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State of Somaliland

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State of Somaliland

Flag of Somaliland
Location of the State of Somaliland.
Location of the State of Somaliland.
StatusIndependent state
Common languagesSomali
Prime Minister 
• Independence from the United Kingdom
June 26 1960
• Unification with the Trust Territory of Somaliland to form the Somali Republic
July 1 1960
CurrencyEast African shilling
Preceded by
Succeeded by
British Somaliland
Somali Republic
Today part of Somalia (de jure)
(de facto)

The State of Somaliland was a short-lived independent state in the territory of present-day northwestern Somalia, which is also known as the self-declared Republic of Somaliland.[1] It was the name assumed by the former British Somaliland protectorate in the five days between independence from the United Kingdom on 26 June 1960 and union with the Trust Territory of Somaliland which was under Italian administration on 1 July 1960 to form the Somali Republic.


In May 1960, the British government stated that it would be prepared to grant independence to the then protectorate of British Somaliland, with the intention that the territory would unite with the Trust Territory of Somaliland under Italian Administration (the former Italian Somaliland). The Legislative Council of British Somaliland passed a resolution in April 1960 requesting independence and union with the Trust Territory of Somaliland, which was scheduled to gain independence on July 1 that year. The legislative councils of both territories agreed to this proposal following a joint conference in Mogadishu.[2]

On June 26, 1960, the former British Somaliland protectorate briefly obtained independence as the State of Somaliland, with the Trust Territory of Somaliland following suit five days later.[3][4] The following day, on June 27, 1960, the newly convened Somaliland Legislative Assembly approved a bill that would formally allow for the union of the State of Somaliland with the Trust Territory of Somaliland on July 1, 1960.[2]

According to the Chinese government, all state activity in the Somali territories during this five day transitional period was geared toward preparing to unify the two partitioned Somalilands, as had previously been negotiated.[5] Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, who had previously served as an unofficial member of the former British Somaliland protectorate's Executive Council and the Leader of Government Business in the Legislative Council, became the Prime Minister of the State of Somaliland during its brief period of independence until the union with the Trust Territory of Somaliland.[6]

On July 1, 1960, five days after the former British Somaliland protectorate obtained independence as the State of Somaliland, the territory united with the Trust Territory of Somaliland to form the Somali Republic (Somalia).[3][4]

A government was formed by Abdullahi Issa, with Haji Bashir Ismail Yusuf as President of the Somali National Assembly, Aden Abdullah Osman Daar as President and Abdirashid Ali Shermarke as Prime Minister, later to become President (from 1967–1969). On July 20, 1961 and through a popular referendum, the people of Somalia ratified a new constitution, which had been first drafted in 1960.[7] 90.59% of voters (1,760,540) voted in favor of the constitution.[8]

Republic of Somaliland

The Republic of Somaliland is a self-declared state that is regarded as an autonomous region of Somalia by the international community.[9][10][11] Established in 1991, its government regards the territory as the successor state to the State of Somaliland,[12][13] and seeks self-determination under the name Republic of Somaliland.[14][15][16]

The administration of the self-declared Republic of Somaliland claims that 35 countries diplomatically recognised a State of Somaliland during the five-day period of independence between 26 June and 1 July 1960, including all five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (the Republic of China, the French Republic, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America).[17] The Northern Somali Unionist Movement, a unionist group hailing from the northwestern region of Somalia coextensive with the former British Somaliland protectorate, disputes this claim; it asserts that no such records exist and that these nations instead only diplomatically recognized the Somali Republic (Somalia) as a whole.[18] Additionally, the US Department of State indicates in its Document 62 that the United States did not extend formal recognition to a state of Somaliland in 1960, as the enclave's brief independence from Britain was intended to allow it to unite with the Trust Territory of Somaliland a few days later. Secretary of State Christian Herter instead sent a congratulatory message to the Somaliland Council of Ministers on June 26, 1960.[19] Upon union of the two Somalilands, the United States recognized the Somali Republic on July 1, 1960, in a congratulatory message from US President Dwight D. Eisenhower to President of Somalia Aden Abdullah Osman Daar.[20] In 2007, the Government of China issued an affidavit on behalf of the Somali Republic at the International Court of Justice, which similarly indicates that the international community recognized the Somali Republic when it was accepted into the United Nations on September 20, 1960. The Chinese government therein also notes that the sole purpose of gaining independence from Britain was to unite the former British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland territories.[5]

See also


  1. ^ a b Somalia - British Somaliland and Somaliland
  2. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-01-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b Somalia
  4. ^ a b Encyclopædia Britannica, The New Encyclopædia Britannica, (Encyclopædia Britannica: 2002), p.835
  5. ^ a b "MEMORIAL SUBMITTED BY THE EXPERT, PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA" (PDF). Expert from the People’s Republic of China. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  6. ^ Paolo Contini, The Somali Republic: an experiment in legal integration, (Routledge, 1969), p.6.
  7. ^ Greystone Press Staff, The Illustrated Library of The World and Its Peoples: Africa, North and East, (Greystone Press: 1967), p.338
  8. ^ "20 June 1961 Constitutional Referendum". African Election Database. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  9. ^ Lacey, Marc (2006-06-05). "The Signs Say Somaliland, but the World Says Somalia". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
  10. ^ "The Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic" (PDF). University of Pretoria. 2004-02-01. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2010-02-02. "The Somali Republic shall have the following boundaries. (a) North; Gulf of Aden. (b) North West; Djibouti. (c) West; Ethiopia. (d) South south-west; Kenya. (e) East; Indian Ocean."
  11. ^ UN in Action: Reforming Somaliland's Judiciary
  12. ^ "Somaliland Marks Independence After 73 Years of British Rule" (fee required). The New York Times. 1960-06-26. p. 6. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  13. ^ "How Britain said farewell to its Empire". BBC News. 2010-07-23.
  14. ^ "Country Profile". Government of Somaliland. Archived from the original on 2012-02-12. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
  15. ^ Schoiswohl, Michael (2004). Status and (Human Rights) Obligations of Non-Recognized De Facto Regimes in International Law. University of Michigan: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 351. ISBN 978-90-04-13655-7.
  16. ^ "Regions and Territories: Somaliland". BBC News. 2009-09-25. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
  17. ^ "Somaliland: An Oasis of Stability Makes Its Case for Independence". Halbeegnews. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  18. ^ "The Consequences of Somaliland's International Recognition" (PDF). Northern Somali Unionist Movement. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  19. ^ Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, United States Department of State. "Foreign Relations of the United States, 1958–1960 Volume XIV, Africa, Document 62". US Department of State. Retrieved 1 April 2015.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, United States Department of State. "A Guide to the United States' History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Somalia". US Department of State. Retrieved 1 April 2015.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)