Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Somaliland (Somali: Soomaaliland) is a former British territory located in the northwest region of Somalia in the Horn of Africa. In May of 1991, northern clans declared an independent Republic of Somaliland that now includes five of the eighteen administrative regions of Somalia, roughly the region between Ethiopia, Djibouti and the Gulf of Aden, an area of about 137,600 square kilometres. The capital of Somaliland is Hargeisa.
Although not recognized by any government, this entity has maintained a stable existence, aided by the overwhelming dominance of a ruling clan and economic infrastructure left behind by British, Russian, and American military assistance programs.
|National motto: none|
|President||Dahir Riyale Kahin|
2,500,000 - 3,500,000
| From Somalia|
Formerly the British Somaliland Protectorate, shortly after gaining independence British Somaliland merged with Italian Somaliland in 1960 to form Somalia. The prime minister of British Somaliland, Ibrahim Egal, became a minister in the new republic of Somalia. He became Prime Minister in 1967 but a coup deposed him in 1969.
In 1991, after the collapse of the government in Somalia, the territory asserted its independence as the Republic of Somaliland, although it has received little if any international recognition. Egal was elected president in 1993, re-elected in 1998 and remained in power until his death on May 3, 2002. The vice president Dahir Riyale Kahin was declared the new president shortly afterwards.
Since independence Somaliland has been in constant dispute with fellow unrecognized republic Puntland over the Sanaag and Sool regions. Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf's Puntlander forces have led several small scale invasions of Somaliland's eastern border. Sanaag is a large percentage of Somalilander territory. Such an annexation of national land could possibly cause the country to become unstable.
The population has been estimated at 2.5 - 3.5 million. The capital, Hargeisa, has an estimated population of 500,000 - 800,000. But the estimates aren't reliable since there hasn't been any census for a while and because of the rapid urbanization that Somaliland (and Somalia as a whole) has been dealing with since 1991.
- Elections in Somaliland
- Somaliland Democracy
- List of Presidents of Somaliland
- French Somaliland
- Places That Don't Exist - BBC Television series on unrecognised nations
- Somaliland official website
- Somali Culture & Literature site
- United Kingdom parliamentary debate on recognition of Somaliland, February 4th 2004 led by Tony Worthington
- Article at electionworld.org Provides historical background and information about last election.
- Somaliland.Org In Somali and English, regularly updated with searchable archives.
- Radio Somaliland Both in Somali and English, frequent updates.
- Somali-Info.com Categorized articles and updated news feeds and photo gallery.
- Somaliland Times
- Travel report from smh.com.au
- Somaliland BBC Country Profile
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