Trust Territory of Somaliland

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Trust Territory of Somaliland
Amministrazione fiduciaria italiana della Somalia
United Nations Trust Territory

Flag from 1954
Flag Coat of arms
Location of the Trust Territory of Somaliland.
Capital Mogadishu
Languages Somali · Arabic · Italian
Religion Islam
Political structure United Nations Trust Territory
 -  1950–1953 Giovanni Fornari
 -  1953–1957 Enrico Martino
 -  1957–1958 Enrico Anzillotti
 -  1958–1960 Mario di Stefano
Prime Minister
 -  29 February 1956–1 July 1960 Abdullahi Issa
Historical era Cold War
 -  Established 1 April 1950
 -  Independence 1 July 1960
Currency somalo

The Trust Territory of Somaliland (officially, the "Trust Territory of Somaliland under Italian administration"[1]) was a United Nations Trust Territory situated in present-day northeastern, central and southern Somalia. It was administered by Italy from 1950 to 1960, following the dissolution of the former Italian Somaliland.


In 1941, Italian Somaliland was occupied by British and South African troops as part of the East African Campaign of World War II. The British continued to administer the area until November 1949, when Italian Somaliland was made a Trust Territory by the United Nations, under Italian administration, starting from 1 April 1950.

During the 1950s, with UN aid money pouring in and the presence of experienced Italian administrators who had come to see the region as their home, infrastructural and educational development blossomed in the region. The decade passed relatively without incident, and was marked by positive growth in virtually all aspects of local life.

The conditional return of Italian administration to southern Somalia gave the new trust territory several unique advantages compared with other African colonies. To the extent that Italy held the territory by UN mandate, the trusteeship provisions gave the Somalis the opportunity to gain experience in political education and self-government. These were advantages that British Somaliland, which was to be incorporated into the new Somali state, did not have. Although in the 1950s British colonial officials attempted, through various development efforts, to make up for past neglect, the protectorate stagnated. The disparity between the two territories in economic development and political experience would cause serious difficulties when it came time to integrate the two parts.[2]

Italian was an official language in Italian Somaliland during the Fiduciary Mandate as well as the first years of independence. In 1954, the Italian government established post-secondary institutions of law, economics and social studies in Mogadishu, the territory's capital. These institutions were satellites of the University of Rome, which provided all the instruction material, faculty and administration.

In 1960, the Trust Territory of Somaliland (the former Italian Somaliland) became independent, following in the footsteps of the briefly extant State of Somaliland (the former British Somaliland) which had gained independence five days earlier, with Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal as Prime Minister on June 26, 1960.[3] On July 1, 1960, the two territories united as planned to form the Somali Republic.[4] A new government was formed with Haji Bashir Ismail Yusuf as the first President of the Somali National Assembly, Abdullahi Issa as Prime Minister, Aden Abdullah Osman Daar as President and Abdirashid Ali Shermarke as Prime Minister, later to become President (from 1967 to 1969). On June 20, 1961, through a popular referendum, the Somali people ratified a new constitution first drafted in 1960.[5]


  • Giovanni Fornari (1 April 1950 to 1953)
  • Enrico Martino (1954 to 1957)
  • Enrico Anzillotti (1957 to 24 July 1958)
  • Mario di Stefano (24 July 1958 to 1 July 1960)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "(IX). Question of the frontier between the Trust Territory of Somaliland under Italian administration and Ethiopia" (PDF). UN General Assembly. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Trusteeship and Protectorate: The Road to Independence of Somalia
  3. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, The New Encyclopædia Britannica, (Encyclopædia Britannica: 2002), p.835
  4. ^ Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Clarendon Press. 2008. p. 1783. 
  5. ^ Greystone Press Staff, The Illustrated Library of The World and Its Peoples: Africa, North and East, (Greystone Press: 1967), p.338

External links[edit]