You Must Know: Somalia or the Somali Republic?
Barkhad M. Kaariye

The Somali Republic was the result of a political marriage between Somaliland, a former British protectorate that was the first Somali territory to become independent on 26th June 1960, and Italian Somalia in the south, which gained its independence from Italy four days later, 1stJuly 1960. As International Crisis Group (2003) indicates, Somaliland is the third incarnation of the territory established by the British in the Horn of Africa towards the end of the nineteenth century. It covers a land area of 137,600 square kilometers, roughly equivalent to 22% of the former Somali Republic. Due to nationalist sentiment at the time of independence, and the broader goal of uniting all Somalis, a political marriage was adopted and the Somali Republic was formed on 1stJuly 1960, four days after Somaliland's independence from Britain, and the day that southern Somalia gained independence from Italy. Frequently, however, academic literature confuses the name ‘Somalia’ with ‘the Somali Republic,’ the latter which was the official name adopted at the time of this union. This study examines the origins of this name, and the differences between 'Somalia' and 'The Somali Republic'. It also shed the light on the difference between the first Somali Republic and the following governments that was formed later. The study mainly relied on desk research. From legal and official perspective, the findings of this study are that there was huge ovulation on the nation's name and structure. In addition, the current 'Somalia' is different from the Republic that was formed by the two Somali Republics that gained their independence from the British and Italian governments back in 1960. The study suggests a solid solution to end the confusion on the difference between 'Somalia' and 'The Somali Republic' which have an adversary impact on the academic work.

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