which is recognized by the international community and the Somali Government as a part of Somalia...

 and Borama. There are also services between the major towns and adjacent villages operated by different types of vehicles such as 4 wheel drives and light goods vehicles (LGV).
The most prominent airline in Somaliland is Daallo Airlines
Daallo Airlines
Daallo Airlines is an airline, headquartered in the Dubai Airport Free Zone in Al Garhoud, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. With its main base at Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport, the airline operates scheduled services in East Africa and the Middle East...

, due to the demise of Somali Airlines following the Somalian civil war. It flies to Djibouti, Dubai, Jeddah, and Addis Ababa, as well as operating flights for Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages.

Languages


Most people in Somaliland speak two of the three official languages: English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, Somali
Somali language
The Somali language is a member of the East Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Its nearest relatives are Afar and Oromo. Somali is the best documented of the Cushitic languages, with academic studies beginning before 1900....

 and Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

. Article 6 of the Constitution of 2001 designates the official language of Somaliland to be Somali, though Arabic is a mandatory subject in school and is used in mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

s around the region and English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 is spoken and taught in schools. English was proclaimed an official language later, outside the constitution.

Somali belongs to a set of languages called Lowland East Cushitic languages
East Cushitic languages
The Lowland East Cushitic languages comprise two dozen languages of the Cushitic family within Afro-Asiatic. They are spoken mainly in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia, and by Cushitic groups in northern Kenya....

 spoken by Somalis living in Somalia, Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

, and in adjacent territories. Eastern Cushitic is one branch of the Cushitic languages
Cushitic languages
The Cushitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family spoken in the Horn of Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan and Egypt. They are named after the Biblical character Cush, who was identified as an ancestor of the speakers of these specific languages as early as AD 947...

, which in turn are part of the great Afro-Asiatic
Afro-Asiatic languages
The Afroasiatic languages , also known as Hamito-Semitic, constitute one of the world's largest language families, with about 375 living languages...

 stock. Arabic is the most widely spoken language of the Afro-Asiatic language family.

The main Somali dialect that is the most widely used is Standard Somali, a term applied to several sub-dialects, the speakers of which can understand each other easily. Standard Somali is spoken in most of Somalia and in adjacent territories (Djibouti, Ogaden
Ogaden
Ogaden is the name of a territory comprising the southeastern portion of the Somali Regional State in Ethiopia. The inhabitants are predominantly ethnic Somali and Muslim. The title "Somali Galbeed", which means "Western Somalia," is often preferred by Somali irredentists.The region, which is...

, northeast Kenya
North Eastern Province (Kenya)
North Eastern Province is the third largest province in Kenya and has thirteen constituencies represented in the Kenya National Assembly.The region is home to a rare type of antelope called the Hirola, which is classified as an endangered species. The NFD's pastoralists also possess livestock in...

), and is used by broadcasting stations in the Somaliland region.

Facility with language is highly valued in Somali society; the capability of a suitor, a warrior, or a political or religious leader is judged in part by his verbal adroitness. In such a society, oral poetry
Oral poetry
Oral poetry can be defined in various ways. A strict definition would include only poetry that is composed and transmitted without any aid of writing. However, the complex relationships between written and spoken literature in some societies can make this definition hard to maintain, and oral...

 becomes an art, and one's ability to compose verse in one or more of its several forms enhances one's status. Speakers in political or religious assemblies and litigants in courts traditionally were expected to use poetry or poetic proverbs. Even everyday talk tended to have a terse, vivid, poetic style, characterised by carefully chosen words, condensed meaning, and alliteration
Alliteration
In language, alliteration refers to the repetition of a particular sound in the first syllables of Three or more words or phrases. Alliteration has historically developed largely through poetry, in which it more narrowly refers to the repetition of a consonant in any syllables that, according to...

.

In the pre-revolutionary period, English became dominant in the school system and in government. However, the overarching issue was the development of a socio-economic stratum based on mastery of a foreign language
Foreign language
A foreign language is a language indigenous to another country. It is also a language not spoken in the native country of the person referred to, i.e. an English speaker living in Japan can say that Japanese is a foreign language to him or her...

. The relatively small proportion of Somalis (less than 10 percent) with a grasp of such a language—preferably English—had access to government positions and the few managerial or technical jobs in modern private enterprises. Such persons became increasingly isolated from their nonliterate Somali-speaking brethren, but because the secondary schools and most government posts were in urban areas the socio-economic and linguistic distinction was in large part a rural-urban one.

Even before the 1969 revolution, Somalis had become aware of social stratification
Social stratification
In sociology the social stratification is a concept of class, involving the "classification of persons into groups based on shared socio-economic conditions ... a relational set of inequalities with economic, social, political and ideological dimensions."...

 and the growing distance, based on language and literacy differences, between ordinary Somalis and those in government. The 1972 decision by the government of Somalia to designate an official Somali alphabet
Somali alphabet
The Somali Latin alphabet has been the official writing script in Somalia since 1972. It was developed by the Somali linguist Shire Jama Ahmed specifically for transcribing the Somali language, and is based on the Latin script. The Somali Latin alphabet uses all letters of the English Latin...

 and require its use in government demolished the language barrier and an important obstacle to rapid literacy growth.

In the years following the institution of the Somali Latin script, Somali officials were required to learn the orthography
Orthography
The orthography of a language specifies a standardized way of using a specific writing system to write the language. Where more than one writing system is used for a language, for example Kurdish, Uyghur, Serbian or Inuktitut, there can be more than one orthography...

 and attempts were made to inculcate mass literacy—in 1973, among urban and rural sedentary Somalis, and in 1974–75, among nomads. Although a few texts existed in the new script before 1973, in most cases new books were prepared presenting the government's perspective on Somali history and development. Somali scholars also succeeded in developing a vocabulary to deal with a range of subjects from mathematics and physics to administration and ideology.

Religion




With few exceptions, Somalilanders are entirely Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s, the majority belonging to the Sunni
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 branch of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 and the Shafi'i
Shafi'i
The Shafi'i madhhab is one of the schools of fiqh, or religious law, within the Sunni branch of Islam. The Shafi'i school of fiqh is named after Imām ash-Shafi'i.-Principles:...

 school of Islamic jurisprudence. As with southern Somali coastal towns such as Mogadishu
Mogadishu
Mogadishu , popularly known as Xamar, is the largest city in Somalia and the nation's capital. Located in the coastal Benadir region on the Indian Ocean, the city has served as an important port for centuries....

 and Merca
Merca
Merca is a port city on the coast of southern Somalia, facing the Indian Ocean. It is the main town in the Shabeellaha Hoose region, and is located approximately southwest of the nation's capital, Mogadishu.-History:...

, there is also a presence of Sufism, Islam's mystical dimension; particularly the Arab Rifa'iya tariiqa. Though traces of pre-Islamic traditional religion exist in Somaliland, Islam is important to the Somali sense of national identity. Many of the Somali social norms come from their religion. For example, Somali women wear a hijab
Hijab
The word "hijab" or "'" refers to both the head covering traditionally worn by Muslim women and modest Muslim styles of dress in general....

 when they are in public. In addition, Somalis abstain from pork
Pork
Pork is the culinary name for meat from the domestic pig , which is eaten in many countries. It is one of the most commonly consumed meats worldwide, with evidence of pig husbandry dating back to 5000 BC....

 and alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

, and also try to avoid receiving or paying any form of interest (usury
Usury
Usury Originally, when the charging of interest was still banned by Christian churches, usury simply meant the charging of interest at any rate . In countries where the charging of interest became acceptable, the term came to be used for interest above the rate allowed by law...

). Muslims generally congregate on Friday afternoons for a sermon and group prayer.

Under the Constitution of Somaliland
Constitution of Somaliland
The Constitution of Somaliland was adopted by the Houses of the Parliament of Somaliland on 30 April 2000. The constitution was approved in a referendum held on May 31, 2001 when 97% of the voters voted in its favour. Its re-published version consists of a Preamble and five main chapters each of...

, Islam is the state religion
State religion
A state religion is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state...

 of Somaliland, and no laws may violate the principles of Sharia
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

. The promotion of any religion other than Islam is illegal, and the state promotes Islamic tenets and discourages behavior contrary to Islamic morals.

Somaliland has very few Christians, and most have come from the schools and orphanages of the Roman Catholic missions
Catholic missions
As the church normally organizes itself along territorial lines, and because they had the human and material resources, religious orders—some even specializing in it—undertook most missionary work, especially in the early phases...

 of Aden
Aden
Aden is a seaport city in Yemen, located by the eastern approach to the Red Sea , some 170 kilometres east of Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately 800,000. Aden's ancient, natural harbour lies in the crater of an extinct volcano which now forms a peninsula, joined to the mainland by a...

, Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

, and of Berbera
Berbera
Berbera is a city and seat of Berbera District in Somaliland, a self-proclaimed Independent Republic with de facto control over its own territory, which is recognized by the international community and the Somali Government as a part of Somalia...

; the closest current diocese
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

 of any denomination is the Roman Catholic Diocese of Djibouti, to the north of Somaliland. No organized church operates in the territory. The Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

 does not recognize Somaliland as a sovereign state.

The colonial period saw some Roman Catholic missionary activity in Somaliland. British Somaliland
British Somaliland
British Somaliland was a British protectorate in the northern part of present-day Somalia. For much of its existence, British Somaliland was bordered by French Somaliland, Ethiopia, and Italian Somaliland. From 1940 to 1941, it was occupied by the Italians and was part of Italian East Africa...

 was under the care of the Vicariate Apostolic of Arabia
Vicariate Apostolic of Arabia
The Vicariate Apostolic of Southern Arabia is a Roman Catholic apostolic vicariate located in the United Arab Emirates. It is a territorial jurisdiction of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church covering the following countries of the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding region: Oman, United...

, as also the Vicariate Apostolic of the Gallas (including French Somaliland
French Somaliland
French Somaliland was a French colony in the Horn of Africa. Established after the French signed various treaties between 1883 and 1887 with the then ruling Somali Sultans, the colony lasted from 1896 until 1946, when it became an overseas territory of France....

 and the main territory of Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

), confided to the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland , also known as Italian Somalia, was a colony of the Kingdom of Italy from the 1880s until 1936 in the region of modern-day Somalia. Ruled in the 19th century by the Somali Sultanate of Hobyo and the Majeerteen Sultanate, the territory was later acquired by Italy through various...

 was detached in 1904 from the Vicariate Apostolic of Zanzibar, erected into the Prefecture Apostolic of Benadir, and confided to the ancient Order of the Holy Trinity or Trinitarians.

Clan system




There are about 3.5 million people in Somaliland. Somali society is organised into clan
Clan
A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent. Even if lineage details are unknown, clan members may be organized around a founding member or apical ancestor. The kinship-based bonds may be symbolical, whereby the clan shares a "stipulated" common ancestor that is a...

s, which range from 5,000 members to over 50,000. The largest clan in Somaliland, and that of the current president, is the Isaaq
Isaaq
The Isaaq is one of the main Somali clans. Members of the clan principally live in the northwestern Somaliland region of Somalia, and the Somali Region of Ethiopia. The populations of five major cities of Somaliland – Hargeisa, Burco, Berbera, Ceerigaabo and Gabiley – are predominantly Isaaq...

. The second largest clan in the region, and that of the current vice president, is the Gadabuursi
Gadabuursi
The Gadabuursi , also known as Samaroon, is a northern Somali clan, a sub-division of the Dir.Most Gadabuursi members are descendants of Sheikh Samaroon...

. Other clans with a presence in Somaliland include the Issa
Issa (clan)
The Issa are a Somali clan, a sub-clan of the Dir. The Issa primarily reside in Djibouti, the extreme northwestern fringe in the Awdal district of Somaliland in northern Somalia, as well as the Shinile Zone located in the Somali Region of Ethiopia.-Lineage:...

, Gabooye and Harti
Harti
Harti , meaning "strong man", is a name used to denote a confederation of various Darod sub-clans of the Somali people.-Clan tree:There is no clear agreement on the clan and sub-clan structures and many lineages are omitted...

 Darod
Darod
The Darod is a Somali clan. The father of this clan is named Abdirahman bin Isma'il al-Jabarti, but is more commonly known as Darod. In the Somali language, the word Daarood means "an enclosed compound," a conflation of the two words daar and ood .The Darod population in Somalia lives principally...

 (such as the Warsangali
Warsangali
The Warsangeli , is a Somali clan, part of the Harti confederation of Darod sub-clans...

 and Dhulbahante
Dhulbahante
The Dhulbahante is a Somali clan, and a part of the larger Harti Darod clan. Members of the clan primarily inhabit the Sool, Nugaal, Sanaag and Ayn regions, the Haud, the port city of Kismayo, as well as other areas in the Jubbada Hoose region of southern Somalia.-Tradition:Currently, there are...

). The Warsangali and Dhulbahante mostly reside in Sool
Sool
Sool is an administrative region in northern Somalia.-Overview:With its capital at Las Anod, Sool is historically known for being the seat of the anti-colonial Dervish movement....

, some parts of Eastern Sanaag
Sanaag
Sanaag is an administrative region in northern Somalia. Its capital city is Erigavo.Sanaag has a long coastline facing the Gulf of Aden to the north, and is bordered by the Somali regions of Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sool and Bari....

, and a small part of south-eastern Togdheer
Togdheer
Togdheer is an administrative region in northwestern Somalia. It lies in the territory of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.-Overview:...

, while the Isaaq are concentrated primarily in the regions of Maroodi Jeex, Sanaag
Sanaag
Sanaag is an administrative region in northern Somalia. Its capital city is Erigavo.Sanaag has a long coastline facing the Gulf of Aden to the north, and is bordered by the Somali regions of Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sool and Bari....

, Togdheer, Gabiley, and Saaxil
Saaxil
Saaxil is a region in Somaliland, a de facto independent republic which is recognized as a part of Somalia. Its capital is Berbera...

. The Gadabuursi
Gadabuursi
The Gadabuursi , also known as Samaroon, is a northern Somali clan, a sub-division of the Dir.Most Gadabuursi members are descendants of Sheikh Samaroon...

 inhabit the west, pre-dominantly in Awdal
Awdal
Awdal is a region in northwestern Somalia. Its capital is Borama.Awdal is bordered by Ethiopia, Djibouti, the Somali region of Woqooyi Galbeed, and the Gulf of Aden...

.

Clan families are divided into lineage units, typically ranging from 2,500 to 10,000 members. It is possible for Somalis to know how they are related by simply giving their name and clan membership. Clan discrimination in Somaliland is highly forbidden and all clans are considered equal by the government.

Marriage


In the case of arranged marriages, brides can be much younger than the grooms. Marriage to a cousin from the mother's side of the family (of a different lineage) is traditionally favoured to strengthen family alliances, but this practice is increasingly uncommon. Virginity
Virginity
Virginity refers to the state of a person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse. There are cultural and religious traditions which place special value and significance on this state, especially in the case of unmarried females, associated with notions of personal purity, honor and worth...

 is valued in women prior to marriage. Divorce
Divorce
Divorce is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties...

 is legal in Somaliland.

Cuisine



It is considered polite for one to leave a little bit of food on one's plate after finishing a meal at another's home. This tells the host that one has been given enough food. If one were to clean his or her plate that would indicate that one is still hungry. Most Somalis don't take this rule so seriously, but it is certainly not impolite to leave a few bits of food on one's plate. Traditionally, the main meal of the day is eaten at lunchtime and Somali people usually begin their day with a flatbread
Flatbread
A flatbread is a simple bread made with flour, water, and salt and then thoroughly rolled into flattened dough. Many flatbreads are unleavened: made without yeast or sourdough culture: although some flatbread is made with yeast, such as pita bread....

 called laxoox
Laxoox
Lahoh, also spelled laxoox in Somali, is a spongy, pancake-like bread originating in Djibouti, Somalia and Yemen. It is also popular in Israel, where it was introduced by Yemenite Jews who immigrated there. In Yemen, it is often sold on the street by peddlers.-Preparation:Lahoh is prepared from a...

 (or lahoh), as well as liver
Liver
The liver is a vital organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. It has a wide range of functions, including detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of biochemicals necessary for digestion...

, toast, cereal or porridge
Porridge
Porridge is a dish made by boiling oats or other cereal meals in water, milk, or both. It is usually served hot in a bowl or dish...

 made of millet
Millet
The millets are a group of small-seeded species of cereal crops or grains, widely grown around the world for food and fodder. They do not form a taxonomic group, but rather a functional or agronomic one. Their essential similarities are that they are small-seeded grasses grown in difficult...

 or cornmeal
Cornmeal
Cornmeal is flour ground from dried maize or American corn. It is a common staple food, and is ground to fine, medium, and coarse consistencies. In the United States, the finely ground cornmeal is also referred to as cornflour. However, the word cornflour denotes cornstarch in recipes from the...

. Lunch can be a mixture of rice or pasta with meat and sauce. Also consumed during lunchtime is a traditional soup referred to as maraq
Maraq
Maraq is a village in the Goygol Rayon of Azerbaijan....

, which is also part of Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

i cuisine. Maraq is made of vegetables, meat and beans and is usually eaten with flatbread or pita
Pita
Pita or pitta is a round pocket bread widely consumed in many Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Balkan cuisines. It is prevalent in Greece, the Balkans the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula and Turkey. The "pocket" in pita bread is created by steam, which puffs up the dough...

 bread. Later in the day, a lighter meal is served that includes bean
Bean
Bean is a common name for large plant seeds of several genera of the family Fabaceae used for human food or animal feed....

s, ful medames
Ful Medames
Fūl medammis , or simply fūl, is an Egyptian dish of cooked and mashed fava beans served with olive oil, chopped parsley, onion, garlic, and lemon juice. A staple meal in Egypt, it is popular in the cuisines of the Levant, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and Saudi Arabia.-History:The roots of fūl...

, muffo (patties made of oats or corn), hummus
Hummus
Hummus is high in iron and vitamin C and also has significant amounts of folate and vitamin B6. The chickpeas make it a good source of protein and dietary fiber; the tahini consists mostly of sesame seeds, which are an excellent source of the amino acid methionine, complementing the proteins in the...

, or a salad with more laxoox/injera
Injera
Injera is a yeast-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture. Traditionally made out of teff flour, it is a national dish in Ethiopia and Eritrea...

. Turkish coffee
Turkish coffee
Turkish coffee is a method of preparing coffee where finely powdered roast coffee beans are boiled in a pot , with sugar according to taste, before being served into a cup where the dregs settle...

 and Turkish tea
Turkish tea
Turkish tea is a type of tea that is popular mainly in the Turkish-speaking countries. In Turkey, Turkish tea tends to be more popular than Turkish coffee among the younger generation.-Introduction:...

 are also imbibed. The latter beverage has been adapted to form what is one of the most famous drinks in the region: Shaax Xawaash. Consumed by the majority of Somalis, Shaah Xawaash is made of cardamom
Cardamom
Cardamom refers to several plants of the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the ginger family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to India and Bhutan; they are recognised by their small seed pod, triangular in cross-section and spindle-shaped, with a thin papery outer shell and small black seeds...

 (or Xawaash) and cinnamon barks
Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savoury foods...

 (Qoronfil).

Arts


Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 and poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

 have been described as the twin pillars of Somali culture. Somali poetry is mainly oral, with both male and female poets. They use things that are common in Somalia as metaphors. Most Somalis are Sunni Muslims and Islam is vitally important to the Somali sense of national identity
National identity
National identity is the person's identity and sense of belonging to one state or to one nation, a feeling one shares with a group of people, regardless of one's citizenship status....

. Most Somalis do not belong to a specific mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

 or sect and can pray in any mosque they find.

Celebrations come in the form of religious festivities, two of the most important being Eid ul-Adha
Eid ul-Adha
Eid al-Adha or "Festival of Sacrifice" or "Greater Eid" is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a sheep— to sacrifice...

 and Eid ul-Fitr
Eid ul-Fitr
Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Fitr, Id-ul-Fitr, or Id al-Fitr , often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting . Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity," while Fiṭr means "breaking the fast"...

, which marks the end of the fasting month. Families get dressed up to visit one another, and money is donated to the poor. Other holidays include 26 June and 18 May, which celebrate Somaliland's independence from Britain and Somalia respectively; the latter, however, is not recognised by the international community.


In a nomadic culture, where one's possessions are frequently moved, there is little reason for the plastic arts to be highly developed. Somalis embellish and decorate their woven and wooden milk jugs (haano; the most decorative jugs are made in Ceerigaabo
Ceerigaabo
Erigavo or Erigabo is the administrative capital of the Sanaag region in northern Somalia.Local control is disputed between Somaliland, a self-declared independent republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia, the autonomous Puntland region in northeastern...

) and wooden headrests. Traditional dance is also important, though mainly as a form of courtship among young people. The traditional dance known as the Ceeyar Somaali in the Somali language is Somaliland's favourite dance.

Also, an important form of art in Somaliland is henna painting
Mehndi
Mehndi or menhdi is the application of henna as a temporary form of skin decoration in India, as well as by expatriate communities from the country. The word mehndi is derived from the Sanskrit word mendhikā. The use of mehndi and turmeric is described in the earliest Vedic ritual books...

 (mehndi, Somali: Xenna). The henna plant
Henna
Henna is a flowering plant used since antiquity to dye skin, hair, fingernails, leather and wool. The name is also used for dye preparations derived from the plant, and for the art of temporary tattooing based on those dyes...

 is widely grown across the region and it was Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 merchants and settlers that first brought the art of henna painting to early Somaliland. During special occasions, a Somali woman's hands and feet are expected to be covered in decorative mendhi. Girls and women usually apply or decorate their hands and feet in henna on joyous celebrations like Eid or weddings. The henna designs vary from very simple to highly intricate. Compared to Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

i, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n or Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

i henna designs, Arab designs are more modern and simple. Traditionally, only women apply this body art
Body art
Body art is art made on, with, or consisting of, the human body. The most common forms of body art are tattoos and body piercings, but other types include scarification, branding, scalpelling, shaping , full body tattoo and body painting.More extreme body art can involve things such as mutilation...

, as it is considered a feminine
Female
Female is the sex of an organism, or a part of an organism, which produces non-mobile ova .- Defining characteristics :The ova are defined as the larger gametes in a heterogamous reproduction system, while the smaller, usually motile gamete, the spermatozoon, is produced by the male...

 custom.

Henna is not only applied on the hands and feet but is also used as a dye
Dye
A dye is a colored substance that has an affinity to the substrate to which it is being applied. The dye is generally applied in an aqueous solution, and requires a mordant to improve the fastness of the dye on the fiber....

. Somali men and women alike use henna as a dye to change their hair colour. Mostly, elderly men with grey hair apply this procedure because black hair dye is forbidden in Islam. Women are free to apply henna on their hair as most of the time they are wearing a hijab
Hijab
The word "hijab" or "'" refers to both the head covering traditionally worn by Muslim women and modest Muslim styles of dress in general....

.

See also


  • Communications in Somaliland
    Communications in Somaliland
    Telecommunications in Somaliland, a de facto independent republic which is recognized as a part of Somalia, is characterized by a very low ICT usage...

  • Public holidays in Somaliland
    Public holidays in Somaliland
    The holidays in Somaliland:Somaliland uses two calendar systems: the Gregorian calendar primarily, but the Islamic calendar for religious holidays.- External links :*...

  • Banknotes of the Somaliland shilling
  • Coins of the Somaliland shilling
  • List of states with limited recognition
  • LGBT rights in Somaliland
    LGBT rights in Somaliland
    LGBT rights in Somaliland refers to homosexuality being a crime in Somaliland, a de facto independent republic which is claimed in whole by Somalia. Punishment ranges from imprisonment to, in extreme cases, capital punishment...

     (Gay rights)

Sources and references

CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Somaliland
  • Wales Strikes Out On Its Own In Its Recognition of Somaliland
  • Hoehne, Markus V. 2009: Mimesis and mimicry in dynamics of state and identity formation in northern Somalia, Africa 79/2, pp. 252–281.
  • Hoehne, Markus V. 2007: Puntland and Somaliland clashing in northern Somalia: Who cuts the Gordian knot?, published online on 7 November 2007. http://hornofafrica.ssrc.org/Hoehne/

External links