The Republic of Somaliland

ID advises the democratically-elected government of Somaliland on diplomatic strategy. Somaliland is seeking to better integrate itself into the region and to attract more development assistance, trade and investment so as to lift its people out of poverty. It also seeks recognition as an independent state.



Somaliland is a former British protectorate. It gained independence in 1960 and was recognised as an independent state. However, acting on the desire at the time of Somalis to live in one state, Somaliland voluntarily joined with Italy's former Somali colony to form the Republic of Somalia. The union turned out to be disastrous for Somaliland, as the people found themselves marginalised in the new state. In 1969 Siyad Barre overthrew the government of Somalia in a coup and began a policy of calculated repression of the people of Somaliland. When the Somali National Movement stepped up its armed resistance to Barre's oppressive regime in Somaliland in the late 1980s, the armed forces of Somalia bombed Somaliland, completely destroying the capital Hargeisa, killing an estimated 50,000 people and displacing another 500,000.

In 1991, after the fall of the Barre regime and the total collapse of the Somali Republic, Somaliland resolved to re-constitute itself as an independent State. Since then it has established and sustained peace and stability and held parliamentary and presidential elections. Somaliland therefore stands in stark contrast to south-central Somalia, which remains a failed state without an effective government, plagued by a series of disastrous humanitarian crises. Somalilanders are united in their desire to live in an independent state and are strongly opposed to any union with Somalia.

Somaliland meets the established criteria for recognition as a state. It has a permanent population, a defined territory, a functioning government and capacity to enter into relations with other states in the international community. Its achievements have won widespread praise and its case for recognition has been favourably assessed by the African Union Commission, the conflict prevention NGO International Crisis Group as well as the security and development policy think tank The Senlis Council.

The present Government came to power following elections on 26 June 2010. The Government is formed from the Kulmiye Party which was previously in opposition.





Somaliland Flag

Officials of the Republic of Somaliland

  • HE President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud Silanyo, President of the Republic of Somaliland
  • HE Mr Mohamed Bihi Yonis, Foreign Minister of Somaliland


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