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Initially a British protectorate, Somaliland gained its independence in 1960 and entered voluntarily into a union with the former Italian Somaliland five days later. Before long, struggles erupted, but the country remained lashed together under the dictator Mohammad Siad Barre until a vicious civil war broke out in 1988. During the civil war, tens of thousand of Somalilanders were killed by the Siad Barre regime due to their tribal affiliations.  At conclusion of the war in 1991, Somaliland had been decimated and bombed to the ground. It is still recovering today: travellers will see shells of tanks along major roads, blast marks from artillery along hillsides, bombed-out buildings and ruins remaining in cities.
 
Initially a British protectorate, Somaliland gained its independence in 1960 and entered voluntarily into a union with the former Italian Somaliland five days later. Before long, struggles erupted, but the country remained lashed together under the dictator Mohammad Siad Barre until a vicious civil war broke out in 1988. During the civil war, tens of thousand of Somalilanders were killed by the Siad Barre regime due to their tribal affiliations.  At conclusion of the war in 1991, Somaliland had been decimated and bombed to the ground. It is still recovering today: travellers will see shells of tanks along major roads, blast marks from artillery along hillsides, bombed-out buildings and ruins remaining in cities.
  
After 1991, Somaliland began the painstaking process of separation and reconstruction. By 2010, it had its own free and fair parliamentary and presidential elections, with the presidential elections notable in particular for unseating the incumbent in a very close race. A remarkably peaceful transition of power followed.
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After 1991, Somaliland began the painstaking process of separation and reconstruction. By 2010, it had it it's own free and fair parliamentary and presidential elections, with the presidential elections notable in particular for unseating the incumbent in a very close race. A remarkably peaceful transition of power followed.
  
 
Somaliland is a peaceful region. Violence is rare, and there is an active police force to ensure that laws are respected and that people abide to them.
 
Somaliland is a peaceful region. Violence is rare, and there is an active police force to ensure that laws are respected and that people abide to them.

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