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View of Dawad village from above.
View of Dawad village from above.
Eyl is located in Somalia
Location in Somalia.
Coordinates: 7°58′00″N 49°51′00″E / 7.96667°N 49.85000°E / 7.96667; 49.85000Coordinates: 7°58′00″N 49°51′00″E / 7.96667°N 49.85000°E / 7.96667; 49.85000
Country Somalia
State Puntland
 • MayorMuse Osman Yusef
 • Total21,700
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)

Eyl (Italian: Eil) is an ancient port town in the northeastern Nugal province of Somalia in the autonomous Puntland macro-region, it is the center of the Eyl District.


Eyl is the site of many historical artifacts and structures. Along with a rock shelter in the southern town of Buur Heybe, it is the seat of the first professional archaeological excavation in the country.[1]

Mohammed Abdullah Hassan's historic Daarta Sayyidka Dervish fort in Eyl.

At the turn of the twentieth century, the city served as a bastion for the Dervish forces of Sayyid Mohammed Abdullah Hassan ("Mad Mullah"). Several forts remain from this period, in addition to colonial edifices built by the Italians.[2]

Following the outbreak of the civil war in the early 1990s, foreign trawlers began to illegally fish in the unpatrolled waters off of Eyl's coastline. Piracy subsequently emerged, as fishermen banded together to protect their livelihood. However, by 2010, intensive security operations by Puntland military forces coupled with community-led initiatives managed to force out the pirates from their operating centers in the hamlet as well as adjacent settlements.[3][4]

In March 2012, the Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF) dispatched a unit of officers and support elements to Eyl at the request of the municipal authorities; the move was intended to ensure permanent security in the area and to support the local administration. To this end, PMPF soldiers were slated to establish a Forward Operating Base (FOB) in the town earmarked for counter-piracy activities, to begin construction of a logistics airstrip, and to engage in water-drilling.[5] In December 2014, Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali laid the foundation stone for the new PMPF base in Eyl, which occupies an area of 300 square meters on land donated by the municipality.[6]


Town affairs are managed by the Eyl Municipality; as of March 2012, the city authority is led by Mayor Muse Osman Yusef.[5]


Eyl has a population of around 21,700 inhabitants;[7] the broader Eyl District has a total population of 32,345 residents.[8]


As of 2012, the town has one general hospital serving residents.[2] Plans are underway to expand delivery. In April 2012, community leaders and civil society representatives met with Italian Ambassador to Somalia, Andrea Mazzella, to discuss strategies for ameliorating local health and education services.[2]

In October 2014, the Puntland government in conjunction with the local Kaalo NGO and UN-HABITAT launched a new regional census to gather basic information in order to facilitate social service planning and development, as well as tax collection in remote areas. According to senior Puntland officials, a similar survey was already carried out in towns near the principal Garowe–Bosaso Highway; the new census initiative is slated to begin in the Eyl District, in addition to the Bayla District and Jariban District.[9]


Eyl has a number of academic institutions. According to the Puntland Ministry of Education, there are 13 primary schools in the Eyl District. Among these are Qarxis Primary, Horsed, Kabal and Xasbahal.[10] Secondary schools in the area include Eyl Secondary.[11]


Prior to the start of the civil war, Eyl was one of the chief fishing hubs in Somalia. Tuna, lobster, and other high value marine stock were harvested locally for the domestic and international seafood markets; the Puntland authorities have since endeavoured to work with the townspeople to rebuild the industry and normalize trade.[5]

As of 2012, several new development projects are slated to be carried out in the town, with the Italian government pledging to support them.[2]

In September 2013, Puntland Minister of Fisheries Mohamed Farah Adan also announced that the Puntland government plans to open two new marine training schools in Eyl and Bandar Siyada (Qaw), another northeastern coastal town; the institutes are intended to buttress the regional fisheries industry and enhance the skill set of the Ministry's personnel and local fishermen.[12]

In March 2015, the Ministry of Labour, Youth and Sports in conjunction with the European Union and World Vision launched the Nugal Empowerment for Better Livelihood Project in the Eyl, Garowe, Dangorayo, Godobjiran and Burtinle districts of Puntland; the three-year initiative is valued at $3 million EUR, and is part of the New Deal Compact for Somalia. It aims buttress the regional economic sector through business support, training and non-formal education programs, community awareness workshops, and mentoring and networking drives.[13]


Media outlets serving Eyl include the Garowe-based Radio Garowe, the sister outlet to Garowe Online; the broadcaster launched a new local FM station in March 2012.[14]


In 2012, the Puntland Highway Authority (PHA) announced a project to connect Eyl and other littoral towns in Puntland to the main regional highway;[15] the 750 km thoroughfare links major cities in the northern part of Somalia, such as Bosaso, Galkayo and Garowe, with towns in the south.[16] In May 2014, Puntland Vice President Abdihakim Abdullahi Haji Omar arrived in Eyl to inaugurate a newly completed 27 kilometer paved road between the town and adjacent hamlets.[17]

For air transportation, Eyl is served by the Eyl Airport.[18]

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ Peter Robertshaw, A History of African archaeology, (J. Currey: 1990), p.103.
  2. ^ a b c d "Somalia: Italy Ambassador Visits Former Pirate Hub Eyl". Garowe Online. 23 April 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  3. ^ Ronalds-Hannon, Eliza. "Behind The Demise Of Somali Pirates". Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  4. ^ "Somalia: Nugaal governor reach Eyl, meets residents". Garowe Online. 3 April 2010. Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  5. ^ a b c "Puntland Marine Police Force Enter Eyl". Somalia Report. 2 March 2012. Archived from the original on 24 March 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Somalia: Puntland leader pays first visit to Former Pirate Hub". Garowe Online. 30 December 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Somalia City & Town Population". Tageo. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Regions, districts, and their populations: Somalia 2005 (draft)" (PDF). UNDP. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  9. ^ "Service denied for individuals without Puntland identity card". Goobjoog. 30 October 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Puntland - Primary schools". Ministry of Education of Puntland. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  11. ^ "Puntland - Secondary schools". Ministry of Education of Puntland. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  12. ^ "Somalia: Puntland to open maritime training schools". Garowe Online. 10 September 2013. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  13. ^ "EU and World Vision Support Livelihoods in Puntland". Goobjoog. 17 March 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  14. ^ "Somalia: Radio Garowe launches new FM station in Bossaso". Garowe Online. 24 May 2013. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  15. ^ "Puntland to upgrade Bosaso-Garowe highway". Sabahi. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  16. ^ "The First 100 Days in Office". Office of the Puntland President. Archived from the original on March 23, 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  17. ^ "Somalia: Puntland VP visits Eyl Coastal Town". Garowe Online. 14 May 2014. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  18. ^ "Eil (HCM) Somalia". World-Airport-Codes. Retrieved 13 July 2013.