Somaliland (Somali: Somaliland; Arabic: صوماليلاند Ṣūmālīlānd, أرض الصومال Arḍ aṣ-Ṣūmāl), officially the Republic of Somaliland (Somali: Jamhuuriyadda Somaliland, Arabic: جمهورية صوماليلاند Jumhūrīyat Ṣūmālīlānd), is a self-declared state internationally recognised as an autonomous region of Somalia. The government of the de facto state of Somaliland regards itself as the successor state to the former British Somaliland protectorate, which, in the form of the briefly independent State of Somaliland, united as scheduled on 1 July 1960 with the Trust Territory of Somaliland (the former Italian Somaliland) to form the Somali Republic. Somaliland lies in northwestern Somalia, on the southern coast of the Gulf of Aden. It is bordered by the remainder of Somalia (per international recognition) to the east, Djibouti to the northwest, and Ethiopia to the south and west. Its claimed territory has an area of 176,120 square kilometres (68,000 sq mi), with approximately 4 million residents. The capital and the largest city is Hargeisa, with the population of around 1,500,000 residents. In 1988, the Siad Barre government began a crackdown against the Hargeisa-based Somali National Movement (SNM) and other militant groups, which were among the events that led to the Somali Civil War. The conflict left the country's economic and military infrastructure severely damaged. Following the collapse of Barre's government in early 1991, local authorities, led by the SNM, unilaterally declared independence from Somalia on 18 May of the same year and reinstated the borders of the former short-lived independent State of Somaliland. Since then, the territory has been governed by democratically elected governments that seek international recognition as the Government of the Republic of Somaliland (Somali: Dowlada Jamhuuriyadda Somaliland, Arabic: جمهورية صوماليلاند Dawlat Jumhūrīyat Ṣūmālīlānd).
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