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Published On: Thu, Oct 15th, 2015

A brief History about Somaliland

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Somaliland flag

By Omer Mohamed Jama

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.

In 1883, during the scramble for Africa, the horn of Africa was divided between several colonial powers.
1. Britain had a treaty of protection with the British Somaliland protectorate, which is the Somaliland of today.

  1. Italy had la Somalia Italian. The Somalia of today.
  2. France, the Republic of Djibouti of today.

4… A portion of the Somalis inhabited horn was left with Kenya and today is known as northern frontier district of Kenya.

5… A portion was left with Ethiopia which is today known as the 5th region of Ethiopia.

Somaliland became the first fully independent Somali state among the five Somali nations and was immediately recognised by 34 member states of the United Nations among which were the five permanent member of the Security Council.
This gave Somaliland the position of becoming the first born or the most senior Somali nation.

The two independent Somali states entered into a voluntary union that was never ratified by the people of the two nations.

The union was doomed from the start because the two countries that united had language differences, cultural differences, tribal differences, administrative and educational differences that each had inherited from their respective colonial rulers.

These differences and lack of sharing of power led frictions and disputes which caused the long struggle of Somaliland.

This union turned out disastrous for Somaliland as the people found themselves marginalised in the new state.

It just brought to the people of Somaliland a catastrophic oppression, crimes against humanity, nepotism, indiscriminate killings of Somalilanders including women and children.

These crimes committed by Barre regime was witnessed and well documented by the United Nations and other international human rights bodies
In 1969, former dictator of Somalia Siad Barre regime 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 Barr’s oppressive regime in Somaliland in the late 1980s.
The armed forces of Somalia bombed Somaliland, completely destroying the capital city of Hargiesa and other major cities killing an estimated 50, 000 people and displaced another 500,000 thousand.

In 1991, after the fall of Barre regime and the total collapse of Somali republic.

Somaliland broke away from the rest of Somalia and this was a time of hope. The peace-loving people of Somaliland established a country built on the principles of freedom and democracy.

It had successfully managed to solve its past problems through process of reconciliation and the restoration of confidence in the region.

Today, Somaliland has a credible democratically elected government and is a functioning democratic state. It has its own justice system, constitution, currency, national flag, Military forces, police forces and relatively stable.

It had avoided bloodshed and opposed any kind of violence.
It had held peaceful parliamentary, presidential and local elections which the international observers declared peaceful and fair elections.

It has been described as an-African success story and heaven of peace and it has countless achievements.

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 praises 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


Written by omer M jama
United Kingdom

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