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Somaliland Armed Forces
Ciidanka Qaranka
Somaliland Armed Forces Emblem.svg
Service branches Army
Air Defense Forces
Headquarters Hargeisa
Minister of Defense Ahmed Haji Abdi Adami
Chief of Defense Isma'il Mohamed Hassan Shaqale
Military age 18-49
Available for
military service
~800,000 (2005)[citation needed], age 18-65
Fit for
military service
~340,000 (2005)[citation needed], age 18-65
Active personnel 28,000[1] - 35,000[2]
Budget US$6 million (2006)[3]

The Somaliland Armed Forces (Somali language: Ciidanka Qaranka ) are the main military forces in Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia. They are composed of two active military branches: the army and the navy. There is no air force.[2] The Somaliland Police Force is also a part of the internal security forces, but is subordinate to the military. The Somaliland Minister of Defence Ahmed Haji Abdi Adami currently oversees the armed forces.

Somaliland spends more on its armed forces than any other item, allocating 25%[3] to 30%[1] of revenues to the military. An article on the 2006 budget cited a figure of approximately 41 billion Somaliland Shilling, approximately $6 million.[3] Due to Somaliland's lack of international recognition, the region is not allowed to procure weapons.[1]

Commanders[edit | edit source]

Chief of Staff
No. Name Took office Left office Note
1 General Nuh Ismail Tani[1][4] 2003 11 December 2011 Dismissed
2 General Mohamed Hasan Abdullahi[4] 11 December 2011 9 February 2012[5]
3 General Isma'il Mohamed Hassan Shaqale[5] 9 February 2012
Chief of Operations
No. Name Took office Left office Note
1 Hasan Abdi Yusuf[4] 11 December 2011 Dismissed
2 Mohamed Adan Saqadhi[4] 11 December 2011 Incumbent

Army[edit | edit source]

Personnel[edit | edit source]

The Somaliland Army has long operated without a formal rank structure. However, in December 2012, the regional defense ministry announced that a chain of command had been developed and would be implemented by January 2013.[2]

As part of a limited defense arrangement, Ethiopia is training a small number of Somaliland officers at its Defense Engineering College. Since 2008, 50 Somaliland officers have graduated under this program.[6]

Equipment[edit | edit source]

Due to a United Nations arms embargo on Somalia, which the semi-autonomous Somaliland region is internationally recognized as being a part of, the territory is not allowed to purchase weapons. Consequently, military officials from the region rely on repairing and modifying old equipment. Some also claim that weapons are at times delivered from Ethiopia and Yemen via the port of Berbera, usually during the night.[1]

Regular Somaliland soldiers have been seen with SKS carbines and various versions of the AK-47.[7]

Additionally, the Somaliland army operates an unknown number of the following equipment:[1]

  • BM-21 mobile rocket launchers
  • BGM-71 TOW anti-tank guided missiles
  • BTR-50 tracked armored personnel carriers
  • T-34 medium tank
  • T-55 Main Battle tank

Navy[edit | edit source]

The Somaliland navy (Somali language: Ciidanka Bada ee Somaliland ) was formed in 2009.[1] The headquarter is located in the coastal town of Berbera where its also a diving center run by foreign divers who train the Somaliland navy. The Navy operates with small speedboats mounted with guns, pick-ups, and trucks.[1] Much of this equipment was provided by the United Kingdom, in an effort to combat piracy.[2]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Hussein, Abdi "Somalilands Military Is A Shadow of the Past" SomaliaReport, August 13, 2011, accessed August 13, 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Hasan, Yusuf M. "Somaliland: After Two Decades the Armed Forces Come to Age" indepthafrica.com November 27, 2012. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Naqdiga Miisaaniyada Somaliland ee Sannadka 2006" Somaliland.org. March 11, 2006. Accessed November 26, 2010.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Guled, Mo Somaliland: President Dismisses Joint Chiefs of Staff Nuh Tani Somalilanpress, December 11, 2011, accessed December 17, 2011
  5. 5.0 5.1 JD Somaliland President Sacks Military Chief SomaliaReport, February 09, 2012, accessed February 10, 2012
  6. Hussein, Qalinle "Somaliland: 12 military cadets graduate from Ethiopian military institute" somalilandpress.com July 1, 2012. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  7. Forberg, Ekkehard and Ulf Terlinden. "Small Arms in Somaliland: Their Role and Diffusion" Berlin Information-centre for Transatlantic Study (BITS). March 1999. Retrieved February 13, 2013.

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