Home | Contact us | Links | Archives | Search

Regions and territories: Somaliland

Issue 327
Front Page

Food Crisis Worsened By Government’s Decision To Raise Fuel Prices By 43% And Port Service Charges By 25%

Somaliland: New Report Shows Successes & Trials

Draft UN Resolution Calls For UN Political Office In Somalia, Planning For Peacekeeping Force

Somalia/Ethiopia: Deliberate killing of civilians is a war crime

Coleman Tells Somali President Reconciliation Is Key

'They Risk Everything To Escape'

Declining Dollar Hurts Remittance Recipients Abroad

Let Somaliland Be An Independent Country, Int'l Think Tanks Say

France, US Working On UN Draft To Combat Piracy In Somalia

Regional Affairs

Ethiopia Denies Amnesty Mosque Killings Accusation

Somalian Government To Meet Opposition In Djibouti On May 10

No Talk Of Money Yet With Somali Pirates, Spain Says - Summary

Special Report

International News

Bush Presses Congress on Economy

Pope appeals for peace in Somalia, Darfur, Burundi

Famed 'Black Hawk Down' pilot works to help others


Birth In A Nation: African Hospital Founder Describes Conditions

Bin Laden Tycoon Aims To Build Arab-Africa Sea Bridge

Somaliland's 'Path To Recognition'

Boy Or Girl? The Answer May Depend On Mom’s Eating Habits

Separatist Movements - Should Nations Have A Right To Self-Determination?

Regions and territories: Somaliland

Looking At US from "Out There"

Food for thought


Luga Yare Del Somal

All Current Somaliland Ills Squarely Rest On The Shoulders Of Its Inept MPs

Where Ali Delivered Others Failed

Wearisome Time For The Emerging Nation Of Somaliland

Hargeisa Airport! The gate to contemptuous corrupted entity

Qassim Sh. Yussuf Ibrahim, Somaliland Minister of Water and Mineral met Somaliland community in Dallas

Map of Somaliland

A breakaway, semi-desert territory on the coast of the Gulf of Aden, Somaliland declared independence after the overthrow of Somali military dictator Siyad Barre in 1991.

The move followed a secessionist struggle during which Siyad Barre's forces pursued rebel guerrillas in the territory. Tens of thousands of people were killed and towns were flattened.


Though not internationally recognized, Somaliland has a working political system, government institutions, a police force and its own currency. The territory has lobbied hard to win support for its claim to be a sovereign state.

Men herding goats and sheep in Hargeisa

Livestock rearing is a key economic activity

The former British protectorate has also escaped much of the chaos and violence that plague Somalia, although attacks on Western aid workers in 2003 raised fears that Islamic militants in the territory were targeting foreigners.

Although there is a thriving private business sector, poverty and unemployment are widespread. The economy is highly dependent on money sent home by members of the diaspora. Duties from Berbera, a port used by landlocked Ethiopia, and livestock exports are important sources of revenue.

The latter have been hit by embargoes on exports, imposed by some Gulf countries to inhibit the spread of Rift Valley Fever.

Somaliland is in dispute with the neighboring autonomous Somali region of Puntland over the Sanaag and Sool areas, some of whose inhabitants owe their allegiance to Puntland.

Monument to those who fought in Somaliland secessionist war, Hargeisa

A monument commemorates those who fought for secession

Somaliland's leaders have distanced themselves from Somalia's central transitional government, set up in 2004 following long-running talks in Kenya, which they see as a threat to Somaliland's autonomy.

Somaliland was independent for a few days in 1960, between the end of British colonial rule and its union with the former Italian colony of Somalia. More than 40 years later voters in the territory overwhelmingly backed its self-declared independence in a 2001 referendum.


  • Territory: Somaliland
  • Status: Self-declared republic. Not recognized internationally.
  • Population: 3.5 million ( Somaliland government estimate)
  • Capital: Hargeysa
  • Major languages: Somali, Arabic, English
  • Major religion: Islam
  • Life expectancy: n/a
  • Monetary unit: Somaliland shilling
  • Main exports: Livestock
  • GNI per capita: n/a
  • Internet domain: n/a
  • International dialing code: +252


President: Dahir Riyale Kahin

Incumbent leader Dahir Riyale Kahin, from the ruling Unity of Democrats (UDUB) party, won Somaliland's first multi-party presidential elections in April 2003 with a slim majority.

Somaliland President Dahir Riyale Kahin

Dahir Riyale Kahin - pressing for world's recognition of Somaliland

He was appointed in 2002 by Somaliland's council of elders, following the death of his predecessor Mohamed Ibrahim Egal.

On taking office he said his priorities would be to ensure the territory's continued security and to press for international recognition for its independence.

Voters went to the polls in September 2005 to elect a new parliament; MPs had hitherto been chosen by clans through a process of consultation. Somaliland's leaders saw the election as the culmination of a democratic process which, they hoped, would better the chances of international recognition.


Since 1991, Radio Hargeysa has been the Somaliland government's official mouthpiece. The government also owns Somaliland National Television (SLNTV).

The authorities maintain a tight hold on broadcasting. Radio is the most accessible form of media, although Radio Hargeysa is the only permitted domestic outlet. The BBC is available in Hargeysa on 89 FM.

A private TV station, Somaliland Television (SLTV), is permitted to operate. A cable TV service is run by Hargeysa Cable.

The press can carry criticism of the government but the market for printed publications is small.

The press

  • Somaliland Times - Hargeysa, English-language weekly published by Haatuf Media Network
  • Haatuf - Hargeysa, private daily
  • Jamhuuriya - Hargeysa, private
  • Mandeeq - Hargeysa, state-owned


  • Somaliland National TV (SLNTV) - government-controlled, Hargeysa area
  • Somaliland Television (SLTV) - private


  • Radio Hargeysa - government-controlled

Source: BBC


Home | Contact us | Links | Archives | Search