Foreign relations of Somaliland

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

Somaliland portal

Foreign relations of the Republic of Somaliland are the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[1] The Republic of Somaliland is a self-declared independent republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia. The region's self-declared independence remains unrecognised by the international community.[2][3]

Due to its status, the Republic of Somaliland currently has no official contacts with any nation. International recognition as a sovereign, stable state, remains at the forefront of the government's current foreign policy. Other key priorities are encouraging international aid and foreign investment.

The position of the international community is to support Somalia's central government, territorial integrity and sovereignty.[4]


Somaliland has political contacts with its neighbours Ethiopia[5] and Djibouti,[6] as well as with Belgium,[5] France,[7] Ghana,[5] South Africa,[5] Sweden,[5][8] the United Kingdom,[5][9] and the United States.[10]

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.[11]

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.[12] German naval ships already operated from Berbera.[13] 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.[4]

In February 2010, there were rumours that Israel might recognise Somaliland, and Israel is still interesting to maintain a diplomatic relationship with Somaliland.[14][15] The rumours turned out to be wrong.[16] Additionally, there was an arms smuggling affair involving Somaliland and an Israeli arms dealer.[16]

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.[17] 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.[4]

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.[18] On 26 March 2015, Cardiff City Council followed suit.[19] On 18 May 2015, the UK independence Party, a major British political party with legislative representation, commemorated Somaliland's Independence Day and announced support for international recognition.[20] Nevertheless, the Conservative UK government officially recognize Somaliland as an autonomous region of Somalia.

Foreign Minister

As of October 2015, Saad Ali Shire, the previous Planning minister, is the Foreign Minister of Somaliland.[21]

Diplomatic Representative Offices

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.[30][31] In October 2012, Denmark has launched a diplomatic office in Hargeisa, Somaliland

Border disputes

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[32]). The inhabitants of these areas predominantly belong to the same Harti clan that constitutes a majority of Puntland's residents.

Additionally, control of the Awdal province is disputed between Somaliland and the AwdalState administration. That dispute is only on media game due to the fact thal AwdalState does not have enough support from elite in that region.

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.[33]

Organisational membership

Somaliland is a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO).[14]

See also


  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. 1 2 3 "Communiqué on Secretary-General's Mini-Summit on Somalia". United Nations. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Somaliland closer to recognition by Ethiopia". Afrol News. Retrieved 2007-07-06.
  6. "Somaliland, Djibouti in bitter port feud". afrol News. Retrieved 2007-07-22.
  7. "France recognizes de facto Somaliland". Les Nouvelles d'Addis. 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
  8. "Somaliland Diplomatic Mission in Sweden". Retrieved 2010-04-02.
  9. "Somaliland". United Kingdom Parliament. 2004-02-04. Retrieved 2007-02-23.
  10. "Somaliland Liaison Office Washington DC". Somaliland Liaison Office. Archived from the original on April 4, 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  11. "Somaliland on verge of observer status in the Commonwealth". Qaran News. 2009-11-16. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
  12. Sü GmbH, Munich, Germany (2002-01-02). "Dschibuti - Einer der heißesten Flecken der Welt - Politik". Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  13. "". Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  14. 1 2 "Somaliland: Israel says ready to recognize Somaliland". UNPO. 2010-02-12. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  15. No Author. "Somalia: Israel to recognize Somaliland independence". Jimma Times. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  16. 1 2 "junge Welt – die linke Tageszeitung. Nachrichten und Hintergründe". 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  17. "SA, Tanzania don't recognise Somaliland". Times Live. 13 August 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  18. "Somaliland Hails British Step Forward in Independence Bid". VOA. 5 April 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  21. "Somaliland: President Silanyo Unveils A Major Reshuffle To His Cabinet". Midnimo. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  22. 1 2 3 4 5 Contacts and addresses of the Somaliland Representative Offices around the world. Government of Somaliland.
  23. Wiren, Robert (8 April 2008). France recognizes de facto Somaliland. Les Nouvelles d'Addis. Versailles. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
  24. 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.
  25. Somaliland Diplomatic Mission in Sweden. Somaliland Embassy in Sweden.
  26. Ethiopia’s New Representative to Somaliland. Qarannews (30 October 2009). Retrieved 2010-05-25.
  27. Section II: Somaliland. International Council on Security and Development. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
  28. "SOMALIA: Ethiopia opens consulate in Puntland". 2010-05-29. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  29. "We urgently need an Embassy in Somalia". 2007-06-05. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  30. &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.
  31. "Yemen and Puntland to further cooperation". 2010-10-12. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  32. Somaliland’s Quest for International Recognition and the HBM-SSC Factor
  33. Thompkins, Gwen (2009-05-27). "Somaliland Struggles For Recognition". NPR. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
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