About Somaliland Our history Somaliland is steeped in history, dating thousands of years. Strategically placed at at a cross road between Europe and the far east, present day Somaliland was known to the ancient Egyptians who traded with the locals, as well as the Romans whose sphere of influence reached its shores. To the east, the inhabitants also traded with Indians who brought spices in exchange of frankincense and myrrh. In short, Somaliland's history could be broken down into the following important periods; 7th century - Islam starts to make inroads into the area of modern-day Somaliland. 14th century - The area's Islamic sultanates come under the suzerainty of the Christian Ethiopian Empire. 1527 - Sultanate of Adal revolts against Ethiopian rule and subsequently conquers much of Ethiopia, before being defeated with the help of the Portuguese in 1543. 1888 - Britain establishes the protectorate of British Somaliland though treaties with the local sultanates. 1899 - Islamic cleric Mohammed Abdullah rises against British rule, going on to establish the Dervish State, which survives until it is destroyed by British forces in 1920. 1960 - British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland become independent and merge into the Somali Republic. 1991 - The former British Somaliland declares unilateral independence as Somaliland following the ousting of Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre, which plunges the rest of Somalia into anarchy. 2001 - More than 97% of the population votes to endorse the constitution adopted in 1997, in a referendum aimed at affirming Somaliland's self-declared independence. 2017 - Somaliland celebrates 26 years of self-declared independence, but remains unrecognised.