By Mar Somaliland is a very unique and peculiar place. For one, it is not even a recognized country. So when talking about it it pays to really understand some facts about Somaliland that make it such a fascinating place.
Let’s look at some Somaliland facts below and find out more about traveling and discovering this destination.
1. Somaliland was an internationally-recognized country for 5 days
Despite the local government’s declaration of independence in 1991, Somaliland is not an internationally recognized country. It is a self-declared republic that has been seeking recognition since.
What makes this most interesting is that, for a brief period of five days in 1960, when Somaliland became independent from the UK, the country existed as an independent state. However, it then agreed to join the rest of Somalia who had been under Italian rule until then to form a greater Somalia.
Constitutional promises made by the south were never fulfilled and the central government of Somalia proceeded to crush and oppress the Somaliland clans and population, taking unfavorable decisions that benefited Mogadishu. Eventually, when Barre’s regime collapsed in 1991, Somaliland took the opportunity to grab independence again.
Despite the complete lack of international aid, World Bank support and budgets to manage a new country, Somaliland has managed to nurture its own government, parliament, Constitution, elections, rule of law and army. The last elections took place in November 2017 and were considered democratic and peaceful.
Because the country is not recognized, neither is its passport. The Somaliland passport looks the part and has everything to be an official passport but you can’t have a passport from a country that does not exist.
Somalilanders are officially Somali citizens and so need to obtain a passport from the central government to travel internationally, although Djibouti and Ethiopia are said to let Somalilanders travel with their passport together with Belgium, the UK, France, Kenya, South Africa, South Sudan and, since early 2018, the UAE. Continue to next page