Formerly the Italian, British, and French territories of that name, now constituting Somalia and Djibouti. French Somaliland was renamed the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas (the two main tribes, the Issas being Somali) in 1969, then became independent as Djibouti in 1976. The former British Somaliland was known simply as Somaliland as an independent state, which it was briefly from 26 June to 1 July 1960, when it united with the Italian Somalia colony to become the Somali Republic, or Somalia.

More recently, a self-proclaimed state since 18 May 1991, having declared its independence from war-torn Somalia. It coincides with the former British Somaliland. No other country has recognised it, though it is generally more peaceful and stable than the rest of the country. Three other regions, Jubaland, Puntland, and South-West Somalia, have also seceded from Somalia, but only Somaliland has declared itself fully independent. Its Somali name actually uses the English suffix -land.

Capital: Hargeisa. Main port: Berbera. The flag is horizontally green-white-orange, with the shahada (Muslim profession) in white on the green stripe, and a black star on the white one. Their currency is the Somaliland shilling.

The 1960 State of Somaliland was led by prime minister Mohammed Egal (or Maxamed Cigaal in the new Somali orthography), who also served as prime minister of unified Somalia in 1960 and again 1967-1969, when there was a military coup. In 1993 he was chosen as president of the seceded Somaliland. President Egal died on 3 May 2002 in a South African hospital and was succeeded by his vice-president, Dahir Riyale Kahin.

The British territory was established in 1884, and the Italian one in the north-east (the modern Puntland) in 1889, extended to the south in 1905. In 1936 with the annexation of Ethiopia it became part of Italian East Africa, and they occupied the British territory in 1940, until the whole region fell to British forces in 1941. From 1950 until independence Italian Sonalia was a United Nations trust.

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