Foreign relations of Somaliland

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Foreign relations of the Republic of Somaliland are the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Republic of Somaliland.[1] The region's self-declaration of independence (from Somali on 18 May 1991, after the start of ongoing Somali Civil War) remains unrecognised by the international community.[2][3]

Due to its status, the Republic of Somaliland currently has official contacts with few nations, which include Ethiopia, which has signed a strategic and infrastructure agreement,[4][5] and United Arab Emirates, which has signed a concession agreement to manage the Port of Berbera.[6][7] International recognition as a sovereign state remains at the forefront of the government's current foreign policy. Other key priorities are encouraging international aid and foreign direct investment.

The position of multilateral organisations and countries in the international community is to support during the ongoing civil war the territorial integrity (i.e. territorial unity) of Somalia and its central government, the Federal Government of Somalia.[8]


Somaliland has political contacts with its neighbours Ethiopia[9] and Djibouti,[10] as well as with Belgium,[9] France,[11] Ghana,[9] Russia,[12] South Africa,[9] Sweden,[9][13] the United Kingdom,[9][14] and the United States.[15]

In 2007, a delegation led by President Kahin was present at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kampala, Uganda. Although Somaliland has applied to join the Commonwealth under observer status, its application is still pending.[16]

In 2002, Germany refused to recognize Somaliland as a precursor in establishing a military base in the region. It instead established a naval base in Djibouti.[17] German naval ships already operated from Berbera.[18] In September 2012, at the mini-summit on Somalia on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, the German government also re-affirmed its continued support for Somalia's government, territorial integrity and sovereignty.[8]

In February 2010, there were rumours that Israel might recognise Somaliland, and Israel is still interested in maintaining a diplomatic relationship with Somaliland.[19][20] The rumours turned out to be wrong.[21] Additionally, there was an arms smuggling affair involving Somaliland and an Israeli arms dealer.[21] In November 2009, a Pakistani delegation of three visited Somaliland: Mr. Sheikh Mansoor Ahmed, Secretary General of PPP of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan ruling government; Mr. Shafiq Ahmed Qureshi, Peace Rep., former diplomat and Sr. Consular Officer; and Mr. Abdul Razak Dinnaari. There was a proposal to open a trade office of Somaliland in Pakistan.

In 2011, the foreign ministers of South Africa and Tanzania said that they were not ready to recognise Somaliland and that they preferred to see Somalia remain as a single country.[22] In 2012, South Africa and Ethiopia also re-affirmed their continued support for Somalia's government, territorial integrity and sovereignty at the mini-summit on Somalia in New York on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.[8]

In April 2014, the Sheffield City Council in the United Kingdom voted to recognize the right to self-determination of Somaliland, the first city council to do so. The gesture was purely ceremonial and carried no legal weight.[23] On 26 March 2015, Cardiff City Council followed suit.[24] On 18 May 2015, the UK independence Party announced support for international recognition.[25] Nevertheless, the Conservative UK government officially recognize Somaliland as an autonomous region of Somalia.

In February 2017, both houses of parliament of Somaliland accepted the bid from the government from the United Arab Emirates for Union Defence Force (UAE) to establish a military base in Berbera, however, the UAE maintained that it recognizes the sovereignty of Somalia over Somaliland.[26] In January 2018, Somaliland gained attention from the Philippines, and later Timor-Leste, after it passed its first ever anti-rape law. The Philippines has minimal relations with Somalia as the country views Somalia as a 'failed state'. Somaliland currently has no diplomatic contacts with any non-Middle Eastern Asian country, except for minor talks with Taiwan.[27]

Foreign Minister[edit]

Dr. Yasin Hagi Mohamud Hiir “Faratoon” serves as the Foreign Minister of Somaliland.[28]

Diplomatic Representative Offices[edit]

Somaliland maintains representative (liaison) offices in several countries, but these missions do not have formal diplomatic status under the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

Such offices exist in the following cities:

The following foreign governments have diplomatic offices in Hargeisa:

As of February 2010, the Yemeni government is reportedly planning to open a diplomatic office in Hargeisa.[37][38] In October 2012, Denmark has launched a diplomatic office in Hargeisa.

Border disputes[edit]

Somaliland is in dispute over control of the Sool, Sanaag and Cayn (SSC) regions with the autonomous Puntland and Khatumo State regional administrations (formerly HBM-SSC or Hoggaanka Badbaadada iyo Mideynta SSC[39]). The inhabitants of these areas predominantly belong to the same Harti clan that constitutes a majority of Puntland's residents.

Somaliland's leaders have also distanced themselves from the Federal Government of Somalia, which they see as a threat to their self-declared independence.


Somaliland issues its own passports, recognized by nobody.

Organisational membership[edit]

Somaliland is a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO).[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Council of Ministers. Government of Somaliland.
  2. ^ Lacey, Marc (5 June 2006). The Signs Say Somaliland, but the World Says Somalia. The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
  3. ^ "UN in Action: Reforming Somaliland's Judiciary" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  4. ^ "Ethiopia: Somaliland signed strategic trade and infrastructure agreement - Geeska Afrika Online". Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  5. ^ geeskadmin (2014-11-19). "Ethiopia: Somaliland signed strategic trade and infrastructure agreement - Geeska Afrika Online". Geeska Afrika Online. Retrieved 2016-12-07.
  6. ^ Stevis, Matina; Fitch, Asa (30 May 2016). "Dubai's DP World Agrees to Manage Port in Somaliland for 30 Years". Retrieved 12 January 2018 – via
  7. ^ Stevis, Matina; Fitch, Asa (2016-05-30). "Dubai's DP World Agrees to Manage Port in Somaliland for 30 Years". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-12-07.
  8. ^ a b c "Communiqué on Secretary-General's Mini-Summit on Somalia". United Nations. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Somaliland closer to recognition by Ethiopia". Afrol News. Retrieved 2007-07-06.
  10. ^ "Somaliland, Djibouti in bitter port feud". afrol News. Retrieved 2007-07-22.
  11. ^ "France recognizes de facto Somaliland". Les Nouvelles d'Addis. 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
  12. ^ "Putin flexes muscles with plans for new African base - with chilling echoes of Suez". 2018-04-18. Retrieved 2018-10-21.
  13. ^ "Somaliland Diplomatic Mission in Sweden and Denmark". Retrieved 2010-04-02.
  14. ^ "Somaliland". United Kingdom Parliament. 2004-02-04. Retrieved 2007-02-23.
  15. ^ "Somaliland Liaison Office Washington DC". Somaliland Liaison Office. Archived from the original on April 4, 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  16. ^ "Somaliland on verge of observer status in the Commonwealth". Qaran News. 2009-11-16. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
  17. ^ Sü GmbH, Munich, Germany (2002-01-03). "Einer der heißesten Flecken der Welt". Retrieved 2012-05-29.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ "Deutsche Flotte bricht nach Ostafrika auf". German News Information GmbH. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  19. ^ a b "Somaliland: Israel says ready to recognize Somaliland". UNPO. 2010-02-12. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  20. ^ No Author. "Somalia: Israel to recognize Somaliland independence". Jimma Times. Archived from the original on 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  21. ^ a b "junge Welt – die linke Tageszeitung. Nachrichten und Hintergründe". 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  22. ^ "SA, Tanzania don't recognise Somaliland". Times Live. 13 August 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  23. ^ "Somaliland Hails British Step Forward in Independence Bid". VOA. 5 April 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  24. ^ Mosalski, Ruth (26 March 2015). "Cardiff becomes only second UK council to recognise the Republic of Somaliland". Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  25. ^ "UKIP supports Somaliland National Day". 18 May 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  26. ^ "Somalia: Northern Territory Approves UAE Naval Base". Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  27. ^
  28. ^ Center, Africa. "Somaliland's Foreign Minister Discusses Trade and Recognition". Atlantic Council. Retrieved 2019-07-03.
  29. ^ a b c d Contacts and addresses of the Somaliland Representative Offices around the world Archived 2010-03-27 at the Wayback Machine. Government of Somaliland.
  30. ^ Wiren, Robert (8 April 2008). France recognizes de facto Somaliland. Les Nouvelles d'Addis. Versailles. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
  31. ^ Somaliland Trade Liaison Office, Pretoria. Visit of Somaliland’s UCID Foreign affairs spokesperson to south Africa. Qaran News (1 May 2010). Retrieved 2010-05-25.
  32. ^ Somaliland Diplomatic Mission in Sweden. Somaliland Embassy in Sweden.
  33. ^ Ethiopia’s New Representative to Somaliland. Qarannews (30 October 2009). Retrieved 2010-05-25.
  34. ^ Section II: Somaliland
    • DenmarkArchived 2010-12-10 at the Wayback Machine. International Council on Security and Development. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
  35. ^ "SOMALIA: Ethiopia opens consulate in Puntland". 2010-05-29. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  36. ^ "We urgently need an Embassy in Somalia". 2007-06-05. Archived from the original on 2012-09-10. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  37. ^ &catid=34:2010-01-06-16-26-06&Itemid=57 Somaliland: Yemen To Open Diplomatic Office in Somaliland. Aden Press (19 February 2010). Retrieved 2010-05-25.
  38. ^ "Yemen and Puntland to further cooperation". 2010-10-12. Archived from the original on 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  39. ^ Somaliland’s Quest for International Recognition and the HBM-SSC Factor Archived May 28, 2012, at the Wayback Machine