Self-declared country in Horn of Africa, internationally considered to be part of Somalia.

Somaliland (Somali: Somaliland; Arabic: صوماليلاندṢūmālīlānd, أرض الصومالArḍ aṣ-Ṣūmāl), officially the Republic of Somaliland (Somali: Jamhuuriyadda Somaliland, Arabic: جمهورية صوماليلاندJumhūrīyat Ṣūmālīlānd), is an unrecognized state, which the international community considers part of Somalia. The territory covers the former protectorate British Somaliland. De facto, the territory is independent from the rest of Somalia. It borders Djibouti to the west, the Federal Republic of Ethiopia to the south and Somalia to the east.[8]

Republic of Somaliland

Jamhuriyadda Somaliland  (Somali)[1]
جمهورية أرض الصومال (Arabic)
Jumhūrīyat Arḍ aṣ-Ṣūmāl
National emblem of Somaliland
National emblem
Anthem: حياة طويلة مع السلام
Long life with peace
Controlled territory (dark green) and territory claimed but not controlled (light green)
Controlled territory (dark green) and territory claimed but not controlled (light green)
and largest city
9°33′N 44°03′E / 9.550°N 44.050°E / 9.550; 44.050
Official languagesSomali
Second languageArabic,[2] English
GovernmentUnitary presidential republic
• President
Muse Bihi Abdi
Abdirahman Saylici
Bashe Mohamed Farah
Adan Haji Ali
House of Elders
House of Representatives
Unrecognised independence 
from Somalia
• Establishment of British Somaliland
• Independence of the State of Somaliland
26 June 1960
1 July 1960
18 May 1991
• Total
176,120[4] km2 (68,000 sq mi)
• 2013 estimate
4.5 million[5]
• Density
25/km2 (64.7/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2019 estimate
• Total
$2.5 billion[6]
• Per capita
CurrencySomaliland shilling
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
Date formatd/m/yy (AD)
Driving sideright
Calling code+252 (Somalia)


The area used to be the Somali area which was part of the British empire along with Jubaland, which was called Trans-juba. It was called the British Somali Coast Protectorate before 26 June 1960. That year it united with Somalia called the "Somali Republic".[10] In May of 1991, after a war, Somaliland regained independence.

Currently, Somaliland is an unrecognized state. This means that no country with membership in the United Nations or international organization views Somaliland as an independent country.[11] Instead, they see Somaliland as a part of Somalia.

Somaliland has a republican government with free elections. The capital is Hargeisa. Berbera is a beautiful city on the coast. About 55% of the people of Somalilands are nomads.[12] Most Somalis are Sunni Muslims. Some people are part of Sufi orders.

A territory in the west, called Khatumo State has been disputed between Somaliland and Puntland.



Most people in Somaliland speak Somali and Arabic. Article 6 of the Constitution of 2001 says the official language of Somaliland is Somali,[10] but Arabic is a mandatory subject in school. English is also spoken and taught in schools.

The main Somali dialect is Standard Somali. Standard Somali is spoken in most of Somalia and in countries that border it. Standard Somali is used by almost all of the media in the Somaliland region.


Almost all Somalilanders are Muslims.[13] This is because Islam is the state religion, and practicing a religion other than Islam is against the law.[10] Small amounts of non-Islamic traditions exist in Somaliland, but Islam is very important to the Somali sense of national identity.


  1. Name used in The Constitution of the Republic of Somaliland and in Somaliland Official Gazette Archived 20 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  2. website, – an independent non-for-profit. "Somaliland Constitution". Retrieved 2017-07-02.
  3. Paul Dickson, Labels for locals: what to call people from Abilene to Zimbabwe, (Merriam-Webster: 1997), p.175.
  4. Lansford, Tom (2015-03-24). Political Handbook of the World 2015. CQ Press. ISBN 9781483371559.
  5. "UNPO: Somaliland". Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  6. "The Somaliland Health and Demographic Survey 2020". Central Statistics Department, Ministry of Planning and National Development, Somaliland Government: 35.
  7. "Somaliland economic growth on the rise". East African Business Week. 2020-02-20. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  8. "Somaliland Official Website". Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  9. Hoehne, Markus Virgil. "The rupture of territoriality and the diminishing relevance of cross‐cutting ties in Somalia after 1990." Development and Change 47.6 (2016): 1379-1411.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOMALILAND" (PDF). International relations and security network. 31 May 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  11. Lacey, Marc (5 June 2006). "The Signs Say Somaliland, but the World Says Somalia". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 December 2010.
  12. "Our Country – Somaliland Official Government Website". Retrieved 2020-12-30.
  13. "Background Note: Somalia". U.S Department of State. Retrieved 23 December 2010.

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