Republic of Somaliland

The Republic of Somaliland is a self-declared independent country in the Horn of Africa. It is surrounded by Djibouti to the northwest, Ethiopia to the southwest, and Somalia to the east. The Somali National Movement declared the former British Somaliland region as an independent state in 1991. A constitutional referendum was held on May 2001 to ratify Somaliland’s independence from Somalia. However, the government of Somalia still attempts to reunify with Somaliland. Though Somaliland still has no international recognition, the region experiences relative economic and political stability. 

Political map of Somaliland

Somaliland is governed from Hargeisa its capital city, with its own currency, passports, flag, president, parliament, army, police force, and legal system. No nation on earth has yet recognized the breakaway country, but it considers itself to be the legal successor of the short-lived Somali state of June 1960

Somalilanders also point to their record of democratic progress as further basis for separation from politically unstable Somalia. Since the ratification of Somaliland’s constitution in 2001, there have been eight successful elections ranging from the municipal level to the presidential level. The president of the Republic of Somaliland H.E. Muse Bihi A

Somaliland President’s from 1991 up to date

Berbera Port in Somaliland is described as the most valuable asset in the Horn of Africa. In 2016, UAE signed a 30 year deal of about $500 million to develop and manage the port. USA is also planning to use it as an alternative for its military interests in the region.

Somaliland uses the Somaliland shilling as its official currency. One Somaliland shilling is equivalent to 100 Somali shillings. The Baanka Somaliland (Bank of Somaliland) is the central bank of the Republic of Somaliland. The bank was established in 1994 under article 13 of the Somaliland Constitution. The first series of banknotes issued by Baanka Somaliland were introduced in 1994.

Citizens with Somaliland travel document can travel to the following countries: South Africa, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Belgium, United Kingdom, France, Kenya, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates and Zambia. while Turkey, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya have a diplomatic office in Hargeisa.

Somaliland passports

The African Union has not recognized Somaliland as a sovereign and independent nation, nor has any individual country. Recognising the sovereignty, independence and achievements of Somaliland instead would be a key step to enabling Somalia itself to realise the internal peace which has alluded it for three decades. Specifically, it would provide a peace dividend for Somalia by allowing its nascent ‘Federal Government’ to focus on securing its own borders and stability. By recognising Somaliland independence – which is already a reality on the ground – the Federal Government could focus on improving its ability to govern Somalia, rather than maintaining the absurd distraction of some presumed but patently unrealistic commitment to future expansion of federal power into Somaliland. Somalia’s ‘Federal Government’ frankly should not concern itself with Somaliland which has already proven itself far more capable of governing itself. Somaliland’s success in that regard and its stability should not be undermined by sustained commitment to a thoroughly discredited position on federal unity. Recognising Somaliland will enhance Somalia’s stability, not degrade it, while consolidating Somaliland’s own impressive achievements

Somaliland for the past 31 years has therefore been an anchor for stability. It plays a key role in securing its 850km Gulf of Aden coastline, including key maritime routes critical to African and global trade. This is critical to international logistics and supply chains. This has been much to the benefit of Africa and indeed the rest of the world.Recognising Somaliland now would cement this anchor of peace, stability, and security in a strategic important region.


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