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Originally appearing in Volume V03, Page 764 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BERBERA, chief town and principal port of the British Somaliland protectorate, North-East Africa, 155 M. S. of Aden, in to° 26' N., 450 4' E. Berbera stands at the head of a deep inlet which forms the only completely sheltered haven on the south side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the residence of the commissioner of the protectorate and the headquarters of the Somaliland battalion of the King's African Rifles. The harbour is eleven to thirteen fathoms deep at the entrance (indicated by a lighthouse), decreasing to five fathoms near the shore. Ocean-going steamers find ample accommodation. There are two piers and numerous warehouses. The town is built in two divisions—the native town to the east, the new town, laid out by the Egyptians (1875-1877), to the west. The majority of the better-class houses are of rubble, one-storeyed and flat-roofed. The public buildings include the fort, hospital and barracks. BERBERS There are a Roman Catholic mission-house and convent and a government school. The affairs of the town are administered by a municipality. The water-supply is brought to the town by an aqueduct from the hills some 8 m. distant. The bulk of the inhabitants are Somali, who have abandoned a nomadic life and adopted largely the ways of the Arab and Indian traders. The permanent population is under Io,000; but from October to April the population rises to 30,000 or more by the arrival of caravans from Ogaden and Dolbahanta. The traders bring with them tents on the backs of camels and these are pitched near the native town. Their merchandise consists of sheep and goats, gum and resin, skins and ostrich feathers. The trade is almost entirely with Aden, of which Berbera may be considered a commercial dependency. The value of the goods brought in yearly by caravan exceeds on the average £roo,000. The total trade of the port for the five years 1901-1902 to 1905-1906 averaged over £200,000 a year. The chief articles of import are cotton goods (European white longcloth and American grey shirting), rice and jowari, flour, dates, sugar and tobacco (the last from Rotterdam). Berbera is said to have been founded by the Ptolemies among the Barbari of the adjacent coast lands. It fell subsequently into the possession of Arabs and was included in the Mahommedan state of Adel. At the time of the visit to the town of R. F. Burton and J. H. Speke (1854) it was governed by its own sheiks. In 187o it was claimed by the khedive Ismail, but was not permanently occupied by Egypt until 1875. In 1884 it passed into the possession of Great Britain (see SOMALILAND, § 2, History).
End of Article: BERBERA

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Jump to: navigation, search Jamhuriyatha Soomaaliland Republic of Somaliland Flag Coat of arms Motto: "Justice, Peace, Freedom, Democracy and Success for All" Anthem: dum ala khair, dum ala khair, Samo ku waar Samo ku waar Saamo ku waar Capital Hargeisa 9°30′N 44°0′E Largest city Hargeisa Official language(s) Somali, English, Arabic Government Republic President Dahir Riyale Kahin Independence - Declared - Recognition From Somalia - May 18, 1991 - none Area - Total 137,600 km² (-) 53,128 sq mi - Water (%) n/a Population - 2005 est. 3.5 million (n/a) - Density 25/km² (n/a) 65/sq mi GDP (PPP) - estimate - Total n/a (n/a) - Per capita n/a (n/a) HDI (-) n/a (unranked) – n/a Currency Somaliland shilling (SLSH) Time zone MSK (UTC+3) - Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+3) Internet TLD none Calling code +252 Rankings may not be available because of its unrecognized de facto state status. Somaliland (Somali: Soomaaliland) is an unrecognized de facto state located in northwest Somalia in the Horn of Africa. In May 1991, Somaliland people declared an independent Republic of Somaliland that now includes five of the eighteen administrative regions of Somalia, roughly the region between Ethiopia, Djibouti , Gulf of Aden and the former Italian Somaliland, an area of about 137,600 square kilometres (53,128 sq mi). The capital of Somaliland is Hargeisa. Although not recognized by any government, this entity has maintained a stable existence, due in part to the dominance of a ruling clan. In September 2005, multiparty municipal, presidential, and parliamentary elections were held, and were won by the UDUB party. A team of observers from several countries monitored the polls and found them generally peaceful, free and fair, boosting Somaliland's bid for international recognition as a sovereign state.[1] Contents [hide] 1 History 2 Politics 3 Regions 4 Geography 5 Economy 6 Demographics 7 Culture 7.1 Somali History 7.2 Clan System and Marriage 7.3 Language 7.4 Religion 7.5 Miscellaneous Topics on Somali Culture 8 Miscellaneous topics 9 See also 10 References 11 External links [edit] History Main article: History of Somaliland Formerly the British Somaliland Protectorate, shortly after gaining independence British Somaliland in 26 June 1960 merged with Italian Somaliland in 1960 to form Somalia. In 1991, after the collapse of the central government in Somalia, the territory asserted its independence as the Republic of Somaliland, although it didn't receive any international recognition. The economic and military infrastructure left behind by Somalia have been largely destroyed by war. The people of Somaliland had rebelled against the Siad Barre dictatorship in Mogadishu which prompted a massive reaction by the government. The late Abdirahman Mohamed Ali was the first president of Somaliland, and Mohamed Ibrahim Egal was his successor in 1993. Egal was re-appointed in 1998 and remained in power until his death on May 3, 2002. The vice president Dahir Riyale Kahin was sworn in as president shortly afterwards, and in 2003 Kahin became the first Somaliland president to be elected in a free and fair election. [edit] Politics Main article: Politics of Somaliland Somaliland has formed a hybrid system of governance combining traditional and western institutions. In a series of inter-clan conferences, culminating in the Borama Conference in 1993, a beel (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 pre-determined formula. 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, considered the "most peaceful in Africa for twenty years." [citation needed] The district elections also determined which parties were allowed to contest the parliamentary and presidential elections, where a party was required to demonstrate at least twenty percent of the popular vote from four out of the six regions. This important caveat insured that parties would focus on consensus building and would not organize around ethnic lines. Subsequently, three parties were selected to submit presidential candidates: the UDUB party , Kulmiye, and the Justice and Welfare Party (UCID). On April 14, 2003, 488,543 voters participated in the presidential elections, which ran more or less smoothly. The result was a slim eighty vote controversial victory for UDUB over the Kulmiye, complicated by allegations of ballot stuffing against the incumbent UDUB. Despite calls for the Kulmiye to form a rival government, the party’s leadership did not do so, instead choosing to abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court that upheld UDUB’s victory. Despite minor demonstrations, the transition to the presidency of Dahir Riyale Kahin proceeded peacefully. This transition, combined with the fact that Kaahin was not a member of the dominant Isaaq clan, speaks volumes about the inter-clan commitment to peace-building and the rule of law. It could be, according to Steve Kibble, "the first indigenous modern African form of government." Without a doubt, the Somaliland government holds legitimacy in the eyes of its own people. Somaliland boasts a constitution, a functional parliament and government ministries, an army, a police force, judiciary, and many of the signs of statehood, including a flag, currency, and passports. Nonetheless, it faces some significant problems to its continued survival. Like other Somali governments, it lacks a consistent taxation base and receives most of its support from private actors. Corruption remains a problem, women are virtually unrepresented in government, and there are growing concerns about voting patterns based on ethnic lines as well as the majority that UDUB has gained over both the regional councils and presidency as well as the parliament. Moreover, the large part of Somalilanders still harbour vivid memories of a predatory and extractive central state and are therefore wary of the construction of any strong central authority; this is evident in the importance placed on the role of the regional councils in dealing with local problems. On March 1, 2006, the Welsh Assembly invited the speaker of the Somaliland parliament to the opening of a new Assembly building. The Somali community in Wales numbers 8-10,000, most of whom come from the region of Somaliland. [2] See also: List of Somaliland politicians, Elections in Somaliland [edit] Regions
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