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Entrance Of City Plazza Hotel Security Billboard, Burao, Somaliland

Entrance Of City Plazza Hotel Security Billboard, Burao, Somaliland

I do not know why i had the go to visit Burao as once in the town, it was forbidden to go out of the car! Too dangerous said the escort! It seems that 15 days before, 3 people had been shot by Puntland men...
I was just allowed to visit the camel market, but a local policeman came and shout after my driver saying "do you want the foreigners to be killed?! Get out of here!"
Well...back to the hotel...
On 29 October 2008 there were three explosions in Hargeisa. The explosions occurred at the UNDP office, the Ethiopian-Trade Office and the President’s Villa. Deaths were reported at both the UNDP offices and the Ethiopian Embassy. Exact numbers of injured and dead are not clear. Since this time, most of the public areas and hotels are heavily protected.

Formerly a British colony, Somaliland briefly reached its independence in 1960. It is one of the three Territories, with Puntland and former Italian Somalia that compose the current State of Somalia.
Somaliland proclaimed its independence in 1991, adopting its own currency, a fully independent government, working institutions and police. The authorities organized a referendum in 2001, advocating once again for full independence. However, to date, it is not internationally recognized.
Ethiopian Prime minister Meles Zenawi is the only one to speak about a Somalilander president, recognizing implicitly the existence of an independent State. Indeed the economy of neighboring Ethiopia dramatically depends on Somaliland stability, since the landlocked country’s main trade route passes through the Somalilander port of Berbera… And vice-versa, the economy of Somaliland largely depends on the taxes and duties it charges Ethiopia. Besides that, the principal economic activity of Somaliland is livestock exportation to the Arabian Peninsula. Most people are Sunni Muslims and speak Arabic, as well as some Somali dialect and many of them, English.Lastely, the East African demography being based on clan alliances, it is no surprise that the frontiers drawn by the colonists don’t match the ethnic divisions of territory, leading to open clashes. More broadly, this problem is recurrent across the African continent.

© Eric Lafforgue

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Photo taken on 15 November 2011 (© Eric Lafforgue / Flickr)

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