37. Somalia/Somaliland (1960-present)

 

Pre-Crisis Phase (June 26, 1960-April 5, 1981):  The State of Somaliland (British Somaliland) formally achieved its independence from the United Kingdom on June 26, 1960.  The State of Somaliland merged with Italian Somaliland to form the Republic of Somalia on July 1, 1960.

Crisis Phase (April 6, 1981-January 1, 1982): The Somali National Movement (SNM) was established by Hassan Adan Wadadi and other members of the Isaaq clan in London on April 6, 1981.  Ahmed Mohamed Gulaid was elected chairman of the SNM in October 1981, but he resigned the position in January 1982.

Conflict Phase (January 2, 1982-January 30, 1991): The Somali National Movement (SNM), which consisted primarily of members of the Isaaq clan, began a rebellion against the Somali government in northern Somalia on January 2, 1982. SNM moved its headquarters from London to Dire-Dawa, Ethiopia in 1982.  Sheikh Yusuf Ali Sheikh Madar was elected chairman of the SNM in January 1982.  The Ethiopian government provided military assistance (military bases and weapons) to the SNM. Colonel Abdiqadar Kosar Abdi was elected chairman of the SNM in November 1983.  Government troops and SNM rebels clashed near Hargeisa (Hargeysa) on June 11, 1984, resulting in the deaths of six government soldiers. Ahmad Muhammad Silyanyo was appointed as chairman of SNM on August 9, 1984.  SNM rebels launched a military offensive against government troops on November 13, 1984. Government troops and SNM rebels clashed near Hargeisa (Hargeysa) and Sibidhley on March 3, 1986, resulting in the deaths of some 100 government soldiers. SNM rebels killed 80 government troops in Hargeisa (Hargeysa) on September 18, 1986. Some 200 SNM rebels were killed during clashes with Somali troops in February 1987. Ethiopia ended military assistance to the SNM on April 3, 1988. SNM rebels launched a military offensive in northern Somalia on May 26, 1988. Some 350,000 Isaaq clan members fled as refugees to Dire Dawa, Ethiopia as a result of a counter-offensive launched by Somalia government troops in June 1988. SNM rebels attacked Borama (Boorama) in August 1989, resulting in the deaths of some 200 individuals. SNM rebels captured Gaalkacyo on November 21, 1989 and Hargeisa (Hargeysa) on December 5, 1989. SNM rebels captured Hargeisa (Hargeysa), Burao (Burco), and Berbera on January 30, 1991. Some 10,000 individuals were killed, and some 350,000 individuals were displaced during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (January 31, 1991- present):  The SNM established an eleven-member government in northern Somalia on April 4, 1991.  Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur of the SNM announced the independence of the Republic of Somaliland on May 18, 1991.  Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur was elected president of Somaliland by  clan elders on May 28, 1991, and he was sworn in as president on June 7, 1991.  Several hundred individuals were killed in clashes between rival Isaaq clans in Burao (Burco) and other locations beginning in January 1992.  Isaaq clan elders negotiated an end to the clan violence in October 1992.  A conference of some 150 SNM leaders and Isaaq clan elders met in Borama (Boorama) from January to May 1993.  Mohammad Irahim Egal was elected president of Somaliland by Isaaq clan elders on May 5, 1993, and he was inaugurated as president on May 16, 1993.  The secretary-general of the Organization of African Union (OAU) reaffirmed the organization's non-recognition of the independence of Somaliland on October 18, 1993. Somaliland government troops loyal to President Egal clashed with Isaaq clan militia loyal to former president Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur beginning on March 30, 1994.  Former president Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur denounced the independence of Somaliland on April 30, 1994.  President Egal declared a state of emergency in Somaliland on December 2, 1994.  Somaliland government troops clashed with Issa militias in Tokhoshi on August 10, 1995.  Somaliland government troops clashed with Issa militias in the village of Jidhi on October 28, 1995, resulting in the deaths of one government soldier and 35 Issa militiamen.  Several hundred individuals were killed and at least 80,000 individuals were displaced in violence in Somaliland in 1995.  Somaliland government troops clashed with Isaaq militia loyal to former president Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur in Burao (Burco) on January 16, 1996, resulting in the deaths of more than 59 individuals.  Somaliland government troops clashed with Isaaq militia loyal to former president Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur in Hargeisa (Hargeysa) on January 19, 1996, resulting in the deaths of ten individuals.  Somaliland government troops clashed with Isaaq militia loyal to former president Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur in Burao (Burco) on February 12, 1996, resulting in the deaths of eight government soldiers. Factions of the Isaaq clan clashed in Somaliland between July 15 and August 1, 1996, resulting in the deaths of at least 34 individuals.  President Mohammad Ibrahim Egal was re-elected by the National Communities Conference (meeting as an electoral college) on February 23, 1997.  President Egal submitted his resignation to the parliament on December 17, 1997, but the parliament rejected the resignation on December 18, 1997.  Some 97 percent of voters approved a new Somaliland constitution, including a declaration of independence, on May 31, 2001. The US-based Initiative and Referendum Institute (IRI) sent eleven observers from the US, Britain, and Switzerland to monitor the referendum.  South Africa sent observers to monitor the referendum.  President Egal died in Pretoria, South Africa on May 3, 2002, and Vice-President Dahir Riyale Kahin was sworn in as president of Somaliland on May 4, 2002.  Local elections were held in Somaliland on December 15, 2002.  The London-based NGO, Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR), sent 20 observers to monitor the local elections.  President Dahir Riyale Kahin of the United Peoples' Democratic Party (Ururka Dimuqraadiga Ummadda Bahawday - UDUB) was re-elected with 42 percent of the vote on April 14, 2003.  South Africa sent ten observers to monitor the presidential election.  Sweden sent three observers led by Birgitte Ohlosson monitored the presidential election.  On May 11, 2003, the Constitutional Court of Somaliland upheld the results of the presidential election.  Two British teachers were killed by Islamic extremists in Sheikh on October 20, 2003.  Former president Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur died in Somaliland on November 8, 2003.  Somaliland government troops clashed with Puntland (Somalia) troops on October 30, 2004, resulting in the deaths of some 110 individuals.  Legislative elections were held in Somaliland on September 29, 2005, and the UDUB won 33 out of 82 seats in the House of Representatives.  The Peace, Unity and Development Party (Kulmiye Nabad, Midnimo iyo horumar iyo - Kulmiye) won 28 seats in the House of Representatives.  A South African-led non-governmental mission consisting of 76 observers from 12 countries headed by Mandla Nkomfe monitored the legislative elections.  The London-based Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR) sent 20 observers to monitor the legislative elections.  The U.S.-based International Republican Institute (IRI) sent seven observers to monitor the legislative elections.  On November 14, 2005, eight Islamic extremists were convicted and sentenced to death by a Somaliland court for the killings of two British teachers in October 2003. Somaliland government troops took control of the town of Las Anod, capital of the Sool region (claimed by the neighboring Puntland autonomous region of Somalia) on October 15, 2007, resulting in the deaths of at least ten individuals.  One Somaliland government soldier was killed during riots in Las Anod on October 25, 2007.  In April 2008, the 82-member Somaliland House of Elders (Guurti) voted to delay the presidential election until March 2009. On June 16, 2008, the three political parties in Somaliland signed an agreement regarding the electoral process, including the requirement that any changes in presidential elections dates be approved by all three political parties, parliament, and the National Election Commission (NEC). Twenty-five individuals were killed in Al-Shabaab suicide bombings of the Somaliland presidential palace, Ethiopian consulate, and UN Development Program (UNDP) office in Hargeisa (Hargeysa) on October 29, 2009.  On March 28, 2009, the 82-member Somaliland House of Elders (Guurti) voted for the second time to delay the presidential election until September 2009.  In July 2009, President Dahir Riyale Kahin decided to discard a voter registration list that had recently been developed for the upcoming presidential election.  Opposition political leaders who opposed the Somaliland president's decision called for anti-government demonstrations.  Dr. Tekade Alemu, Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs, attempted to mediate negotiations between the parties beginning on August 18, 2009.  President Dahir Riyale Kahin ordered government troops to seize the parliament building in Hargeisa (Hargeysa) on August 29, 2009.  John Marshall, Deputy Ambassador from the British embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia mediated negotiations between the parties beginning on August 29, 2009.  On September 6, 2009, the NEC announced that the presidential election scheduled for later that month could not be held because of "current political, economic and technical conditions."  Four individuals were killed in anti-government demonstrations in Hargeisa (Hargeysa) on September 12, 2009.  President Dahir Riyale Kahin and the opposition political party leaders signed a British/Ethiopian-mediated agreement regarding presidential elections in Hargeisa (Hargeysa) on October 2, 2009.  Somaliland government troops and Ethiopian troops clashed with local clan militia in the Buhoodle area on May 15, 2010, resulting in the deaths of 13 individuals.  Ethiopian police clashed with members of the Sool, Sanaag, and Cayn (SSC) militia, the armed wing of the Northern Somalia Unionist Movement (NSUM), in the  town of Buhoodle on May 22, 2010, resulting in the deaths of four Ethiopian policemen and at least ten Somalis.  The same day, Somaliland government troops clashed with members of the SSC militia in the town of Widhwidh (Widh Widh), resulting in the deaths of 15 members of the SSC militia.  Ahmed Mahamoud Silanyo on the Peace, Unity and Development Party (Kulmiye Nabad, Midnimo iyo horumar iyo - Kulmiye) was elected president with 50 percent of the vote on June 26, 2010, and he was inaugurated as president on July 27, 2010.  The London-based NGO Progressio (formerly the Catholic Institute for International Relations) sent 59 election observers to monitor the presidential election.  The U.S.-based NGO, International Republican Institute (IRI) sent 19 observers to monitor the presidential election.  Four individuals were killed in election-related violence.  Somaliland government troops clashed with members of the SSC militia in the village of Widhwidh (Widh Widh) on July 20-21, 2010, resulting in the deaths of government Somaliland government soldier and four members of the SSC militia.  Two government soldiers were killed in a grenade attack on a police station in Las Anod in the Sool region on June 18, 2011.  On January 12, 2012, the Khatumo State of Somalia was established in the regions of Sool, Sanaag, and Cayn.  Somaliland government police killed two demonstrators in the town of Las Anod in the Sool region on January 22, 2012.  Somaliland government troops clashed with members of the SSC militia near the town of Buhoodle in the Cayn region on February 8, 2012, resulting in the deaths of three Somaliland government soldiers and six members of the SSC militia.  Somaliland security forces clashed with protesters in the town of Las Anod in the Sool region on March 8, 2012.  Somaliland government troops clashed with members of the SSC militia on April 1, 2012, resulting in the deaths of four Somaliland government soldiers and one SSC militant.  Armed civilians attacked a military base in Hargeisa (Hargeysa) on May 16, 2012, resulting in the deaths of five civilians and three government soldiers.  The next day, a military court convicted and sentenced to death 17 individuals for their participation in the attack on the military base.  Representatives of the governments of Somalia and Somaliland held talks facilitated by Britain, Norway, and the European Union (EU) in London on June 20-21, 2012.  President Ahmed Silanyo of Somaliland and President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed of Somalia held talks facilitated by the government of the United Arab Emirates in Dubai on June 28, 2012.  Local elections were held in Somaliland on November 28, 2012.  The London-based NGO Progressio (formerly the Catholic Institute for International Relations) sent 50 election observers from 17 countries to monitor the local elections.  Somaliland government troops clashed with members of the SSC militia in the Huddun district of Sool region on November 28, 2012, resulting in the deaths of four Somaliland government soldiers and two members of the SSC militia.  Three individuals were killed in protests in Hargeisa (Hargeysa) on December 6-7, 2012.  Somaliland government troops clashed with members of the SSC militia in the Huddun district of Sool region on March 8, 2013.

[Sources: Africa Contemporary Record (ACR), 1981-1982, 1982-1983, 1983-1984, 1984-1985, 1986-1987, 1987-1988, 1988-1989, 1989-1990; Africa Report, November- December 1994; Africa Research Bulletin (ARB), April 15, 1986; Agence France Presse (AFP), September 12, 2009, July 2, 2010; Associated Press (AP), April 19, 2003, April 20, 2003; Banks and Muller, 1998, 838-840; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), December 18, 1997, May 31, 2001, May 3, 2002, April 15, 2003, April 19, 2003, October 21, 2003, October 24, 2003, October 12, 2004, September 29, 2005, November 14, 2005, October 29, 2008, June 25, 2010, July 2, 2010, May 17, 2012, June 21, 2012, June 28, 2012; Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR) press release, September 6, 2005, November 2, 2005; Current History, May 1994, 232-236; Degenhardt, 1988, 323-325; Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), September 23, 1986; Jessup, 1998, 677-680; Keesing's Record of World Events, September 10, 1982, October 1984, June 1985, December 1989, January 1991, April 1991, May 1991; Pan African News Agency (PANA), June 28, 2010; Reuters, May 31, 2001, June 2, 2001, April 19, 2003, April 22, 2003, June 26, 2010, July 1, 2010, February 9, 2012, February 10, 2012, April 1, 2012; Somaliland Press, May 5, 2010, May 25, 2010, May 26, 2010, July 1, 2010, July 20, 2010, July 27, 2012, November 30, 2012; This Day (Lagos), May 5, 2002; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) press release, August 14, 1996, February 18, 1997; Voice of America (VOA), June 25, 2010, November 29, 2012.]