Somaliland Armed Forces

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Somaliland Armed Forces
Ciidanka Qaranka somaliland
Flag of Somaliland.svg
Current form1991
Service branchesArmy
PresidentMuse Bihi Abdi
Minister of DefenseMr Cise Ahmed
Chief of DefenseNuh Ismail Tani
Military age18-45
Reaching military
age annually
Active personnel8,000[1]
Reserve personnel6.000
Percent of GDP30%

The Somaliland National Armed Forces (Somali: Ciidan Qaranka somaliland) are the military services of Somaliland. They are composed of two active military branches: the army and the navy. There is no air force.[2]

The Somaliland Police Force is also a part of the internal security forces and subordinate to the military. The Armed Forces is under the command of President Muse Bihi Abdi, who is the Commander-in-chief. Minister of Defence Ahmed Haji Abdi Adami is the designated minister that oversees the armed forces.

Somaliland spends more on its armed forces than any other item, allocating 30% of budget to the military. Due to a United Nations arms embargo on Somaliland, The nation is not allowed to procure weapons.[3]


Chief of Staff
Name Took office Left office Note
Nuh Ismail Tani[3] 2003 11 December 2011 Dismissed
Mohamed Hasan Abdullahi 2011 2012
Nuh Ismail Tani 2016



The sub of Somaliland army İn Somaliland has long operated without a formal rank structure. However, in December 2012, Somaliland defense ministry announced that a chain of command had been developed and would be implemented by January 2013.[2]


When the former Somalia ruler Siad Barre was ousted in 1990, Somaliland inherited the military equipment, hardware and facilities that were within the territories of present-day Somaliland.[3]

Due to a United Nations arms embargo on Somalia, which the semi-autonomous Somaliland region is internationally recognized as being a part of, the territory is not allowed to purchase weapons. Consequently, military officials from the region rely on repairing and modifying old equipment. Some also claim that weapons are at times delivered from Ethiopia and Yemen via the port of Berbera, usually during the night.[3]

Regular Somaliland soldiers have been seen with SKS carbines and various versions of the AK-47.[4]

Additionally, the Somaliland army operates an unknown number of the following equipment:[3]

  • BM-21 mobile rocket launchers
  • BGM-71 TOW anti-tank guided missiles
  • BTR-50 tracked armored personnel carriers
  • T-34 medium tank
  • T-55 Main Battle tank


The Somaliland navy (Somali: Ciidanka Bada ee Somaliland) was formed in 2009.[3] The headquarters is located in the coastal town of Berbera; a diving center run by foreign divers who train the Somaliland navy is also located there. The Navy operates with small speedboats mounted with guns.[3] Much of this equipment was provided by the United Kingdom, in an effort to combat piracy.[2]


  1. ^ "Kirk Report Ending Somali Piracy Against American and Allied Shipping" (PDF). Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Hasan, Somaliland-after-two-decades-the-armed-forces-come-to-age/#.URr3NqWpN8w Somaliland: After Two Decades the Armed Forces Come to Age]" November 27, 2012. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Hussein, Abdi "Somalilands Military Is A Shadow of the Past" SomaliaReport, August 13, 2011, accessed August 13, 2011
  4. ^ Forberg, Ekkehard and Ulf Terlinden. "Small Arms in Somaliland: Their Role and Diffusion" Berlin Information-centre for Transatlantic Study (BITS). March 1999. Retrieved February 13, 2013.