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Somalia official publications

Guide to current official publications in the British Library.

Somaliland government official web site [Former British Protectorate in North West which declared independence in 1991, but is not recognised by international bodies - N.B. NOT the Government of Somalia] 

The Northern part of Somaliland was created as a British Protectorate in 1884. The Southern part belonged to two local rulers who in 1889 accepted Italian protection for their lands. In 1940 Italy invaded British Somaliland but in 1941 the British recaptured the territory as well as occupying Italian Somaliland. After the Second World War British Somaliland reverted to colonial status and ex-Italian Somaliland became the UN Trust Territory of Somaliland, administered by Italy.

The independent Somali Republic came into being on July 1st 1960, following the merger of the British Protectorate and the Italian Trusteeship Territory of Somaliland. On 21st October 1969 Maj.-Gen. Barre took power in a coup. Various insurgent forces opposed the regime and a civil war ensued. The constitution of 1984 made Somalia a one-party state, with an elected President and People's Assembly. Barre fled on 27th January 1991 but interfactional fighting continued. In Aug. 1992 a new coalition government agreed a UN military presence to back up famine relief efforts. On 11th Dec. 1992 the leaders of the two most prominent warring factions agreed a peace plan under the aegis of the UN and a pact was signed on 15th Jan. 1993. At the end of March, the warring factions agreed to disarm and form a National Transitional Council. UN forces left the country on March 2nd 1995.

The principal insurgent group in the North of the country, the Somali National Movement, declared the secession of an independent Somaliland Republic on 17th May 1991, based on the territory of the former British Protectorate. The government rejected the secession and launched a campaign to reoccupy the Republic in Jan. 1996.

Peace efforts in Djibouti culminated in July 2000 in the establishment of a power sharing agreement and a national constitution to see Somalia through a three-year transition period. The election of members of Parliament and a civilian government followed in August 2000. However, fighting between the rival factions continued. Warlords and politicians met in 2004 and signed a deal to set up a new parliament, which has appointed a new president, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed. In 2005 the government moved from exile in Kenya to Jowhar, north of the capital Mogadishu, rather than to the capital itself. Somaliland has not taken part in this process and has affirmed its independence.

The breakdown of government in Somalia has naturally led to a halt in official publishing.



Holdings: 1958-1960

Issued as supplements to the Official Gazette.

Annual volume of laws - Somaliland Protectorate


Holdings: 1953

Continuation of:

Laws enacted during ... - Somaliland Protectorate


Holdings: 1950-52

Bollettino Ufficiale - Somalia


Holdings: 1969-1973. Bound volumes.

Contains laws and decrees in Italian, English and Somali.


Somaliland Protectorate Gazette


1942-1960. Unbound parts [Incomplete.]

Contains general administrative notices. Legal materials are issued in the following supplements to the gazette: Bills, Ordinances, Orders, Orders in Council, Government notices, and Proclamations.

Development plans

Holdings: 1963/67-

The Library holds various development plans which are catalogued separately. Please consult the online catalogue for shelfmarks.

Government notices


Holdings: 1941-1960

Issued as supplements to the Official Gazette.

Laws of the Somaliland Protectorate


Minutes of proceedings - Legislative Council


Holdings: 1958-1960

Issued as supplements to the Official Gazette.



Holdings: 1955 only

Issued as occasional supplements to the Official Gazette.

Orders in Council


Holdings: 1941-1960

Issued as supplements to the Official Gazette.



Holdings: 1906/07; 1931-39; 1941-1960



Holdings: 1946-1949

Issued as supplements to the Official Gazette.

The Somali gazette - British Military Administration



1946.Nos. 4-25, 27-28
1947.Nos. 1-17, 19, 21-25
1948.Nos. 1-9, 13, 15, 17-19
1949.Nos. 1-23
1950.Nos. 1-5




1946.Nos. 1-8
1947.Nos. 1-8
1948.Nos. 1-2
1949.Nos. 1, 3-4

Somaliland in figures


Holdings: Ed. 3 (2000)-

Somaliland Protectorate notices


Holdings: 1900-1939

These are legal notices issued under various ordinances

Statistical abstract - Somalia. Central Statistical Department


Holdings: 1964; 1968; 1971; 1976; 1978-1979

Official statistical data of various aspects of the social and economic activities of the country are presented including finance, health, banking, prices, transport and communications industry, crime, population, education, and foreign trade. Information included is contributed by government departments and autonomous agencies.

Further information and contact details


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