Somaliland (Somali: Soomaaliland, Arabic: أرض الصومال Arḍ aṣ-Ṣūmāl) is an independent state in the Horn of Africa. Formerly a part of the defunct nation of Somalia, it considers itself to be the successor state of the former British Somaliland protectorate.
Though Somalia was not directly attacked during Doomsday, it suffered the indirect chaos caused by the collapse of the world economy and the drastic changes to the environment. Considering the already unstable nature of the Somalian government in the 1980s, the country collapsed in 1984 with the various provinces either declaring independence or becoming carved over by ambitious warlords. The Somali National Movement (SMN) took the opportunity to seize control of the towns of Hargeisa and Burao and established the Republic of Somaliland. The rest of the decade, however, was spent keeping the hordes of refugees out of the country and dealing with political instability caused by the cultural differences in the region. The instability forced the government to pass emergency resolutions giving them immense power at the cost of civil liberties.
By the 1990s, Somaliland had begun to establish some stability to their territory. Contact with other nations also brought in new trade routes as diplomatic relationships were established. In the hopes, however, of establishing a "safe harbor" in a region plagued by pirates and other criminals, the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand and various South American states sent generous aid packages to Somaliland so that their merchant and military ships could use Somaliland's ports. The Somaliland government used the money to rebuild the country's shattered infrastructure. They also used it to modernize their military and built a small navy dedicated to hunting down and eradicating pirates. This new military proved especially useful in defending the provinces of Sanaag and Sool from Puntland in 1998, 2003 and 2007.
A Free Republic
With threats by ANZC and other nations to cut off aide, Somaliland held their first free election in 2003. The new president, Dahir Riyale Kahin, announced the end of the emergency resolutions and restored various civil liberties that had been lacking since Doomsday.
A Growing Power
Because of how important foreign aid is to the Somaliland economy, Somaliland has attempted to remain neutral in global affairs so as not to antagonize their supporters. Recently, however, the government of Somaliland has begun to make its influence felt, at least around the Horn of Africa. In 2007, the Somaliland Air Force launched several bombing raids against Islamist warlords in the former southern territories of Somalia. This action caused Pakistan, who had contacts with these Islamists, to recall its ambassador from Hargeisa.
In that same year President Kahin negotiated with the Republic of Ogadenia to allow the landlocked nation access to Somaliland ports in return for an annual payment and other benefits to Somaliland.
Somaliland has formed a hybrid system of governance under the Constitution of Somaliland, combining traditional and western institutions. In a series of inter-clan conferences, culminating in the Boorama Conference in 1993, a qabil (clan or community) system of government was constructed, which consisted of an Executive, with a President, Vice President, and Council of Ministers, a bicameral Legislature, and an independent judiciary. The traditional Somali council of elders (guurti) was incorporated into the governance structure and formed the upper house, responsible for selecting a President as well as managing internal conflicts. Government became in essence a "power-sharing coalition of Somaliland's main clans", with seats in the Upper and Lower houses proportionally allocated to clans according to a predetermined formula, although not all clans are satisfied with this formula of government. In 2002, after several extensions of this interim government, Somaliland finally made the transition to multi-party democracy, with district council elections contested by six parties.
The Somaliland Armed Forces are the main military system in the Somaliland region along with the Somaliland Police Force, all of whom are part of the internal security forces and are subordinate to the military. Currently around 25,000 personnel are active in Somaliland. The Somaliland Armed Forces takes the biggest share of the government's budget with the police and security forces, much of it being used to purchase foreign weapons. The Navy is primarily tasked with fighting pirates and patrolling around the Horn of Africa.
Somaliland is a member of the League of Nations.