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Flag of Republic of Somaliland

Region claimed by Somaliland

Somaliland is a former British territory located in the north west region of Somalia in the Horn of Africa. In May of 1991, northern clans declared an independent Republic of Somaliland that now includes the administrative regions of Awdal, Hargeisa, Togdheer, Sanaag, and Sool.

Those 5 regions comprise 18 of the regions of Somalia, roughly the region between Ethiopia, Djibouti and the Gulf of Aden, an area of about 137,600 square kilometres. The population has been estimated at about 3.5 million. The capital of Somaliland is Hargeisa with a population of about 300,000.

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.

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, Mohamed Haji 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.

See also: French Somaliland