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Somaliland ( so, Soomaaliland; ar, صوماليلاند ', '), officially the Republic of Somaliland ( so, Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliland, ar, جمهورية صوماليلاند ''Jumhūrīyat Ṣūmālīlānd''), is a
de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with ''de jure'' ("by law"), which refers to th ...
sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relatio ...
in the
Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula of East Africa.Robert Stock, ''Africa South of the Sahara, Second Edition: A Geographical Interpretation'', (The Guilford Press; 2004), p. 26 Located on the ea ...

Horn of Africa
, considered by most states to be part of
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
. Somaliland lies in the Horn of Africa, on the southern coast of the
Gulf of Aden The Gulf of Aden ( ar, خليج عدن, so, Gacanka Cadmeed 𐒅𐒖𐒐𐒕𐒌 𐒋𐒖𐒆𐒗𐒒) also known as the ''Gulf of Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Soma ...

Gulf of Aden
. It is bordered by
Djibouti Djibouti, ar, جيبوتي ', french: link=no, Djibouti, so, Jabuuti officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country located in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsu ...

Djibouti
to the northwest,
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
to the south and west, and Somalia to the east. Its claimed territory has an area of , with approximately 5.7 million residents as of 2021. The capital and largest city is
Hargeisa Hargeisa (; so, Hargeysa, ar, هرجيسا) is the capital and largest city of Somaliland. It is located in the Maroodi Jeex region of the Horn of Africa. It succeeded Berbera as the capital of the British Somaliland Protectorate in 1941. The ...

Hargeisa
. The
government of Somaliland The politics of Somaliland take place within a hybrid system of governance, which, under the Somaliland Constitution of Somaliland, constitution, combines traditional and western institutions. The constitution separates government into an executiv ...
regards itself as the
successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Successor'' (film), a 1996 film including Laura Girling * ''The Successor'' (TV program), a 2007 Israeli television program Mu ...
to
British Somaliland British Somaliland, officially the British Somaliland Protectorate ( so, Dhulka Maxmiyada Soomaalida ee Biritishka), was a British Empire, British protectorate in present-day Somaliland. For much of its existence, the territory was bordered by ...
, which, as the briefly independent
State of Somaliland The State of Somaliland (, ) was a short-lived independent country in the territory of present-day Somaliland. It was the name assumed by the former British Somaliland protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected ...
, united in 1960 with the
Trust Territory of Somaliland The Trust Territory of Somaliland, officially the "Trust Territory of Somaliland under Italian administration" ( it, Amministrazione fiduciaria italiana della Somalia), was a United Nations Trust Territory United Nations trust territories w ...
(the former
Italian Somaliland Italian Somaliland ( it, Somala italiana; ar, الصومال الإيطالي, Al-Sumal Al-Italiy; so, Dhulka Talyaaniga ee Soomaalida), was a protectorate of the Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state which ...

Italian Somaliland
) to form the
Somali Republic The Somali Republic ( so, Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliyeed, it, Repubblica Somala, ar, الجمهورية الصومالية ) was the name of a sovereign state composing of Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the ...
.''The New Encyclopædia Britannica'' (2002), p. 835. Somaliland was first inhabited around 10,000 years ago during the
Neolithic age The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the ...
. The ancient shepherds raised cows and other livestock and it has the most vibrant rock art paintings in Africa. Throughout the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
,
Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, : , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, : , Arabic pronunciation: ) are an mainly inhabiting the . In modern usage the term refers to those who originate from an Arab co ...

Arab
immigrants arrived in Somaliland, including the Muslim
sheikh Sheikh ( , ; ar, شيخ ' , mostly pronounced , plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of le ...

sheikh
s
Ishaaq bin Ahmed Sheikh Ishaaq bin Ahmed bin Muhammad bin al-Hussein al-Hashimi, more commonly known as Sheikh Ishaaq or Sheikh Isaaq (, ) was the semi-legendary Arab forefather of the Somalis, Somali Isaaq clan-family in the Horn of Africa, whose traditional te ...
, who founded the
Isaaq The Isaaq (also Isaq, Ishaak, Isaac) ( so, Reer Sheekh Isxaaq, ar, بني إسحاق, Banī Isḥāq) is a Somali clan. It is one of the major Somali clans in the Horn of Africa, with a large and densely populated traditional territory. Perry ...
clan, and
Abdirahman bin Isma'il al-JabartiSheikh Abdirahman bin Isma'il al-Jabarti, (Arabic: عبدالرحمن بن اسماعيل الجبرتي) also known as Daarood, (Arabic:دارود) Dawud or Da'ud, is the common ancestor of the Somalis, Somali Darod clan. According to early Islamic ...
who founded the
Darod The Darod ( so, Daarood, ar, دارود) is a Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the H ...
clan, who both travelled from
Arabia The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...

Arabia
to Somaliland and married into the local
Dir Dir, dir, or DIR may refer to: Acronyms * ''De Imperatoribus Romanis'', an online biographical encyclopedia of the Roman emperors from 27 BC to 1453 AD * Detroit International Riverfront, an area of Detroit, Michigan in the United States * Develop ...
clan, which have been described as legendary stories. Also during the Middle Ages, Somali empires dominated the regional trade, including the
Sultanate of Ifat The Sultanate of Ifat, or Awfat was a medieval Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany as a ramus) ...

Sultanate of Ifat
and the
Adal Sultanate The Adal Sultanate, or Kingdom of Adal or Awdal or Bar Sa'ad ad-din (alt. spelling ''Adel Sultanate'' , ''Awdal Sultanate''), was a Muslim Somalis, Somali kingdom and sultanate located in the Horn of Africa. It was founded by Sabr ad-Din II af ...

Adal Sultanate
. In the 18th century, the
Isaaq Sultanate The Isaaq Sultanate ( so, Saldanadda Isaaq, ar, سلطنة الإسحاق) was a Somali kingdom that ruled parts of the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA) om, Gaafa Afrikaa, am, የአፍሪካ ቀንድ, yäafrika qänd, so, Geeska Afr ...
, a Somali successor state to the Adal Sultanate, was established by Sultan Guled Abdi at
Toon Toon may refer to: Places * Tōon, Ehime, a Japanese city in Ehime Prefecture * Toon, the former name of Ferdows, a city in South Khorasan Province, Iran * Toon, Somaliland, a town in the Garoodi region of Somaliland * Tarso Toon, volcano in Ch ...
.I. M. Lewis, ''A pastoral democracy: a study of pastoralism and politics among the Northern Somali of the Horn of Africa'', (LIT Verlag Münster: 1999), p. 157. The sultanate spanned parts of the
Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula of East Africa.Robert Stock, ''Africa South of the Sahara, Second Edition: A Geographical Interpretation'', (The Guilford Press; 2004), p. 26 Located on the ea ...

Horn of Africa
and covered most of modern-day Somaliland, as well as being its pre-colonial predecessor. The sultanate had a robust economy and trade was significant at its main port of
Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Somaliland and is the main sea port of the country. Berbera is a coastal city and was the former capital of the British Somaliland protectorate be ...

Berbera
and the smaller port town of
Bulhar Bulhar ( so, Bulaxaar) is a historic port in the Sahil region of Somaliland Somaliland ( so, Somaliland; ar, صوماليلاند ', '), officially the Republic of Somaliland ( so, Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliland, ar, جمهورية صو ...
, as well as eastwards at the
frankincense Frankincense (also known as olibanum) is an aromatic In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or ...
-exporting port towns of
Heis
Heis
, Karin, and
El-Darad
El-Darad
. In the late 19th century, the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
signed agreements with the
Habr Awal The Habr Awal ( so, Habar Awal, ar, هبر أول, Full Name: Abd al-Raḥmān ibn ash-Shaykh Isḥāq ibn Aḥmad)''; is a major clan of the wider Isaaq clan family, and is further divided into eight sub-clans of whom the two largest and mo ...
,
Garhajis The Garhajis ( so, Garxajis, ar, غرحجس , Full Name: ''Al-Qādhī Ismā'īl ibn ash-Shaykh Isḥāq ibn Aḥmad'') historically known as the Habar Gerhajis () is a major clan of the wider Isaaq clan family. They are the traditional holders ...
,
Habr Je'lo The Habr Je’lo, historically known as the Habr Toljaala ( so, Habar Jeclo, ar, هبر جعلو , Full Name: ''Mūsa ibn ash-Shaykh Isḥāq ibn Aḥmad'') is a major clan of the wider Isaaq clan family. The Habr Je'lo played a prominent role ...
,
Warsangeli The Warsangali ( so, Warsangeli, ar, قبيلة ورسنجلي) is a major Somalis#Clans, Somali sub clan, part of the Harti clan which itself belongs to the largest Somali clan-family — the Darod. In the Somali language, the name Warsangali mea ...
, Issa and
Gadabuursi The Gadabuursi (Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered ...
clans establishing a protectorate.''Encyclopædia Britannica'', Vol. 1, (2005), p. 163. The
Dervishes Dervish or Darvesh or Darwīsh (from fa, درویش, ''Darvīsh'') in Islam can refer broadly to members of a Sufi Sufism ( ar, ٱلصُّوفِيَّة), also known as Tasawwuf ( ar, ٱلتَّصَوُّف, link=no), is mysticism M ...
led by
Muhammad Abdullah Hassan Sayid Mohamed Abdullah Hassan ( so, Sayid Maxamed Cabdulle Xasan; (1856 – 1920) was a Somali religious and military leader in the 'Iid and Nugaal Valley, Nugaal regions. He established the Somali Dervish movement, Dervish movement that fought a ...
were against the protection agreements signed with
Britain Britain usually refers to: * United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United ...

Britain
with the Somali sultans. Dervishes waged successive wars against the British colonists between 1900. The Dervishes were finally defeated in the 1920 Somaliland Campaign. On 26 June 1960, the protectorate gained independence as the
State of Somaliland The State of Somaliland (, ) was a short-lived independent country in the territory of present-day Somaliland. It was the name assumed by the former British Somaliland protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected ...
, before five days later uniting with the
Trust Territory of Somaliland The Trust Territory of Somaliland, officially the "Trust Territory of Somaliland under Italian administration" ( it, Amministrazione fiduciaria italiana della Somalia), was a United Nations Trust Territory United Nations trust territories w ...
, following its separate independence, to form the
Somali Republic The Somali Republic ( so, Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliyeed, it, Repubblica Somala, ar, الجمهورية الصومالية ) was the name of a sovereign state composing of Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the ...
. In 1961, Somalia took control of state institutions, which was rejected in the former
State of Somaliland The State of Somaliland (, ) was a short-lived independent country in the territory of present-day Somaliland. It was the name assumed by the former British Somaliland protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected ...
and resulted in the Somaliland residents boycotting the vote on the Somali constitution. In December 1961, the
revolution In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, suc ...
in the north was started by soldiers of the former State of Somaliland who took control of large cities in the north. A group of officers took control of the
radio station Radio broadcasting is transmission of audio Audio most commonly refers to sound In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is th ...
in
Hargeisa Hargeisa (; so, Hargeysa, ar, هرجيسا) is the capital and largest city of Somaliland. It is located in the Maroodi Jeex region of the Horn of Africa. It succeeded Berbera as the capital of the British Somaliland Protectorate in 1941. The ...

Hargeisa
, declaring the end of the unity between Somalia and Somaliland. In April 1981 the
Somali National Movement The Somali National Movement ( so, Dhaqdhaqaaqa Wadaniga Soomaaliyeed, ar, الحركة الوطنية الصومالية) was one of the first and most important organized guerilla groups opposed to the Siad Barre regime in the 1980s to the 1990 ...
(shortened SNM) was founded, which led to the Somaliland War of Independence. In 1988, at the height of the war, the
Siad Barre Mohamed Siad Barre ( so, Maxamed Siyaad Barre 𐒑𐒖𐒄𐒖𐒑𐒗𐒆 𐒈𐒘𐒕𐒛𐒆 𐒁𐒖𐒇𐒇𐒗; ar, محمد زياد بري; 1910 – January 2, 1995) was a Somali general who served as the President President most comm ...

Siad Barre
government began a crackdown against the Hargeisa-based SNM and other militant groups, which were among the events that led to the
Somali Civil War The Somali Civil War ( so, Dagaalkii Sokeeye ee Soomaaliya; ar, الحرب الأهلية الصومالية) is an ongoing civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups with ...
. The conflict left Somalia's economic and military infrastructure severely damaged. Following the collapse of Barre's government in early 1991, local authorities, led by the SNM, unilaterally declared independence from Somalia on 18 May of the same year and reinstated the borders of the former short-lived independent State of Somaliland. Since 1991, the territory has been governed by democratically elected governments that seek international recognition as the government of the Republic of Somaliland. The central government maintains informal ties with some foreign governments, who have sent delegations to
Hargeisa Hargeisa (; so, Hargeysa, ar, هرجيسا) is the capital and largest city of Somaliland. It is located in the Maroodi Jeex region of the Horn of Africa. It succeeded Berbera as the capital of the British Somaliland Protectorate in 1941. The ...

Hargeisa
. Ethiopia also maintains a
trade office A trade office, sometimes known as a trade representation, commercial office, or trade mission, is an official establishment that promotes the commerce, commercial interests of a government (such as a city, state, or country) in a foreign Capital c ...
in the region. However, Somaliland's self-proclaimed independence has not been officially recognised by any country or international organisation. It is a member of the
Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) is an international organization established to facilitate the voices of unrepresented and marginalised nations and peoples worldwide. It was formed on 11 February 1991 in The Hague Th ...
, an advocacy group whose members consist of indigenous peoples, minorities and unrecognised or occupied territories.


Etymology

The name ''Somaliland'' is derived from two words: "
Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, D ...

Somali
" and "land". The area was named when Britain took control from the Egyptian administration in 1884, after signing successive treaties with the ruling Somali Sultans from the
Isaaq The Isaaq (also Isaq, Ishaak, Isaac) ( so, Reer Sheekh Isxaaq, ar, بني إسحاق, Banī Isḥāq) is a Somali clan. It is one of the major Somali clans in the Horn of Africa, with a large and densely populated traditional territory. Perry ...
, Issa,
Gadabursi The Gadabuursi (Somali language, Somali: ''Gadabuursi'', Arabic language, Arabic: غادابوورسي), also known as ''Samaroon'' (Arabic language, Arabic: ''قبيلة سَمَرُون)'', is a northern Somali clan, a sub-division of the Dir ...
, and
Warsangali The Warsangali ( so, Warsangeli, ar, قبيلة ورسنجلي) is a major Somali sub clan, part of the Harti clan which itself belongs to the largest Somali clan-family — the Darod. In the Somali language Somali Retrieved on 21 September ...
clans. The British established a
protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected by another sovereign state. It is a dependent territory A dependent territory, dependent area, or dependency (sometimes referred as an external territory) is a territory that does not ...
in the region referred to as
British Somaliland British Somaliland, officially the British Somaliland Protectorate ( so, Dhulka Maxmiyada Soomaalida ee Biritishka), was a British Empire, British protectorate in present-day Somaliland. For much of its existence, the territory was bordered by ...
. In 1960, when the protectorate became
independent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of modernist painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvania, area of the United States during the early 1930s * Independent ...
from Britain, it was called
State of Somaliland The State of Somaliland (, ) was a short-lived independent country in the territory of present-day Somaliland. It was the name assumed by the former British Somaliland protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected ...
. Four days later, on 1 July 1960, Somaliland united with
Italian Somaliland Italian Somaliland ( it, Somala italiana; ar, الصومال الإيطالي, Al-Sumal Al-Italiy; so, Dhulka Talyaaniga ee Soomaalida), was a protectorate of the Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state which ...

Italian Somaliland
. The name "Republic of Somaliland" was taken upon the
declaration of independence#REDIRECT Declaration of independence {{Redirect category shell, {{R from other capitalisation ...
following the
Somali Civil War The Somali Civil War ( so, Dagaalkii Sokeeye ee Soomaaliya; ar, الحرب الأهلية الصومالية) is an ongoing civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups with ...
in 1991. At the Grand conference in
Burao Burao, also spelt Bur'o or Bur'ao (; so, Burco, , ar, برعو) is the capital of the Togdheer region and the second largest city in Somaliland. Burao was the site of the Somaliland Declaration of Independence, declaration of an independent Som ...

Burao
held in 1991 many names for the country were suggested, including ''Puntland'', in reference to Somaliland's location in the ancient
Land of Punt Land is the solid surface of that is not permanently submerged in . Most but not all land is situated at s above (variable over geologic time frames) and consists mainly of components such as , , , and sometimes . The vast majority of huma ...
and which is now the name of the
Puntland Puntland ( so, Puntland, ar, أرض البنط, it, Terra di Punt or ''Paese di Punt''), officially the Puntland State of Somalia ( so, Dowladda Federalkaa ee Puntland , ar, ولاية أرض البنط الصومالية), is a States and ...

Puntland
state in neighbouring Somalia, and ''Shankaroon'', meaning "better than five" in
Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, D ...
, in reference to the five regions of
Greater Somalia Greater Somalia ( so, Soomaaliweyn 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒓𐒗𐒕𐒒, ar, الصومال الكبرى ''As-Sūmal al-Kubra'') is a concept to unite all ethnic Somalis comprising the regions in or near the Horn of Africa The Horn of A ...

Greater Somalia
.


History


Prehistory

Somaliland has been inhabited since at least the
Paleolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic or Palæolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek palaios - old, lithos - stone), is a period in prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history ...
. During the
Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology ...

Stone Age
, the Doian and Hargeisan cultures flourished here. The oldest evidence of
burial Burial, also known as interment or inhumation, is a method of wherein a dead person or non-human animal is placed into the ground, sometimes with objects. This is usually accomplished by excavating a pit or trench, placing the deceased and ob ...

burial
customs in the
Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula of East Africa.Robert Stock, ''Africa South of the Sahara, Second Edition: A Geographical Interpretation'', (The Guilford Press; 2004), p. 26 Located on the ea ...

Horn of Africa
comes from
cemeteries A cemetery, burial ground or graveyard is a place where the remains of dead people are buried or otherwise interred. The word ''cemetery'' (from Greek , "sleeping place") implies that the land is specifically designated as a burial ground an ...

cemeteries
in Somaliland dating back to the 4th millennium
BCE Common Era (CE) is one of the year notations used for the Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modification of the , reducing the average year from 365.2 ...

BCE
. The stone implements from the Jalelo site in the north were also characterized in 1909 as important artefacts demonstrating the archaeological universality during the Paleolithic between the East and the West. According to linguists, the first
Afroasiatic Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic or Semito-Hamitic, is a large language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed lang ...

Afroasiatic
-speaking populations arrived in the region during the ensuing
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
period from the family's proposed
urheimat In historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change over time. Principal concerns of historical linguistics include: # to describe and account for observed changes i ...
("original homeland") in the
Nile Valley The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nubi ...

Nile Valley
,Zarins, Juris (1990), "Early Pastoral Nomadism and the Settlement of Lower Mesopotamia", (Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research) or the
Near East The Near East ( ar, الشرق الأدنى, al-Sharq al-'Adnā, he, המזרח הקרוב, arc, ܕܢܚܐ ܩܪܒ, fa, خاور نزدیک, Xāvar-e nazdik, tr, Yakın Doğu) is a geographical term which roughly encompasses a transcontinental ...
. The
Laas Geel Laas Geel ( so, Laas Geel), also spelled Laas Gaal, are cave formations on the rural outskirts of Hargeisa, Somaliland Somaliland ( so, Somaliland; ar, صوماليلاند ', '), officially the Republic of Somaliland ( so, Jamhuuriya ...

Laas Geel
complex on the outskirts of Somaliland's capital
Hargeisa Hargeisa (; so, Hargeysa, ar, هرجيسا) is the capital and largest city of Somaliland. It is located in the Maroodi Jeex region of the Horn of Africa. It succeeded Berbera as the capital of the British Somaliland Protectorate in 1941. The ...

Hargeisa
dates back around 5,000 years, and has
rock art In archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to g ...
depicting both wild animals and decorated cows. Other
cave painting Cave paintings are a type of parietal art In archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthrop ...

cave painting
s are found in the northern Dhambalin region, which feature one of the earliest known depictions of a hunter on horseback. The rock art is in the distinctive Ethiopian-Arabian style, dated to 1,000 to 3,000 BCE. Additionally, between the towns of
Las Khorey Las Khorey ( so, Laasqoray, ar, لاسقُرَى ) is a historic coastal town in the Sanaag Sanag ( so, Sanaag, ar, سَنَاج) is an administrative region (''Administrative divisions of Somaliland, gobol'') in north eastern Somaliland.
and
El Ayo El Ayo ( so, Ceelaayo, ar, عيلايو), also known as El Ayum, is a coastal town in the eastern Sanaag region of Somaliland Somaliland ( so, Somaliland; ar, صوماليلاند ', '), officially the Republic of Somaliland ( so, J ...
in eastern Somaliland lies
Karinhegane Karinhegane is an archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human ...
, the site of numerous cave paintings of real and mythical animals. Each painting has an inscription below it, which collectively have been estimated to be around 2,500 years old.


Antiquity and classical era

Ancient
pyramid A pyramid (from el, πυραμίς ') is a structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act ...

pyramid
ical structures,
mausoleum A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type ...

mausoleum
s, ruined cities and stone walls, such as the Wargaade Wall, are evidence of an old civilization that once thrived in the Somali peninsula. This civilization enjoyed a trading relationship with
ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

ancient Egypt
and
Mycenaean Greece Mycenaean Greece (or the Mycenaean civilization) was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from approximately 1750 to 1050 BC.. It represents the first advanced and distinctively Greek civilization in mainland ...
since the second millennium BCE, supporting the hypothesis that Somalia or adjacent regions were the location of the ancient
Land of Punt Land is the solid surface of that is not permanently submerged in . Most but not all land is situated at s above (variable over geologic time frames) and consists mainly of components such as , , , and sometimes . The vast majority of huma ...
. The Puntites traded
myrrh Myrrh (; from Semitic Semitic most commonly refers to the Semitic languages, a name used since the 1770s to refer to the language family currently present in West Asia, North and East Africa, and Malta. Semitic may also refer to: Religion ...
, spices, gold, ebony, short-horned cattle, ivory and
frankincense Frankincense (also known as olibanum) is an aromatic In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or ...
with the Egyptians, Phoenicians,
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
ns, Indians, Chinese and Romans through their commercial ports. An Egyptian expedition sent to Punt by the
18th dynasty The Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XVIII, alternatively 18th Dynasty or Dynasty 18) is classified as the first dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New ...
Queen
Hatshepsut Hatshepsut (; also Hatchepsut; Egyptian language, Egyptian: ''wikt:ḥꜣt#Egyptian, ḥꜣt-wikt:špst#Egyptian, špswt'' "Foremost of Noble Ladies"; c. 1507–1458 BC) was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the ...

Hatshepsut
is recorded on the temple reliefs at
Deir el-Bahari Deir el-Bahari or Dayr al-Bahri)( ar, الدير البحري, al-Dayr al-Baḥrī, the Monastery of the North) is a complex of mortuary temple 300px, Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut Mortuary temples (or funerary temples) were temples A temple (f ...

Deir el-Bahari
, during the reign of the Puntite King Parahu and Queen Ati. In 2015, isotopic analysis of ancient baboon mummies from Punt that had been brought to Egypt as gifts indicated that the specimens likely originated from an area encompassing eastern Somalia and the Eritrea-Ethiopia corridor. The
camel A camel is an even-toed ungulate The even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla , ) are ungulates—hoofed animals—which bear weight equally on two (an even number) of their five toes: the third and fourth. The other three toes are either present, ...

camel
is believed to have been domesticated in the Horn region sometime between the 2nd and 3rd millennium BCE. From there, it spread to Egypt and the
Maghreb The Maghreb (; ar, المغرب, al-Maghrib, lit=the west), also known as Northwest Africa, is the western part of North Africa and the Arab world. The region includes Algeria, Libya, Mauritania (also considered part of West Africa), Morocco and ...

Maghreb
. During the classical period, the northern
Barbara Barbara may refer to: People * Barbara (given name) * Saint Barbara, early Christian saint and martyr * Barbara (singer) (1930–1997), French singer * Barbara Popović (born 2000), also known mononymously as Barbara, Macedonian singer * Barbara ( ...
city-states of
Mosylon Mosylon ( grc, Μοσυλλόν), also known as Mosullon, was an ancient proto-Somali trading center on or near the site that later became the city of Bosaso. History Mosylon was the most prominent Emporia (ancient Greece), emporium on the Red Sea ...
,
Opone Opone ( grc, Οπώνη) was an ancient proto-SomaliProto-Somalis were the ancient people and ancestors of Somalis Somalis ( so, Soomaalida) are an Cushitic peoples, East Cushitic ethnic group native to the Horn of Africa who share a common an ...
,
Mundus Mundus may refer to: People * Mundus (general) (died 536), an East Roman general * Frank Mundus (1925–2008), an American fisher Places * Mundus, ancient port in Somaliland on the site of Heis (town) Popular culture * Characters of Devil May Cr ...

Mundus
,
Isis Isis (; ''Ēse''; ; Meroitic language, Meroitic: ''Wos'' 'a''or ''Wusa'') was a major ancient Egyptian deities, goddess in ancient Egyptian religion whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. Isis was first mentioned in the Ol ...
,
Malao Malao ( grc, Μαλαὼ) was an ancient proto-SomaliProto-Somalis were the ancient people and ancestors of Somalis Somalis ( so, Soomaalida) are an Cushitic peoples, East Cushitic ethnic group native to the Horn of Africa who share a common a ...
,
Avalites Avalites (also spelled Avalitês, from grc, Αβαλίτες, Abalites) was an ancient port city in present-day Somaliland. It corresponds with what later became the city of Zeila. According to the '' Periplus of the Erythraean Sea'', Avalites ...
,
Essina Essina ( grc, Εσσίνα) was an ancient Proto-SomaliProto-Somalis were the ancient people and ancestors of Somalis Somalis ( so, Soomaalida) are an Cushitic peoples, East Cushitic ethnic group native to the Horn of Africa who share a common ...
,
Nikon (, ; ), also known just as Nikon, is a Japanese multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Lega ...
, and
Sarapion Sarapion ( grc, Σαράπιον, also spelled Serapion) was an ancient proto-SomaliProto-Somalis were the ancient people and ancestors of Somalis who lived in present-day Somalia. Literature on proto-Somalis largely uses a time-frame pertaining t ...
developed a lucrative trade network, connecting with merchants from
Ptolemaic Egypt The Ptolemaic Kingdom (; grc-koi, Πτολεμαϊκὴ βασιλεία, Ptolemaïkḕ basileía) was an Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , o ...
,
Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era wa ...
,
Phoenicia Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3 ...
, ,
Saba Saba (, ; , ) is a Caribbean island which is the smallest Caribbean Netherlands, special municipality (officially “Public body (Netherlands), public body”) of the Netherlands. It consists largely of the potentially active volcano Mount Scener ...
, the
Nabataean Kingdom The Nabataean Kingdom ( ar, المملكة النبطية, al-Mamlakah an-Nabaṭiyyah), also named Nabatea (), was a political state of the Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233 The international standard a ...
, and the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
. They used the ancient Somali maritime vessel known as the ''
beden The Beden, badan, or alternate type names Beden-seyed and Beden-safar, is a fast, ancient Somali people, Somali single or double-masted maritime vessel and ship, typified by its towering stern-post and powerful rudder. It is also the longest surviv ...

beden
'' to transport their cargo. After the Roman conquest of the Nabataean Empire and the Roman naval presence at
Aden Aden ( , ; ar, عدن ' Yemeni Arabic, Yemeni: ) is a city, and since 2015, the temporary capital of Yemen, near the eastern approach to the Red Sea (the Gulf of Aden), some east of the strait Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately ...

Aden
to curb piracy, Arab and Somali merchants agreed with the Romans to bar Indian ships from trading in the free port cities of the Arabian peninsula. to protect the interests of Somali and Arab merchants in the lucrative commerce between the Red and Mediterranean Seas.. However, Indian merchants continued to trade in the port cities of the Somali peninsula, which was free from Roman interference.. For centuries, Indian merchants brought large quantities of cinnamon to Somalia and Arabia from
Ceylon Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකා, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO; ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island ...

Ceylon
and the
Spice Islands SPICE ("Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis")Nagel, L. W, and Pederson, D. O., ''SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis)'', Memorandum No. ERL-M382, University of California, Berkeley, Apr. 1973Nagel, Lauren ...

Spice Islands
. The source of the cinnamon and other spices is said to have been the best-kept secret of Arab and Somali merchants in their trade with the Roman and Greek world; the Romans and Greeks believed the source to have been the Somali peninsula.. The collusive agreement among Somali and Arab traders inflated the price of Indian and Chinese cinnamon in North Africa, the Near East, and Europe and made the cinnamon trade a very profitable revenue generator, especially for the Somali merchants through whose hands large quantities were shipped across sea and land routes. In 2007, more rock art sites with Sabaean and Himyarite writings in and around
Hargeisa Hargeisa (; so, Hargeysa, ar, هرجيسا) is the capital and largest city of Somaliland. It is located in the Maroodi Jeex region of the Horn of Africa. It succeeded Berbera as the capital of the British Somaliland Protectorate in 1941. The ...

Hargeisa
were found, but some were bulldozed by developers.


Birth of Islam and the Middle Ages

Various Somali Muslim kingdoms were established around this period in the area. In the 14th century, the
Zeila Zeila ( so, Saylac, ar, زيلع, Zayla), also known as Zaila or Zayla, is a historical port town in the western Awdal Awdal ( so, Awdal, ar, أودَل) is a region in Somaliland. It was separated from Woqooyi Galbeed and became a province i ...
-based
Adal Sultanate The Adal Sultanate, or Kingdom of Adal or Awdal or Bar Sa'ad ad-din (alt. spelling ''Adel Sultanate'' , ''Awdal Sultanate''), was a Muslim Somalis, Somali kingdom and sultanate located in the Horn of Africa. It was founded by Sabr ad-Din II af ...

Adal Sultanate
battled the forces of the Ethiopian emperor
Amda Seyon I Amda Seyon I, also Amde Tsiyon and other variants, ( gez, ዐምደ ፡ ጽዮን , am, āmde ṣiyōn, "Pillar of Zion") was Emperor of Ethiopia (nəgusä nägäst) 1314–1344; throne name Gebre Mesqel ( gez, ገብረ ፡ መስቀል , am, g ...
., page 45 The
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
later occupied
Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Somaliland and is the main sea port of the country. Berbera is a coastal city and was the former capital of the British Somaliland protectorate be ...

Berbera
and environs in the 1500s.
Muhammad Ali Muhammad Ali (; born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.; January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was an American professional boxer, activist, entertainer, poet and philanthropist. Nicknamed The Greatest, he is widely regarded as one of the most significa ...
,
Pasha Pasha or Paşa ( ota, پاشا; tr, paşa; sq, Pashë; ar, باشا), in older works sometimes anglicized as bashaw, was a higher rank in the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman political and military system, typically granted to governors, generals, dig ...

Pasha
of
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
, subsequently established a foothold in the area between 1821 and 1841.


Early modern sultanates


Isaaq Sultanate

In the
early modern The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of 's past. It is understood through , , , and , and since the , from and s. Humanity's written history was preceded by its , beginning with ...
period, successor states to the Adal Sultanate began to flourish in Somaliland. These included the
Isaaq Sultanate The Isaaq Sultanate ( so, Saldanadda Isaaq, ar, سلطنة الإسحاق) was a Somali kingdom that ruled parts of the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA) om, Gaafa Afrikaa, am, የአፍሪካ ቀንድ, yäafrika qänd, so, Geeska Afr ...
and
Habr Yunis Sultanate The Habr Yunis Sultanate ( so, Saldanadda Habar Yoonis, ar, سلطنة هبر يونس) was a Somali kingdom that ruled parts of the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA) om, Gaafa Afrikaa, am, የአፍሪካ ቀንድ, yäafrika qänd, so ...
.British Somaliland by Ralph E. Drake-Brockman. Drake-Brockman, Ralph E. (Ralph Evelyn), 1875-1952. p. 275 The
Isaaq Sultanate The Isaaq Sultanate ( so, Saldanadda Isaaq, ar, سلطنة الإسحاق) was a Somali kingdom that ruled parts of the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA) om, Gaafa Afrikaa, am, የአፍሪካ ቀንድ, yäafrika qänd, so, Geeska Afr ...
was a
Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, D ...
kingdom that ruled parts of the
Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula of East Africa.Robert Stock, ''Africa South of the Sahara, Second Edition: A Geographical Interpretation'', (The Guilford Press; 2004), p. 26 Located on the ea ...

Horn of Africa
during the 18th and 19th centuries. It spanned the territories of the
Isaaq The Isaaq (also Isaq, Ishaak, Isaac) ( so, Reer Sheekh Isxaaq, ar, بني إسحاق, Banī Isḥāq) is a Somali clan. It is one of the major Somali clans in the Horn of Africa, with a large and densely populated traditional territory. Perry ...
clan, descendants of the
Banu Hashim ) , type = Banu Quraysh The Quraysh ( ar, قُرَيْشٌ, ) are a mercantile Arab tribe The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, ISO 233: , Arabic ...
clan, in modern-day Somaliland and
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
. The sultanate was governed by the Rer Guled branch established by the first sultan, Sultan Guled Abdi, of the
Eidagale The Garhajis, historically known as the Habar Gerhajis ( so, Garxajis, ar, غرحجس , Full Name: ''Ismā'īl ibn ash-Shaykh Isḥāq ibn Aḥmad'') is a major clan of the wider Isaaq clan family. They are the traditional holders of the Isaaq S ...
clan. The sultanate is the pre-colonial predecessor to the modern Republic of Somaliland. According to oral tradition, prior to the Guled dynasty the
Isaaq The Isaaq (also Isaq, Ishaak, Isaac) ( so, Reer Sheekh Isxaaq, ar, بني إسحاق, Banī Isḥāq) is a Somali clan. It is one of the major Somali clans in the Horn of Africa, with a large and densely populated traditional territory. Perry ...
clan-family were ruled by a dynasty of the Tolje'lo branch starting from, descendants of Ahmed nicknamed Tol Je'lo, the eldest son of Sheikh Ishaaq's Harari wife. There were eight Tolje'lo rulers in total, starting with Boqor Harun () who ruled the Isaaq Sultanate for centuries starting from the 13th century. The last Tolje'lo ruler
Garad Garad (, Harari language, Harari: ገራድ, Oromo language, Oromo: ''Garaada'', ) is a term used to refer to a clan leader or regional administrator. It was used primarily by Muslims in the Horn of Africa that were associated with Islamic states mo ...
Dhuh Barar ( so, Dhuux Baraar) was overthrown by a coalition of Isaaq clans. The once strong Tolje'lo clan were scattered and took refuge amongst the
Habr Awal The Habr Awal ( so, Habar Awal, ar, هبر أول, Full Name: Abd al-Raḥmān ibn ash-Shaykh Isḥāq ibn Aḥmad)''; is a major clan of the wider Isaaq clan family, and is further divided into eight sub-clans of whom the two largest and mo ...
with whom they still mostly live. The Sultan of Isaaq often called for ''shirs'' or regular meetings where he would be informed and advised by leading elders or religious figures on what decisions to make. In the case of the Dervish movement Sultan Deria Hassan had chose not to join after receiving counsel from
Sheikh Madar Madar Ahmed Shirwac, better known as Sheikh Madar ( so, Sheekh Madar) was a 19th century Somali political/religious leader, a social reformer, merchant and a jurist that was instrumental in the modern foundation of Hargeisa. He hailed from the Yu ...

Sheikh Madar
. He addressed early tensions between the Saad Musa and Eidagale upon the former's settlement into the growing town of Hargeisa in the late 19th century. The Sultan would also be responsible for organizing grazing rights and in the late 19th century new agricultural spaces. The allocation of resources and sustainable use of them was also a matter that Sultans concerned themselves with and was crucial in an arid region. In the 1870s there was a famous meeting between
Sheikh Madar Madar Ahmed Shirwac, better known as Sheikh Madar ( so, Sheekh Madar) was a 19th century Somali political/religious leader, a social reformer, merchant and a jurist that was instrumental in the modern foundation of Hargeisa. He hailed from the Yu ...

Sheikh Madar
and Sultan Deria proclaimed that hunting and tree cutting in the vicinity of Hargeisa would be banned The holy relics from Aw Barkhadle would be brought and the Isaaqs would swear oaths upon it in presence of the Sultan whenever fierce internal combat broke out. Aside from the leading Sultan of Isaaq there were numerous Akils, Garaads and subordinate Sultans alongside religious authorities that constituted the Sultanate before some would declare their own independence or simply break from his authority. The Isaaq Sultanate had 5 rulers prior to the creation of
British Somaliland British Somaliland, officially the British Somaliland Protectorate ( so, Dhulka Maxmiyada Soomaalida ee Biritishka), was a British Empire, British protectorate in present-day Somaliland. For much of its existence, the territory was bordered by ...
in 1884. Historically, Sultans would be chosen by a committee of several important members of the various Isaaq subclans. Sultans were usually buried at
Toon Toon may refer to: Places * Tōon, Ehime, a Japanese city in Ehime Prefecture * Toon, the former name of Ferdows, a city in South Khorasan Province, Iran * Toon, Somaliland, a town in the Garoodi region of Somaliland * Tarso Toon, volcano in Ch ...
, south of Hargeisa, which was a significant site and the capital of the Sultanate during Farah Guled's rule.


Battle of Berbera

The first engagement between Somalis of the region and the British was in 1825 and ended violently. This culminated in the Battle of Berbera and a subsequent trade agreement between the
Habr Awal The Habr Awal ( so, Habar Awal, ar, هبر أول, Full Name: Abd al-Raḥmān ibn ash-Shaykh Isḥāq ibn Aḥmad)''; is a major clan of the wider Isaaq clan family, and is further divided into eight sub-clans of whom the two largest and mo ...
and the United Kingdom.Hertslet's Commercial Treaties: A Complete Collection of the Treaties and Conventions, and Reciprocal Regulations, at Present Subsisting Between Great Britain and Foreign Powers, and of the Laws, Decrees, and Orders in Council, Concerning the Same, So Far as They Relate to Commerce and Navigation, to the Repression and Abolition of the Slave Trade, and to the Privileges and Interests of the Subjects of the High Contracting Parties, Volume 13, pg 5 This was followed by a British treaty with the Governor of
Zeila Zeila ( so, Saylac, ar, زيلع, Zayla), also known as Zaila or Zayla, is a historical port town in the western Awdal Awdal ( so, Awdal, ar, أودَل) is a region in Somaliland. It was separated from Woqooyi Galbeed and became a province i ...
in 1840. An engagement was then started between the British and elders of Habar Garhajis and Habar Toljaala clans of the
Isaaq The Isaaq (also Isaq, Ishaak, Isaac) ( so, Reer Sheekh Isxaaq, ar, بني إسحاق, Banī Isḥāq) is a Somali clan. It is one of the major Somali clans in the Horn of Africa, with a large and densely populated traditional territory. Perry ...
in 1855, followed a year later by the conclusion of the "Articles of Peace and Friendship" between the Habar Awal and
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
. These engagements between the British and Somali clans culminated in the formal treaties the British signed with the henceforth 'British Somaliland' clans, which took place between 1884 and 1886 (treaties were signed with the Habar Awal, Gadabursi, Habar Toljaala, Habar Garhajis, Esa, and the Warsangali clans), this paved the way for the British to establish a
protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected by another sovereign state. It is a dependent territory A dependent territory, dependent area, or dependency (sometimes referred as an external territory) is a territory that does not ...
in the region referred to as
British Somaliland British Somaliland, officially the British Somaliland Protectorate ( so, Dhulka Maxmiyada Soomaalida ee Biritishka), was a British Empire, British protectorate in present-day Somaliland. For much of its existence, the territory was bordered by ...
.Hugh Chisholm (ed.), ''The Encyclopædia Britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information'', Volume 25, (At the University press: 1911), p.383. The British garrisoned the protectorate from
Aden Aden ( , ; ar, عدن ' Yemeni Arabic, Yemeni: ) is a city, and since 2015, the temporary capital of Yemen, near the eastern approach to the Red Sea (the Gulf of Aden), some east of the strait Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately ...
and administered it as part of
British India The Provinces of India, earlier Presidencies of British India and still earlier, Presidency towns, were the administrative divisions of British governance in the Indian subcontinent. Collectively, they have been called British India. In one ...
until 1898. British Somaliland was then administered by the
Foreign Office Foreign may refer to: Government * Foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy. It produces content daily on its websit ...
until 1905, and afterwards by the
Colonial Office The Colonial Office was a government department Ministry or department, also less commonly used secretariat, office, or directorate are designations used by a first-level Executive (government), executive bodies in the Machinery of governmen ...
.


British Somaliland

The Somaliland Campaign, also called the Anglo-Somali War or the Dervish War, was a series of military expeditions that took place between 1900 and 1920 in the
Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula of East Africa.Robert Stock, ''Africa South of the Sahara, Second Edition: A Geographical Interpretation'', (The Guilford Press; 2004), p. 26 Located on the ea ...

Horn of Africa
, pitting the
Dervishes Dervish or Darvesh or Darwīsh (from fa, درویش, ''Darvīsh'') in Islam can refer broadly to members of a Sufi Sufism ( ar, ٱلصُّوفِيَّة), also known as Tasawwuf ( ar, ٱلتَّصَوُّف, link=no), is mysticism M ...
led by
Mohammed Abdullah Hassan Sayid Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan ( so, Sayid Maxamed Cabdulle Xasan; 1856–1920) was a Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Rep ...
(nicknamed the "Mad Mullah") against the
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ir ...

British
.Nicolle (1997), 5. The British were assisted in their offensives by the
Ethiopians Ethiopians are the native inhabitants of Ethiopia, as well as the global diaspora of Ethiopia. Ethiopians constitute Ethiopians#Component Ethnicities, several component ethnic groups, many of which are closely related to ethnic groups in neighbo ...
and
Italians Italians ( it, italiani ) are a Romance Romance (from Vulgar Latin , "in the Roman language", i.e., "Latin") may refer to: Common meanings * Romance (love) Romance or Romantic love is an emotional feeling of love for, or a strong att ...
. During the
First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainmen ...
(1914–1918), Hassan also received aid from the
Ottomans The Ottoman Turks or Osmanlı Turks ( tr, Osmanlı Türkleri), were the Turkic people The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethnic groups of Central Asia, Central, East Asia, East, North Asia, North and West Asia as well as parts of Europe an ...
,
Germans Germans (, ) are the natives or inhabitants of Germany Germany (german: Deutschland, ), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in . It is the in Europe after , and the most populous . Germany is situated between the and seas ...
and, for a time, from the Emperor
Iyasu V of Ethiopia ''Lij'' Iyasu ( gez, ልጅ ኢያሱ; 4 February 1895 – 25 November 1935) was the designated from 1913 to 1916. His baptismal name was Kifle Yaqob (ክፍለ ያዕቆብ ''kəflä y’aqob''). Ethiopian emperors traditionally chose their re ...
. The conflict ended when the British aerially bombed the Dervish capital of
Taleh Taleh ( so, Taleex, ar, تليح) is a historical town in the eastern Sool, Somalia, Sool region of Somaliland. As of September 2015, both Puntland and Somaliland had nominal influence or control in Taleh and it's vicinity. The town served as ...

Taleh
in February 1920. The Fifth Expedition of the Somaliland campaign in 1920 was the final
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ir ...

British
expedition against the
Dervish Dervish, Darvesh, or Darwīsh (from fa, درویش, ''Darvīsh'') in Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "a ...
forces of
Mohammed Abdullah Hassan Sayid Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan ( so, Sayid Maxamed Cabdulle Xasan; 1856–1920) was a Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Rep ...
, the
Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, D ...
religious leader. Although most of the combat took place in January of the year, British troops had begun preparations for the assault as early as November 1919. The British forces included elements of the
Royal Air Force The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for th ...
and the
Somaliland Camel Corps The Somaliland Camel Corps (SCC) also referred to as the Somali Camel Corps, was a Rayid unit of the British Army based in British Somaliland. It lasted from the early 20th century until 1944. Beginnings and the Dervish rebellion In 1888, after ...

Somaliland Camel Corps
. After three weeks of battle, Hassan's Dervishes were defeated, bringing an effective end to their 20-year resistance. The Italian conquest of British Somaliland was a military campaign in East Africa, which took place in August 1940 between forces of
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...
and those of several British and
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...
countries. The Italian expedition was part of the East African Campaign.


Anti-colonial resistance


Burao Tax Revolt and RAF bombing

The people of Burao clashed with the British in 1922 after a heavy tax was imposed upon them. They revolted in opposition to the tax and this caused them to riot and attack British government officials. In the ensuing disturbances a shootout between the British and Burao residents broke out, Captain Allan Gibb, a Dervish war veteran and district commissioner, was shot and killed. The British fearing they could not contain the revolt requested from Sir
Winston Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, (30 November 187424 January 1965) was a British statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The hea ...

Winston Churchill
, then
Secretary of State for the Colonies The secretary of state for the colonies or colonial secretary was the Cabinet of the United Kingdom, British Cabinet government minister, minister in charge of managing the United Kingdom's various British Empire, colonial dependencies. History ...
, to send troops from
Aden Aden ( , ; ar, عدن ' Yemeni Arabic, Yemeni: ) is a city, and since 2015, the temporary capital of Yemen, near the eastern approach to the Red Sea (the Gulf of Aden), some east of the strait Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately ...

Aden
and Airplane bombers in order to bomb Burao and livestock of the revolting clans to quell any further rebellion. The RAF planes arrived at Burao within two days and proceeded to bomb the town with incendiaries, effectively burning the entire settlement to the ground. Correspondence between Governor of British Somaliland and Secretary of State for the Colonies. Colonial Office, 26 March 1922. Telegram from Sir Geoffrey Archer, Governor of British Somaliland to
Sir Winston Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, (30 November 187424 January 1965) was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is either the highe ...

Sir Winston Churchill
the
Secretary of State for the Colonies The secretary of state for the colonies or colonial secretary was the Cabinet of the United Kingdom, British Cabinet government minister, minister in charge of managing the United Kingdom's various British Empire, colonial dependencies. History ...
:
I deeply regret to inform that during an affray at Burao yesterday between Rer Sugulleh and Akils of other tribes Captain Gibb was shot dead. Having called out Camel corps company to quell the disturbance, he went forward himself with his interpreter, whereupon fire opened on him by some Rer segulleh riflemen and he was instantly killed..Miscreants then dissapered under the cover of darkness. In order to meet the situation created by the Murder of Gibb, we require two aeroplanes for about fourteen days. I have arranged with resident, Aden, for these. And made formal application, which please confirm. It is proposed they fly via Perim, confining sea crossing to 12 miles. We propose to inflict fine of 2,500 camels on implicated sections, who are practically isolated and demand surrender of man who killed Gibbs. He is known. Fine to be doubled in failure to comply with latter conditions and aeroplanes to be used to bomb stock on grazing grounds.
Sir Winston Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, (30 November 187424 January 1965) was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is either the highe ...

Sir Winston Churchill
reporting on the Burao incident at the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorpor ...

House of Commons
:
On 25th February the Governor of Somaliland telegraphed that an affray between tribesmen had taken place at Burao on the previous day, in the course of which Captain Allan Gibb, D.S.O., D.C.M., the District Commissioner at Burao, had been shot dead. Captain Gibb had advanced with his interpreter to quell the disturbance, when 1954 fire was opened upon him by some riflemen, and he was instantly killed. The murderers escaped under cover of falling darkness. Captain Gibb was an officer of long and valued service in Somaliland, whose loss I deeply regret. From the information available, his murder does not appear to have been premeditated, but it inevitably had a disturbing effect upon the surrounding tribes, and immediate dispositions of troops became necessary in order to ensure the apprehension and punishment of those responsible for the murder. On 27th February the Governor telegraphed that, in order to meet the situation which had arisen, he required two aeroplanes for purposes of demonstration, and suggested that two aeroplanes from the Royal Air Force Detachment at Aden should fly over to Berber a from Aden. He also telegraphed that in certain circumstances it might become necessary to ask for reinforcements of troops to be sent to the Protectorate.
James Lawrence author of ''Imperial Rearguard: Wars of Empire'' writes
ibb Ibb ( ar, إِبّ, ʾIbb) is a city in Yemen, the capital of Ibb Governorate, located about northeast of Mocha, Yemen, Mocha and south of Sana'a. A market town and administrative centre developed during the History of Yemen#Ottoman influence ...

ibb
.was murdered by rioters during a protest against taxation at Burao. Governor Archer immediately called for aircraft which were at Burao within two days. The inhabitants of the native township were turned out of their houses, and the entire area was razed by a combination of bombing, machine-gun fire and burning.
After the RAF aircraft bombed Burao to the ground, the leaders of the rebellion acquiesced, agreeing to pay a fine for Gibbs death, but they refused to identify and apprehend the accused individuals. Most of the men responsible for Gibb's shooting evaded capture. In light of the failure to implement the taxation without provoking a violent response, the British abandoned the policy altogether.


1945 Sheikh Bashir Rebellion

The 1945 Sheikh Bashir Rebellion was a rebellion waged by tribesmen of the
Habr Je'lo The Habr Je’lo, historically known as the Habr Toljaala ( so, Habar Jeclo, ar, هبر جعلو , Full Name: ''Mūsa ibn ash-Shaykh Isḥāq ibn Aḥmad'') is a major clan of the wider Isaaq clan family. The Habr Je'lo played a prominent role ...
clan in the former
British Somaliland British Somaliland, officially the British Somaliland Protectorate ( so, Dhulka Maxmiyada Soomaalida ee Biritishka), was a British Empire, British protectorate in present-day Somaliland. For much of its existence, the territory was bordered by ...
protectorate against British authorities in July 1945 led by Sheikh Bashir, a
Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, D ...

Somali
religious leader. On 2 July, Sheikh Bashir collected 25 of his followers in the town of Wadamago and transported them on a lorry to the vicinity of
Burao Burao, also spelt Bur'o or Bur'ao (; so, Burco, , ar, برعو) is the capital of the Togdheer region and the second largest city in Somaliland. Burao was the site of the Somaliland Declaration of Independence, declaration of an independent Som ...

Burao
, where he distributed arms to half of his followers. On the evening of 3 July the group entered Burao and opened fire on the police guard of the central prison in the city, which was filled with prisoners arrested for previous demonstrations. The group also attacked the house of the district commissioner of Burao District, Major Chambers, resulting in the death of Major Chamber's police guard before escaping to Bur Dhab, a strategic mountain south-east of Burao, where Sheikh Bashir's small unit occupied a fort and took up a defensive position in anticipation of a British counterattack. The British campaign against Sheikh Bashir's troops proved abortive after several defeats as his forces kept moving from place to place and avoiding any permanent location. No sooner had the expedition left the area, than the news traveled fast among the Somali nomads across the plain. The war had exposed the British administration to humiliation. The government came to a conclusion that another expedition against him would be useless; that they must build a railway, make roads and effectively occupy the whole of the protectorate, or else abandon the interior completely. The latter course was decided upon, and during the first months of 1945, the advance posts were withdrawn and the British administration confined to the coast town of
Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Somaliland and is the main sea port of the country. Berbera is a coastal city and was the former capital of the British Somaliland protectorate be ...

Berbera
. Sheikh Bashir settled many disputes among the tribes in the vicinity, which kept them from raiding each other. He was generally thought to settle disputes through the use of Islamic
Sharia Sharia (; ar, شريعة, sharīʿa ) is a religious law Religious law includes ethical Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action ...
and gathered around him a strong following. The British administration recruited
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
n and
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
n troops, led by police general James David, to fight against Sheikh Bashir and had intelligence plans to capture him alive. The British authorities mobilized a police force, and eventually on 7 July found Sheikh Bashir and his unit in defensive positions behind their fortifications in the mountains of Bur Dhab. After clashes Sheikh Bashir and his second-in-command, Alin Yusuf Ali, nicknamed Qaybdiid, were killed. A third rebel was wounded and was captured along with two other rebels. The rest fled the fortifications and dispersed. On the British side the police general leading the British troops as well as a number of Indian and South African troops perished in the clashes, and a policeman was injured. After his death, Sheikh Bashir was widely hailed by locals as a martyr and was held in great reverence. His family took quick action to remove his body from the place of his death at Geela-eeg mountain, about 20 miles from
Burao Burao, also spelt Bur'o or Bur'ao (; so, Burco, , ar, برعو) is the capital of the Togdheer region and the second largest city in Somaliland. Burao was the site of the Somaliland Declaration of Independence, declaration of an independent Som ...

Burao
.


State of Somaliland (Independence)

In May 1960, the British government stated that it would be prepared to grant independence to the then
protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected by another sovereign state. It is a dependent territory A dependent territory, dependent area, or dependency (sometimes referred as an external territory) is a territory that does not ...
of British Somaliland, with the intention that the territory would unite with the
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
-administered Trust Territory of Somaliland under Italian Administration (the former
Italian Somaliland Italian Somaliland ( it, Somala italiana; ar, الصومال الإيطالي, Al-Sumal Al-Italiy; so, Dhulka Talyaaniga ee Soomaalida), was a protectorate of the Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state which ...

Italian Somaliland
). The Legislative Council of British Somaliland passed a resolution in April 1960 requesting independence and union with the Trust Territory of Somaliland, which was scheduled to gain independence on 1 July that year. The legislative councils of both territories agreed to this proposal following a joint conference in
Mogadishu Mogadishu (, also ; so, Muqdisho or Xamar ; ar, مقديشو, Muqadīshū ; it, Mogadiscio ), locally known as Xamar or Hamar, is the capital city and most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city ...

Mogadishu
. On 26 June 1960, the former British Somaliland protectorate briefly obtained independence as the State of Somaliland, with the Trust Territory of Somaliland following suit five days later. During its brief period of independence, the
State of Somaliland The State of Somaliland (, ) was a short-lived independent country in the territory of present-day Somaliland. It was the name assumed by the former British Somaliland protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected ...
garnered recognition from thirty-five sovereign states. The following day, on 27 June 1960, the newly convened Somaliland Legislative Assembly approved a bill that would formally allow for the union of the State of Somaliland with the Trust Territory of Somaliland on 1 July 1960.


Somali Republic (union with Somalia)

On 1 July 1960, the
State of Somaliland The State of Somaliland (, ) was a short-lived independent country in the territory of present-day Somaliland. It was the name assumed by the former British Somaliland protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected ...
and the
Trust Territory of Somaliland The Trust Territory of Somaliland, officially the "Trust Territory of Somaliland under Italian administration" ( it, Amministrazione fiduciaria italiana della Somalia), was a United Nations Trust Territory United Nations trust territories w ...
(the former
Italian Somaliland Italian Somaliland ( it, Somala italiana; ar, الصومال الإيطالي, Al-Sumal Al-Italiy; so, Dhulka Talyaaniga ee Soomaalida), was a protectorate of the Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state which ...

Italian Somaliland
) united as planned to form the
Somali Republic The Somali Republic ( so, Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliyeed, it, Repubblica Somala, ar, الجمهورية الصومالية ) was the name of a sovereign state composing of Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the ...

Somali Republic
. Inspired by
Somali nationalism Somali nationalism ( Somali: ''Soomaalinimo'') is centered on the notion that the Somali people share a common language, religion, culture and ethnicity, and as such constitute a nation unto themselves. The ideology's earliest manifestations are of ...
, the northerners were initially enthusiastic about the union. A government was formed by Abdullahi Issa, with
Aden Abdullah Osman Daar Aden Abdulle Osman Daar ( so, Aadan Cabdulle Cismaan Daar, ar, آدم عبد الله عثمان دعر) (December 9, 1908 – June 8, 2007), popularly known as Aden Adde, was a Somali politician A politician is a person active in party po ...
as
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
and Abdirashid Ali Shermarke as Prime Minister of Somalia, Prime Minister (later to become president, from 1967 to 1969). On 20 July 1961 and through a popular referendum, the Somali people ratified a new constitution, which was first drafted in 1960.Greystone Press Staff, ''The Illustrated Library of The World and Its Peoples: Africa, North and East'', (Greystone Press: 1967), p.338 The constitution had little support in the former Somaliland, and was believed to favour the south. Many northerners boycotted the referendum in protest, and over 60% of those who voted in the north were against the new constitution. Regardless, the referendum passed, and Somaliland became quickly dominated by southerners. As result, dissatisfaction became widespread in the north, and support for the union plummeted. British-trained Somaliland officers attempted a 1961 revolt in Somalia, revolt to end the union in December 1961. Their uprising failed, and Somaliland continued to be marginalized by the south during the next decades. In 1967, Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal became Prime Minister, a position to which he was appointed by Shermarke. Shermarke was assassinated two years later by one of his own bodyguards. His murder was quickly followed by a military coup d'état on 21 October 1969 (the day after his funeral), in which the Military of Somalia, Somalian Army seized power without encountering armed opposition. The putsch was spearheaded by Major General Siad Barre, Mohamed Siad Barre, who at the time commanded the army.Moshe Y. Sachs, ''Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations'', Volume 2, (Worldmark Press: 1988), p.290. The new regime would go on to rule Somalia for the next 22 years.


Somali National Movement, Barre persecution

The moral authority of Barre's government was gradually eroded, as many Somalis became disillusioned with life under military rule. By the mid-1980s, resistance movements supported by Ethiopia's communist Derg administration had sprung up across the country, which lead to the Somaliland War of Independence. Barre responded by ordering punitive measures against those he perceived as locally supporting the guerrillas, especially in the northern regions. The clampdown included bombing of cities, with the northwestern administrative centre of
Hargeisa Hargeisa (; so, Hargeysa, ar, هرجيسا) is the capital and largest city of Somaliland. It is located in the Maroodi Jeex region of the Horn of Africa. It succeeded Berbera as the capital of the British Somaliland Protectorate in 1941. The ...

Hargeisa
, a
Somali National Movement The Somali National Movement ( so, Dhaqdhaqaaqa Wadaniga Soomaaliyeed, ar, الحركة الوطنية الصومالية) was one of the first and most important organized guerilla groups opposed to the Siad Barre regime in the 1980s to the 1990 ...
(SNM) stronghold, among the targeted areas in 1988. The bombardment was led by General Mohammed Said Hersi Morgan, Barre's son-in-law. According to Abou Jeng and other scholars, the Barre regime rule was marked by a targeted brutal persecution of the
Isaaq The Isaaq (also Isaq, Ishaak, Isaac) ( so, Reer Sheekh Isxaaq, ar, بني إسحاق, Banī Isḥāq) is a Somali clan. It is one of the major Somali clans in the Horn of Africa, with a large and densely populated traditional territory. Perry ...
clan. Mohamed Haji Ingiriis and Chris Mullin (politician), Chris Mullin state that the clampdown by the Barre regime against the Hargeisa-based Somali National Movement targeted the Isaaq clan, to which most members of the SNM belonged. They refer to the clampdown as the Isaaq Genocide or Hargeisa Holocaust. A United Nations investigation concluded that the crime of genocide was "conceived, planned and perpetrated by the Somali Government against the Isaaq people". The number of civilian casualties is estimated to be between 50,000 and 100,000 according to various sources, while some reports estimate the total civilian deaths to be upwards of 200,000 Isaaq civilians. Along with the deaths, Barre regime bombarded and razed the second and third largest cities in Somalia,
Hargeisa Hargeisa (; so, Hargeysa, ar, هرجيسا) is the capital and largest city of Somaliland. It is located in the Maroodi Jeex region of the Horn of Africa. It succeeded Berbera as the capital of the British Somaliland Protectorate in 1941. The ...

Hargeisa
and
Burao Burao, also spelt Bur'o or Bur'ao (; so, Burco, , ar, برعو) is the capital of the Togdheer region and the second largest city in Somaliland. Burao was the site of the Somaliland Declaration of Independence, declaration of an independent Som ...

Burao
respectively. This displaced an estimated 400,000 local residents to Hart Sheik in Ethiopia; another 400,000 individuals were also internally displaced. The counterinsurgency by the Barre regime against the SNM targeted the rebel group's civilian base of support, escalating into a genocidal onslaught against the Isaaq clan. This led to anarchy and violent campaigns by fragmented militias, which then wrested power at a local level. The Barre regime's persecution was not limited to the Isaaq, as it targeted other clans such as the Hawiye. The Barre regime collapsed in January 1991. Thereafter, as the political situation in Somaliland stabilized, the displaced people returned to their homes, the militias were demobilized or incorporated into the army, and tens of thousands of houses and businesses were reconstructed from rubble.


Restoration of sovereignty (end of the unity with Somalia)

Although the SNM at its inception had a unionist constitution, it eventually began to pursue independence, looking to secede from the rest of Somalia. Under the leadership of Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur, the local administration declared the northwestern Somali territories independent at a conference held in
Burao Burao, also spelt Bur'o or Bur'ao (; so, Burco, , ar, برعو) is the capital of the Togdheer region and the second largest city in Somaliland. Burao was the site of the Somaliland Declaration of Independence, declaration of an independent Som ...

Burao
between 27 April 1991 and 15 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 Federalism, federal 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.Lewis, ''A Modern History'', pp. 282–286 Egal was reappointed in 1997, and remained in power until his death on 3 May 2002. The vice-president, Dahir Riyale Kahin, who was during the 1980s the highest-ranking National Security Service (Somalia), National Security Service (NSS) officer in
Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Somaliland and is the main sea port of the country. Berbera is a coastal city and was the former capital of the British Somaliland protectorate be ...

Berbera
in Siad Barre's government, was sworn in as president shortly afterward.Human Rights Watch (Organization), Chris Albin-Lackey, ''Hostages to peace: threats to human rights and democracy in Somaliland'', (Human Rights Watch: 2009), p.13. In 2003, Kahin became the first elected president of Somaliland. The War in Somalia (2006–present), war in southern Somalia between Al-Shabaab (militant group), Islamist insurgents on the one hand, and the Federal Government of Somalia and its African Union allies on the other, has for the most part not directly affected Somaliland, which, like neighbouring
Puntland Puntland ( so, Puntland, ar, أرض البنط, it, Terra di Punt or ''Paese di Punt''), officially the Puntland State of Somalia ( so, Dowladda Federalkaa ee Puntland , ar, ولاية أرض البنط الصومالية), is a States and ...

Puntland
, has remained relatively stable.


2001 constitutional referendum

In August 2000, Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, President Egal's government distributed thousands of copies of the proposed constitution throughout Somaliland for consideration and review by the people. One critical clause of the 130 individual articles of the constitution would ratify Somaliland's self-declared independence and final separation from
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
, restoring the nation's independence for the first time since 1960. In late March 2001, Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, President Egal set the date for the referendum on the Constitution for 31 May 2001. A constitutional referendum was held in Somaliland on 31 May 2001. The referendum was held on a draft Constitution of Somaliland, constitution that affirmed Somaliland's independence from
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
. 99.9% of eligible voters took part in the referendum and 97.1% of them voted in favour of the constitution.


Politics and government


Constitution

The Constitution of Somaliland defines the political system; Republic of Somaliland is a Unitary state and Presidential Republic. based on peace, co-operation, democracy and plurality of political parties.


President and cabinet

The Executive is led by an elected President of Somaliland, president, whose government includes a vice-president and a Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers, who are responsible for the normal running of government, are nominated by the President and approved by the Parliament's House of Representatives. The President must approve bills passed by the Parliament before they come into effect. Presidential elections are confirmed by the National Electoral Commission (Somaliland), National Electoral Commission of Somaliland. The President can serve a maximum of two five-year terms.


Parliament

Legislative power is held by the bicameralism, bicameral Parliament of Somaliland, Parliament. Its upper house is the House of Elders of Somaliland, House of Elders, this chamber is chaired by Suleiman Mohamoud Adan, and the lower house is the House of Representatives of Somaliland, House of Representatives. The lower house is chaired by Abdirisak Khalif. 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 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 if it votes for the law by a two-thirds majority, and has absolute power in financial matters and confirmation of Presidential appointments (except for the Adan Haji Ali, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court).


Law

The judicial system is divided into district courts, (which deal with matters of family law and succession, lawsuits for amounts up to 3 million Somaliland shilling, SLSH, 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), regional appeals courts (which deal with all appeals from the district and regional courts), and the Supreme court, Supreme Court (which deals with issues between courts and in government, and reviews its own decisions), which is the highest court and also functions as the Constitutional Court.d Somaliland nationality law defines who is a Somaliland citizen, as well as the procedures by which one may be naturalised into Somaliland citizenship or renunciation of citizenship, renounce it. The Somaliland government continues to apply the 1962 penal code of the Somali Republic. As such, homosexual acts are illegal in the territory.Itaborahy, Lucas & Zhu, Jingshu. 2014. "A world survey of laws: Criminalisation, protection and recognition of same-sex love". ILGA (report).


Parties and elections

The ''guurti'' worked with rebel leaders to set up a new government, and was incorporated into the governance structure, becoming the Parliament's House of Elders of Somaliland, House of Elders. 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 transitioned to multi-party democracy. The election was limited to three parties, in an attempt to create ideology based elections rather than clan-based elections. As of December 2014, Somaliland has three List of political parties in Somaliland, political parties: the Peace, Unity, and Development Party, the For Justice and Development, Justice and Development Party, and Wadani (political party), Wadani. Under the Somaliland Constitution, a maximum of three political parties at the national level is allowed. The minimum age required to vote is 15. Freedom House ranks the Somaliland government as partly democratic. Seth Kaplan (2011) argues that in contrast to southern Somalia and adjacent territories, Somaliland, the secessionist northwestern portion of Somalia, has built a more democratic mode of governance from the bottom up, with virtually no foreign assistance. Specifically, Kaplan suggests that Somaliland has the most democratic political system in the Horn of Africa because it has been largely insulated from the extremist elements in the rest of Somalia and has viable electoral and legislative systems as well as a robust private sector-dominated economy, unlike neighbouring authoritarian governments. He largely attributes this to Somaliland's integration of customary laws and tradition with modern state structures, which he indicates most post-colonial states in Africa and the Middle East have not had the opportunity to do. Kaplan asserts that this has facilitated cohesiveness and conferred greater governmental legitimacy in Somaliland, as has the territory's comparatively homogeneous population, relatively equitable income distribution, a common fear of the south, and absence of interference by outside forces, which has obliged local politicians to observe a degree of accountability.


Foreign relations

Somaliland has political contacts with its neighbours
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
and
Djibouti Djibouti, ar, جيبوتي ', french: link=no, Djibouti, so, Jabuuti officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country located in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsu ...

Djibouti
, non-UN member state Taiwan, Republic of China (Taiwan), as well as with
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
, Sweden, the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
and the micro-nation of Liberland. On 17 January 2007, the European Union (EU) sent a delegation for foreign affairs to discuss future co-operation. The African Union (AU) has also sent a foreign minister to discuss the future of international acknowledgment, and on 29 and 30 January 2007, the ministers stated that they would discuss acknowledgement with the organisation's member states. In early 2006, the National Assembly of Wales extended an official invitation to the Somaliland government to attend the royal opening of the Senedd building in Cardiff. The move was seen as an act of recognition by the Welsh Assembly of the breakaway government's legitimacy. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office made no comment on the invitation. Wales is home to a significant Somali expatriate community from Somaliland. In 2007, a delegation led by President Kahin was present at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2007, Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kampala, Uganda. Although Somaliland has applied to join the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth under observer status, its application is still pending. On 24 September 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 emphasised that the US would not extend formal recognition to either region. The then-UK Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham (Norfolk MP), Henry Bellingham 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." Recognition of Somaliland by the UK has also been supported by the UK Independence Party, which came 3rd in the popular vote at the 2015 General Election. The leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, met with Ali Aden Awale, Head of the Somaliland UK Mission on Somaliland's national day, 18 May, in 2015, to express UKIP's support for Somaliland. Nigel Farage said that "Somaliland has been a beacon of peace, democracy and the Rule of Law, in the Horn of Africa for the past 24 years. It is about time the UK and the rest of the international community recognised Somaliland's case for recognition. It's about time peace was rewarded. For the UK to turn its back on its legitimate demands for sovereignty, is wrong. It is extraordinary that we have not been lobbying for their admittance to the Commonwealth. In recent years, we have supported the admission of countries such as Mozambique, which have no historic links to Britain, but Somaliland, a former protectorate, is left in the cold. This must change". In 2011, Somaliland and the neighbouring Puntland region each entered a security-related memorandum of understanding with the Seychelles. Following the framework of an earlier agreement signed between the Transitional Federal Government and Seychelles, the memorandum is "for the transfer of convicted persons to prisons in 'Puntland' and 'Somaliland'." On 1 July 2020, Somaliland and Taiwan signed an agreement to set up representative offices to promote cooperation between the two countries. Cooperation between the two polities on education, maritime security, and medicine began in 2009, and Taiwanese staff entered Somaliland in February 2020 to prepare for the representative office.


Border disputes

Somaliland continues to claim the entire area of the former
British Somaliland British Somaliland, officially the British Somaliland Protectorate ( so, Dhulka Maxmiyada Soomaalida ee Biritishka), was a British Empire, British protectorate in present-day Somaliland. For much of its existence, the territory was bordered by ...
. It is currently in control of the vast majority of the former British Somaliland. 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 state, federal Somali state. Somaliland forces took control of the town of Las Qorey in eastern Sanaag on 10 July 2008, along with positions 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, In the late 2000s, HBM-SSC (Hoggaanka Badbaadada iyo Mideynta SSC), a local unionist group based in Sanaag was formed with the goal to establish its own regional administration (Sool, Sanaag and Cayn, or SSC). This later evolved into Khatumo State, which was established in 2012. The local administration and its constituents does not recognise the Somaliland government's claim to sovereignty or to its territory. On 20 October 2017 in Aynabo, an agreement was signed with the Somaliland government which stipulated the amendment of Somaliland's constitution and to integrate the organisation into the Somaliland government. This signalled the end of the organisation even though it was an unpopular event amongst the Dhulbahante community.


Military

The Somaliland Armed Forces are the main military command in Somaliland. Along with the Somaliland Police and all other internal security forces, they are overseen by Somaliland's Ministry of Defence (Somaliland), Ministry of Defence. The current head of Somaliland's Armed Forces is the Minister of Defence, Abdiqani Mohamoud Aateye. Following the declaration of independence, various pre-existing militia affiliated with different clans were absorbed into a centralised military structure. The resultant large military takes up around half of the country's budget, but the action served to help prevent inter-clan violence. The Somaliland Army consists of twelve divisions equipped primarily with light weaponry, though it is equipped with some howitzers and mobile rocket launchers. Its armoured vehicles and tanks are mostly of Soviet design, though there are some ageing Western vehicles and tanks in its arsenal. The Somaliland Navy (often referred to as a Coast Guard by the Associated Press), despite a crippling lack of equipment and formal training, has apparently had some success at curbing both piracy and illegal fishing within Somaliland waters.


Human rights


Administrative divisions

The Republic of Somaliland is divided into six administrative regions: Awdal, Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil, Maroodi Jeex, Maroodi Jeeh, Togdheer, Sanaag and Sool, Somaliland, Sool. The regions are divided into eighteen administrative districts.


Regions and districts

The following regions are taken from ''Michael Walls: State Formation in Somaliland: Bringing Deliberation to Institutionalism'' from 2011, ''Somaliland: The Strains of Success'' from 2015 and ActionAID, a humanitarian organization currently active in Somaliland.State Formation in Somaliland: Bringing Deliberation to Institutionalism. Michael Walls, Planning Unit, UCL February 2011
/ref> In 2019, the local government law passed in 2019 (Lr. 23/2019, hereinafter referred to as the 2019 local government law), regions that "Somaliland is divided into six regions (Article 9 of the same law)". The 2019 Local Government Act came into force on January 4, 2020.


Geography


Location and habitat

Somaliland is situated in the northwest of recognised Somalia. It lies between 08°N and 11°30'N, and between 42°30'E and 49°00'E. It is bordered by
Djibouti Djibouti, ar, جيبوتي ', french: link=no, Djibouti, so, Jabuuti officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country located in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsu ...

Djibouti
to the west,
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
to the south, and
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
to the east. Somaliland has a coastline with the majority lying along the
Gulf of Aden The Gulf of Aden ( ar, خليج عدن, so, Gacanka Cadmeed 𐒅𐒖𐒐𐒕𐒌 𐒋𐒖𐒆𐒗𐒒) also known as the ''Gulf of Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Soma ...

Gulf of Aden
. In terms of landmass, Somaliland has an area of . 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 above sea level. The Awdal, Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil and Maroodi Jeex regions are fertile and mountainous, while Togdheer is mostly Semi-arid, semi-desert with little fertile greenery around. The Awdal region is also known for its offshore islands, coral reefs and mangroves. A scrub-covered, semi-desert plain referred as the ''Guban'' lies parallel to the Gulf of Aden littoral. With a width of in the west to as little as in the east, the plain is bisected by watercourses that are essentially beds of dry sand except during the rainy seasons. When the rains arrive, the Guban's low bushes and grass clumps transform into lush vegetation.Hadden, Robert Lee. 2007
"The Geology of Somalia: A Selected Bibliography of Somalian Geology, Geography and Earth Science."
Engineer Research and Development Laboratories, Topographic Engineering Center
This coastal strip is part of the Ethiopian xeric grasslands and shrublands ecoregion. Cal Madow is a mountain range in the eastern part of the country. Extending from the northwest of Erigavo to several kilometres west of the city of Bosaso in neighbouring Somalia, it features Somaliland's highest Summit (topography), peak, Shimbiris, which sits at an elevation of about . The rugged east–west ranges of the Karkaar Mountains also lie to the interior of the Gulf of Aden littoral. In the central regions, the northern mountain ranges give way to shallow plateaus and typically dry watercourses that are referred to locally as the ''Ogo Mountains, Ogo''. The Ogo's western plateau, in turn, gradually merges into the Haud, an important grazing area for livestock. File:Lamadayawaterfalls6.jpg, upLamadaya are waterfalls located in the Cal Madow mountain. File:Somalia (Somaliland)(168).jpg, upThe Somaliland countryside. File:Almadow Overview.JPG, upView of the Cal Madow Mountains, home to numerous endemic species. File:Somaliland (6936771853) (2).jpg,
Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Somaliland and is the main sea port of the country. Berbera is a coastal city and was the former capital of the British Somaliland protectorate be ...

Berbera
beach. File:Ceebaad island, Zeila Archipelago, Somaliland.jpg, Aibat, Aibat island, Zeila Archipelago.


Climate

Somaliland is located north of the equator. It is semi-arid. The average daily temperatures range from . The sun passes vertically overhead twice a year, on 22 March and 23 September. Somaliland consists of three main topographic zones: a coastal plain (Guban), the coastal range (Oogo), and a plateau (Hawd). The coastal plain is a zone with high temperatures and low rainfall. Summer temperatures in the region easily average over . However, temperatures come down during the winter, and both human and livestock populations increase dramatically in the region. The coastal range (Ogo) is a high plateau to the immediate south of Guban. Its elevation ranges from above sea level in the West to in the East. Rainfall is heavier there than in Guban, although it varies considerably within the zone. The plateau (Hawd) region lies to the south of Ogo range. It is generally more heavily populated during the wet season, when surface water is available. It is also an important area for grazing. Somalilanders recognize four seasons in the year; GU and Hagaa comprise spring and summer in that order, and Dayr and Jiilaal correspond to autumn and winter respectively. The average annual rainfall is in some parts of country according to availability of rain gauge, and most of it comes during Gu and Dayr. Gu, which is the first, or major, rainy season (late March, April, May, and early June), is where Ogo range and Hawd experience the heaviest rainfall. This constitutes the period of fresh grazing and abundant surface water. It is also the breeding season for livestock. Hagaa (from late June through August) is usually dry although there are often some scattered showers in the Ogo range, these are known as Karan rains. Hagaa tends to be hot and windy in most parts of the country. Dayr (September, October, and early November), which roughly corresponds to autumn, is the second, or minor, wet season; the amount of precipitation is generally less than that of Gu. Jilaal, or winter, falls in the coolest and driest months of the year (from late November to early March). It is a season of thirst. Hawd receive virtually no rainfall in winter. The rainfall in the Guban zone, known as "Hays", comes from December to February. The humidity of the country varies from 63% in the dry season to 82% in the wet season.


Wildlife


Economy

Somaliland has the fourth lowest GDP in the world, and there are huge socio-economic challenges for Somaliland, with an unemployment rate between 60 and 70% among youth, if not higher. According to ILO, illiteracy exists up to 70% in several areas of Somaliland, especially among females and the elder population. Since Somaliland is unrecognised, international 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, which contribute immensely to Somaliland's economy.Daniel Harris with Marta Foresti 2011
Somaliland's progress on governance: A case of blending the old and the new
. London: Overseas Development Institute
Remittances come to Somaliland through Informal value transfer system, money transfer companies, the largest of which is Dahabshiil, one of the few Somali money transfer companies that conform to modern money-transfer regulations. The World Bank estimates that remittances worth approximately US$1 billion reach Somalia annually from émigrés working in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Gulf states, Europe and the United States. Analysts say that Dahabshiil may handle around two-thirds of that figure and as much as half of it reaches Somaliland alone. Since the late 1990s, service provisions have significantly improved through limited government provisions 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 key public service provisions such as water in Hargeisa and education, electricity, and security in Berbera. In 2009, the Banque pour le Commerce et l'Industrie – Mer Rouge (BCIMR), based in
Djibouti Djibouti, ar, جيبوتي ', french: link=no, Djibouti, so, Jabuuti officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country located in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsu ...

Djibouti
, opened a branch in
Hargeisa Hargeisa (; so, Hargeysa, ar, هرجيسا) is the capital and largest city of Somaliland. It is located in the Maroodi Jeex region of the Horn of Africa. It succeeded Berbera as the capital of the British Somaliland Protectorate in 1941. The ...

Hargeisa
and became the first bank in the country since the 1990 collapse of the Central Bank of Somalia, Commercial and Savings Bank of Somalia. In 2014, Dahabshil Bank International became the country's first commercial bank. In 2017 Premier Bank from Mogadishu opened a branch in Hargeisa.


Monetary and payment system

The Somaliland shilling, which cannot easily be exchanged outside Somaliland on account of the nation's lack of recognition, is regulated by the Bank of Somaliland, the central bank, which was established constitutionally in 1994. The most popular and used in the country is the ZAAD service which is a mobile money transfer service that was launched in Somaliland in 2009 by the largest mobile operator Telesom.


Telecommunications

Telecommunications companies serving Somaliland include Telesom, Telesom also offers among the cheapest international calling rates at US$0.2 less than its nearest competitor. Somtel, Telcom (Somalia), Telcom and NationLink Telecom, NationLink. The state-run Somaliland National TV is the main national public service television channel. Which was launched in 2005. Its radio counterpart is Radio Hargeisa.


Agriculture

Livestock is the backbone of Somaliland's economy. Sheep, camels, and cattle are shipped from the Port of Berbera, Berbera port and sent to Gulf Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia. The country is home to some of the largest livestock markets, known in Somali as ''seylad'', in the
Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula of East Africa.Robert Stock, ''Africa South of the Sahara, Second Edition: A Geographical Interpretation'', (The Guilford Press; 2004), p. 26 Located on the ea ...

Horn of Africa
, with as many as 10,000 heads of sheep and goats sold daily in the markets of
Burao Burao, also spelt Bur'o or Bur'ao (; so, Burco, , ar, برعو) is the capital of the Togdheer region and the second largest city in Somaliland. Burao was the site of the Somaliland Declaration of Independence, declaration of an independent Som ...

Burao
and Yirowe, many of whom shipped to Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Gulf states via the Port of Berbera, port of
Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Somaliland and is the main sea port of the country. Berbera is a coastal city and was the former capital of the British Somaliland protectorate be ...

Berbera
. The markets handle livestock from all over the Horn of Africa. Agriculture is generally considered to be a potentially successful industry, especially in the production of cereals and horticulture. Mining also has potential, though simple quarrying represents the extent of current operations, despite the presence of diverse quantities of mineral deposits.


Tourism

The
rock art In archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to g ...
and caves at
Laas Geel Laas Geel ( so, Laas Geel), also spelled Laas Gaal, are cave formations on the rural outskirts of Hargeisa, Somaliland Somaliland ( so, Somaliland; ar, صوماليلاند ', '), officially the Republic of Somaliland ( so, Jamhuuriya ...

Laas Geel
, situated on the outskirts of
Hargeisa Hargeisa (; so, Hargeysa, ar, هرجيسا) is the capital and largest city of Somaliland. It is located in the Maroodi Jeex region of the Horn of Africa. It succeeded Berbera as the capital of the British Somaliland Protectorate in 1941. The ...

Hargeisa
, are a popular local tourist attraction. Totaling ten caves, they were discovered by a French people, French archaeological team in 2002 and are believed to date back around 5,000 years. The government and locals keep the
cave painting Cave paintings are a type of parietal art In archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthrop ...

cave painting
s safe and only a restricted number of tourists are allowed entry. Other notable sights include the Freedom Arch in Hargeisa and the Hargeisa War Memorial, War Memorial in the city centre. Natural attractions are very common around the region. The Naasa Hablood 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 is located near Berbera and is home to old British colonial buildings that have remained untouched for over forty years.
Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Somaliland and is the main sea port of the country. Berbera is a coastal city and was the former capital of the British Somaliland protectorate be ...

Berbera
also houses historic and impressive Ottoman architecture, Ottoman architectural buildings. Another equally famous historic city is
Zeila Zeila ( so, Saylac, ar, زيلع, Zayla), also known as Zaila or Zayla, is a historical port town in the western Awdal Awdal ( so, Awdal, ar, أودَل) is a region in Somaliland. It was separated from Woqooyi Galbeed and became a province i ...
. Zeila was once part of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
, a dependency of Yemen and
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
and a major trade city during the 19th century. The city has been visited for its old colonial landmarks, offshore mangroves and coral reefs, 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 (; so, Hargeysa, ar, هرجيسا) is the capital and largest city of Somaliland. It is located in the Maroodi Jeex region of the Horn of Africa. It succeeded Berbera as the capital of the British Somaliland Protectorate in 1941. The ...

Hargeisa
,
Burao Burao, also spelt Bur'o or Bur'ao (; so, Burco, , ar, برعو) is the capital of the Togdheer region and the second largest city in Somaliland. Burao was the site of the Somaliland Declaration of Independence, declaration of an independent Som ...

Burao
, Gabiley,
Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Somaliland and is the main sea port of the country. Berbera is a coastal city and was the former capital of the British Somaliland protectorate be ...

Berbera
and Borama. There are also road transportation services between the major towns and adjacent villages, which are operated by different types of vehicles. Among these are taxis, four-wheel drives, minibuses and light goods vehicles (LGV). The most prominent airlines serving Somaliland is Daallo Airlines, a Somali-owned private carrier with regular international flights that emerged after Somali Airlines ceased operations. African Express Airways and Ethiopian Airlines also fly from airports in Somaliland to Djibouti (city), Djibouti City, Addis Ababa, Dubai and Jeddah, and offer flights for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages via the Egal International Airport in Hargeisa. Other major airports in the region include the Berbera Airport.


Ports

In June 2016, the Somaliland government signed an agreement with DP World to manage the strategic port of
Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Somaliland and is the main sea port of the country. Berbera is a coastal city and was the former capital of the British Somaliland protectorate be ...

Berbera
with the aim of enhancing productive capacity and acting as an alternative port for landlocked Ethiopia.


Oil exploration

In August 2012, the Somaliland government awarded Genel Energy a license to explore oil within its territory. Results of a surface seep study completed early in 2015 confirmed the outstanding potential offered in the SL-10B, SL-13, and Oodweyne blocks, with estimated oil reserves of 1 billion barrel each. Genel Energy is set to drill an exploration well for SL-10B and SL-13 block in Buur-Dhaab, 20 kilometers northwest of Aynaba by the end of 2018. In December 2021, Genel Energy signed a farm-out deal with OPIC Somaliland Corporation, backed by Taiwan’s CPC Corporation, on the SL10B/13 block neary Aynaba. According to Genel, the block could contain more than 5 billion barrels of prospective resources.


Demographics

Somaliland's population was estimated at approximately 5.7 million in 2021. 52.9% of this population was estimated to be urban, 33.8% nomadic, 11% rural, and 2.4% were internally displaced persons. An estimated 80% of the population belong to the
Isaaq The Isaaq (also Isaq, Ishaak, Isaac) ( so, Reer Sheekh Isxaaq, ar, بني إسحاق, Banī Isḥāq) is a Somali clan. It is one of the major Somali clans in the Horn of Africa, with a large and densely populated traditional territory. Perry ...
clan-family, with the remaining 20% belonging to the
Dir Dir, dir, or DIR may refer to: Acronyms * ''De Imperatoribus Romanis'', an online biographical encyclopedia of the Roman emperors from 27 BC to 1453 AD * Detroit International Riverfront, an area of Detroit, Michigan in the United States * Develop ...
,
Darod The Darod ( so, Daarood, ar, دارود) is a Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the H ...
, Madhiban, Gaboye, and other minority groups.


Ethnic groups

The
Gadabuursi The Gadabuursi (Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered ...
subclan of the
Dir Dir, dir, or DIR may refer to: Acronyms * ''De Imperatoribus Romanis'', an online biographical encyclopedia of the Roman emperors from 27 BC to 1453 AD * Detroit International Riverfront, an area of Detroit, Michigan in the United States * Develop ...
are the predominant clan of the Awdal region,Samatar, Abdi I. (2001) "Somali Reconstruction and Local Initiative: Amoud University," , p. 132. where there is also a sizeable minority of the Issa subclan of the
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who mainly inhabit the Zeila District, Zeila district. The
Habr Awal The Habr Awal ( so, Habar Awal, ar, هبر أول, Full Name: Abd al-Raḥmān ibn ash-Shaykh Isḥāq ibn Aḥmad)''; is a major clan of the wider Isaaq clan family, and is further divided into eight sub-clans of whom the two largest and mo ...
subclan of the
Isaaq The Isaaq (also Isaq, Ishaak, Isaac) ( so, Reer Sheekh Isxaaq, ar, بني إسحاق, Banī Isḥāq) is a Somali clan. It is one of the major Somali clans in the Horn of Africa, with a large and densely populated traditional territory. Perry ...
form the majority of the population living in both the northern and western portions of the Maroodi Jeex region, including the cities and towns of northern
Hargeisa Hargeisa (; so, Hargeysa, ar, هرجيسا) is the capital and largest city of Somaliland. It is located in the Maroodi Jeex region of the Horn of Africa. It succeeded Berbera as the capital of the British Somaliland Protectorate in 1941. The ...

Hargeisa
,
Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Somaliland and is the main sea port of the country. Berbera is a coastal city and was the former capital of the British Somaliland protectorate be ...

Berbera
, Gabiley, Da'ar buduq, Madheera, Wajaale, Arabsiyo,
Bulhar Bulhar ( so, Bulaxaar) is a historic port in the Sahil region of Somaliland Somaliland ( so, Somaliland; ar, صوماليلاند ', '), officially the Republic of Somaliland ( so, Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliland, ar, جمهورية صو ...
and Kalabaydh. The
Habr Awal The Habr Awal ( so, Habar Awal, ar, هبر أول, Full Name: Abd al-Raḥmān ibn ash-Shaykh Isḥāq ibn Aḥmad)''; is a major clan of the wider Isaaq clan family, and is further divided into eight sub-clans of whom the two largest and mo ...
also have a strong presence in the Sahil, Somaliland, Saaxil region as well, principally around the city of
Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Somaliland and is the main sea port of the country. Berbera is a coastal city and was the former capital of the British Somaliland protectorate be ...

Berbera
and the town of Sheikh, Somalia, Sheikh. The Arap subclan of the
Isaaq The Isaaq (also Isaq, Ishaak, Isaac) ( so, Reer Sheekh Isxaaq, ar, بني إسحاق, Banī Isḥāq) is a Somali clan. It is one of the major Somali clans in the Horn of Africa, with a large and densely populated traditional territory. Perry ...
predominantly live in the southern portionof the Maroodi Jeex region including the capital city of
Hargeisa Hargeisa (; so, Hargeysa, ar, هرجيسا) is the capital and largest city of Somaliland. It is located in the Maroodi Jeex region of the Horn of Africa. It succeeded Berbera as the capital of the British Somaliland Protectorate in 1941. The ...

Hargeisa
. Additionally, they form the majority of communities living in the Hawd Region, Hawd region including Baligubadle. The Arap are also well represented in Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil and Togdheer regions. The
Garhajis The Garhajis ( so, Garxajis, ar, غرحجس , Full Name: ''Al-Qādhī Ismā'īl ibn ash-Shaykh Isḥāq ibn Aḥmad'') historically known as the Habar Gerhajis () is a major clan of the wider Isaaq clan family. They are the traditional holders ...
subclan of the
Isaaq The Isaaq (also Isaq, Ishaak, Isaac) ( so, Reer Sheekh Isxaaq, ar, بني إسحاق, Banī Isḥāq) is a Somali clan. It is one of the major Somali clans in the Horn of Africa, with a large and densely populated traditional territory. Perry ...
have a sizable presence among the population inhabiting the southern and eastern portions of Maroodi Jeex region including Southern
Hargeisa Hargeisa (; so, Hargeysa, ar, هرجيسا) is the capital and largest city of Somaliland. It is located in the Maroodi Jeex region of the Horn of Africa. It succeeded Berbera as the capital of the British Somaliland Protectorate in 1941. The ...

Hargeisa
and Salahlay. The
Garhajis The Garhajis ( so, Garxajis, ar, غرحجس , Full Name: ''Al-Qādhī Ismā'īl ibn ash-Shaykh Isḥāq ibn Aḥmad'') historically known as the Habar Gerhajis () is a major clan of the wider Isaaq clan family. They are the traditional holders ...
are also represented well in western Togdheer region, mainly in Oodweyne and
Burao Burao, also spelt Bur'o or Bur'ao (; so, Burco, , ar, برعو) is the capital of the Togdheer region and the second largest city in Somaliland. Burao was the site of the Somaliland Declaration of Independence, declaration of an independent Som ...

Burao
, as well as Sheikh, Somaliland, Sheekh and
Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Somaliland and is the main sea port of the country. Berbera is a coastal city and was the former capital of the British Somaliland protectorate be ...

Berbera
in Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region. The
Garhajis The Garhajis ( so, Garxajis, ar, غرحجس , Full Name: ''Al-Qādhī Ismā'īl ibn ash-Shaykh Isḥāq ibn Aḥmad'') historically known as the Habar Gerhajis () is a major clan of the wider Isaaq clan family. They are the traditional holders ...
also have a significant presence in the western and central areas of Sanaag region as well, including the regional capital Erigavo as well as Maydh. The
Habr Je'lo The Habr Je’lo, historically known as the Habr Toljaala ( so, Habar Jeclo, ar, هبر جعلو , Full Name: ''Mūsa ibn ash-Shaykh Isḥāq ibn Aḥmad'') is a major clan of the wider Isaaq clan family. The Habr Je'lo played a prominent role ...
subclan of the
Isaaq The Isaaq (also Isaq, Ishaak, Isaac) ( so, Reer Sheekh Isxaaq, ar, بني إسحاق, Banī Isḥāq) is a Somali clan. It is one of the major Somali clans in the Horn of Africa, with a large and densely populated traditional territory. Perry ...
have a large presence in the western and northern parts of Sool, Somalia, Sool, eastern Togdheer region and western Sanaag as well, The
Habr Je'lo The Habr Je’lo, historically known as the Habr Toljaala ( so, Habar Jeclo, ar, هبر جعلو , Full Name: ''Mūsa ibn ash-Shaykh Isḥāq ibn Aḥmad'') is a major clan of the wider Isaaq clan family. The Habr Je'lo played a prominent role ...
form a majority of the population living in
Burao Burao, also spelt Bur'o or Bur'ao (; so, Burco, , ar, برعو) is the capital of the Togdheer region and the second largest city in Somaliland. Burao was the site of the Somaliland Declaration of Independence, declaration of an independent Som ...

Burao
as well as in the Togdheer region, western Sanaag, including the towns of Garadag, Xiis and Ceel Afweyn and the Aynabo District, Aynabo district in Sool, Somalia, Sool. The clan also has a significant presence in the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region, particularly in the towns of Karin and . Eastern Sool, Somalia, Sool region's residents mainly hail from the Dhulbahante, a subdivision of the Harti (Darod), Harti confederation of
Darod The Darod ( so, Daarood, ar, دارود) is a Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the H ...
sub-clans, and are concentrated at Las Anod. The Dhulbahante clans also settle in the Buuhoodle District in the Togdheer region, and the southern and eastern parts of Erigavo District in Sanaag. The
Warsangali The Warsangali ( so, Warsangeli, ar, قبيلة ورسنجلي) is a major Somali sub clan, part of the Harti clan which itself belongs to the largest Somali clan-family — the Darod. In the Somali language Somali Retrieved on 21 September ...
, another Harti Darod sub-clan, constitute a large number of residents in the eastern Sanaag, and their population is mainly concentrated around Las Khorey, Las Qorey.


Languages

Many people in Somaliland speak two of the three official languages:
Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, D ...
, Arabic language, Arabic and English language, English, although the rate of bilingualism is lower in rural areas. 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 mosques around the region and English language, English is spoken and taught in schools. English was proclaimed an official language later, outside the constitution. The Somali language is the mother tongue of the Somali people, the nation's most populous ethnic group. It is a member of the Cushitic languages, Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic languages, Afro-Asiatic language family, and its nearest relatives are the Oromo language, Oromo, Afar language, Afar and Saho language, Saho languages.I. M. Lewis (1998) ''Peoples of the Horn of Africa: Somali, Afar and Saho'', Red Sea Press, p. 11, . Somali is the best documented of the Cushitic languages,. with academic studies of it dating from before 1900. Northern Somali is the main dialect spoken in the country, in contrast to Benadiri Somali which is the main dialect spoken in Somalia.


Religion

With few exceptions, Somalis in Somaliland and elsewhere are Muslims, the majority belonging to the Sunni Islam, Sunni branch of Islam and the Shafi'i school of Islamic jurisprudence.Mohamed Diriye Abdullahi, ''Culture and Customs of Somalia'', (Greenwood Press: 2001), p.1 As with southern Somali coastal towns such as
Mogadishu Mogadishu (, also ; so, Muqdisho or Xamar ; ar, مقديشو, Muqadīshū ; it, Mogadiscio ), locally known as Xamar or Hamar, is the capital city and most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city ...

Mogadishu
and Merca, there is also a presence of Sufi Islam, Sufism, Islamic mysticism; particularly the Arab Rifa'iya Tariqa, tariiqa.I. M. Lewis, ''Saints and Somalis: popular Islam in a clan-based society'', (The Red Sea Press: 1998), p.11. Through the influence of the diaspora from Yemen and the Gulf Cooperation Council, Gulf states, stricter Wahhabism also has a noticeable presence. Though traces of pre-Islamic traditional religion exist in Somaliland, Islam is dominant to the Somali sense of national identity. Many of the Somali social norms come from their religion. For example, most Somali women wear a hijab when they are in public. In addition, religious Somalis abstain from pork and alcohol (drug), alcohol, and also try to avoid receiving or paying any form of interest (usury). Muslims generally congregate on Friday afternoons for a sermon and group prayer. Under the Constitution of Somaliland, Islam is the state religion, and no laws may violate the principles of
Sharia Sharia (; ar, شريعة, sharīʿa ) is a religious law Religious law includes ethical Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action ...
. The promotion of any religion other than Islam is illegal, and the state promotes Islamic tenets and discourages behaviour contrary to "Islamic morals". Somaliland has very few Christians. In 1913, during the early part of the colonial era, there were virtually no Christians in the Somali territories, with about 100–200 followers coming from the schools and orphanages of the handful of Catholicism, Catholic missions in the British Somaliland protectorate.Charles George Herbermann, ''The Catholic encyclopedia: an international work of reference on the constitution, doctrine, discipline, and history of the Catholic church'', Volume 14, (Robert Appleton company: 1913), p.139. The small number of Christians in the region today mostly come from similar Catholic institutions in
Aden Aden ( , ; ar, عدن ' Yemeni Arabic, Yemeni: ) is a city, and since 2015, the temporary capital of Yemen, near the eastern approach to the Red Sea (the Gulf of Aden), some east of the strait Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately ...

Aden
,
Djibouti Djibouti, ar, جيبوتي ', french: link=no, Djibouti, so, Jabuuti officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country located in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsu ...

Djibouti
, and
Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Somaliland and is the main sea port of the country. Berbera is a coastal city and was the former capital of the British Somaliland protectorate be ...

Berbera
. Somaliland falls within the Episcopal Area of the Horn of Africa as part of Somalia, under the Anglican Diocese of Egypt. However, there are no current congregations in the territory.Webpage o
the Episcopal Area of the Horn of Africa
/ref> The Roman Catholic Diocese of Mogadiscio is designated to serve the area as part of Somalia. However, since 1990 there has been no Bishop of Mogadishu, and the Bishop of Djibouti acts as Apostolic Administrator. The Adventist Mission also indicates that there are no Adventist members.


Health

While 40.5% of households in Somaliland have access to improved water sources, almost a third of households lie at least an hour away from their primary source of drinking water. 1 in 11 children die before their first birthday, and 1 in 9 die before their fifth birthday. The UNICEF multiple indicator cluster survey (MICS) in 2006 found that 94.8% of women in Somaliland had undergone some form of female genital mutilation; in 2018 the Somaliland government issued a fatwa condemning the two most severe forms of FGM, but no laws are present to punish those responsible for the practice.


Education


Culture

Somaliland has a population of approximately 5.7 million residents as of 2021. The largest clan family in Somaliland is the
Isaaq The Isaaq (also Isaq, Ishaak, Isaac) ( so, Reer Sheekh Isxaaq, ar, بني إسحاق, Banī Isḥāq) is a Somali clan. It is one of the major Somali clans in the Horn of Africa, with a large and densely populated traditional territory. Perry ...
, making up 80% of the total population. The populations of the five largest cities in Somaliland –
Hargeisa Hargeisa (; so, Hargeysa, ar, هرجيسا) is the capital and largest city of Somaliland. It is located in the Maroodi Jeex region of the Horn of Africa. It succeeded Berbera as the capital of the British Somaliland Protectorate in 1941. The ...

Hargeisa
,
Burao Burao, also spelt Bur'o or Bur'ao (; so, Burco, , ar, برعو) is the capital of the Togdheer region and the second largest city in Somaliland. Burao was the site of the Somaliland Declaration of Independence, declaration of an independent Som ...

Burao
,
Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Somaliland and is the main sea port of the country. Berbera is a coastal city and was the former capital of the British Somaliland protectorate be ...

Berbera
, Erigavo and Gabiley – are predominantly Isaaq. Of the minority clans, the
Gadabuursi The Gadabuursi (Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered ...
of the Dir clan comes second by population, and thirdly the Harti of the
Darod The Darod ( so, Daarood, ar, دارود) is a Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the H ...
clan. The clan groupings of the Somali people are important social units, and have a central role in Somali culture and politics. Clans are Patrilineality, patrilineal and are often divided into sub-clans, sometimes with many sub-divisions. Somali society is traditionally ethnically endogamy, endogamous. To extend ties of alliance, marriage is often to another Ethnic Somalis, ethnic Somali from a different clan. Thus, for example, a 1994 study observed that in 89 marriages contracted by men of the Dhulbahante clan, 55 (62%) were with women of Dhulbahante sub-clans other than those of their husbands; 30 (33.7%) were with women of surrounding clans of other clan families (
Isaaq The Isaaq (also Isaq, Ishaak, Isaac) ( so, Reer Sheekh Isxaaq, ar, بني إسحاق, Banī Isḥāq) is a Somali clan. It is one of the major Somali clans in the Horn of Africa, with a large and densely populated traditional territory. Perry ...
, 28; Hawiye, 3); and 3 (4.3%) were with women of other clans of the
Darod The Darod ( so, Daarood, ar, دارود) is a Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the H ...
clan family (Majerteen 2, Ogaden (clan), Ogaden 1).Ioan M. Lewis, ''Blood and Bone: The Call of Kinship in Somali Society'', (Red Sea Press: 1994), p.51


Cuisine

It is considered polite to leave a little bit of food on the plate after finishing a meal at another's home. This tells the host that one has been given enough food. If plates are picked clean it is an indication that guests are still hungry. Most Somalis do not take this rule so seriously, but it is certainly not impolite to leave a few bits of food on one's plate. Somali breakfast typically includes a flatbread called lahoh (injera), as well as Liver (food), liver, toast, harakoo, cereal, and porridge made of millet or cornmeal. Lunch can be a mixture of rice or pasta with meat and sauce. Also consumed during lunchtime is a traditional soup referred to as ''Stew, maraq'', which is also part of Yemeni cuisine. Maraq is made of vegetables, meat and beans and is usually eaten with flatbread or pita bread. Later in the day, a lighter meal is served that includes beans, ful medames, muffo (patties made of oats or corn), or a salad with more lahoh/injera.


Arts

Islam and poetry 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 the Somali language as metaphors. Almost all Somalis are Sunni Muslims and Islam is vitally important to the Somali sense of national identity. Most Somalis do not belong to a specific mosque or sect and can pray in any mosque they find. Celebrations come in the form of religious festivities. Two of the most important are Eid ul-Adha and Eid ul-Fitr, 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 British Somaliland's independence and the Somaliland region's establishment, respectively; the latter, however, is not recognised by the international community. In the 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 (''haamo''; the most decorative jugs are made in Ceerigaabo) as well as wooden headrests. Traditional dance is also important, though mainly as a form of courtship among young people. One such dance known as ''Ciyaar Soomaali'' is a local favourite. An important form of art in Somali culture is henna art. The custom of applying henna dates back to antiquity. 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 festive celebrations like Muslim holidays, Eid or weddings. The henna designs vary from very simple to highly intricate. Somali designs vary, with some more modern and simple while others are traditional and intricate. Traditionally, only women apply it as body art, as it is considered a feminine custom. Henna is not only applied on the hands and feet but is also used as a dye. Somali men and women alike use henna as a dye to change their hair colour. Women are free to apply henna on their hair as most of the time they are wearing a hijab.


Sports

The most popular sport in Somaliland is association football.


See also

* Index of Somaliland-related articles * List of Somalilanders * Outline of Somaliland * Telecommunications in Somaliland


References


Bibliography


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.

"As Somalia Struggles, Can Neighboring Somaliland Become East Africa's Next Big Commercial Hub?"
''International Business Times''. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2019. * * Bradbury, Mark, ''Becoming Somaliland'' (James Currey, 2008) * Michael Schoiswohl: ''Status and (Human Rights) Obligations of Non-Recognized'' De Facto ''Regimes in International Law: The Case of 'Somaliland (Martinus Nijhoff, Leiden 2004), *


External links

* * *
Somaliland official website

Somaliland BBC Country Profile


{{Authority control Somaliland, Arabic-speaking countries and territories East African countries English-speaking countries and territories Former British protectorates Countries in Africa Geography of Somaliland Horn African countries Separatism in Somalia States and territories established in 1991 Unrecognized or largely unrecognized states Members of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization 1991 establishments in Africa Somali-speaking countries and territories Least developed countries Separatism in Africa Culture of Somaliland Republics Africa