Somaliland: Gimbar Currency Declared Defunct Legal Tender in Sanaag Region


“Anybody found transacting in the Gimbar shall be charged in a court of law” Somaliland Central Bank

By: Yusuf M HasanResidents display new currency

ERIGAVO (Somalilandsun) – Residents of Erigavo district in Sanaag region have successfully discarded the use of the worthless Gimbar currency as legal tender.

In a duration of 48 hours that commenced on Thursday the Somaliland central bank has managed to eliminate the Somali currency dubbed Gimbar as legal tender in 90% of Sanaag which was the only region in the country where the worthless notes were used.

A statement released by the central bank governor Abdi Dirir Abdi from the Sanaag regional capital of Erigavo where he has been leading a team from the bank conducting the exercise warned that anybody caught transacting business with the Gimbar shillings shall be arraigned in Court.

The Central banker who also divulged that all residents have and shall not lose any of their hard won during exchange from Gimbar to Somaliland currency said that those failing to take advantage of the 48hrs time window given will be solely responsible for any problems they encounter.

Said he, “While the government shall cover for the loss to have been incurred by citizens converting their Gimbar to Somaliland shillings those pursuing the offer after the given period of time have nobody to blame but themselves”

Sl Currency Fully stocked in SanaagThe government in response to pleas from Sanaag residents who were losing money on almost a daily basis as a result of fake thus worthless notes being distributed in the market and afterwards rejected by traders dispatched the central bank with orders to effect the immediate conversion from Gimbar to national currency.

According to shopkeeper Khan Abdi Darwish a local Erigavo shopkeeper, the action by the government which is very welcome has left his coffers at the same value while the recent sudden decision rejecting the 500shs Gimbar notes left him with an over 18,000,000 Somali shillings lose.

“I was among the first to adhere to the 48hrs deadline Gimbar to Somaliland shillings conversion window period imposed by the government on Thursday” said Mr. Darwish while informing that since then the number of customers served has increased dramatically having been freed of the cumbersome act of counting the large bundles of Gimbar notes that was entailed even for the sale of a packet of cigarettes or a kilo gram of sugar.

Speaking to Somalilandsun the Eastern regions manager of the central bank Omar Ahmed Abdi informed that 90% of the Sanaag is now free of the hated Gimbar thus only the farthest district in the East have yet to fully convert to use of Somaliland shillings.

“Since the conversion was a crash one we are yet to fully cover the entire region but this shall be accomplished within the next coming month or two” said the regional banker who informed that apart from Erigavo other districts where the Gimbar is no longer legal tender in the region include El-afweine, Mayd, Hiis and Gara’adag.

Most Gimbar notes in Sanaag were fakes from Puntland

To attain the conversion objective the government’s crash program was spearheaded by regional leaders like the Sanaag governor Mohamed Geele Da’ar, Erigavo Mayor Ismail Haji Nuur, Central Bank Governor Abdi Dirir Abdi and eastern region’s manager Omar Ahmed Abdi and regional police commander Colonel Ga’amayare assisted by traditio0nal leaders.

According to Shopkeeper Khan Abdi Darwish the leaders criss-crossed the entire district in vehicles mounted with public address systems announcing the change of currency and timeframe imposed by the government.

“This campaign by the leadership ensued with a rush for the regional central bank in Erigavo which was equally staffed and stocked with the Somaliland currency thus none left without being served” said a jubilant Darwish.

Leaders Campaign for Gimbar change in Sanaag

With the successful removal of the Gimbar in most districts in the Sprawling and country’s eastern most region of Sanaag it is anticipated that the bold move by the administration of President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo that ensued in Toghdeer region last year shall pursue the matter further and see to it the remaining districts in Sanaag like Dahar and Las Qoray are finally rid of the despicable Gimbar.

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The Somaliland Central Bank

With 11 branches nationwide the Central bank which functions as both the as the Somaliland d public and private banker was established in 1994 together with appropriate Banking Laws, to insure that Banking regulations are carried out to the letter being a requisite the provisions of the National Constitution of the Republic of Somaliland.

Somaliland Central Bank Hqs

The Somaliland Central Bank is managed by Board of Directors accordingly appointed with day to day activities run by a Governor of the Bank who is a presidential appointee assisted by a Deputy-governor and a Director General who are appointed by the minister of finance.

The Bank’s main objectives are detailed in Article 3 of the Constitutive Law of Somaliland Bank as follows: Fostering Monetary stability maintaining the internal and external values of the Somaliland Currency and promoting credit and exchange conditions conductive to the balanced growth of the economy of the Republic and within the limits of its powers, it shall contribute to the financial and economic policies of the state.

For more on the central bank click HERE