Republic of Somaliland

Political Status: Former British Somaliland Protectorate; joined with (Italian) Trust Territory of Somalia on July 1, 1960, to form Somali Republic; announced secession as independent state on May 18, 1991; constitution endorsing independence and providing for multiparty activity approved by national referendum on May 31, 2001.

Area: 68,000 sq. mi. (176,120 sq. km.)

Population: 5,199,000 (2007E).

Major Urban Centers (2004E): HARGEISA (500,000), Berbera (35,000).

Principal Language: Somali.

Monetary Unit: Somaliland shilling, which became Somaliland's sole legal tender on January 31, 1995, with an initial value of 100 Somali shillings = $1US. Due to the lack of international recognition of Somaliland's self-declared independent status, the exchange value of the shilling is not reported in regular currency listings. However, it reportedly has recently averaged 6,000-6,500 Somaliland shillings = $1US.

President: Dahir ...

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